Monthly Archives: Nov 2018

Fuchs, McMahon and Buddle

Sound like a form of lawyers, don’t they? Well, they would have done before the days of allowing ambulance chasers to advertise. These days lawyers are called Accident Solicitors Direst and Injury Lawyers 4U. I blame the Americans…

The answer to yesterday’s question is that the have all had a genus of flower named after them – Fuchsia, Mahonia and Buddleia.

An Answer and a Solution

As I added in a note to yesterday’s final post, my sister answered the question in minutes. It turns out that she knew two of them and confirmed the third on Google. Useless knowledge must be genetic.

I hadn’t thought of that when asking the question, I thought there were no mysteries left now had Google.

The answer must, for the moment, remain a mystery in case a few more people want a go. As several people have mentioned, the names are associated with plants in some way.

And the solution?

It’s about my trouser problem.

Following a suggestion about trouser psychology from Donnalee, I was, this morning, able to get my trousers on without the customary struggle.

All I did was start with the other leg. It’s a bit tricky balancing on that side, and I made sure I was situated in the right place to grab the bannister, but it worked. Left leg in, quickly before falling over, then right leg in.

I’m not quite sure why it worked, though I think the flexibility of my right ankle compared to the left, may have helped. Anyway, it did work.

As a result of this improvement in the leg/trouser interface I’m now waiting to see what goes wrong to maintain the cosmic balance.

 

A Question

What have Dr Leonhart Fuchs, Bernard McMahon and the Reverend Adam Buddle got in common?

And as an extra question, did you know it, deduce it, Google it or ask your wife/husband?

(My sister texted me a couple of minutes after I posted this, making it look far too easy.)

Wasted Wednesday

Had a lie in this morning before dragging myself from bed, fighting with my trousers (second leg only, the first goes well most mornings). and eating breakfast.

Then I lost control of my day as Julia took over, sorting, decluttering, throwing away.

It’s not easy. We’ve just about filled the first skip and haven’t made much impression on the clutter mountain. I also had six bags of clothes in the back of the car, four bags of books and a bag of recycling.

However, when we left the house, the first job of the day was to buy replacement ear rings for Julia, who lost one yesterday. The books went to Age Concern, just along the road from the jeweller.

Then we went to a clean Salvation Army clothing bank. The local one is surrounded by rubbish and broken glass and we’ve stopped using it. After that we went to a supermarket car park with the paper recycling and did some shopping. Pasta bake again tonight.

After that it was Flu Vaccine for two and then home to tidy up.

We ran into some friends we hadn’t seen for a while when we were in the surgery – a sign of getting old I suppose. They are our age, but are grandparents now and have many more health conditions than we do. It sets things in perspective when you realise how ill some people are. When I’ve spoken to a man who takes 20 pills a day my five don’t seem too bad.

Julia is out at a meeting, as I write. She never stops.

I’m going to make tea in a minute.

It doesn’t seem much of a day. No visits, no scones, no bookshops. Pretty pointless really.

The featured picture is a fallen leaf – very haiku. It’s a reminder that I didn’t get my nature walk today.

 

 

Mistakes…

Did you know that the Cook Islands Dollar and the Isle of Man have some obverse designs that are almost identical on their coins? I didn’t until this morning.

However, after opening a complaint from a customer that got a Cook Islands Dollar featuring the Coronation coach when they had been expecting an Isle of Man Crown featuring the Coronation coach I am now well aware of the fact.

I used a general coin photo at the top, just to remind you how grim these things are.

A simple enquiry would have sufficed. It’s bad enough having to sort everything out without sarcastic demands for explanations. I have hundreds of irritatingly similar coins, I was in a hurry as the post office closes early on Saturday, I should have organised things better, I made a mistake. It’s the first time in approximately 700 parcels that I’ve sent the wrong thing out.

I waited a few minutes before responding to their sarky note. It’s better that way.

The man who rang later that afternoon was not so fortunate. As I sat brooding on my mistake and throbbing with toothache, he told me he was from British Telecom and he needed to access my computer…

To be honest, there’s something quite satisfying about being rude to a wannabe fraudster.

 

A Few Photos

The featured image shows what happens when you leave a man alone in a car with a camera. He finds the starburst setting. That was Sunday morning at the services, waiting for Number Two Son. You are never alone with a filter…

Later, I took some photographs of the sunset. I used a filter on that too – if I don’t, my camera tends to take all the colour out.

 

It wasn’t really an action-packed day.

Eternal Spirit of the Chainless Mind

This is a medal commemorating the famous Nottinghamshire poet Lord Byron. Apart from poetry he is best known for letchery, fathering Ada Lovelace, and being a hero of the Greek War of Independence. I’m not a great fan of long poems written in old fashioned English, so Byron’s poetic brilliance has passed me by.  Same goes for his contribution to the Greek War – he seems to have arrived and died without doing much in the way of liberating Greece, though the Greeks seem happy enough with him.

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Lord Byron Medallion by Ron Dutton

He does, however provide me with half my knowledge of Assyrians, which came in handy when viewing this blog. It’s an interesting post, with excellent pictures of Assyrian carvings.

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold.

If you want to read a good book which includes Byron’s final years you can do worse than read Lord Byron’s Jackal. It’s an excellent book about Edward Trelawny, friend of Shelley and Byron, liar, raconteur and bandit chief. As the man who ordered Shelley’s boat and who went to Greece with Byron he probably did more damage to English Literature than Mills & Boon.

The reverse inscription comes from the poem The Prisoner of Chillon. It’s depressing and it’s long, so I linked to Wikipedia instead of the poem itself.

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The Prisoner of Chillon – a deadly dull poem

The medal, as you can tell from the label in the lid, is by Ron Dutton. He’s a moderately well-known designer of art medals and designed the reverse of the 1999 £2 coin which commemorates the Rugby World Cup.

I saw one of these medals at the recent Numismatic Society meeting and, when someone mentioned they would like one I said we had one in the shop. The collector who had given the talk immediately jumped in to tell the interested party ours was too expensive, as he had bought his in auction for a quarter of the price.

This shows the elasticity of price in collecting circles. Our price was fair for a modern art medal, but to a collector, it seemed expensive. Things often seem expensive to collectors, but when they come to sell them they are always happy to accept a profit. Five days later someone bought it off our eBay site.

It just goes to show…

A Few More Thought on Numbers

After yesterday’s discussion on numbers I had a look through the list of people I follow. I’m surprised by the number of them that haven’t posted for a year or more. I’m also surprised by how few of them I actually remember.

A quick survey of 18 people I follow indicates that a third of them haven’t posted for a year or more and quite a few of the others haven’t posted for over a month.

The sample is from the earlier days of my WP use, but if you allow for this it’s still likely that I’m following several hundred people who no longer exist as bloggers.

As for the ones I don’t remember, it’s unlikely they remember me either, so they can probably go too.

I first came across this false friend syndrome on Facebook. I joined because the Nottingham RFC U16s were touring in Canada and the idea was for them to communicate with the parents via Facebook. In fact they didn’t post much as they had better things to do. I stayed as a member for a while but the inane communications and spurious friends irritated me so much that I deregistered and have never gone back.

If anyone has recently started following me, please don’t think any of this is aimed at you, it isn’t. Unless you are a site with a business name in your title. I tend not to reciprocate when business sites follow me as I don’t believe they are following me for my content, just to build up followers.

It’s a funny old world.

In the next post I hope to be more interesting, so keep an eye open for it.

One final comment – having tried to find a suitable photo for the top of the post I find the old problems have returned. It looks like it’s only the new editor that will allow me full access to my photographs.

Bah!

Looking at the Numbers

I’ve just been looking at my stats and have finally realised why my numbers aren’t looking so good this year. I still seem to be getting comments and visitors, and the site seems busy enough by my standards (which are, admittedly, not as high as the standards of some sites). The difference, as far as I can see, is that I wrote 465 posts in the 365 days of 2017.

I’m not sure if that’s really possible, but it’s what the numbers say, so I’ll have to accept it. It’s either that or go back and count the posts.

Year Total Posts Total Comments Avg Comments per Post Total Likes Avg Likes per Post Total Words Avg Words per Post
2014 44 22 0.5 49 1.1 11,285 257
2015 252 850 3.4 1,657 6.6 80,901 321
2016 288 2,539 8.8 3,812 13.2 99,157 344
2017 465 8,431 18.1 10,725 23.1 155,383 334
2018 325 5,893 18.1 7,345 22.6 101,535 312

This, of course, raises another question – how important are the numbers?

When everything was going well last year I was happy to think I had a growing audience but as they’ve gradually declined I haven’t really noticed any practical difference in terms of interaction. I really only need to see a few people, and I can’t follow and read too many other blogs.

It’s a bit like followers. I have 1,500 followers but get an average 18.1 comments per post. That tends to suggest my real number of followers is nearer 18 than 1,500.

It’s enough. I’m happy with the followers I have and don’t need the other 1,450 fictional followers.

What does anyone else think?

 

Haiku Challenge – Day 44 Posting Challenge – Day45

I am still managing ten vaguely haiku-like verses a day.

My problem at the moment is tiredness and lack of subjects. I’m not able to much nature at the moment and crows, bare branches and yellow leaves can get boring in the end. If I’m bored it’s likely that readers will be bored too.

The haibun are not going ell either – I’ve written a few but can’t seem to edit and finish them.

It’s not easy finding the time to write as my normal quiet time is after 10 pm and at that time I’m mainly driving Number Two Son to work. Then I try working at midnight, fall asleep in the chair, wake cold, sleep badly, feel tired all the next day and feel guilty at my lack of achievement.

As for the posting challenge – I’m having to resort to quick posts to ensure I manage something each day. Short, quick posts like this one.

I must take stock of my life and my writing.

Off to take Number Two Son to work now.

Today at work we discussed starting a tribute band to take account of our various talents – and so OCD/C was born.

You have to write it like that to make it more obvious. We all laughed at it, though the customers mainly looked blank at us.