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Bits and pieces to keep us interested

14th June

We had the grandkids with us again yesterday. Curiously, they have eschewed the excercising of their thumbs on their gadgets and instead asked their grandad to teach them how to play chess!

While they were so doing a red deer hind walked up to the corner outside our living room window and proceeded to give birth! It was only that happening that managed to take their eyes from the chess board. They were enthralled; particularly as the fawn very soon was on its feet and wobbled away in pursuit of its mother. I think she must have seen us at the window.

Here is a link to this week's "screen memories" and here if you need them are the answers!

On this day: -

  • 1919 - At 14.13 GMT, Captain John Alcock and Lt. Arthur Whitten-Brown took off from Newfoundland on the first non-stop transatlantic flight to Galway, Ireland, in a Vickers Vimy. They landed safely 16 hours later, on the 15th and claimed a £10,000 prize from the Daily Mail. They were eventually knighted by King George V. When Alcock was killed in an air crash in France in December 1919 his partner, Brown, never flew again.
  • 1933 - The first aircraft lands on the beach at the north end of the island of Barra that now serves as Barra Airport.
  • 2016 - First mammal made extinct by human-induced (my strike through) climate change announced -
  • the Bramble Cay melomys from Torres Strait. Extinction Watch: Bramble Cay Melomys - Geographical Magazine It's a rat!


13th June

It was three years ago yesterday that I underwent my "right hemi colonectomy". Yesterday also, I don't know whether this was coincidental, I received a date for my last CT Scan. My nurse said that if it returned ok then I'd be discharged back to my GP!

I was due to have my annual bloods done on 14th May but as I reported earler, shamefully, I forgot to go! I arranged a subsequent visit on the 1st of June but that was cancelled because the nurse was sick! The next one was arranged for 23rd June which, again coincidentally, was the date arranged for my CT Scan! So I'm going for the scan and the latest date for bloods is 1st July! Watch this space!

Everyone is a genius! If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live out its life believing itself to be stupid!

On this day: -

  • 1922 - Longest recorded attack of hiccups begins: Charlie Osborne gets the hiccups and continues for 68 years and then he dies 11 months after it stops.
  • 1944 - Germany launches the first V1 rockets. They were used to strike London during World War II. Known as the "V-1 Flying Bomb," at its peak the Germans were firing more than one hundred a day at south-east England.
  • 1970 -'The Long and Winding Road' became the Beatles' last Number 1 single in the United States. Paul McCartney originally wrote the song at his farm in Scotland saying 'I have always found inspiration in the calm beauty of Scotland and again it proved the place where I found inspiration.' The released version of the song was very successful, but the post-production modifications to the song by producer Phil Spector angered McCartney to the point that when he made his case in court for breaking up The Beatles as a legal entity, McCartney cited the treatment of 'The Long and Winding Road' as one of six reasons for doing so.
  • 1971 - Mrs. Geraldine Brodrick of Sydney, Australia delivers nine babies, a tie for the highest number medically recorded for a single birth. Seven were born alive, but they all died within a week.
  • 2013 - A man was given a warning after he dialled 999 to complain about a prostitute's looks. A police spokesperson said "The caller claimed that the woman had made out that she was better looking than she actually was and he wished to report her for breaching the Sale of Goods Act." The Sale of Goods Act 1979 gives consumers legal rights, stipulating goods which are sold must be of satisfactory quality, be fit for purpose and must match the seller's description.


12th June

Ten years ago today we visited Bamburgh Castle in North East England. We do that a lot! We like to visit historic sites wherever we are. Places like Bamburgh, Kenilworth, Windsor, Alnwick & etc.

In Scotland of course we have visited Edinburgh and Stirling castles many times and while they are not quite so grand we have visited places like Kellie Castle, Aberdour, Dundonald, Huntingtower, Castle Campbell, Threave, Blackness, Rothesay, Dirleton and  Tantallon among many others.

But in my view Bamburgh takes the biscuit. Sat on a promontory 45 metres above miles of sandy beaches and overlooking the North Sea Bamburgh is the perfect family day out

It not only is an absolutely fabulous Castle it has been designated a World Heritage Site since the 1950s and has been owned by the Armstrong Family since the late 1800s! That's the same Armstrongs of Armstrong Siddeley (Aircraft and Motorcars) and the same family that first set foot on the moon.

Because it is privately owned it costs £10 or thereby for entrance but, take my word for it, it is more than worth it. There is a museum dedicated to the Armstrong family achievements. Visionary inventor, industrialist and philanthropist William George Armstrong bought Bamburgh Castle in 1894 and he set about transforming it into his vision of the archetypal castle. The castle houses his unique collection of artwork, ceramics and objets d’art that Armstrong loved and brought him joy.

On this day: -

  • 1931- Al Capone is indicted on 5,000 counts of prohibition and perjury.
  • 1964 - Neson Mandela is sentenced to Life in Prison.
  • 2015 - Zimbabwe discards its own currency, offering an exchange of $1 for 35 quadrillion Zimbabwean dollars. Just thinking about that. It would be stupid if the RI Membership Subscription was the same throughout the world. If someone in Zimbabwe were to pay the same as us it would probably bankrupt him. I learned some time ago that the multiplier that forms the basis of the calculation to determining the Annual Subscription in any given country is the cost of  a BigMac in that country!


11th June

We had another great meeting yesterday with 13 members present, the inimitable Yorkshireman Geoff Bailey who knows how to pronounce Camelon, and three guests in the shape of Edgar Anderson Professor of Chemistry at University College London and friend of Bill Laurie, Anne Watson and Valerie Dillon.