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.