Caught in the act
Thanks for all the advice about what to do with the meeces that are invading our cereal cupboard but I’m afraid it’s not in my nature to kill them. We have some small mammal traps (i.e traps for small mammals – though they are also small traps!) which don’t kill. They are primarily for examining little creatures outdoors but they come in useful for capturing the villains indoors as well.
After being photographed the culprits were deposited in the Nursing Home next door. They’ll probably be back but by then the holes may be filled in and with luck the experience of being trapped may deter them from coming back for more. (Cynics are welcome to comment but please don’t be surprised if I continue to trap them alive!) Partner-who-loves-tea-and-who-dislikes-Tesco wanted me to take them to the cereal isle in Tesco but I refused...
I'd walk a million miles for one of your smiles
In Postcrossing my ‘Postcards sent distance’ has just passed the one million miles. That means it’s actually a lot more because only about a third of my postcards go through the Postcrossing process nowadays. The majority are to and from friends.
But whoever they come from they always bring a smile to my lips. And lately I have had a lot of Inge Löök cards. They don’t just bring a smile – they make me laugh. Inge Löök (real name Ingeborg Lievonen) is a Finnish artist born in Helsinki in 1951. She was once a professional gardener, but today she is most famous for her ‘Granny’ or ‘Aunties’ postcards which so many postcrossers love and collect. When she was a child, Inge lived with her family in a 7-storey building in Helsinki. In the same building lived two older women, Alli and Fifi, who later became the inspiration for the characters in her postcards. She says the women look nearly the same as their real-life models... but they have a lot more fun! So far I have 14 of the Alli and Fifi cards and a signed Lupin one. I think that if you click on this link you should be able to see all the ones I’ve got (I’m playing with Google picture albums. I'd be interested to know if the link works.)
The mother of all Swiss Army knives
A device described as the ‘mother of all Swiss Army knives' has gone on display at the Buffalo Bill Centre of the West in Wyoming, USA. Belonging to the Smithsonian, it features more than 100 tools - everything from a piano tuner to a .22-caliber revolver.
It also includes two saws, a lancet, button hook, cigar cutter, pens, a mechanical pencil, mirror, straight razor, a cheese fork and a butter knife. Made in Germany in 1880 for JS Holler & Co’s cutlery store in New York City, the beautifully crafted knife predates the Swiss Army knife by 11 years.
According the Smithsonian website the knife - which is 3.5ins wide and 9ins long - wasn’t really meant to be carried. It reads: ‘Knives like this were made exclusively for exhibition to highlight the cutlers’ art. They were so difficult to make they were only attempted by the most notable firms with the most talented artisans. They could be seen at various fairs and industrial expositions during the 19th century.'
The term ‘Swiss Army Knife’ came into being after US soldiers based in Germany during the Second World War had difficulty pronouncing the German name, Schweizer Offiziersmesser (Swiss Officer’s Knife).
Not in the sense of rancid butter or putrescent cheese but off on holiday. Just twenty four hours or so and we will be driving down through Bridgnorth, Worcester, Malvern and Tewkesbury to Cheltenham. Some of those places I haven’t been to for years. In fact I don’t think I’ve been to Tewkesbury since we were married, twenty six years ago. No doubt Partner-who-loves-tea and I will be checking out some of the cafes and charity shops en route.
And Malvern has three of the four Victorian fluted pillar boxes with horizontal apertures, which date from about 1857. To quote from Civic Voice - “Many famous Victorians and Edwardians lived in Malvern or came here to take the cure. It is fascinating to speculate how many letters from Darwin, Elgar, Bernard Shaw, Florence Nightingale and many others started their journey in a Malvern post box.”
This is the other surviving one, in Solihull (compared with a vertical apertured one in Birkenhead). I took the photos quite a few years ago so I’m not sure if they still survive.
Bye for now...