Tag Archives: Christmas cards

Learn one new thing a day

Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it before, but someone once told me that if you can learn one new thing a day you will become the wisest person in the world. As a result, I try to learn one or more new things a day. Despite this I can’t help feeling that I’m a long way from being the wisest person in the world. Part of the problem is that the more you know, the more you realise how much you don’t know.

I suppose that’s why they say ignorance is bliss.

On that subject, the farmer is currently showing round the people who will be taking over from us. There are seven days in the week but they need to meet on one of the days that we meet. Talk about rubbing it in. But as I said, ignorance is bliss.

As if that isn’t bad enough, they came and parked near the bird feeders and scared everything off. Humph!

However, back to knowledge.

Gemma wanted to know about baked beans and, as we encourage everyone to do, asked me to check it up on the computer. We covered haricot beans, Boston Baked Beans and Heinz Baked Beans, and during this tour of the net I noticed a link from one of the recipe pages.

The link is to the Boston Molasses Disaster. I’d never heard of it, but in 1919 it killed 21 people. From that page I went to the London Beer Flood. I’d never heard of that either, but in 1814 323,000 gallons of beer escaped from burst tanks, destroyed two houses and killed at least 8 people. I won’t spoil the surprise, so if you are intrigued by the names you can click the link.

The Farmer has now been loaded onto Dave’s van (the cardboard farmer, that is, not the breathing one) and he is off to school too. He was just too tall to fit in the car with Connie, and screwed together too tightly to allow us to dismantle the frame easily. That’s what happens when you ask a mixed group of artists and engineers to make a stand for a piece of cardboard.

We filled the rest of the day with making Christmas cards and I am now, reluctantly, going across to the kitchen to make jam. I really don’t like using the kitchen these days, with all the politics and unpleasantness that it now involves, but it needs to be done and I have no choice…

Later: Jam making went well – it’s all set and washed up now. 🙂



Parakeets and the Pareto Principle

Before you ask, this isn’t a new scientific concept – the two things are linked only in my head. Sorry if you are a mathematical ornithologist, but this isn’t the exciting breakthrough you were hoping for.

Tuesday morning dawned in a foggy fashion and we headed off through heavy morning traffic to a retail park on the other side of town with Hobbycraft as our target. Half an hour later, and £40 lighter, we were back in the car.

Now that Halloween is over our next big thing is Christmas. We will make Christmas cards two weeks before Christmas and have Christmas dinner the week before. A range of design and build skills will be on show, ranging from excellent to dreadful and there will be endless rows about who gets the best stuff to work with, and that’s just the volunteers. The members of the group behave slightly better, though two of them do base their design work on the Pareto Principle –  trying to stick 80% of the decorations to their 20% of the cards. We’re working out a method of rationing for this year.

It will be a lesson in cooperation, and maybe even an exercise in maths if we organise it properly.

On a different subject we had a phone call while we were on the way here – we have someone else interested in joining the regular group. He’s coming tomorrow to see how he gets on with the rest of the group and if he likes us. I’m hoping he will as he adds a new dimension to the group, having developed dementia as an adult rather than being born with learning difficulties. He has a practical background so I’m hoping we will be able to get the nest box plan going again.

Finally, when we arrived the parakeet was in one of the trees behind the kitchen. It’s the third time we’ve seen it perching there and the fourth time we’ve seen it in total. We couldn’t get a photograph and couldn’t pick up the colour because the sun was behind it but it did look and sound very much like the ring-necked parakeets we saw when one of the kids was playing rugby in Middlesex. It was a surreal day to say the least – parakeets flying over, aircraft landing at Heathrow and the after-match meal cooked on barbecues under the trees at the edge of the field. I imagine that ours is an escapee rather than a visitor from down south. I hope so because they are they are a nuisance when you get too many of them, as Esher Rugby Club found out.