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Richard Walker

Wildflower Garden

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This plot in the national Botanical Gardens of Wales is set aside for flowers that will encourage pollinating insects. Photographed in September 2018.


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Richard Walker

One liner

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Burglars who distract their victims by playing stringed instruments. That’s robbery with violins.

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Richard Walker

Ouzo and Soda

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 18 Mar 2021, 01:31

Unusual. Ouzo is traditionally mixed with water. But the soda was amazing, it made the drink longer but more ouzo-y, it really brought out the aniseed flavour and didn’t drown the drink at all.

I believe that once Greek country folk used to make Ouzo at home and as well as aniseed would add Wormwood, the plant Artemisia, named for the goddess Artemis. From her name came also Absinthe, a famous green coloured drink, very popular into the early 20th century, but then illegalised in France and subsequently elsewhere, on the premise that it was mad, bad, and dangerous to drink, addictive and psychoactive, because of the wormwood. However absinthe had a lot of adherents in the creative world, see 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absinthe


Following more recent recent research Absinthe is legal again. I bought some but I wasn’t sure it was my favourite. I’m good with Ouzo and Soda.

Στην υγειά σας!

PS the name Wormwood is from the same origin as Vermouth.

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Richard Walker

One liner

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Edited by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 17 Mar 2021, 22:01

I tried some fermented apples, now I’m worried about cider effects.

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Richard Walker

Bird of the day

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Edited by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 17 Mar 2021, 00:02

My cousin took this picture of a young male Great Bustard.


These birds are amongst the heaviest flying birds, possibly the heaviest. An adult male may be a metre tall, have a wing span of 2+ metres, and weigh in at up to about 20 kg.

The bird is classified as vulnerable; although it is widespread only about 40,000 survive. It lives on open grasslands and once had a British population, but was hunted to extinction in this country by the middle of the 19th century.

However the bird has been successfully reintroduced, from 2007 I believe, and there is now a breeding population of about 40. My cousin has been watching one of them and was able to get this shot, I presume of its offspring.

You can read more about the reintroduction programme here and here is an image from the same site.



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Richard Walker

Quick puzzle

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Richard Walker

Messages from the stars

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In ground-breaking research announced earlier today, scientists think they have detected video signals from an alien star system.

The signals, though faint, appear to be a drama set in some sort of domestic situation. A member of the team told our reporter, “This proves that where there’s life there’s soap”.

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Richard Walker

The Spoken Word

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What English word is the most difficult to pronounce? It’s hard to say.

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Richard Walker

No more a roving

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So we’ll go no more a roving,

So late into the night.

Though the heart be still as loving

And the moon be just as bright.


For the sword outwears its sheathe,

And the soul wears out the breast.

And the heart must pause to breathe,

And love itself have rest.


I’m learning this poem by Lord Byron and this is as far as I got. I thought posting it here (from memory!) might help to bed it down. Is it right?

Tomorrow I will learn Stanza 3 hopefully.


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Richard Walker

Word of the day

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Wheatear

A small perching bird with a white rump. I don’t think you’d typically see one in your garden but I have been to places, such as heaths in Norfolk, where they were everywhere. When they fly away the white backside is very conspicuous and it’s generally thought that the bird was originally called a “white arse” for that reason. A mixture of “folk etymology” - an intuitively appealing idea about a word origin but not based on recorded evidence - and dislike of coarse words (mealy-mouthedness in fact!) morphed this into wheatears and then people felt this was a plural, so we got wheatear.

Compare with pea; there were originally no peas but there was pease pudding (“Pease pudding hot, pease pudding cold, pease pudding in the pot, nine days old”); this sounds like a plural, so back-formation led to pea.

 

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Richard Walker

Dad Joke

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 11 Mar 2021, 21:55

What jokes can you tell over the internet? Onliners.

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Richard Walker

Word of the day

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Isohyet

A line on a climate map, connecting points of equal rainfall.

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Richard Walker

A Greek Alphabet

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 11 Mar 2021, 02:28

Alpha leather

Beta drum

Gamma long way

Delta lousy hand

Epsilon way to Tipperary

Zeta party of six

Eta hearty meal

Theta it

Iota load of money

Kappa civil tongue in your head

Lambda baby sheep

Mu like a cat

Nu are Wildebeest

Xi sickness

Omicron!

Pi for now

Rho your boat

Sigma Freud

Tau the line

Upsilon Dion

Phi on you

Chi to the door

Psi of relief

Omega!


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Richard Walker

Untitled

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Three men walked into a bar. The fourth was in a wheelchair.

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Richard Walker

Tom Swifty

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"When you've seen one plank, you've seen them all", said Tom with a bored expression.


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Richard Walker

Ballerina #1

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Richard Walker

One Line Joke

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My cousin Connor believes the world is run by pirates. Behind his back we call this “Con’s piracy theory”.

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Richard Walker

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

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"Let Us Now Praise Famous Men" is a choral work by Ralph Vaughan Williams. I was listening to it tonight, and thought how the words have always moved me, particularly the last four lines.

Let us now praise famous men,
And our Fathers that begat us.
Such as did bear rule in their kingdoms,
Men renowned for their power.

Leaders of the people
By their counsels and by their knowledge.
Such as found out musical tunes,
And recited verses in writing:

All these were honoured in their generations,
And were the glory of their times.

And some there be which have no memorial;
Who are perished, as though they had never been.
Their bodies are buried in peace;
But their name liveth for ever more
.

The text is adapted from Ecclesiasticus 44. Ecclesiasticus is in a section of the Bible (the

Apocrypha = Greek From hidden) between the Old and New Testaments, and not always considered as worthy of inclusion, although the balance of opinion across time and place has felt it deserves its place, and I concur.

Finally I though you might like to see the passage (as it was originally) in the first printing of the King James Bible. The image is from https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Ecclesiasticus-Chapter-44_Original-1611-KJV/



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Richard Walker

East and West

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Socrates. Was he just trying to Confucius?

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Richard Walker

Shaggy Dog Story

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My dog Arnold has always been a fast learner. So I thought I’d see if he could be trained to swim underwater. Sadly, it seems you can’t teach Arnold dog newt tricks.

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Richard Walker

Crossword clue

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减? (7, 8)


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Richard Walker

Grandad the Lion Tamer

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Grandad worked in a circus as a lion tamer but it was such a small outfit they could only support a single lion. Other lion tamers laughed at him, and he became a one-lion joke.

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Richard Walker

Two Semicircles Puzzle - my solution

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Richard Walker

New blog post

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Thanks for the heads up garden birds

I get it

Spring’s coming.

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Richard Walker

Word of the Day

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pococurantism

Not giving a fig.

As defined by the OED: indifference, carelessness, nonchalance.






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