30 June 2024


I am just back from the Sunday night pub quiz at "The Hammer and Pincers". My team did not win but we got a £10 token for four correct corners on the Bingo-style answer sheet.  I only got four of the twenty five questions wrong - one behind the winners, Anyway, I think it's time for all you blogriders out there to attempt another quiz. Here we go:-


1. On Thursday, a TV presidential debate between Joe Biden and  The Orange Monster was held in an American city but which city?

2. What do Americans call the boot of a car?

3. In which village does the famous Welsh blogger John Gray reside with his two Welsh terriers?

4. From which Beatles song was the following lyric taken - "If there's anything that you want/ If there's anything I can do/ Just call on me and I'll send it along with love..." ?

5. What colour shirts do the English football club Chelsea normally play in?

6. What is the Spanish name for a principal bullfighter?

7. In which year did the artist Salvador Dali die?
(a)1919  (b) 1939  (c) 1959  (c) 1989

8. What was Elvis Presley's middle name?

9. Name this cartoon character from "The Simpsons".
10. The following statement means "I know nothing" but in which language is it written?  Ich weiß nichts

As per usual answers may be found in the comments
section. How did you do?

29 June 2024


That's Margot in Glasgow. At almost eight months old, she is getting used to the idea of eating though I rather suspect that she would prefer to live on a milky diet for the rest of her life.

She remains the most pleasant of babies. Smiles emanate freely from her and when she wakes from a nap, she never cries. Instead, she looks around noticing whatever is in her line of vision. There is an air of peacefulness about her. Will it last? I don't know but a person's character starts to form when they are very young.

My "Song for Margot" acquired more words in Glasgow:

Life's just a passing show
You stand there in the light 
Then wave and say good night.
High up in the sky
Clouds are drifting by
And if perchance they cry
It rains.

Following the poonami  and subsequent clear up at the motorway services near Carlisle, I was holding Margot by a table when an older woman stopped by and said, "What a beautiful baby! She has lovely eyes!" I couldn't help responding that in spite of her loveliness she had just filled her nappy with ochre-coloured poo.

I arrived at this keyboard late tonight because I watched the entire Coldplay set from Glastonbury. It finished just before midnight. They performed  consummately as one might expect from such a seasoned and successful band with their own special sound. Chris Martin, the lead singer, is a clever and indefatigable showman. He held that massive crowd in the palm of his hand. Here they are:-

28 June 2024


Street scene on Maxwell Street

The centre of Glasgow still bustles. It is a city of over a million people. It was once thought of as the second most significant city in the entire British Empire.

Poverty is still there and sometimes - out on the streets - you see people who have fallen off  the roller-coaster  of ordinary life entirely.  They ask for change. They smoke cigarettes. They are thin. Their eyes dart about. Their skin is pale grey. They look out for one another in ways that the affluent and advantaged will never know.

They may have pronounced limps, scars or aluminium crutches. They may have botched tattoos and they may carry cans of strong lager. I guess that some of them have drug issues and I imagine that growing up was not easy for any of  them - not warm and secure with encouragement. In a sense, life has passed them by. They simply strive for survival day by day.

The real "McDonalds" on Trongate

Don't get me wrong - those desperate people clinging to the bottom rung of the ladder do not represent typical Glaswegians. Yet they are there like shadows. I noticed them.

And I also noticed the Somalian and Sudanese food delivery guys. They have electrified bicycles with big tyres and they carry food orders in big insulated rucksacks courtesy of "Just Eat", "Deliveroo" and "Uber Eats". They are surely doing their best to make new lives for themselves - a long way from home.

Jewellers' shop window in Argyle Arcade

In contrast, The Argyle Arcade is home to a dozen top quality jewellers. Diamond rings and luxury branded watches  sparkle in the display windows bearing price tags to make one's eyes water.

In the "Tolbooth Bar" on Wednesday afternoon I watched Caroline and Billy provide a pleasant set of tunes that reached to teatime as I drank a pint of "Caledonian Best"...
Her eyes they shone like diamonds
I thought her the queen of the land
And her hair it hung over her shoulders
Tied up with a black velvet band.

I have always liked that song.
Caroline and Billy in "The Tolbooth Bar"

27 June 2024


Back from Glasgow now. We stayed in a spacious two bedroom flat next to The Tolbooth Tower - looking right down Trongate to Argyle Street. It was a pretty perfect city centre location. 

Frances could easily walk to her workplace where she found herself in a sea of sorrow. It was a difficult situation. Some of those grieving colleagues had known Ryan for years. Now they are all thrust into a new world where they are faced with the challenge of advancing Ryan's business dreams even though he is not here.

We looked after darling Margot so of course this restricted our wanderings but we did manage to trek up to Glasgow Cathedral and the famous Necropolis close by - a mass gathering of Victorian monuments to the dead - mostly the wealthy and influential. It was as though in death they had tried to compete with one other through the magnificence of their stone memorials.  Ordinary working folk were more or less excluded.

Frances sped us back in five hours this evening, halting for a "poonami" that Margot had managed to create in her nappy (American: diaper) just south of Carlisle. It was worthy of an Olympic medal.

More about Glasgow tomorrow.

25 June 2024


This post was meant to publish itself on Tuesday June 25th but something went wrong. 
It's probably my own silly fault. Sorry about that.

Glasgow - The Necropolis

This is a scheduled post to let you know that Yorkshire Pudding is away in Glasgow till Thursday of this week. I am there with my wife, daughter and youngest granddaughter, Margot. It's all about our daughter Frances getting to know her Glasgow-based colleagues. At least that was the intention until something terrible happened on Saturday afternoon See my last blogpost.

I haven't really  been back to Glasgow since 1977. I had university friends there and a steady girlfriend called Patricia. Upon reflection, maybe I am telling a lie here because in 1991 I caught a train there before catching a bus to Glasgow Airport. Then I flew to Keflavik Airport in  Iceland for memorable adventuring.

It will be tough for Frances's work team to find a way forward. Ryan created the company and all key decisions went through him. He was the driving force and the energy. It was his baby. Below - the motorbike of death... If only his tape could be rewound to live that day  differently.

23 June 2024


Dave over on The Sheep's Head Peninsula in Ireland  suggested that my steam engine pictures might look better in  sepia. Vintage scenes presented in a suitably vintage medium.  Consequently, the picture at the top was converted from the picture below. Thanks for the idea Dave. 
Also, now that I have fixed the problem with the data cable, I can show you a couple of pictures of our new patio that now waits for planting to happen...

Tomorrow we are heading up to Glasgow with Frances and Baby Margot. This has been planned for some time. Glasgow is where Frances's new company is based and this trip was meant to be her first real chance to get to meet up with key colleagues. She met the boss, Ryan, down in London last Thursday, but...

And you may have trouble believing this but Ryan was killed in a motorcycle accident on Saturday afternoon. He was thirty five years old and leaves a wife and three young sons. The trip to Glasgow now takes on a very different character and the future of the company is suddenly in the balance. He created it and built it from scratch.

We will be staying in an AIRbnb flat that Ryan personally approved for us. We are supposed to be there for three nights but that might not happen now. We will see. I am still shaking my head in disbelief.

22 June 2024


Cottage in Rainow

I went west again today just as my father once suggested - "Go west my son!" Clint was deposited in the church car park at Rainow. It is a beautifully located village - sitting in a sheltered valley on the edge of The Peak District - just over the hill from Bollington. In another life I could have easily lived there.

With boots laced up and my little rucksack on my back, I set off on a lovely, varied walk and saw many things. The pictures below will hopefully give a sense of my day. I was out there plodding along for four hours. It felt good to be alive. That thought often comes to me when I am on one of my walking expeditions.

As you can tell, I  managed to get my old data cable working again to transfer today's images onto the P.C..

Holy Trinity Church, Rainow 
Ewe above Clews Head Farm
Excellent drystone walling north of Rainow

Delicately coloured wild foxglove plant at Rainowlow

Farm outbuilding at Rainowlow
On Saddle Cote, looking to Shining Tor

More fine stonework at Harrop Fold Farm

Oh and I almost forget to share this with you. As I was passing through the village of Hope in The Hope Valley, the traffic was held up for the passage of four ancient steam-powered tractors. This was connected with that village's well dressing festival. The vehicles were like dinosaurs or fire-breathing dragons loping along...

21 June 2024


I had a post in mind for today but I discovered a problem with my data cable - the wire that is meant to connect my digital camera with the desktop computer. There were certain images I needed for the blogpost. Hopefully this technical issue will be short lived for I hope to purchase a replacement cable on Monday.

For the past two weeks I have been pretty much housebound because of work that has been going on in our back garden (American: yard). A landscaper has been working on a new stone patio and all of the materials have had to be carried through the house. Access was required throughout the day as the two builders went to and fro. The job has cost us an arm and a leg but now it is done and in a sense I am free.

Our house was built on a hill and this affected the construction of the new patio - building up levels and putting in steps etcetera We are pretty happy with the end result but one or two minor things niggle me. Is there ever such a thing as a perfect job? I guess I am just going to have to bury my small complaints. It's too late to address them now without major surgery. Besides, Shirley is delighted with it all and looking forward to planting things in the four little borders that are waiting around the paving stones.

Back in 2004 - twenty years ago -  we had wooden decking installed.

2004 Before:-

2004 After:-

So now we are onto our third iteration of the immediate outside area. The lower decking has now gone. I guess that structure served us well. Two full decades. Unfortunately much the undercarriage of the decking was rotting. I had hoped just to replace the top boards but in the end a stone patio seemed the most sensible option. I will show you pictures when I able to do so.

20 June 2024


I am writing this in the very middle of the year - the summer solstice. This evening it was still pretty light at 22.15 and this morning it was already light when I got up to visit the toilet at 03.45. There's hardly any proper darkness at this special time of year in northern England.

As I write Druids, new age travellers, pagans and romantics will be gathering at Stonehenge in Wiltshire to greet the sun as it rises above the heel stone. Thank heavens their peaceful presence is now tolerated  - unlike the days of Margaret Thatcher when they found themselves confronted by police officers. They were not coal miners nor steel workers but they were treated as though they were.

As the solstice passes by, all too soon we will be back on the downward slope to wintertime. Days will shorten as nights lengthen. Summer days will give way to chilly autumn nights as deciduous leaves begin to fall from our trees.

And so time marches on and so we count the seasons of our lives passing by. This is how it ever was.. Upon this island off the coast of Europe, our ancestors venerated the sun and the passing of seasons countless centuries before Christianity appeared on the scene. A johnny-come-lately posse of connected religions that scorned and ousted those older belief systems. I find it impossible to forgive them.

Happy Solstice!

19 June 2024


On Monday, the baby who did not make it into the land of the living was cremated. It was a private family service at the local crematorium. James, the grieving father, held the small wooden casket that contained his lifeless daughter. Such a tragedy. What does a celebrant or a presiding priest find to say about a life that was snuffed out before it began?  Heartbreaking.

On Sunday, I heard about another death.  On an organised five kilometre park run, Robert,  the father of one of our Frances's best friends dropped dead. He was fifty eight years old. It was just last Saturday.

This man was an obsessive runner, recently competing in several marathons and even long distance ultra-runs. That fatal park run should have been next to nothing to him - just a gentle loosener. He was very fit. He even participated in a few triathlons during this decade.

In May, Robert went to The Himalyas, undertaking at least two long mountain runs in Nepal as well as visiting Everest base camp. For him it was a dream come true but in the end this journey was what probably killed him.

Let me explain. When he returned from Nepal, he noticed a stinging pain in one of his legs but put the thought of it to the back of his mind. With hindsight, it is easy to draw the conclusion that he had acquired a bloodclot from what is known as DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). That clot probably travelled to his lungs or his heart and when it got there it killed him in an instant.

Blood clots are most likely to occur in the legs of older long distance air travellers. This is why we are encouraged to wear  compression stockings. The squeezing effect encourages healthy blood flow and discourages DVT's from forming.  If you are over fifty it is very wise to don these stockings before boarding any long distance flight.

One good thing could emerge from Robert's preventable death - older people taking heed  and  putting on compression socks before long flights. It could save your life. Please remember this if you have  a long flight coming up.

Robert had much to live for. Two beautiful daughters and five grandchildren and a new woman in his life following a painful divorce from his first wife. I don't mind saying that his death shocked me. A fellow like that, why - you expect him to live forever.

Photo taken last month in Nepal

18 June 2024


Here at Yorkshire Pudding, we recognise that some previous "Quiztime" quizzes have caused widespread self doubt and depression as quizzers have struggled to score even a few measly points. Today, we aim to lift spirits with the easiest quiz imaginable. Even a chimpanzee might be able to reach maximum points. You can do it! Answers given in the comments.
1. With which colour do we mostly associate bananas?
2. Who is this?
3. How many cents are there in a dollar?
4. In which English city were The Beatles born and raised?
(a) Peterborough (b) York (c) Truro (d) Liverpool
5. What colour do you get if you mix red with yellow?
(a) brown (b) grey (c) pink (d)orange
6. In which French city will you find this famous tower?
7. What year is this? (i.e.. the year we are in right now)
8. How do you spell  psychology ?
9. Who is this cartoon character?
10.What is your name?

How did you do?
Don't worry if you didn't get ten out of ten. After all, we all make mistakes.

17 June 2024


In order to assist newcomers to the world of blogging, I have created the following lexicon:-


blog - originally a "weblog". A personal space within the worldwide web where an individual publishes self-chosen words, pictures and/or videos to share with the world.

blogger - a sad person who has nothing else to do with their time but to sit at a computer churning out their stuff.

"Blogger" - with a capital "B". The arm of Google that kindly facilitates blogging though other less popular providers are also available. "Blogger" is noteworthy because it is un-contactable in relation to technical errors or the reporting of unacceptable activity such as  drug and gun sales, bullying, sexual abuse posts,  threatening behaviour and guidance about how to make homemade bombs.

blogpost - a term that describes a single published offering. Sometimes bloggers may mistakenly use the term "blog" instead. What I am writing just now is a blogpost and not a blog.

"Blog off!" - what a blogger might say to another blogger when they experience disagreement

blogstipation - when a blogger just cannot think of anything to blog about

blogworld - the known world of blogging in which a blogger operates

blogland* - same as blogworld but slightly more intimate *suggested by Steve Reed

blogosphere - the entire panoply of blogs in which bloggers post and interconnect

Yule blog - blogpost written at Christmas time

blogorrhea - when you just can't stop blogging and stuff simply pours out of you

blogmate - a friend that you have made through the process of blogging

blogversary/ blogoversary* - the anniversary of the birth of your blog. *alternative spelling suggested by Meike Riley

bloggery - the sense that other bloggers might be ganging up on you.

"Good blog!" - what a blogger might say in error to his/her pet dog

B.A. (Bloggers Anonymous) - Discreet organisation set up to enable bloggers to talk about their addiction to blogging. Meetings are held monthly in agreed public spaces.

bloog - what a dyslexic person calls a blog.

blog-up* - When things go wrong on your blog - usually related to technical issues - causing difficulties or frustration.   *suggested by Poppy Patchwork

blogged down*- a bit like being bogged down but in a blogging environment. Frustrated as though walking in treacle or quicksand. *suggested by JayCee from The Isle of Man

blog roll *- a batch of blog posts printed on paper and hung on the lavatory wall. *suggested by Tasker Dunham


If any long-serving bloggers or blogmates have other blogging terms they wish to suggest for addition to this list, please place in the "Comments" section.

16 June 2024


Jude Bellingham after scoring against Serbia

Over here in Europe a big football tournament kicked off this weekend - The European Nations Cup. The final will be played on Sunday July 14th in Berlin, Germany. In fact, the entire tournament is happening in Germany.

Tonight, English football supporters up and down the land  tuned in to watch our nation's first game of the tournament against Serbia. Fortunately and I think deservedly, we won by one goal to nil - scored in the thirteenth minute by twenty year old Jude Bellingham. What a wonderful, determined and skilful player he is. If he avoids serious injury, he will undoubtedly become one of the legends of the game. Currently, he plays his club football for Real Madrid in Spain.

Football is bigger than religion in England. Our stadia are now our churches and the majority of supporters wear religious garb - team shirts, scarves and hats. We believe in our club teams  and indeed in our national team more than we believe in God. 

Most pubs have big TV screens and this evening they will have all been tuned to the England game. Many thousands of supporters will have descended on their local pubs to watch the match but I was round at my daughter's house. They have a big, modern TV screen and besides Shirley wanted to watch something else on our humble twenty eight inch television at home.

England's next match is against Denmark on Thursday evening and this will be followed by a game against Slovenia on Tuesday June 26th. This match will mark the end of our involvement in the group stage before the knockout stage gets under way.

Come on England! Three years ago our lads got through to the final - losing on penalties to Italy at Wembley Stadium in London. England fans have known much disappointment over the years. So near and yet so far. An ocean of tears. Maybe this is the year that England will come home with the trophy. We live in hope.

15 June 2024


 To think that people pay to go on scary rides like this one! Enjoy!

If you want to see more of these just check out YouTube.

14 June 2024


There was a time when getting up from the floor or the ground outside meant nothing to me. It was as if I just had to press an internal switch and then - Boing! - I was up. But it is not like that these days.

Just this week I was lying on the floor with Baby Margot. We were playing with baby toys and smiling at each other but when I tried to press the internal button in order to give the "Get up!" signal, I discovered - not for the first time - that it is just not working any more.

Instead of leaping up like an uncoiled spring, I was left floundering on the floor like a beached sea-lion. It was only when I managed to find some leverage on the coffee table and sofa that I was able to pull myself up with noticeable physical effort and some porcine grunting sounds.

Outside our house there is a public grass verge which I have tended for the past thirty five years. Mostly there's no need to get down on it but in the middle of it there is a young magnolia tree which remains staked for stability. My "Bosch" lawnmower cannot get in to cut the grass between the stakes so I have to get down on the ground with my garden shears to trim the grass there.

All very well and good until I have to get up again. More grunting while using the stakes to pull myself back up. What a pathetic sight!

When did this happen? I cannot pinpoint the point in time when I achieved this disability. Rising from the floor or ground used to be so easy but now it is so hard. It is quite possible that my life will end this way - gracelessly thrashing about on my back or belly - pathetically calling for help or some kind of leverage.

Is this what it means to be seventy? Perhaps the social services will happily provide me with some sort of mechanical hoist for emergency occasions. Alternatively, there may be a number I can call in order to receive the services of trained lifters.

13 June 2024



This blog attracts quite a few Australians so I wanted to know more about them. I typed the question shown at the top into Google. As is now the usual case with Google questions, more connected questions were A.I. generated under the sub-heading "People also ask". Frankly, I found some of these follow-up questions rather odd. Even so I am now much more au fait with what being an Australian really means.

Here are just a few of those auto-generated questions with answers. I think if I had stuck with the task,  endless follow-up questions would have been churned out by the system.

What is a typical Australian behaviour?

They value authenticity, sincerity, and loathe pretentiousness. Australians prefer people who are modest, humble, self- deprecating and with a sense of humour. They do not draw attention to their academic or other achievements and tend to distrust people who do. Australians place a high value on relationships.

Do Australians hug a lot?

In Australia, we may sometimes shake hands when we greet someone in a formal manner (for example in the workplace), but we don't generally hug or kiss people we have just met or who we aren't close with.

How to flirt with an Australian?

What are some things to avoid when flirting with Aussie people?
Don't be too forward or aggressive. ...
Don't assume that everyone is interested in you. ...
Don't take things too seriously. ...
Avoid being too crass or vulgar when flirting with an Australian.

What are the don'ts in Australia?

Don't mention the divisive topics of Australian society (e.g., refugees, Indigenous affairs, LGBTQ, religion, etc). Don't be overly argumentative. Australians tend to avoid the company of people who are too opinionated. Don't litter as it's illegal in Australia.

What are the table manners in Australia?

Table manners in Australia are Continental, meaning that the fork goes in the left hand and the knife goes in the right. In some cultures, it is considered polite to leave a little food on your plate, but Australia is not one of those cultures. Feel free to finish your meal.

What is the most important rule in Australia?

The rule of law means that laws apply to everyone, including the people that make them. To make sure everyone knows the law and their rights, laws should be easy to find out about, easy to understand and enforced. The rule of law is a key feature of Australia's democracy and legal system.

Can you wear shoes in Australia?

No Australian states or territories have actually outlawed wearing inappropriate footwear while driving, and this includes wearing no footwear at all. However, rule 297 of the Australian Road Rules 2008 provides that the driver must still take all precautions to drive in the safest manner possible.

How do Australians show affection?

Within families and close circles of friends, women will often greet other members with a kiss on the cheek and men will often greet each other by shaking hands. Australian men generally do not openly display strong affection for male friends.

What do Australians call sandwiches?

Sanger is an alteration of the word sandwich. Sango appeared as a term for sandwich in the 1940s, but by the 1960s, sanger took over to describe this staple of Australian cuisine.

Is there gender discrimination in Australia?

Australia has made good progress towards achieving gender equality in recent times. However, women still experience inequality and discrimination in many important parts of their lives. At work, women continue to face a gender 'pay gap' and barriers to leadership roles.

End note. The assumption that it is valid to generalise about the citizens of any particular state seems highly questionable to me and the follow-up AI questions and answers that Google churns out frequently miss the mark. Please note - No Australians were harmed in the making of this blogpost.

12 June 2024


"The Eagle" - off City Road, London

This week I have been singing "Pop Goes The Weasel" to our darling baby granddaughter Margot. It is a song I have known all my life but when you pause for reflection, the lyrics seem rather odd - somewhat mysterious even. Here we go:-

Half a pound of tuppenny rice,
Half a pound of treacle.
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop goes the weasel.

Up and down the City road,
In and out the Eagle,
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop goes the weasel.

Every night when I go out
The monkey’s on the table.
Take a stick and knock it off
Pop goes the weasel.

A penny for a ball of thread
Another for a needle,
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop goes the weasel.

All around the cobbler's bench
The monkey chased the people;
The donkey thought ’twas all in fun,
Pop goes the weasel.

The song has several American versions. It seems that there was a dance craze in the the 1850's  that spanned The Atlantic and the only line it had was "Pop goes the weasel". The extended lyrics probably came later as the song evolved and embedded itself in the English-speaking world.

It is likely that the tune goes back much further in time and in truth the full, accurate history of "Pop Goes The Weasel" is almost impossible to tease out. There are so many theories that often contradict each other.

It is the same with many old nursery rhymes. The truth may be as elusive as butterflies or shooting stars. Time has a habit of clouding the waters making it hard to see.

Clearly, there are references in the version I have inserted above to spinning, to  pawning and to London. "The Eagle" is still a pub on City Road. However, it is not clear what "the weasel" refers to and why does it go "pop"? Some think it is a device connected with the textile industry. I wouldn't like to say for sure.

What I do know is that singing old nursery rhymes to babies is a nice thing to do - entertaining them and helping to fuel their nascent  language skills as well as  beginning to mark their cultural identity.

Below an amateur rendition of "Pop Goes The Weasel". This is not, I repeat NOT Tasker Dunham!

11 June 2024


Per head of population, Great Britain consumes more cans of baked beans than any other country in the world. We love them. They first arrived in  this country in 1901 courtesy of the Heinz canning business that was originally based in Pennsylvania USA.

There are other brands of baked beans but Heinz are by far the most popular. They sell around 50% of all baked beans in this country even though they have become the most expensive baked beans on the market. To me and many other Britons, non-Heinz baked beans just do not taste the same. Around one million cans of Heinz baked beans are consumed in this kingdom every single day.

Back in 1967 while sitting in a pub, a London advertising professional called Maurice Drake came up with a new jingle for the product: "A million housewives every day, open a can of beans and say Beanz Meanz Heinz". This clever slogan was so successful that even today everybody knows it and on the product label they still use "Beanz" with a zed (American: zee) rather than an "s".
At last Sunday's quiz, the tie break question was this: "According to the Heinz company, how many beans should you expect to find in a standard 415g tin of baked beans?" The correct answer was 465 - a figure which seemed rather too high to me so today I checked. I opened a tin and carefully counted 379 beans within! 

This is not proof that I am crazy. Shirley and I were about to have a light lunch of beans on toast. This is a very popular option in The British Isles. However, fairly recently, I discovered that it is not really a thing in North America. I was surprised to learn that so in today's blogpost  I am keen to promote the idea of beans on toast. Maybe it will take off across The Atlantic. I have no idea if it is a thing in Australia.

Beans on toast is a nutritious, quick and economical meal. Kids love it and I have never heard anybody say that they dislike beans on toast. It is also suitable for vegans and vegetarians. In my family, we tend to sprinkle some grated cheese on top before serving.

This was my lunch today. Beside it there was a mug of standard British breakfast tea with a spoonful of sugar and a glug of semi-skimmed milk. As John Gray in Trelawnyd, Wales would say - Bloody lovely!

10 June 2024


Ten more questions. Answers given in  the comments section

1) When he was young. Who is  this famous man? Clue: American politics.

2) When she was young. Who is this famous woman? Clues: Pop music. The photo was taken in 1965.

3) When he was young. Who is this famous man. Clue: They gather no moss.

4) Travelling in a straight line, how far is it from the North Pole to The South Pole?
(a) 1,432 miles (b)4,320 miles  (c) 12,430 miles  
(d)  22,430 miles (e) 102,342 miles

5) What was the currency of Spain before the euro replaced it?
(a) lira (b) peseta (c) escudo (c) dirham (d) bolero

6) What breed of dog is this?
7) Which nineteenth century  English author wrote "The Old Curiosity Shop" and "Martin Chuzzlewit"?

8) What is the name of this Hanna-Barbera cartoon character?
9) Which planet is closest to The Sun?

10) Translate this German question into English - Was ist das?

How did you do?

9 June 2024


The map above shows the north of the island of Symi. It belongs to Greece but is in the eastern part of the Aegean Sea very close to Turkey. It is a pretty barren island with a full-time population of less than 2500. However, in the summer holiday months, that number may be trebled.

Last Wednesday an English holidaymaker called Michael Mosley was on the island with his wife and some friends. They were enjoying Saint Nicholas Beach in the bottom right hand corner of the map.  

Michael said he was feeling a little unwell and set off back to their holiday accommodation in Symi town which is over in the bottom left of the map. it took twenty  minutes to successfully walk to Pedi - a fishing village just right of centre. He was spotted there on CCTV cameras.

Travelling west upon a quiet paved road, he would have had only two kilometres to go before reaching Symi town. However, inexplicably he did not go west, he headed to the north east instead upon a rocky path that leads to Agia Marina to the top right hand corner of the map.

Agia Marina is a small resort and there's no road there. Most visitors arrive by boat from Symi town's harbour. Michael was walking there in the heat of the day, feeling unwell and holding an umbrella to give him some shade from the searing sunshine.

He didn't make it. After five days, his body was discovered next to the perimeter fencing at Agia Marina's  tiny resort. He was just thirty metres from the beach. Almost there. So near but yet so far.
This story has received a lot of attention here in Great Britain because  Dr Michael Mosley was a well-know TV personality - specialising in health-related matters - including dieting and generally looking after your body. He was a a great communicator and passionate about all things health-related

It is therefore quite ironic that he probably died from heat exhaustion after taking a wrong turn out of Pedi. Local Greeks would not choose to go walking like that in the heat of the mid-afternoon sun. The temperature at the time was estimated to be 40℃. Such a tragedy but I suppose that it could have happened to any of us.

Heat exhaustion may cause disorientation and weakness. It is easy to feel faint or dizzy and of course there's the problem of dehydration. If only the rewind button could be pressed on Michael Mosley's life. He was a fit sixty seven year old with four grown up children and a loving wife. His demise came far too early.

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