Easter trivia: The tradition of egg-rolling at Easter was once illegal at the White House. It was so popular with so many children that they caused serious damage to the landscape and there simply wasn't the money to employ more gardeners to fix it. So in 1876, William Steele Holman of Indiana introduced the Turf Protection Act ‘to prevent any portion of the Capitol grounds and terraces from being used as playgrounds’. President Rutherford Hayes renewed the tradition in 1878 by holding an Easter egg celebration and it has been held there every year since. Read more ›››
With the movable feast of Easter upon us, it's quite a week for the days to have names – Spy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, followed by Resurrection Sunday and Easter Monday.
It hadn't really occured to me to wonder why they were names so, I felt I just knew what they meant, having had the tenets of the resurrection drummed into me as a child in exchange for some chocolate eggs. Read more ›››
The thing about keeping a personal blog is that you are entirely responsible for its contents. Not just the fact-checking and personal opinions, but also the proof-reading.
We all try our best to get it right, but no-one is perfect and despite having spell-checkers on the dashboard, mistakes do slip through from time to time and some readers are all too ready to set me right. Read more ›››
This week I am departing from my usual ABC Wednesday format by writing about a group of people, rather than an individual, because it allows me one of the few genuine references to ‘Shooting Parrots‘.
Kilwinning is a town in Ayrshire, Scotland, home of the Ancient Society of Kilwinning Archers, probably the oldest archery society in the world. Read more ›››
I was idling my Sunday afternoon with a crossword in which the clue for 18 down was ‘untidy in appearance’ (7 letters) the answer being ‘unkempt’ of course.
Unkempt is one of those words for which there isn't a simple antonym. Removing the ‘un’ leaves us with ‘kempt’ which certainly doesn't mean neat or tidy, at least not to the modern English speaker. Read more ›››
Pizza the action: Hampshire-based Tom Gozney has designed the Roccbox, a portable wood or gas fired barbeque that can cook a pizza in 90 seconds and sausages in five minutes and has reached the semi-finals of the Virgin Pitch to Rich scheme.
The bad news is it isn't due for release until September, three months after the end of the UK barbeque season. Read more ›››
Without wishing to state the obvious, isn't laughter a funny thing? I don't mean the actual physical act, but why is it that as a species we find things funny so much that we go out of our way to get a side-splitting laughter stich?