A is for Mary Anning

I begin this latest round of ABC Wednesday with Mary Anning, a very ordinary woman who made the most extraordinary contribution to science and our understanding of prehistoric life.

Anning was born in 1799 in Lyme Regis on the south coast of England. She was the daughter of a carpenter who supplemented his income by mining the fossils that can be found in the nearby limestone cliffs and selling them to tourists. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Anniversary of the week: Hard to believe that this is my 100th Sunday Round-up and since I missed last week this one will be a mix of what happened over the holidays plus one or two look backs at 2017.

Beyond Satire: Starting with President Trump whose Twitter response to Kim Jong-un’s claim to have a nuclear button on his desk you really couldn’t make it up. Read more ›››

Z is for André Zirnheld

My last post for this round of ABC Wednesday focusses on André Zirnheld who was a philosopher, a pioneer of the Special Air Service (SAS) and writer of the Paratroopers’ Prayer.

Zirnheld was born in Paris in 1913 to a Jewish family originally from Alsace. He studied at the Pensionnat diocésain de Passy, a private Catholic school in the city, and graduated in philosophy. Read more ›››


I’m sorry if you’ve arrived here expecting my weekly Sunday Round-up but I have been otherwise engaged what with Christmas and family obligations. Hopefully, normal service will be resumed next week.

Meanwhile, as an example of the sort of things I’ve been up to, here is a photo of Team Parrot that successfully escaped The Forger’s Room at Code to Exit in Altrincham. Read more ›››

Y is for Isoroku Yamamoto

Isoroku Yamamoto

Isoroku Yamamoto was the ‘mastermind behind the dastardly sneak attack on Pearl Harbour’ in 1941 and who died as a result of equally sneaky tactics by the American air force.

Born Isoroku Takano in Nagaoka in 1884, his first name translates from the old Japanese as the number 56, the age his schoolmaster father was when his son was born. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

More Christmas gift ideas: Keep your loved one warm and whacky with one of these Freak Show Hats but be sure to follow the instruction not to use it as a terrorist. Or how about this talking Donald Trump figurine?

Jingle all the way: A Boston University professor has had to defend her controversial research that uncovered the racist origins of the beloved Christmas song Jingle Bells. Read more ›››

X is for Father Xmas

Father Xmas

Certain letters are getting harder to fill and none is more eXasperating than X. So yet again I have decided what could be more timely than to resurrect my post about Father Xmas.

Actually, the Father Xmas I have in mind is not the Coca-Cola swilling, red-coated fellow in his speed of light sleigh, but rather the English Father Xmas who has quite different origins to St Nicholas and Santa Claus. Read more ›››