Global warming stuff - Kebnekaise a mountain in Sweden has two peaks, the northern one reserved for experienced mountaineers and the southern one, glacier covered, suitable for properly equipped hikers. No doubt, as the mountain is inside the Arctic Circle and the Swedes are used to cold conditions, they only get properly equipped hikers, not like the loonies here who set off up mountains in the Lake District and in Scotland in unsuitable footwear and without proper waterproof and windproof clothing.
Be that as it may, the southern, glacier covered peak has always been the higher of the two, but now the ice is melting and it can no longer claim to be the winner.
We’ve been catching up on omnibus editions of The Archers and find that Shula is continuing to pursue her dream of becoming a vicar. I wonder if she knows how many of them are really poorly paid. The Archbishop of Canterbury is okay, from what I have read, with his £83,000 a year, plus a couple of big houses. Most ordinary vicars get a salary of £27,886 and housing thrown in, which is not bad I suppose, but around 3,000 are apparently “self-supporting” and rely on grants and charity handouts. Talk about taking a vow of poverty! Even better, the Church of England reportedly has an investment fund worth £8.3bn which pays asset management executives six-figure sums. I think old Jesus might have something to say about that!
Every so often we have a problem getting through passport control on the eGates with our fancy passports. Well, really Phil has more problems than I do. Now I read that in some cases this can be because there is a known criminal with the same name and the passport control chappies have to double check. Does Phil have a criminal doppelganger out there?
Almost everyone has successfully got back to school as far as I know. At least it is the case with our immediate family. Nobody took pictures of our family offspring in school uniform this year, thank heavens. Five-year-olds may look cute in school uniform but I still think it is unnecessary, but that is another issue. I read about a school in Niagara, Canada, where the school bus arrived 30 minutes late on the first day of term, not because of traffic problems but because the driver had to wait while doting parents took advantage of the school bus photo opportunity!
“Along with Halloween and the arrival of the first pool inflatables of the summer holiday season, “back to school” has become a communal moment when stories are shared around the campfire of social media”. That’s what I read.
And it gets better. Celebrity back-to-schoolers, accompanying their tiny offspring to their first day at school come in for further scrutiny. What to wear on such an occasion is all important. So we have been told that the Duchess of Cambridge, seeing Princess Charlotte into her first day at school, wore a Michael Kors silk dress - judging by the photo in the newspaper, Prince William made no effort at all, just an open-collared shirt and a sports jacket - while actress Sienna Millar wore something fancy by Mango. Oh, the ridiculousness of it all!
Meanwhile parents and pupil have been protesting outside a school in East Sussex because the school has introduced gender-neutral uniforms for all. What this means in practice is that everyone must wear trousers. I don’t see what the quibble is about. In the 1970s we campaigned for female staff to have the right to wear trousers at the school where I worked. But some mothers say it is an unreasonable demand. Perhaps they are insisting on their girls’ right to wear their skirts rolled over at the waistband to make them as short as possible Saint Trinian’s style.
And finally, how about a two-headed snake? In New Jersey, USA, scientists have found a two-headed baby timber rattlesnake. They have named it Double Dave as it was discovered by two environmentalists both called Dave. Such snakes have difficulty surviving in the wild as they are quite slow-moving and therefore are vulnerable. So Double Dave is being taken into captivity.
Apparently the two heads of such snakes work independently and sometimes they fight each other for food, unaware that there is only one body for the food to nourish.
Polycephaly as it is called is a similar development to conjoined twins, an embryo that has begun to split but then stops before fully dividing. It is quite rare, and two-headed creatures have often appeared in mythology as they are considered to be a portent of disaster in some cultures.
Now, what kind of disaster does this portend for the USA? I wonder!
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