Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I was watching the BBC quiz-cum-comedy show, QI, last night and the word 'tenrec' came up. Although I hadn't heard it for around 45 years, something told me it was a word I'd learned in The Seychelles. Sure enough, it turned out to be an animal that's unique to Madagascar but which has been introduced into various islands in the Indian Ocean. Funny thing the brain. Cue cute video.

I bought a Panama hat yesterday. And the temperature duly fell five degrees today. From a level that was already low. I toyed with asking my daughter to put the central heating back on. For which, as a friolera, she doesn't usually need much encouragement. And I've just seen the forecast for tomorrow - a high of 15 degrees! Still, better than Friday's high of 10. In summer! Why does anyone stay in this country?

I was out yesterday when the Post Office tried to deliver a parcel for me. So I went to the depot today to pick it up. The note the postman left said I'd have to prove identity but gave a wide range of things - including a debit or credit card - that would be acceptable. I decided to push things by offering my bus pass and wasn't too surprised to find this was OK. In fact, my impression was that any document with just my name on would have been enough. Coincidentally, the Post Office has announced today it'll soon be leaving packages with your neighbours, if you're not in. Which is all pretty pragmatic and sensible. So, just like Spain . . .

The Euros: Here's the detail behind my comment that England played their traditional game of Give-the-Ball-Away against the French. . . . For England it is the simplest thing, yet also the hardest thing. They really have to start taking better care of the ball.

Towards the end of the Second World War, the question inevitably rose of what to do with Germany. An American chap called Henry Morgenthau Jr. came up with a plan to 'deindustrialise/pastoralise' the defeated nation. It was termed, naturally enough, the Morgenthau Plan and its aim was to ensure that Germany would never again have the capacity to wage war. The most surprising thing about the plan is that it was partially implemented, before being scrapped in favour of the rather different Marshall Plan in 1947. Or perhaps the most surprising thing was the fact that Morgenthau's boss - Henry Dexter White - was not only the main man behind the Plan but also a Soviet agent. There's a lot more here for those interested.

Finally . . . By popular demand, I'm including a foto of my long-eared owl here in the text. To give you an indication of its size, I've decided upon my daughter's toilet bowl. People seem to be much amused at its dimensions. The owl, not the toilet.


13 comments:

Alfred B. Mittington said...

That is one bloody awful ugly owl! I hope you are not planning to bring it to Pontevedra, where it would definitely wreck any landscape you put it in. Just to be on the safe side, I have informed the Spanish custom service that ceramic owls are at present being used to smuggle prohibited substances into the country. This will result in investigative action of your ceramic owl, which in its turn will solve the problem. Or do you like puzzles which involve superglue?

Alfred

kraal said...

Don't know about the pigeons Colin, but the young children could well wake up in the night screaming.

Colin said...

LMAO. And not just the kids, I fear.

I expect to become instantly famous in Pontevedra, after only 12 years there!

Point of detail: Alfie, It's not ceramic but plastic and very, very light, as it's hollow. It can be filled via a hole in the base and I had been thinking of sand or water. But, stimulated by your comment, I'm now considering a kilo or two of cocaine . . . .

And it's certainly not ugly. Garish, yes. But ugly, no. I didn't show its head-on perspective. It has lovely big eyes and a quizzical look on its face. Quite endearing. I'll bring it down to Portugal to show you when I go to to Oporto in early July.

Candide said...

Even an owl should lift the lid. But no male/female difference here (re lifting the seat too), they evacuate the same.

Azra said...

Ha, the owl will turn a few heads.

Can't believe it's only 10 and 15 degrees there. We're well into winter now, the sun only rises at 06:30am and even though its quite cold, this morning's minimum temperature was 3 degrees Celsius and midday high was around 18 degrees. Tomorrows high is supposed to be 16. So yeah, UK summer is our winter :)

Azra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin said...

Thanks, Azra. That's just what I needed!

Colin said...

Hmm, A comment I wrote earlier hasn't appeared.

@Candide.
I've tried to sex the bird but without success. So I have to find a neutral name for it.

Candide said...

Your comment has not appeared on your own blog?

Now that's neutrality.

Colin said...

Indeed it is!

Anthea said...

Here in Vigo, the sun shone yesterday. Temperatures of around 22, 23, not hot but .... At 10.00 in the evening I strolled home without a jacket. My Spanish companions were astounded. They complained about how cold it was. Everything is relative!

But even at 9 this morning in the rain (yes, again, be warned!) the local chemist registered 15 degrees. Maybe still a bit wet but not cold.

Perry said...

Call it Yowl or T'wit.

Colin said...

Hmm. Think I'll go with Twoo.

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