Here’s another. Tonight is Walpurgis Night, a night when people in Sweden , some of them anyway, traditionally gather in parks for big celebrations. The university town of Lund has taken measures to prevent this happening this year, thus hoping to avoid becoming a coronavirus hotspot. They plan to dump a tonne of chicken manure in their central park, the smell of which should deter up to 30,000 residents from gathering there. “We get the opportunity to fertilise the lawns, and at the same time it will stink and so it may not be so nice to sit and drink beer in the park,” said the appropriately named Gustav Lundblad, chairman of the town’s environment committee, adding that the only potential drawback was that the smell may not be confined to the park.
A less smelly consequence is a reported 400% increase in the number of chess games played online. More information here. Parents are making use of it to help with home schooling and some people are simply getting back into the habit of playing as a way of keeping busy. Our 15 year old grandson is a case in point. He used to play in primary school, on the school team and all that sort of thing, but his interests moved on to basketball, which he cannot really play at the moment. He and his friends have been playing chess online. Offline he has taught his small sister the names of all the pieces and how to set up the chess board.
And then there is Dr Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus taskforce coordinator, and her scarves. Apparently she has created a stir, not just with her appearances at White House press briefings, but with the scarves she wears. There is even a @deborahbirxscarves Instagram page, created by Texas resident Victoria Strout, which now has more than 31,000 followers. Curious! Some of her scarves are very expensive silk affairs, costing hundreds of dollars. I too have a nice collection of scarves, the costliest of which run to about £20!
As our leaders start to talk about a possible phased return to school for the nation’s children, it crosses my mind that one consequence of this virus might be reduced class sizes. Forty years ago we were campaigning for smaller class sizes and the campaign has continued over the years, with unspectacular results. It would be quite ironic if classes now became smaller in order to make social distancing in the classroom possible.
Congratulations flew around yesterday for Mr Johnson and Ms Symonds on the birth of their as far as I know unnamed child. One report told me that some of Mr Johnson’s older children are called Lara Lettice, Milo Arthur, Cassia Peaches, and Theodore Apollo. An interesting collection of names! So, as happens with royal births, we now wait to hear what this latest will be called ... but not really with bated breath!
My daughter-in-law sent me some “words of the week”, produced by her six year old daughter. Here we go:- mergency, as in “come quickly, its a mergency!”; larmi, as in “please may I have some more larmi (i.e. salami)?”; fish Philip for fish fillet - clearly named after her grandfather, my husband Phil! My daughter added her small girl’s contribution: having fed out of date granola to the ducks on a windy day, the small girl told her, “Mummy, I’ve got finola in my hair!”
Well, summer appears to be over for the time being. We have a mix of blustery sunshine and occasional showers. Nothing too drastic so far. No doubt the grass - I hesitate to call it a lawn - will need cutting again soon now that it has been rained on. Looking at the grass in the back garden I am amazed once again at the resilience of dandelions. You mow the grass, chopping the heads off all the dandelions along the way and by the next morning they have popped up a new collection of little golden suns! I quite like them but I am aware that purists object to having them in their gardens.
However, here are some curious facts about dandelions.
- Dandelions are not in fact weeds but are in the same family as sunflowers.
- Up until the 1880 dandelions were regarded as extremely beneficial. People would remove grass in order to plant dandelions.
- Dandelion seeds can travel up to 5 miles before they land.
- Every part of the dandelion is edible.
- 1 cup of dandelion greens = 535% of your daily recommended vitamin K and 112% of your daily recommended vitamin A.
Yesterday I roasted cauliflower florets to accompany our leftovers. Very tasty, but even the addition of garlic and thyme could not totally disguise the school-dinnerish flatulence aroma of the cauliflower lingering in the kitchen for some time afterwards!
On the menu today we have rice and prawns.
Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone.