Sunday, 1 May 2016

I love Useless Facts

This is a scheduled blog posting – which is, in itself, a piece of useless information.  If I haven’t responded to your comments on earlier postings please don’t take it personally; I’m not necessarily seeing well at the moment.

In 1969, a gang of Brazilian bus drivers trained beetles to climb into the fare boxes on the buses and extract the coins.  The drivers were arrested – as were the beetles!

A survey in 1995 reported that 38 per cent of Canadian women preferred chocolate to making love.

Another survey that same year showed that one in three British children believed their mum preferred their cat to their dad.  (Judging by the words Partner-who-loves-tea used on Mac yesterday I'm safe for a while so long as I don't sit on her laptop keyboard.)

The average person in the UK borrows almost seven books a year from public libraries, while his or her household spends £1.50 on books every week.  The average British make aged 15 to 24 spends only 3.1 minutes a day reading books.

Boiling down an ounce of cress will produce enough cyanide to kill two mice.

The bra industry in the US was boosted in 1917 when the War Industries Board asked women to stop buying corsets in order to save metal.  The switch from corsets to bras provided enough metal to build two battleships.

A useless fact for Canadian Chickadee (who has a smaller than average rear end!!) The size of the average UK and North American person has increased in recent years.  As a result, in 1998, a ferry in Seattle, cut its maximum seating from 250 to 230 –“Eighteen inch butts are a thing of the past,” said a ferry spokesman.

Mel Blanc – the voice of Bugs Bunny – disliked the taste of carrots.

According to Genesis, Chapter 1, verses 20-22, the chicken came before the egg!

And a useless fact for Eva - Queen Victoria loved Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and requested a copy of Carroll’s next book.  It was ‘Syllabus of Plane Algebraical Geometry’.

Saturday, 30 April 2016


The UK’s National Health Service is forever being criticised in the press or on TV for something or other.  But for every mistake it makes or rogue member of staff it has there are hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers and successful operations.

Yesterday I had a cataract removed from my right eye and a new lens put into it.  It is a bit early to say how well it has gone.  Six weeks ago the left eye was done likewise (lens replacement and cataract removal) and it was most successful.  It was not just a case of the physical result but the behaviour and care and kindness of the staff; from receptionists to consultants, staff nurses to porters. 

Over the last 50 years I have had major surgery on my right knee after a road traffic accident and two minor follow up operations on the same knee.  I had another general anaesthetic for a sinus operation.  I’ve had many procedures without general anaesthetic like xrays, scans, gastroscopy, endoscopy, colonoscopy, two lots of stent implants and various neurological tests.  Back to general anaesthetics - I had my gall bladder removed, a triple by-pass and these two eye operations.  I expect there are other things I’ve forgotten…..

Add to that a lifetime of visits to my General Practitioner. 

Imagine how many NHS staff with whom I have come into contact over the years – it must be thousands. 

I can think of one staff nurse in the Pain Clinic many years ago who behaved obnoxiously and for a while our GP’s surgery had some very poor receptionists.  Those apart, the thousands of staff have been first class in every way you could wish to measure them.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Black Birches, Hadnall, Shropshire

On Tuesday I was supposed to have my right eye seen to but the Junior Doctors were on strike (a strike I fully support) so instead of being in hospital I joined Partner-who-loves-tea and Son-who-watches-films.  The former hired a van so we could go to Shrewsbury to pick up a cross-trainer we had had got from E-bay.  The trip was uneventful and on the way back P-w-l-t drove the van down some narrow lanes near Hadnall to the Country Garden Roses tea rooms.  (As a demonstration of P-w-l-t’s driving skills a small saloon car in front of us managed to go off the road into the ditch in front of us but we had no problems!!  Fortunately the car got back on the road OK.)

The plant centre is in the grounds of Black Birches House which is said to date as far back as the twelfth century though I could find out little about it.

A Jay greeted us as we drove into the garden centre and this Collared Dove was hoping for some scraps at the outside tables but it was too cold to eat outdoors despite the intermittent sunshine.

This part of the house is dated 1880.

The journey took us past many fields of Rape, a crop which did not exist in anything like such quantities when I was young, so far as I can recall.

Some of the trees have their Spring plumage like this Oak which is usually one of the later tree to come out.

Both Blackthorn and Hawthorn were in flower at the roadsides.

My eye operation is now scheduled for Friday 29th but the recovery period before I can get glasses with prisms in (to combat my double vision) will probably be about another five weeks.  I can’t wait.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Lucy and Emma; Emma and Lucy

Guess where my two beautiful nieces have just been.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Watering the flowers

In the line of her business, Partner-who-loves-tea and I went to Grange-over-Sands on Friday.  On the way back we called at the Riverside Cafe, part of the huge Barton Grange garden centre, north of Preston.  After a cappuccino I needed the loo and was reminded of a post GB once did on his NZ blog 'Loos I have known"  

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