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Saturday, 12 December 2015

It's news to me

Good Morning. It's Saturday again, I shall be picking up my free papers a bit later from my friend Irene who saves them for me. I am glad they take The Times, at £1.20 per copy I wouldn't buy it myself, so it's good to be able to read something half decent, for nothing. There are some parts of it that I do not understand but I have made it my mission to at least try and read as much as I can. I am not particularly well educated, couldn't get out of school quick enough. I am frequently having to look up the meanings and spellings of words, so forcing myself to read articles which are baffling is a challenge. I am learning as I go.

Anyway, the gist of today's post is snippets I have found interesting in the papers in front of me. I find myself reading something and thinking, oh, I didn't know that.

The Consumer Affairs Correspondent says everyone in Britain should have two bank accounts, so that they can still access money if a bank suffers a cyber attack. I used to have two accounts with separate banks when I had a business, but for my own personal money I only have one. Apparently cyber crime poses an even greater threat nowadays. A bit worrying really. Maybe I should split my very small emergency fund into two accounts. I'm glad I don't have any dosh stashed away somewhere to worry about.

Did you know that hedgehogs are in decline because they can't move around as freely as they would like. People are too tidy in their gardening habits, graveling over areas and highly manicuring lawns, and erecting fences which imprisons them so they can't forage further afield. Hedgehogs need messy gardens so don't hoover up the fallen leaves, and cut a hole in the bottom of your wooden fences to create a super highway so they can wander from garden to garden.

I have only briefly worked in an office, many years ago, and it was a big office which was super friendly. Now they are saying staff would be more productive if companies scrapped their Christmas Party and make the office more fun all the year round. A survey of 2,000 people found that a quarter of them said they did not need a Christmas Party to boost morale. Makes sense to me. Let's spread a little happiness in September, or June, or March, or anytime. Let's have have fun any time we like.

I can sometimes mooch around the house in a dream, and according to an article by the Science Editor, walking slowly could be an early sign of dementia. A study has found, etc etc, then it gets complicated with medical terms related to the brain. Reading on it says, people shouldn't be worried, there are lots of reasons why people walk more slowly. Mind you, I do think I mooch too much, I blame it on the time of year, and the size of the house you live in could have something to do with it. It would be difficult to run around a small terraced house. I suppose I could try running from the kitchen to the living room.

I read that a very rich man, Mark Zuckerberg, is going to give a big chunk of his money to charity, so the headline says. Read on and it isn't what it seems. He is not going to write big fat cheques and present them to worthy causes, he has given a lot away in the past, he is going to start his own new giant charity. There is a lot more to this story which I am not going to go into here, but an interesting article nevertheless.

Wikipedia is a web site I often visit to glean more information on something I am interested in. Anyone can post on it so that means it is often susceptible to suspicious activity, a bit like the spammers we get on blogs, only more destructive. Tens of thousands of volunteers edit the site, but now they have come up with a way to do that automatically with a robot. It's chuffin amazing just what robots can do these days.

I found this a bit weird. A school in Merseyside held a funeral for a human skeleton which they had been using for scientific studies for 40 years. It is thought that the person died 100 years ago. They did the whole thing, casket, flowers, car, dressing up, the pupils carried the coffin, a proper burial. I don't understand why they did that, it wasn't even a full skeleton. Would they have done that if there was only one bone left? I'm all for paying respect to the dead, but for me that was just a bit weird.

Unlucky for you if you break down on one of the 33,000 miles of British roads, not covered by a mobile phone signal. The RAC have done research on this by analyzing Ofcom data on the mobile network. Best make sure your car is serviced and up to scratch then, and try not to get in any accidents.

A 34 year old woman from Ashurst in Hampshire, who was rejected by the Navy, has completed 60 marathons in 60 days. She has broken the world record of 17 consecutive marathons by a woman, and 52 by a man. Well I think that is bloomin marvelous. I haven't even done one marathon, not that I couldn't do it,  I don't want to run or walk with all those crowds of people. Good on yer, lassie.

That's my paper review. It's raining, not a nice day methinks, so a day indoors. I have a fridge malfunction and I need to eat everything in the freezer today and tomorrow. Luckily there isn't much in the top chiller bit. It's looking like I might need to purchase a new one, but no worries, my emergency fund will cover it.

Thanks for popping in. Have a nice weekend, indoors or out. Catch up soon.
Toodle pip


  1. I've never seen a hedge hog in the wild. Maybe we just don't have them in the US midwest because of the cold and heat factor or I'm too ignorant to have noticed.. That was interesting. There's formal school education and theres life education. I think you are very well educated but perhaps in different subject areas than say someone with a PHD in physics. An educated person keeps seeking more than what they know now. IMHO. Good post.

  2. We ought to have plenty of hedgehogs in our garden - it's got lots of leaves, piles of wood, peat, bushes and trees but we never see one. I think intelligence is relative to every individual. I'd say you're a very clever, savvy lady indeed. Take me for example - I'm a dab hand with the household budget down to the penny yet I struggle with fractions and algebra!!.On the other hand I do shorthand at 140wpm yet would say that my vocabulary is a bit lacking!

  3. I have 3 bank accounts, which wouldn't help me if there was a cyber attack as there is barely any money in one of them and none in the others.

    It always seems to me that keen gardeners have a limited view of what a garden is. They like to keep snipping things back and gaining control over things that grow 'too tall' or arbitrarily killing things designated as weeds. Cutting down or back and pruning is where they enjoy themselves most. They don't like the cats, foxes, squirrels or birds like pigeons that come to visit. They like to have select chosen pretty birds enter the hallowed land, but otherwise sparse and neat is all they care about. They put down poisons for slugs and weeds without much regard for any other creatures getting poisoned.

    Most gardeners I know would definitely never tolerate the 'untidiness' of leaves or show enough tolerance to cut a hole in the fence to let a little creature through. There is little enjoyment or tolerance of nature as it actually is, as they find it untidy and necessary to clear it up all the time. Many gardeners just have a desire to put their own imprint and law enforcement all over it.

    Bit of a shock really to discover that about gardening people but in my experience they are not kind to wildlife at all as they consider it just despoils 'their' space. A neighbour has just built re-enforcements on theirs, presumably to keep foxes and cats out. They regularly chase after cats, shouting, chasing and throwing things after them as well as aiming the garden hose at them. Thing about foxes is that they are canny and can climb if they have to. Sad to say, most of the neighbours I have ever had who have 'nice' gardens act in a similar way. I prefer a bit of wilderness myself.

    If I had money I wouldn't give it to charities I would give it to people directly. We are told not to give to homeless people but rather to homeless charities. I would have thought that as there are still homeless people spending cold nights out of doors, that the charities are not reaching these people so I would act directly. So yes, I would give to the people and let them decide what their needs are. The money would go much further and where it was aimed.

    With regards to the woman running all the marathons, well I hope she is still able to walk in a few years time. Life is a marathon of its own and we only have one pair of legs. To wear them out is not a good idea. Fitness often gets in the way of health, they are not the same thing. Every runner I have ever known ends up with broken knees requiring surgery, and some never recovered full mobility. Walking is the way to go and even that in some moderation.

  4. The rich man you mentioned, Mark Zuckerberg, is the founder of Facebook. I thought it was nice that he announced his charitable gift, 99% of his $450 billion fortune, in a letter to his newborn baby girl. In the letter he said that he wanted to make a difference to the children of the future. Very sweet. He seems like a good man.

    1. Mark Zuckerburg is "only" worth $45 billion according to Forbes.

      Bill Gates is the richest man in the world with $78.3 billion.

      Actual levels of worth may vary as Forbes use "real time" figures.

      My "worth" doesn't have as many zeros :-)

    2. Yes, I was incorrect. Mark Zuckerberg is donating 99% of his $45 billion and will keep $450 million for his family. It will be interesting to see what charitable causes he chooses. Bill and Melinda Gates are another couple who are using their wealth for tremendous good.

  5. My favorite is the care for hedgehogs! I used to know one long ago in the UK who would come to the back door in search of his saucer of milk.

    1. Worst thing you could give a hedgehog is milk as it gives them diaorea (Not sure I spelt that right), a bit of cat or dog food is much better for the hedgehog.

  6. Sorry to hear about your fridge - but nice that you have an emergency fund to cover it, one of the few necessities of life. Dying appliances is one of the worst parts of home ownership and they have gotten so bloody expensive. I wish we had hedgehogs here...only a few giant snails (some of the worlds largest land snails live here) and giant slugs 2 inches long.

  7. I love hedgehogs and have a pair come to my back yard most nights altho I think they have gone to bed for the long winter months now, The pair have access between my garden and yard and 2 neighbours plots, and we have lots of slugs for them to feast on plus when I feed the ferral cats they enjoy eating cat meat that is left. By the way hedgehogs should never have milk in spite of them liking it, it scours their insides and harms them, plain water is best for them. I have been looking at the TV programmes over christmas, a load of repeats yet again. If the antibiotics I am taking for plueresy doesnt kick in TV will not bother me I am spending more time in bed than I like with my radio for company. I hope everyone has a wonderful christmas with loved ones and a very Happy New Year in 2016,

  8. I always enjoy reading your thoughts. My father has a PhD in human behavior. He told me he learned Spanish by making himself flash cards and has since forgotten it all. As far as far as the degree in human behavior goes, we're a pretty messed-up bunch. So much for higher education ; )

  9. This is a very entertaining post, made me smile. Thank you, Francesca.

  10. This is such good advice! I think everybody should have ambitions like this, to read more but especially to look up unknown things and words. Good on you!!

  11. It's been raining all weekend here. We went for a walk anyway for some air. We didn't walk too slowly!!!! Interesting about having two accounts. It is probably a good idea but hard enough to organise the funds I have when they are in one place!

  12. Hi.There's a quality of relaxation and ease about reading a paper,being cozy at home on a rainy day with the furry family.It brings a smile to my face and reminds me to be mindful of the small, precious, simple things in life that should not be taken for granted.I admire when a person takes on new challenges mentally,spiritually or physically and getting out of their comfort zones...good for you!We all should try doing that a little more.Am sorry to here your fridge is on the fritz.Very interesting read ,bye for now,D.


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