Tuesday 28 October 2014

A little walk (as opposed to a ramble!)


I was recently discussing with Canadian Chickadee how my use of grammar has changed over the decades (or perhaps misuse might be a better expression!).   I have looked at some of my writing from the 1960s.  And I have plenty to choose from – there are samples everywhere I look!  These scribbles and scrawls formed what was probably my heyday of writing – letters, natural history articles, a book (attempted), poetry (mostly of the love-sick variety), an anthology, a diary….    I compare my writing nowadays and I realise there are all sorts of grammatical (or ungrammatical) things that in those days I would not have put up with.

The paragraph above, in the style of the 2010s contains four sets of brackets; two hyphens or dashes; a row of dots; a couple of exclamation marks; a sentence that begins with ‘and’ and a sentence which ends in ‘with’, a preposition.  The latter item is a matter of taste and my taste has changed.  I no longer find the sentence that ends in a preposition quite so offensive though I do generally try to avoid them.  The other things are simply laziness.  I have smacked my wrist and will endeavour to try harder in the future.  I avoided the temptation to put an exclamation mark at the end of the last sentence and to put this sentence in brackets.  Do you think their absence has made a difference?

Claude Izner

I thoroughly enjoy crime novels, especially when they are historical.  My favourite period and location are usually Victorian England but I have had a change recently.  I have just discovered a new author called Claude Izner.  The name is a pseudonym hiding two sisters, Liliane Korb and Laurence Lefèvre, who are both booksellers on the banks of the Seine in Paris.  The hero, Victor Legris, is also a Parisian bookseller.  Set in Paris in 1889, the first novel in the series, “Murder on the Eiffel Tower” is a masterpiece of historical research into the Paris of that time with the addition of a clever little crime plot.  There is, of course, a love interest or two and Le Monde’ described it as “A charming journey through the life and intellectual times of the era”.  I have now reached the third book in the series and can thoroughly recommend them.  

Misty and Roland

Washington Bear went down to Exeter with us earlier in October and met Daughter and Son-in-law’s cats – Misty and Roland. 

This is Misty.

 This is Roland.

And here they are together, about as together as they get.  


Monday 27 October 2014

Lunchtime on Exeter Quay

Lunchtime on Exeter Quay, 11th October 2014.  (I know, you are still waiting for the last couple of days of our Scottish holiday – they will be posted soon.)  This was during a week-end in Exeter.  On the way down we stopped overnight at Tewkesbury and on the way home at Glastonbury and Staunton-on-Wye.

The Quay.

The rope ferry.

Black-headed Gull.

Pirate with a difference.

Daughter and Son-in-law (we are busy thinking of revised names for the family members, hence the shortened version for the moment).

Saturday 11 October 2014

Malala Yousafzai

Congratulations to Malala Yousafzai for winning the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize! The Pakistani girls' education activist, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban in 2012, has been lauded worldwide for her advocacy on behalf of girls and women. Today, the Nobel Prize committee announced that Malala will share the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to promote and protect girls' right to education. The 17-year-old is the youngest person to ever win the Peace Prize.

Read more here at the BBC.

Thursday 9 October 2014

Notre anniversaire de mariage

It's 27 years today!  Happy Anniversary to my Partner-who-loves-tea.  There is no traditional form of gift for the 27th anniversary but sculpture is generally accepted as the modern gift.  Instead P-w-l-t got jewellery.  I didn't hear any complaints...

Sapphire is a gemstone variety of the mineral corundum, an aluminium oxide (α-Al2O3). Trace amounts of other elements such as iron, titanium, chromium, copper, or magnesium can give corundum blue, yellow, purple, orange, or a greenish colour.  Sapphires are remarkably hard - 9 on the Mohs scale (the third hardest mineral, right behind diamond at 10 and moissanite at 9.25) - and  are used in some non-ornamental applications.

Colour in gemstones breaks down into three components: hue, saturation, and tone. Hue is most commonly understood as the "colour" of the gemstone. Saturation refers to the vividness or brightness of the hue, and tone is the lightness to darkness of the hue. Blue sapphire exists in various mixtures of its primary (blue) and secondary hues, various tonal levels (shades) and at various levels of saturation (vividness).

Blue sapphires are evaluated based upon the purity of their primary hue. Purple, violet, and green are the most common secondary hues found in blue sapphires. Violet and purple can contribute to the overall beauty of the colour, while green is considered to be distinctly negative. Blue sapphires with up to 15% violet or purple are generally said to be of fine quality.

One of the reasons for a rather more extravagant gift than usual was the fact that I retire officially this month (having been retired on ill health grounds for 20 years).  So my income will drop substantially.  Next year, again, there is no traditional gift for the 28th anniversary but the modern gift is Orchid!  You can get them for £3.99 in Aldi so that will be OK..... 

Love You, P-w-l-t

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Tomorrow is World Post Day!

October 9th is World Post Day! 

This event is celebrated every year since 1969, on the anniversary of the founding of the UPU (Universal Postal Union), and commemorates all the hard work and social contributions of the postal services world-wide.  There are more than five million postal employees around the world and 663,000 post offices. Postal services worldwide annually process and deliver an estimated 368.4 billion letter-post items and 6.4 billion parcels.

So across the world, post offices celebrate this special day in many different ways. This includes special philatelic exhibitions, free entrance in postal and communications museums, introducing new products and services, special cancellation marks, seminars, workshops and more!

And what is happening in the UK - nothing, zilch, not a sausage!  How disappointing.  Come on Post Office pull your finger out for next year and try to make something special of it.

Tuesday 7 October 2014

A rock...

Monday 6 October 2014

A Friend Called Jamie

I long ago stopped distinguishing between friends, acquaintances, postcrossing friends, Facebook friends, blogging friends and the like.  To me they are all now just friends.  One of the people I am pleased to be able to call my friend is a woman called Jamie.  We met through Postcrossing and will probably never be nearer than 3,000 miles apart but I hope she thinks of me as a friend as well.  She is an American with a loving husband and two young girls and they are currently living in Australia.  She posts some hilarious things on her Facebook site and also some little gems she has picked up as she goes along. Like this one:-

Evolution of a Word: nimrod. Nimrod was a biblical reference to the king of Shinar. According to the book of Genesis, he was a man of power and a mighty hunter. The word was used to favorably describe one's ability to hunt. In the 1930s, Bugs Bunny began ironically referring to the inept hunter Elmer Fudd as a nimrod. The influence and popularity of this cartoon has led to the change of the definition of the word nimrod. Most Americans no longer associate nimrod with "a mighty hunter". To most of us, it means "an inept person".

And she shows the landscape and fauna of Australia on her Facebook Timeline.    Like this photo of Thorny Devil by UluruPhotography

And her friends and family sometimes post things to her timeline as well.  Like this one…

And the following is just one demonstration of why I’m pleased to be her friend – I think she’s a wonderful mother.   

 I hope her two girls appreciate how lucky they are – I know they will when they are grown up.

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