Sunday, 20 April 2008

Master slow

ooops... accidentally posted this on the wrong blog. Does that ever happen to anyone else?

Having got back from California yesterday I was having a lovely relaxing lunch outside with Ian and william when I noticed that in fact there were four of us sitting on the gravel. Master slow worm was so still that we both feared he was dead. He even let ants run over him, but upon close inspection (and a little encouragement with a twig) he turned out to be very much alive.

This is the second baby slow worm we've had now; I uncovered the first last year, but it wriggled into the grass so quickly I could barely be sure that it was indeed a slow worm. This one was much less interested in getting away and actually stayed where we placed him in the undergrowth for over half an hour.

Whilst watching him we disturbed a frog. Our second frog in the garden and the first since we put in the pond. Very pleased.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Mr Bun the baker

With the addition of some large shelves to the left of the fireplace in the lounge I have been able to display my favourite childrens books for the first time in many years. These include the Brian Jacques Redwall series, books by Colin Dann, Dick King Smith and a few other odd ones. A couple of days ago I decided to reread 'the rectory mice' and was amused to find a reference to the happy families card game and Mr bun the baker.

I spent many happy times playing happy families in my grandparents lounge. Having looked the card game up on Wikipedia I've found that there were many versions, with different families, but some of the other families I remember are Chop, the Butcher, and Sole, the Fisherman/Fishmonger?

Unfortunately I can't find a picture on the internet of the set we used to have, but the daily mail has made a set for the modern age, which is similar in style to the cards that we had.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Ginkgo Biloba

I've always wondered how to pronounce ginkgo biloba and have finally looked it up. Ginkgo comes from the Chinese (and later Japanese) ginkyo meaning silver (gin) apricot (kyo). In Japanese this would be pronounced geen kyoh. Engelbert Kaempfer, responsible for the current awkward spelling as written in his "Amoenitates Exoticae", unfortunately made a mistake by writing kgo instead of kyo when making his notes in Japan. The current accepted pronunciation is GINK-oh.

Biloba (pronounced by-LOH-ba) comes from the Latin for two-lobed (bi from Latin "bis" meaning double, loba meaning lobes), the leaf being fan-shaped with a split in the middle.