Friday, August 05, 2011


I just included this photo from last weekend for the benefit of our son-in-law, who's doing semaphore in the background. I'm not entirely sure why he was doing it. He seems to be signalling Q. It's a long time since I did semaphore - in the Guides - and it's never come in handy till now. Or come to think of it, not even now. But I'm fond of the lad and it's nice to see his smile.

There are quite a few things that I've learnt and never used. Algebra, for example. Geometry. Well, most school things, I suppose: the imports of France and the date of the Reform Act and the Latin for "My girlfriend's sparrow is dead." ("Passer mortuus est meae puellae.") And I suppose that knowing what metaphors and similes are isn't vital for one's continuing existence either. It's quite satisfying to know about these things, though, as a sort of compendium of vaguely familiar knowledge. However, there are lots of things I don't know that other people probably consider rather important. Who was in Status Quo; what colour an earth wire is (everyone ought to know that but alas, all I remember is that it's not brown - which is the obvious colour for it to be, in my opinion); how to change a tyre (well, I think I know that in general principle but I wouldn't attempt to do it); how a computer actually works; who the Home Secretary is (I might remember after a while); most stuff about well-known films.

I've just come in from a pleasant evening hour in the garden, driven in by tiny biting beasties. That's something I don't know: what's the point of tiny biting beasties? Yes, yes, to feed birds. But could birds not eat tiny non-biting beasties?


  1. And look at all those lovely mugs that co-ordinate so beautifully with the blue rug of life!

  2. I never really mastered semaphore either, but I seem to recall it was one of those things at Guides that you HAD to know how to do. I was better at sign language and starting fires.

    I have been gardening too today, first time in about seven months. I have been prickled rather than bitten.

  3. Semaphore could be really useful if someone blows the electrical system by misconnecting the wires.

  4. Don't try and remember the home secretary - you'll wish you hadn't.

    Son-in-law looks very happy and thriving on being a dad - that's so lovely.

  5. Ah Catullus, I remember him from school.... Odi et Amo

  6. Too true, the things we learned and didn't need to. I'm with you on the algebra, never could see the use for it, and I became a teacher and still couldn't see much use for it.

  7. Biting beasties exist so that we all have plenty of these amusing posts to read. Go beasties! (I'm still giggling over the semaphore bit.)

  8. I have a friend who would be HORRIFIED that you put Status Quo in the past tense!! Horrified. They are still very much on the go having released a new album recently (which sounds exactly like all their other 350 albums tbh) but I can only remember Rick Parfitt and Francis something or other??

    I suspect you'll know the Home Sec now after her moment in the sun. Blessing us with her irritating repetition of the phrase "sheer criminality" and her inability to answer a single question. Teresa May.

    I've forgotten all maths, the periodic table, the planets, any physics rules or equations and the reasons for them, and pretty much all my latin 9which is a shame as I took it to A level).

    I seem to have retained french, history (in particular anything to do with Stonehenge is welded into my memory,) geography, English literature, and philosophy. I guess that shows where my interests lie....

    Lesley xx