50 Mums. 50 Kids. 1 Extra Chromosome.

World Down Syndrome Day 2018

Today, Wednesday 21st March,  is World Down Syndrome Day.  #WDSD18  World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated on the 21st of March every year.  

Down’s Syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in a baby’s cells. In the majority of cases, Down’s syndrome is not an inherited condition. Down’s syndrome usually occurs because of a chance happening at the time of conception. 

A lady called Rebecca Carless,  from Coventry in the UK,  joined together with 49 other mothers from an online Down’s support group known as “Designer Genes“, to make a special video ahead of World Down’s Syndrome Day,  celebrating children with Down’s syndrome.   They made a carpool karaoke type lip sync video featuring those 50 mums and their children all singing along to Christina Perri’s multi-platinum selling track, “A Thousand Years”#RebeccaCarless   #wouldntchangeathing

The video was originally inspired bySinging Hands– a UK organisation whose videos have helped many in the group learn Makaton – which is a form of sign language (which you’ll see in the video)  – and one close to my heart as Little Cobs, in his very early years, had a problem letting us know what it was he was trying to tell us, so we all made an effort to learn Makaton in order to help both him and us.

The mums all got together to show the world just how ordinary and fun  life with the condition is and how they “Wouldn’t Change a Thing“.

I’ve seen this video of the song many times over the past couple of days, and seen various snippets of it on news programmes, morning TV and afternoon TV, and I’ve sought out the video on YouTube in order to share it,  – and  every  single  time   I’ve watched it,  I’ve (without fail) dissolved into floods of tears.  Not of sadness, but love and joy about how fabulous and wonderful those little dots of incredibleness truly are, and how much love and pride pours out of the mums who are singing and signing with their children.

I HAD to share this video with you.  Get a tissue ready – I feel that you might need it.  Please, please enjoy, … and do share it.

Sending my love and wishing you, and them, a truly blessed day.

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Pixie Wallow ~ Pixie Crafting with Little Cobs

At my Grandsons, Little Cobs, school they have a ‘project’ which involves a teddy bear called Barnaby.  Each child in the class gets to take Barnaby the Bear home with them for a few days, and Barnaby gets to spend time sharing the family outings, games, toys, meals, visits etc., and the children (with the help of parents, guardians, grandparents) write the story of what Barnaby has been doing while he’s been staying with them.

Little Cobs Daddy (Son in Law) told me about Barnaby, and suggested that perhaps Barnaby Bear would like to come with Little Cobs to visit Grammy and Grandad, and maybe Grammy could do some crafting with Little Cobs and take photographs, print them out and they could then be included in the story book of Barnaby’s time spent with Little Cobs and all the things he did.

And this is the [mostly pictorial] story of how Barnaby Bear came to visit Grammy and Grandad and joined in with some crafting with Little Cobs and his Grammy.

I’ve made little tiny things for years (and years and years – more than I care to own up to)I love small detailAnd ... I used to make little houses, paint and attach them to various items and used to sell them for just enough money to cover the costs of actually making them.  Now about a month ago, Pinterest (that well known joyful time-waster) sent me an email with pictures of things it suggested I might like.  Among those photos were some little Fairy Houses which reminded me of the Fairy homes I used to make many years ago.  This gave me an idea for what I thought Little Cobs, and Barnaby Bear, might like to make, and the following photographs show you what happened, how it happened, who made it happen, and how it all turned out in the end.

Once upon a time, two and a half weeks ago, there was a boy, a bear, a mug and some clay….

2 Making Pixie Houses for Pixie Wallow

I showed Little Cobs how to make a tiny Pixie House using clay.  My bright little chap got the idea first time and, using just two fingers, he made two perfect little houses, while Barnaby Bear watched and learned.

3 Look what I made Barnaby Pixie Wallow

The little boy then made some Mushroom Caps, and held them up for Barnaby Bear to pass his expert eye over.  Barnaby, as it turned out, is an expert at all things Fairy and Pixie.  What a stroke of luck that was!

4 Pixie Houses and Mushroom Tops

Progress  …  Two expertly created Pixie Houses, and two miraculous, magical, Mushroom Caps.

5 Painting the Mushrooms

We put the newly made clay pieces to one side and filled the chosen mug and fixed moss in place, to give the feeling of being in Fairy/Pixie Land. (see the Mug Garden over to the left of the photo).  Next came PAINTING!  The little boy – aka Little Cobs, is pretty expert at using a paint brush now and I’m wondering if perhaps I could get him doing a bit of decorating around Cobweb TowersFree child labour – and at my favourite price. lol

6 Barnaby helping with quality control

As you can see, Barnaby Bear was definitely taking his job as Quality Control Bear, very seriously indeed!

It’s a really pretty plate – but not one we use for food.  It just sits around waiting for some passing crafter to blob paint onto it in order to give it a use.  

7 Pixie Houses and mushroom in a mug

Once all the paint was dry, and after the artist had had an afternoon snack and a bit of a play, Little Cobs placed all his beautiful handmade pieces in the places he wanted them to be so that he could check for position.  Once perfect, he gave the go ahead for everything to be fixed in place.

A few small resin flowers were added, just for artisticness, (not a real word but it’s so ‘juicy’ that once I’d made it up I simply had to use it), a couple of teeny tiny pine cones and some general florestry bits – just to make it feel like home to any passing Fairy or Pixie who might be looking for a place for the summer.

Pixie Wallow Houses Mushrooms and Barnaby Bear

Barnaby Bear suggested that the whole scene needed a name, so Little Cobs and I came up with Pixie Wallow, and Grammy built a name label on the computer and printed it out for Little Cobs to fix it to the outside of the cup, so that everyone knew what it was.

I’m reliably informed that Barnaby was very happy with Pixie Wallow, and it passed the Inspection Test with a gold star!

7 Pixie Houses and mushroom in a mug

8 Close up of Pixie Houses and Mushrooms

It’s ready for a close up, Mr. Demille …  (those who’ve watched Sunset Boulevard will get that one).

All the painting is Little Cobs own, apart from tiny bits where I showed him what he needed to do before I handed over the paint brush, and two spots on one of the Mushroom caps, just to show him how to get that magical ‘dot’ in the right place, in the right size.  He made the houses, the mushroom caps and was the ideas man for how the whole scene was to look.

Little Cobs, Barnaby Bear and myself had an absolutely great time making this.  Lots of laughs and lots of stories about who would eventually live in the Pixie Houses, and who would come and sit on the mushrooms and play in the garden.

Before I go may I share a surprise that I had a couple of days ago.  I got sent an Anniversary Achievement by WordPress . . .

Wordpress 4 year Anniversary

…  four years!  FOUR YEARS I’ve been blogging, and yet if you’d have asked me I would have guessed about…  maybe 2 to 2 and a half years tops.  I can hardly believe it.  Four years,  and I’ve loved every single day of it, and that’s because I’ve shared it with you.

I’ve made so many lovely friends via my blog and have and am enjoying so many blogs which are owned by others.

So thank you, dear reader, for filling my last four years with joy and fun.  I’ve loved getting to know you and hope to continue doing so, and also hope to get to know all the new people who join The Cobweborium Emporium,  or that I find in blog land.

Thank you so much for coming today and sharing Pixie Wallow.  Have a truly blessed rest of your day.

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The Friday Post ~ History of Events on 16th March

Good Morning,  and a very Happy Friday to one and all.  We are, today, 75 days into 2018 – which means that there’s 283 till Christmas.  Now don’t you feel better now you’ve had an early warning about this special date rushing towards us?  You’ll be able to miss the crush of shoppers in December, simply because you have a lovely blogging friend who gives you these early warnings!

You’re welcome.  😀

Anyhoo . . .  you’ve come for a little Edumacation Cobwebs Style, so … shall we get on with it?

16th March 2018

On this Day in History

1689 – The 23rd Regiment of Foot or Royal Welch Fusiliers is founded.

1802 – The Army Corps of Engineers is established to found and operate the United States Military Academy at West Point.

1815 – Prince Willem proclaims himself King of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, the first constitutional monarch in the Netherlands.

1830 – London’s re-organised police force (Scotland Yard) forms.  New Scotland Yard (NSY) is the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service, responsible for law enforcement within Greater London, excluding the City district, which is covered by the City of London Police.

1867 – First publication of an article by Joseph Lister outlining the discovery of antiseptic surgery, in The Lancet.

1870 – The first version of the overture fantasy Romeo and Juliet  by Tchaikovsky receives its premiere performance.

1872 – The Wanderers F.C. won the first FA Cup, the oldest football competition in the world, beating Royal Engineers A.F.C. 1-0 at The Oval in Kennington, London.

1918 – Geoffrey O’Hara’s “K-K-K-Katy” song was published.  “K-K-K-Katy” was a popular World War I-era song written by Canadian American composer Geoffrey O’Hara in 1917 and published in 1918. The sheet music advertised it as “The Sensational Stammering Song Success Sung by the Soldiers and Sailors”.

The lyrics tell of a brave but awkward soldier called Jimmy who is lovesick over the beautiful Katy. He buys a wedding ring before going to fight in France.  It was a top 20 song from May 1918 to January 1919 and was number 1 from July to September.

1926 – History of Rocketry: Robert Goddard launches the first liquid-fuelled rocket, at Auburn, Massachusetts, it travels 184′ (56 meters).

1935 – Adolf Hitler orders Germany to rearm herself in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Conscription is reintroduced to form the Wehrmacht.

1939 – From Prague Castle, Hitler proclaims Bohemia and Moravia a German protectorate.

1940 – First person killed (James Isbister) in a German bombing raid on the UK in World War II during a raid on Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands.

1958 – The Ford Motor Company produces its 50 millionth automobile, the Thunderbird, averaging almost a million cars a year since the company’s founding.

1962 – A Flying Tiger Line Super Constellation (a propeller-driven, four-engined airliner) disappears in the western Pacific Ocean, with all 107 aboard missing and presumed dead.

1964 – Capitol released the Beatles record “Can’t Buy Me Lovebacked with “You Can’t Do That”.

1968 – General Motors produces its 100 millionth automobile, the Oldsmobile Toronado.

1972 – John & Yoko are served with deportation papers.  The Nixon Administration tried to have Lennon deported from the U.S., as Richard Nixon believed that Lennon’s proactive antiwar activities and support for George McGovern could cost him re-election.  Republican Senator Strom Thurmond suggested, in a February 1972 memo, that “deportation would be a strategic counter-measure” against Lennon.  The next month the Immigration and Naturalisation Service began deportation proceedings against Lennon, arguing that his 1968 misdemeanour conviction for cannabis possession in London had made him ineligible for admission to the U.S. Lennon spent the next four years in deportation hearings.

1976 – UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson resigned. Harold Wilson, Labour leader for 13 years and prime minister for almost eight, stunned the political world by announcing his resignation. Mr Wilson, who had turned 60 five days previously, made his bombshell announcement to his Cabinet that morning.
BBC News story on the Day complete with video footage.

1978 – Supertanker Amoco Cadiz splits in two after running aground on the Portsall Rocks, three miles off the coast of Brittany, resulting in the 5th largest oil spill in history.

1985 – Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson is taken hostage in Beirut. He is released on December 4, 1991.
1988 – Iran-Contra Affair: Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Vice Admiral John Poindexter are indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

1988 – American off-road racing legend Mickey Thompson, and his wife Trudy were shot to death in their driveway. Thompson, known as the “Speed King,” set nearly 500 auto speed endurance records including being the first person to travel more than 400 mph on land.

On March 16, 1988 Mickey Thompson and his wife were killed by two gunmen at their home in Bradbury, California in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

An intense police investigation led nowhere until thirteen years after their deaths when former business partner Michael Frank Goodwin was charged in Orange County, California with the murders.  However, that case was overturned on jurisdictional grounds by the California District Court of Appeal.  On June 8, 2004, Goodwin was formally charged in Pasadena in Los Angeles County. In October 2006, a Pasadena Superior Court judge ordered Goodwin to stand trial for the murders.

On January 4, 2007 a jury found Michael Goodwin guilty of two counts of murder in the death of Mickey Thompson and his wife.  Goodwin was sentenced to two consecutive life-without-parole terms for the murders of Thompson and his wife. The judge also denied Goodwin’s motion for a new trial.

1994 – Tonya Harding plead guilty in Portland, OR, to conspiracy to hinder prosecution for covering up the attack on her skating rival Nancy Kerrigan. She was fined $100,000. She was also banned from amateur figure skating.

1995 – Mississippi formally ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the abolition of slavery.  The Thirteenth Amendment was officially ratified in 1865.

2001 – A series of bomb blasts that took place in the city of Shijiazhuang, China killed 108 people and injured 38 others, was the biggest mass murder in China in decades.

~  ❤  ~  ❤  ~  ❤  ~

Born on this Day

1789 – Georg Simon Ohm, German physicist (d. 1854) (discovered Ohm’s Law)

1839 – John Butler Yeats, Irish painter (d. 1922)

1856 – Napoléon Eugène, Prince Imperial, only child of Emperor Napoleon III of France (d. 1879)

1920 – Leo McKern, Australian-English actor (d. 2002)

1926 – Jerry Lewis, American comedian (d. 2017)

1948 – Michael Bruce, American musician (Alice Cooper)

1949 – Erik Estrada, Puerto Rican actor

1954 – Jimmy Nail, British actor and singer

1959 – Flavor Flav, American rapper, and reality tv star

1959 – Greg Dyer, Australian cricketer

1960 – Jenny Eclair, English comedian, actress and screenwriter

1961 – Todd McFarlane, Canadian comic book artist, writer and media entrepreneur, founded McFarlane Toys

1963 – Jerome Flynn, English actor and singer

1984 – Aisling Bea, Irish comedienne and actress

Died on this Day and remembered here

1970 – Tammi Terrell, American singer (b. 1945)

1975 – T-Bone Walker, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1910)

1983 – Arthur Godfrey, American actor and television host (b. 1903)

1998 – Derek Barton, English-American chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918)

2003 – Rachel Corrie, American activist (b. 1979)

2003 – Ronald Ferguson, English captain, polo player, and manager (b. 1931) (father of Sarah Ferguson)

2013 – Frank Thornton, English actor (b. 1921) (perhaps known best for playing Captain Peacock in Are You Being Served?)

2014 – Steve Moore, English author and illustrator (b. 1949)

2016 – Frank Sinatra, Jr., American singer and actor (b. 1944) ( son of singer and actor Frank Sinatra)


These are the jokes folks ….

Conjunctivitis.com – that’s a site for sore eyes

Police arrested two kids yesterday. One was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other one off.

I usually meet my friend at 12:59 – because I like that one-to-one time.

Is it possible to mistake schizophrenia for telepathy?  I hear you ask.

As a child I was made to walk the plank. We couldn’t afford a dog.

Whenever I see a man with a beard, moustache and glasses, I think,  ‘There’s a man who has taken every precaution to avoid people doodling on photographs of him’

I needed a password eight characters long so I picked  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

And now it’s coffee and contemplation time . . .

Cup of Coffee

Thought for the Day

If our eyes saw only souls instead of bodies, how differently do you think you’d actually see people?  Would you be able, I wonder, to see the struggles that they’ve been through, or are going through?  Would you be able to see that their outer persona of being  ‘non-approachable’  was actually just a self-protection thing, because of the amount of hurt and pain that person had suffered at the hands of others, and that in reality he/she was a soft gentle person with a heart which is able to love the world twice over?

If you saw only the soul of a person – would you still see the moody, aggressive teenager, or would you see the child they still were, and the bullying which they were experiencing at the hands of someone else?

If her soul presented itself to you next time you saw your mother –  would you see her as a nag who was constantly telling you how you need to __________ [fill in the blank space].  Or would you see how her love and concern for you is as strong today as it was the moment you were born, and what she’s actually doing now is simply trying to guide and protect you, because her love for you is all-encompassing?

This wonderful gift of seeing someone’s soul rather than seeing their ‘over-coat’ or body – is something we all need to put into action.  We need to use it as the tool which was actually given to us all at birth – but we’ve all forgotten how to do it.

So I’m here to gently push you into seeing the souls of people, instead of their ‘over-coat’.  It’s an easy enough thing to do.  Just remind yourself all the time to see the soul not the body – until eventually you won’t need to remind yourself for it will come naturally to you – just as breathing in and out does!

You’ll learn so much more, and you’ll treat people with more kindness, love, and understanding,  by seeing their soul, rather than their body.

~  ❤  ~  ❤  ~  ❤  ~

Well schools out and we’ve finished out Edumacation for this week.  I hope you’ve learned something that you can take out into the world and share with someone else.  People are going to think you’re oh SO clever!

This week has been a busy one here in Cobweb Towers.  phew!  Between Doctors appointments, hospital appointments, garage (car) visits,  Little Cobs visiting, (which is always a joy, but cooo,  he’s a Grammy Exhaustion Factory in one small boy!)  – and then, just to make sure that the cake had a cherry on the top:  the dishwasher turned its toes up and died.

Mr.Cobs says he doesn’t think we need to buy a new one because, he says, he really rather likes washing the dishes.  I’m not sure if I passed out at this point but I do feel that several hours are missing from that point.   We shall see if he changes his mind, and in the meantime I’ll do a bit of looking around the internet to see what’s on offer – just in case.

Well … that’s me done and dusted.  I shall hang my school teachers cap and gown up for another week and become the child I really am for the rest of the time.  😀

May your Friday be joyful, may your weekend be filled with warm smiles.  And may you find contentment nestling in your heart.

Sending squidges  … 

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The Friday Post ~ History Lesson for 9th March 2018

Welcome to Cobs Friday Class of Edumacation.  Please find your seat and make yourselves comfortable.  Put any gum in the bin, and no eating anything unless you’re prepared to share with the whole class!  I work on a fair system here in this classroom.

First, an apology. I’m sorry this post is a  little late   12 hours late today.  Through one thing and another I began it late, and then, just as I’d got the history part finished. . .  I realised that I’d covered yesterdays  history (8th March) instead of todays, (9th March)!!!

hmmm…  I can’t tell you the power that went into the following words:  “Well s*d it!  What a frickin’ idiot I am!”.   Mr.Cobs, – obviously a man who cares, – said how he felt about this huge blunder of mine by grinning widely and saying absolutely nothing.  I KNOW  it was killing him to say nothing,  so he has to be commended for keeping it zipped.

So, in light of me totally messing up, I decided today to KISS this weeks Friday Post.  KISS= Keep-It-Simple-Stupid!

Instead of giving you too much to read on any subject, I’m going to try to give you the information but in a more ‘punchy’ way.  This way it will be easier to read through, and if you find something you’d like to learn more about, then Mr. Google will be your best friend. 😀

Shall we jump in?  ….

9th March 2018

On this Day in History

1562 – Kissing in public banned in Naples (punishable by death)

1566 – David Rizzio, private secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots, is murdered in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland.

1793 – Jean Pierre Blanchard made the first balloon flight in North America. The event was witnessed by U.S. President George Washington.
1796 – Napoleon Bonaparte marries his first wife, Josephine de Beauharnais. They were divorced in 1809.

1822 – Charles M Graham of New York patents artificial teeth
1839 – Prussian government limits work week for children to 51 hours
1858 – Albert Potts was awarded a patent for the letter box.
1859 – The National Association of Baseball Players adopted the rule that limited the size of bats to no more than 2-1/2 inches in diameter.
1873 – Royal Canadian Mounted Police founded

1933 – Great Depression: President Franklin D. Roosevelt submits the Emergency Banking Act to the Congress, the first of his New Deal policies.

The Great Depression was a worldwide economic downturn starting in most places in 1929 and ending at different times in the 1930s or early 1940s for different countries. It was the largest and most important economic depression in the 20th century, and is used in the 21st century as an example of how far the world’s economy can fall. The Great Depression originated in the United States; historians most often use as a starting date the stock market crash on October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday.
The Great Depression was triggered by a sudden, total collapse in the stock market.

1946 – Bolton Wanderers stadium disaster at Burnden Park, Bolton, England, kills 33 and injures hundreds more.

1954 – The first local colour TV commercial WNBT-TV (WNBC-TV) New York NY (for “Castro Decorators“).
1956 – Weather forecasting phone line set up in London England


1959 – The Barbie doll makes its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York.

1961 – The Supremes released their first single, “I Want A Guy.”
1964 – The first Ford Mustang produced
1966 – The Beach Boys recorded “God Only Knows.”

1976 – Forty-two people die in a Cavalese cable-car disaster, the worst cable-car accident to date. The Cavalese cable car disaster near the Italian town Cavalese when a U.S. military plane cut a cable supporting a gondola of an aerial tramway, causing the death of 20 people. Cavalese is a ski-resort located in the Dolomites, some 40 km north-east of Trento.

The pilot of the military plane, Captain Richard J. Ashby, and his navigator, Captain Joseph Schweitzer, were put on trial in the United States and were found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide. Later they were found guilty of obstruction of justice for having destroyed a videotape recorded from the plane and were dishonourably discharged from the Marines.

This event put pressure on the international relationship between the United States and Italy, where it is known as “Massacre of Cermis”, because the acquittal of the pilots is considered outrageous.

1982 – “Krononauts” hosted an event in Baltimore, Maryland asking time-travellers to meet and demonstrate future science methods of Time travel.

1985 – “Gone With The Wind” went on sale in video stores across the U.S. for the first time

1990 – Dr. Antonia Novello is sworn in as Surgeon General of the United States, becoming the first female and Hispanic American to serve in that position.
1997 – Comet Hale-Bopp: Observers in China, Mongolia and eastern Siberia are treated to a rare double feature as an eclipse permits Hale-Bopp to be seen during the day.

2011 – Space Shuttle Discovery makes its final landing after 39 flights.


❤  ~  ❤  ~  ❤

Born on this Day.

1918 – Mickey Spillane, American writer (d. 2006)

1940 – Raúl Juliá, Puerto Rican actor (d. 1994)

1948 – Jeffrey Osborne, Providence RI, rock vocalist (On the Wings of Love)

1952 – Bill Beaumont, English rugby player

1959 – Barbie doll.

1964 – Steve Wilkos, American police officer and talk show host

1965 – Juliette Binoche – French actress (English Patient, Unbearable Lightness of Being)

Died on this Day and remembered here

1996 – George Burns, American actor and comedian (b. 1896)

~  ❤  ~


These are the jokes folks ….

Two mice meet and start chatting. “Look,” says one after a while, “I’ve got a new boyfriend!” and shows a picture on the mobile phone.

“OMG,” cries the other mouse, “that’s a bat!”

What?! The guy told me he was a pilot!”

Are you aware that searching for a new laptop online is basically forcing your current computer to dig its own grave!  😦

What if . . .  the spider I killed in my bedroom lived his whole life thinking I was his roommate and died wondering what brought on this psychotic break?

If you’re waiting to be served in a restaurant, shouldn’t you be called the waiter?

A wife goes to consult a psychiatrist about her husband: “My husband is acting so weird. He drinks his morning coffee and then he goes and eats the mug! He only leaves the handle!”

Psychiatrist: “Yes, that is weird. The handle is the best part.”

“You know how it is in life. One door closes – that means another door opens…”    “Yeah, very nice, but you either fix that or I’m expecting a serious discount on that car!”

Men in 1845:-  “I just killed a buffalo”.
Men  in  1952:-  “I just fixed the roof”.
Men  in  2018:-  “I just shaved my legs”.

I was making myself a Russian tea.  Unfortunately I can’t fish the teabag out of the vodka bottle.  

What did the toilet roll complain about?
“People just keep ripping me off!”

Teacher:- “OK class, who will give me the chemical formula for water?”
Pupil: “H I J K L M N O.” 
Teacher: “What on earth are you on about?”
Pupil: “Well you said yourself yesterday it was H to O!”

What a difference a good shower makes!
I was irritable, exhausted and I felt miserable.
Now I’m irritable, exhausted, I feel miserable, and I smell of grapefruit!

Q:-  What should you do when you see a spaceman?
A:-  You just park in it, man.

~  ❤  ~  ❤  ~  ❤  ~

And now dear reader it’s time for coffee and contemplation . . .


Thought for the Day

I learned a while ago, (a TV programme) that apparently birds follow the road system when they are trying to find their way. (???  eh?  mmmn.)

Now, I’m not so sure that I believe it . . .  but,  scientists claim to have proof.  Unfortunately, it seems nowadays, a scientist with ‘proof’ carries more authority than a priest with a hand written note from God Himself.

It’s sadly a disappointing side effect of  ‘progress’.

So if we are to believe this is true, then we must face the fact(?) that it’s not just us humans who have grown ‘out of touch’ with life’s natural rhythms, but animals as well.  Very soon we will come to that place  where never again will we be able to talk about travelling ‘as the crow flies’.

However – I have always wondered why,  (in some circumstances), science is so important,  when it can’t even prove the existence of love.  (just sayin’).

~  ❤  ~  ❤  ~  ❤  ~

Well that’s school over and done with, and it’s Friday.  Ahhhhh.  🙂

I like Fridays even the name sounds friendly when you say it.  I learnt when I was in school that Fridays meant that whatever happened during those next two days could only be brilliant and greater than the five days which preceded during which I had to attend school.  Don’t get me wrong, school was OK, but … it was school!

The snow has all gone from where I live – although there’s been enough rain to melt it, (and it’s POURING down as I type)  so if there is any snow left anywhere in Dorset, it must be because it was a snowman or a snow build of some sort.

Again … apologies for todays Edumacation being late.  There is a very good reason but I’ll not bother you with all the boring details – but building the history for the wrong day didn’t help!  [sigh – what a total dipstick!].  Thank you for coming and sharing a coffee moment with me.  It’s been brilliant to be in your company.

I wish you a blessed rest of your day,  where-ever you are in the world.   May your weekend be a breeze and joy to be living in.  May something make your heart smile, and may love touch your life.

Sending much love, ~

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The story of A Daffodil; a Poem; Happy un-Birthday Wishes; and a Handmade Card . . .

Back in January of this year, we had a smattering of snow here where I live in the South of England.  Now snow in January isn’t anything unusual – for we are in the winter months and winter can bring forth all sorts of weather – snow being one of them.

But what made the snow stand out for me was that I had one lone little Daffodil blooming in my garden.

It came to my notice in December last year. It grew taller and taller, over Christmas and into the New Year.  All alone, it stood up against winter rains, winter colds, winter winds and … even the cold smattering of snow could not rob this darling little thing which seemed to take on a personality by the time the snow came.  I’d began to actually talk to it, telling it that it was too soon for it to be poking its head out of its warm little bed.  I begged it not to unwrap its beautiful petals just yet, for it was far too cold. And then, determined to do its own thing, it unfurled and bloomed.   I talked to it daily, telling it how beautiful it was and how thankful I was for it to be there to greet me each day.  Even through the smattering of January snow it continued to be determined to stay with me.

Then the really bad winds came.  Those winds blew and blew, and the little brave daffodil fought on.  The wind was relentless and blew stronger and stronger – seemingly determined to take out the proud daffodil like some vile hit man who’d been hired to put an end to the joy of the Daffodil.  And it did.

The strong, violent wind blew the Daffodil over, and in doing so, broke the stem.  I felt dreadfully sad and had a moment of truly disliking winter winds with a passion.

It was during January that I shared the little Daffodil with a fellow blogger who I love to pieces.  Rabbit, of RabbitPatchDiary.com.  Rabbit posted a blog post on the 14th of January 2018, called  ‘To Love the Winter, Too’ – which was a total joy to read.  I commented on the post and within that comment I told her about the little Daffodil in my garden, saying:-

. . .  “. . .  it’s still Winter here in the United Kingdom, and yet …. there is a daffodil blooming in my front garden.  It grew and grew over Christmas, and a couple of days ago it burst into a great big smile.

I’ve explained gently to it that it’s a little early, and that the Sun hasn’t yet warmed up enough to shine the heat upon it and make it feel the rays of wonderment that I know it would normally enjoy. I just hope that it understood and is willing to hang around a little, until the sun does come out with some beautiful sun rays, just for this happy little daffodil.” . . . 

And this ↑ comment inspired Rabbit to compose the most beautiful poem which she blogged about, titling the post  ‘The Brave Little Daffodil’.  When I read the poem it made me choke back tears – for I knew that the Brave Little Daffodil in the poem was in fact my very own little Daffodil.

In a comment I told Rabbit that I would post a photograph of my Daffodil on my blog.  I’d taken a photograph of the Daffodil on the 16th of January and although the surroundings of the beautiful flower were dreary, dull, wet, and not terribly inspiring,  the appearance of the Daffodil was enough to bring joy to my heart.   I tried to make a post with the photo, but for some reason I just couldn’t make the words of my post show the wonderful feelings that this spark of wonderment had given me.  I failed totally.  So put it to one side, telling myself that perhaps I should just email the photo to Rabbit.

However, I now know why I wasn’t inspired to make that blog post at the time…  for something was happening which I needed to wait for.  Time had to pass in order for a whole triangle of love and inspiration to come into force,  and now it has.

A little while ago I realised that I’d missed a much-loved bloggers Birthday.  The blogger: Beverly of  ‘MoreInkPlease.com’ (aka LateBloomingDesigns), and hadn’t made her or sent her a card to celebrate her Birthday.  So I did what any decent friend would do …  I made her a Happy Unbirthday Card and posted it to her.  Late for her Birthday, but on time for her Un-Birthday!

Happy UnBirthday Card for Beverly 1

But what I didn’t know what that Beverly (of More Ink Please) was working on her own creation(s) which had been inspired by the Daffodil and the incredible poem which Rabbit (of Rabbit Patch Diaries) had written.

Beverly received her UnBirthday Card, and then confided in me that she was making something for me and a ‘something’ for someone else, so to expect something through the post soon.  (My excitement at this news is something I won’t share as I get so stupidly excited about Happy Mail that you’d think I was a child on Christmas Eve).

True to her word, a couple of weeks or so later, I received a package from Beverly, and upon opening it I found this incredible handmade card  . . .

Daffodil Card made by Beverly MoreInkPlease.com

. . . and was instantly touched deeply by the hard work which had gone into making those incredible Daffodils on the front of the card.

Cards are always beautiful things to receive, but a handmade card means the world to me.  Gifts are lovely – but for someone to ‘donate’ their time to you by making something for you is absolutely priceless to me, and because I feel like this I was instantly choked with emotion and gratitude that Beverly should go to SO much trouble.  But then …. I opened the card …. out popped a letter which Beverly had hand written to me, and … inside the card itself …  was the original poem which Rabbit had written in honour of my Winter Daffodil.

In the letter, Beverly confided that she’d made two of these cards, similar to each other but not the exact same, and that she’d sent the twin card to ….  Rabbit [of RabbitPatchDiary.com] – the writer of the poem!

This combination of two incredibly beautiful hearts joined together in one place and inspired by one lone little daffodil made the tears spill over my lashes and onto my cheeks.

As usual Mr. Cobs laughed at me and my tender heart and handed me the box of tissues.  I could barely speak to tell him why I was crying, I was so moved.

Let me share the poem which Rabbit wrote about my daffodil, with you :-

Very far away from me,

across the wild and open sea,

A brave little daffodil blooms,- I know,

because a fairy told me so.

He asked the rose to come along-

and the coral bells to sing their song-

But only the brave little daffodil.

had the courage and the will.

And so one cold and dreary day,

when springtime seemed so far away,

The fairy spied his gift of gold-

blooming, in the world so cold-

and so she did , what we all should-

she shared, when she found something good.

written by Rabbit of Rabbitpatchdiaries.com

. . .  and that was the poem that Beverly had collected up from Rabbits blog post, printed out and fixed into the inside of the amazing card which Bev had made for me.

The Brave Little Daffodil Poem by Rabbit

Finally I now I know why I hadn’t been able to post the photograph of the little Winter January Daffodil when I originally took the photograph back on the 16th of January this year.  ‘Time’ was waiting for the right moment for that Daffodil to bring about somethings which would require the Daffodil to be shared, so that it’s full and complete story could be told as ‘one’ and everything arrive together in one place.  Right here.  Right now.

So here, for the first time, is that one, lone little Daffodil, on a dreary Winter January day, stood all by itself in wet chipped bark and with little colour from anything else (except some small, evergreen conifer trees) to keep her company.

Daffodil taken 16 January 2018

‘Time’ made it so that I couldn’t find the correct words in order to share the Daffodil back in January.  And now, now that the sides of this wonderful triangle which was being made have come together, the time is right and I can share it.

Daffodil 16th Jan 2018

I’m so sorry Rabbit that you’ve had these weeks of waiting for a photo to appear.  I knew that it would happen, I just didn’t know when, or how, or why it was being made so difficult.  But now I do.  ‘Time’ was making me wait for everything to come together.  And, finally, now it has. 

Thank you all for coming and letting me share these wonderful people with you.  I’m so blessed to have them in my life.  If you haven’t met Rabbit or Beverly before … have a little look around their blogs.  You might just fall in love with them too!

Hoping your Thursday is behaving itself for you, and that your day goes smoothly, gently and uncomplicated as can be.  May joy be the undercurrent and contentment be the result.

Much love to you ~

Sig coffee copy

New Fairy Dragon Eggs, & meet one of the makers!

A hundred years ago ….  Ok, I might be exaggerating just slightly there. Let’s begin again.

Last month (February) I shared some Fairy Dragon Eggs that Little Cobs (my grandson) and I had made together.  They were a smash hit with him and he loved them.  So much so that I thought that while he was so enchanted with them, perhaps we could make just one or maybe two more, and enclose them so that they were protected, and (more importantly) they wouldn’t get lost or damaged.  So I put my thinking cap on and came up with the perfect idea.

Little Cobs comes for a visit on Tuesdays.  We collect him from School and he comes to Cobweb Towers for a bit of fun and his tea.

So on the previous day,  (Monday),  I made two tiny eggs – one around 2.5cm tall (just under an inch) and another approximately 1.25cm (which is little bit under half an inch), which I made from Hearty air dry clay, as I wanted them to be light in weight, and quick to dry.

Hearty Modelling Clay

Hearty Clay comes in a variety of colours, and they even have a super lightweight clay which would be fabulous for card adornments which have to go through the post.

The following day we went to collect him from school and, once he was safely ensconced in the car, I told him that I had got two tiny Fairy Dragons eggs in the house, and wondered if he would like to make them look amazing, since he was now considered an expert at Fairy Dragon Eggs.  He was all over the idea and didn’t stop talking about it all the way home.

He bounced into the house, hung his coat up, and was waiting at the table before I’d even managed to take my own coat off!

I stupidly didn’t bother taking photo’s of the undecorated eggs, because I thought “everyone knows what a white egg looks like” – but am now wishing that I’d have taken a photo of them,  next to a real [chicken] egg  –  so that you could see the size difference.  They looked exactly like eggs from the smallest chicken in the world!  Even the little chap said over and over how cute they were. Bless him.

I put out all the ‘Fairy Colours’ of Pinflair Buff-It, and told him to choose the ones he wanted to use.  He wanted them all.  (Thankfully I’d left the pots of ‘duller’ colours in the drawer).

I got out a selection of [cheap – pound shop] cosmetic sponges and put one on top of each of the Buff-it colours and he went to town.  He needed no reminder of how to apply the colours, and was so delicate and gentle.  Finally, when every last bit of both eggs was covered in the magical colours, he took a tissue and gently ‘polished’ them and made them shine and glow.

Hand Crafted TINY Fairy Dragons Eggs

The Magical Eggs shone, and his eyes shone and twinkled as he gazed at them.

I then produced something which caused him to gasp.  A tiny miniature ‘cake’ stand and matching dome.  I told him that we were going to put these eggs inside the dome and then seal the dome so that no one else could ever touch them, and, even better,  they would never get lost!  “They’ll be sealed inside the dome for alllll eternity.  For ever and ever and ever!”  I said. (trying to sell him the idea because I thought he might not ‘see’ my vision).  He saw. He loved the thought that he would be the only person who knew what these eggs felt like in his hand.

By the time we were ready to put the eggs into the dome it was almost time for him to go home, so I said that I could do that bit, he just had to show me where to put the Fairy Dragon Eggs inside the dome so that I got it perfectly right.  He put them on the stand, and then carefully put the dome on top.  He sat at the table and looked . . .   then gave me a whole new set of instructions of exactly how he wanted things done:

“Grammy – they need petals.  Flower petals.  On the bottom, and the eggs on the top of the petals.  Like in a nest.  You put petals on there and then the eggs on the petals”.

He looked deep into my eyes to see if I understood.  I smiled at him and repeated what he’d said, pointing to the cake stand top, to show I knew where he meant the petals to be.  He seemed satisfied that I understood.

Daddy arrived to collect him, and the last thing Little Cobs whispered to me was: “Don’t forget the PETALS, Grammy!”.   Bless his beautiful heart.  He melts me every time I see him.

I did exactly as I was instructed to do.  I didn’t forget the petals:

Hand Crafted TINY Fairy Dragons Eggs 3

It was stupidly difficult to photograph the Fairy Eggs when they were sealed inside their dome home, as the light kept bouncing off the curves.  But I did manage one which isn’t great – it’s a bit dull and flat, but it gives a slightly clearer view:

Hand Crafted TINY Fairy Dragons Eggs 4

That’s a penny in the picture, for reference

As you can see . . .  I didn’t forget the petals.  😀  lol.

In the end, I loved the look of these so much that I’ve decided that I’m going to make some for myself. They look so impressive in real life that I just HAVE TO!

When he came on the Saturday, he fell in love with his Fairy Dragon Eggs all over again. He took them home at the end of the day, and his mummy (daughter No.2) told me a couple of days later, that the Fairy Eggs had barely left his side since he’d taken them home.  He was carrying them around with him everywhere he played.

I promised, in the title of this post, that you could meet the maker . . .  and you shall…

We’ve had snow here in Dorset in the last few days, and obviously, like all children do – Little Cobs wanted to play in it … and his mummy took photo’s.  She sent me some in a text message … and although I’m extra mega careful of sharing photographs of children on-line,  I asked, for the first time ever, if mummy would mind if I shared one of the photographs on my blog, so that you could see the little chap who I’m totally nuts about … and mummy said yes!

So here, with an enormous amount of pride [which bursts out of me like rays of the brightest sun, shining through every pore on my body], is my fabulous Grandson – Little Cobs…

Photo NOT for reproduction in any way Property of Cobweborium Emporium

photograph not for reproduction – altered or otherwise.

…  I’m totally dotty about this child. He’s an incredibly handsome little chap.  The product of a very pretty mommy (daughter No.2) and a very handsome daddy (son-in-law, husband of D.No.2).   But …  he has my eyes – the same colour of Hazel, with the same flashes of gold dotted randomly around the iris, which really show up when he’s happily excited about something.

This isn’t the end of the crafty creations that he and I have made together over the past couple of weeks.  I still have one final thing to share – but that will wait for another day.

Thank you for coming and sharing a coffee with me.  Wishing you a happy rest of your day. 

Love . . . 

Sig coffee copy



The Friday Post ~ Your Edumacation for 2nd March 2018

Aaand here we are again. Another Friday Edumacation and yet another week where I haven’t posted any crafty things.  [sigh]  I do have things.  Two things in fact – but I can’t find where I saved the photos on my ‘puter!   Thankfully, I still have the photos on my phone, so I can load them all over again, re-size them, add the watermark and then load them onto the media bit of my blog.  Of course … none of this would have happened if  … (get ready for a bit of singing)  … 🎵 🎶  ‘if I only had a brain’  🎵 🎶 

But I haven’t, so doing the loading/re-sizing/water-mark/saving  combo,  all over again, is the choice I have.

Aaanywhooo….  Let’s get going with your edumacation, shall we?

2nd March

On this Day in History

1717 – The Loves of Mars and Venus becomes the first ballet performed in England.

1903 – The Martha Washington Hotel opened for business in New York City. The hotel had 416 rooms and was the first hotel exclusively for women.

1923 – Time magazine debuts
1925 – State and federal highway officials developed a nationwide route-numbering system and adopted the familiar U.S. shield-shaped, numbered marker.

1933 – The film King Kong opens at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.

1943 – 173 people die in the Bethnal Green Tube Disaster, London, the worst civilian disaster of World War 2.
The Bethnal Green Disaster @ Wikipedia.

1949 – Captain James Gallagher lands his B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II in Fort Worth, Texas after completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight in 94 hours and one minute.
1949 – The first automatic street light was installed in New Milford, Conn.

1950 – Silly Putty was invented.  Silly Putty (originally called nutty putty, and also known as Potty Putty) is a silicone plastic, marketed today as a toy for children, but originally created as an accident during the course of research into potential rubber substitutes for use by the United States during World War II.

During World War II, the USA was looking for a synthetic rubber compound because of the difficulties in obtaining natural rubber from the Far East.  In researching this problem, James Wright of General Electric reacted boric acid with silicone oil and produced a gooey material – though it bounced it was certainly not a rubber substitute. No uses for it were found until the 1950’s when its potential as a toy was realised.  It was after its success as a toy that other uses were found.  It has found applications in medical and scientific simulations, and has also been used in stress-reduction and physical therapy.  In the home it can be used to pick up dirt, lint and pet hair, and it was even used by Apollo astronauts to secure tools in zero-gravity.

Silly Putty

History of Silly Putty
Silly Putty’s origin was due to a wartime accident.  During World War II, Japan invaded rubber producing countries in order to cut off the United States supply of rubber.  It was needed in order to produce tires for vehicles, boots for solders, gas masks, rafts, and even bombers.  To help combat the lack of rubber US citizens were asked to donate any rubber around their house such as spare tires, rubber boots, and rubber rain coats.  All rubber made products were rationed and citizens had to make their products last till the end of the war.  Also in response the government asked producers to try and come up with a synthetic rubber compound.

In 1943, James Wright, a Scottish engineer, worked for General Electric in a New Haven, Connecticut laboratory.  Combining a boric acid and silicone oil, Wright had ended up with a putty that had some unique properties.  The putty would bounce when dropped, and could stretch farther than regular rubber, would not collect mould, and had a very high melting temperature.  Unfortunately the substance did not contain the properties needed to replace rubber. In 1945 hoping there was a use for his new developed putty Wright sent a sample to scientists all around the world, but no practical use was ever found.

Finally, in 1949, the putty reached the owner of a toy store, Ruth Fallgatter, who contacted Peter Hodgson, a marketing consultant, to produce her catalogue and discuss bouncing putty.  The two decided to market their bouncing putty selling it in a clear case for $2.  The putty outsold every item in the catalogue except for 50-cent Crayola crayons.  Despite the fortune it made, Fallgatter did not pursue it any more, but Hodgson saw its potential.

Already $12,000 in debt, Hodgson borrowed $147 to buy a batch of the putty to pack one ounce portions into plastic eggs for $1, calling it silly putty.  After making progress in the industry, even selling over 250,000 eggs of silly putty in three days, Hodgson was almost put out of business in 1951 by the Korean War.  Silicone, a main ingredient in silly putty, was put on ration, hurting his business.  In 1952, a year later, the restriction on silicone was lifted and silly putty production resumed.  In the beginning, its target market was mainly adults.  However, by 1955 the majority of the consumers were aged 6 through 12.  In 1957 Hodgson produced the first televised commercial for silly putty, which aired during the Howdy Doody Show.

In 1961, Silly Putty went worldwide, becoming a hit in the Soviet Union, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Switzerland.  Silly Putty went to the moon in 1968 with the Apollo 8 astronauts.

Peter Hodgson died in 1976.  A year later, Binney and Smith, the makers of Crayola products, acquired the rights to Silly Putty.  By 1987, Silly Putty had pushed sales to over two million eggs annually.
CLICK HERE to be taken to a cutting from a newspaper talking about silly putty, from years ago – includes photographs.  (this will open in another window for you).  When the page loads, click on the newspaper clipping to enlarge it so that you can read it easily.

1953 – The Academy Awards are first broadcast on television by NBC.  The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognise excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers.  The formal ceremony at which the awards are presented is one of the most prominent film award ceremonies in the world.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences itself was conceived by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio boss Louis B. Mayer.

Acadamey Award

The 1st Academy Awards ceremony was held on Thursday, May 16, 1929, at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood to honour outstanding film achievements of 1927 and 1928.  It was hosted by actor Douglas Fairbanks and director William C. deMille.

1958 – 1st surface crossing of Antarctic continent is completed in 99 days by Sir Vivian Ernest Fuchs FRS (February 11, 1908 – November 11, 1999).  Fuchs was an English explorer whose expeditionary team completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica in 1958.

1965 – “Sound Of Music” opens.  The Sound of Music is a musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse.  It is based on Maria von Trapp’s book  ‘The Story of the Trapp Family Singers’.  Songs from the musical that have become standards include “The Sound of Music”, “Edelweiss”, “My Favourite Things”, “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”, and “Do-Re-Mi”.

The original Broadway production opened in November 1959, and the show has enjoyed numerous productions and revivals since then.  It was made into a popular 1965 movie musical.  The Sound of Music was the final musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein;  Hammerstein died of cancer nine months after the premiere.

1968 – Baggeridge Colliery closes marking the end of over 300 years of coal mining in The Black Country.

The Black Country is a region of the West Midlands in England, west of Birmingham.  During the Industrial Revolution, it became one of the most industrialised parts of Britain with coal mines, coking, iron foundries, glass factories, brick-works and steel mills.

Baggeridge Colliery – closing on 2 March 1968, marked the end of an era after some 300 years of mass coal mining in the region.

Links:  The Black Country – explained by Wikipedia (will open in a new tab for you). 

 … and …  The Black Country Living Museum (BCLM) – which is a wonderful website giving you a glimpse into the Living Museum itself.  It’s not a typical building type of museum, but roads, streets lots of buildings – and as you walk in through the entrance – you’re instantly taken back to times gone by.  All the money used is the money of the time.  All the people there are dressed exactly as people of the time would be dressed.  It’s a clickable website which is easy to navigate and very much worthy of a look.  Nostalgia will probably sweep you along, if you are ‘of an age’, and if you’re ever in the area – I would strongly recommend a trip there. (The link will open in a new tab for you).

1969 – In Toulouse, France the first test flight of the Anglo-French Concorde is conducted.
BBC News on the Day

1976 – Walt Disney World logged its 50 millionth guest
1978 – 1st broadcast of “Dallas” on CBS TV

1983 – Compact Disc recordings developed by Phillips & Sony introduced
1989 – Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” premieres on worldwide Pepsi commercial

1989 – Twelve European Community nations agree to ban the production of all chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by the end of the century.

The haloalkanes (also known as halogenoalkanes or alkyl halides) are a group of chemical compounds, consisting of alkanes, such as methane or ethane, with one or more halogens linked, such as chlorine or fluorine, making them a type of organic halide.  They are a subset of the halocarbons, similar to haloalkenes and haloaromatics.  They are known under many chemical and commercial names.  As flame retardants, fire extinguishants, refrigerants, propellants and solvents they have or had wide use.  Some haloalkanes (those containing chlorine or bromine) have been shown to have negative effects on the environment such as ozone depletion.  The most widely known family within this group is the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

A haloalkane is a chemical compound derived from an alkane by substituting one or more hydrogen atoms with halogen atoms.  Mixed compounds are also possible, the best-known examples being the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which are mainly responsible for ozone depletion.

Freon is a trade name for a group of chlorofluorocarbons used primarily as a refrigerant. The word Freon is a registered trademark belonging to DuPont.

Two groups of haloalkanes, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs), are targets of the Kyoto Protocol. [1] Allan Thornton, President of Environmental Investigation Agency, an environmental watchdog, says that HFCs are up to 12,500 times as potent as carbon dioxide in global warming.  Wealthy countries are clamping down on these gases.  Thornton says that many countries are needlessly producing these chemicals just to get the carbon credits.  Thus, as a result of carbon trading rules under the Kyoto Protocol, nearly half the credits from developing countries are from HFCs, with China scoring billions of dollars from catching and destroying HFCs that would be in the atmosphere as industrial byproducts.

On September 21, 2007, approximately 200 countries agreed to accelerate the elimination of hydrochlorofluorocarbons entirely by 2020 in a United Nations-sponsored Montreal summit.  Developing nations were given until 2030. Many nations, such as the United States and China, who had previously resisted such efforts, agreed with the accelerated phase out schedule.

1990 – Nelson Mandela is elected deputy President of the African National Congress.

1991 – Battle at Rumaila oil field brings an end to the 1991 Gulf War.

1994 – Branch Davidian cult leader David Koresh promises to surrender if taped statement is broadcast; it is, but he doesn’t.  David Koresh (August 17, 1959 – April 19, 1993) was the leader of a Branch Davidian religious sect, believing himself to be the final prophet.  A 1993 raid by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and subsequent siege by the FBI ended with the burning of the Branch Davidian ranch. Koresh, 53 adults and 21 children died in the fire.  Read more about this man, here: David Koresh @ Wikipedia

1995 – British trader Nick Leeson arrested for collapse of Barings Bank PLC. Nicholas Leeson (born February 25, 1967) was a former derivatives trader whose unsupervised speculative trading caused the collapse of Barings Bank, the United Kingdom’s oldest investment bank.

In 1992, he was appointed general manager of a new operation in futures markets on the Singapore International Monetary Exchange (SIMEX).  Barings had held a seat on SIMEX for some time, but did not activate it until Leeson was sent over.

Leeson 1

From 1992, Leeson made unauthorized speculative trades that at first made large profits for Barings; £10 million which accounted for 10% of Barings’ annual income.  He earned a bonus of £130,000 on his salary of £50,000 for that year.  However, his luck soon went sour, and he used one of Barings’ error accounts (accounts used to correct mistakes made in trading) to hide his losses.  The account was numbered 88888 — a number considered very lucky in Chinese numerology.  Leeson claims that this account was first used to hide an error made by one of his colleagues; rather than buy 20 contracts as the customer had ordered, she had sold them, costing Barings £20,000.  However, Leeson used this account to cover further bad trades. He insists that he never used the account for his own gain, but in 1996 the New York Times quoted “British press reports” as claiming that investigators had located approximately $35 million in various bank accounts tied to him.

Management at Barings Bank also allowed Leeson to remain Chief Trader while being responsible for settling his trades, jobs that are usually done by two different people.  This made it much simpler for him to hide his losses from his superiors.

By the end of 1992, the account’s losses exceeded £2 million, which ballooned to £208 million by the end of 1994.

There were clues in Leeson’s lifestyle off the trading floor that he was headed for trouble.  In October 1994 he was arrested and spent a night in a Singaporean jail after an incident in which he exposed his buttocks in public to two women.  His superiors at Barings persuaded The International Financing Review to re-write a planned reference to the incident in its gossip column to cover it up.

The beginning of the end occurred on 16 January 1995, when Leeson placed a short straddle in the Stock Exchange of Singapore and Tokyo stock exchanges, essentially betting that the Japanese stock market would not move significantly overnight.  However, the Kobe earthquake hit early in the morning on January 17, sending Asian markets, and Leeson’s investments, into a tailspin.  Leeson attempted to recoup his losses by making a series of increasingly risky new investments, this time betting that the Nikkei Stock Average would make a rapid recovery.  But the recovery failed to materialise, and he succeeded only in digging a deeper hole.

Realising the gravity of the situation, Leeson left a note reading “I’m Sorry” and fled on 23 February.  Losses eventually reached £827 million (US$1.4 billion), twice the bank’s available trading capital.  After a failed bailout attempt, Barings was declared insolvent on 26 February.

After fleeing to Malaysia, Thailand and finally Germany, Leeson was arrested and extradited back to Singapore on 2 March 1995, though his wife Lisa was allowed to return to England.  While he had authorisation for the January 15 short straddle, he was charged with fraud for deceiving his superiors about the riskiness of his activities and the scale of his losses.  Several observers (and Leeson himself) have placed much of the blame on the bank’s own deficient internal auditing and risk management practices.  Indeed, the Singapore authorities’ report on the collapse was scathingly critical of Barings management, claiming that senior officials knew or should have known about the “five eights” account.

Sentenced to six and a half years in Changi Prison in Singapore, he was released from prison in 1999, having been diagnosed with colon cancer, which he survived despite grim forecasts at the time.

While in prison, in 1996, Leeson published an autobiography, Rogue Trader, detailing his acts.  A review in the financial columns of the New York Times stated, “This is a dreary book, written by a young man very taken with himself, but it ought to be read by banking managers and auditors everywhere.”

Nick Leeson & Leona Tormay

Nick Leeson’s first wife Lisa divorced him while he was in prison. He married an Irish beautician, Leona Tormay, (above)  in 2003 and they now live in Barna, County Galway in the west of Ireland.  He is a regular guest on the after-dinner speaking circuit.  He was appointed Commercial Manager of Galway United Football Club in April 2005, rising to the position of General Manager in late November 2005.  By July 2007 he had become the club’s CEO.  He still finds time to deal in the stock markets, but only with his own money.

In June 2005, Leeson released a new book Back from the Brink: Coping with Stress. It picks up his story where Rogue Trader left off, including in-depth conversations with psychologist Ivan Tyrrell asserting how the prolonged periods of severe stress that affected Leeson’s mental and physical health have parallels in many other people’s lives.
Nick Leeson’s Official Website
Leeson’s legacy lives on in Singapore
Business: The Economy How Leeson broke the bank

1998 – Data sent from the Galileo spacecraft indicates that Jupiter’s moon Europa has a liquid ocean under a thick crust of ice.

2004 – NASA announced that the Mars rover Opportunity had discovered evidence that water had existed on Mars in the past.

❤  ~  ❤  ~  ❤

Born on this Day.

1904 – Dr Seuss [Theodor Geisel] American writer, cartoonist and children’s book author

1917 – Desi Arnaz, Cuban-born American actor (Ricky Ricardo-I Love Lucy) and bandleader (d. 1986)

1923 – Basil Hume, English cardinal (d. 1999)

1931 – Mikhail Gorbachev, Russian lawyer and politician, President of the Soviet Union, Nobel Prize laureate

1942 – Lou Reed, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor (d. 2013)

1947 – Harry Redknapp, English footballer and manager

1950 – Karen Carpenter, American singer and drummer (The Carpenters) (d. 1983)

1955 – Jay Osmond Ogden UT, singer (Osmond Brothers, Donny & Marie)

1956 – Mark Evans, Australian rock bassist (AC/DC)

1958 – Ian Woosnam, Welsh golfer

1962 – Jon Bon Jovi, American musician (Bon Jovi)

1968 – Daniel Craig, English actor – the sixth actor to portray the fictional intelligence officer James Bond.

1971 – Dave Gorman, English documentary comedian

1977 – Chris Martin, English musician (Coldplay)

1980 – Rebel Wilson, Australian actress and screenwriter

1988 – James Arthur, English singer-songwriter

~  ❤  ~

Died on this Day  and remembered here

1930 – D. H. Lawrence, English novelist, poet, playwright, and critic (b. 1885)

1999 – Dusty Springfield, English singer (b. 1939)

2007 – Thomas S. Kleppe, American soldier and politician, 41st United States Secretary of the Interior (b. 1919)

2012 – James Q. Wilson, American political scientist and academic (b. 1931)

2016 – Benoît Lacroix, Canadian priest, historian, and philosopher (b. 1915).

~  ❤  ~


These are the jokes folks ….

Husband:  “Oh the weather is lovely today. Shall we go out for a quick jog?“
Wife: “Ha!, I love the way you pronounce ‘Shall we go out and have a cake’!”

I asked my daughter if she’d seen my newspaper.  She told me that newspapers are old school.  She said that people use tablets nowadays and handed me her iPad.  The fly didn’t stand a chance. 

I went to the petting zoo today.   Not one person would stroke me.

Mr Cobs keeps telling me that he has the body of a Greek god.  I’m going to have to explain where Buddha actually comes from.

What does a cloud with an itchy rash do?  . . .  It finds the nearest skyscraper.

What would you call a female magician in the desert? . . .  A sandwich.   (Get it?  If not – say it slowly out loud. lol)

I used to breed rabbits.  Then I realised they can handle it themselves.

Need cheering up?  Start a fight with somebody when they have the hiccoughs!

According to my mirror I am pregnant.  The father is Nutella.

If you had to decide between a diet and a piece of chocolate, would you prefer dark, white or milk chocolate?

I’m all for irony, but the phrase “Good morning” seems to be going a bit too far.

~  and now, dear reader, it’s time for coffee and contemplation.  ~

Cup of Coffee

Thought for the day

I read something a few days ago that said children laughed approximately 400 times a day, but adults laugh only about 20 times a day.

So … this got me thinking, and …. I’m here with a challenge.

Get a note-book.  Or a few sheets of printer paper, and fold them in half to make a little note book, and then sit the ‘book’ next to your computer, with a pen.  Then …  DAILY write down at least three things that you’re grateful for.

Actually put them down on paper.  I don’t care how mundane you think they are.  I don’t care how daft they might look to other people.  If you’re grateful for it, then it’s worth while acknowledging.  And what’s more … if you begin to find that you can name more than three things, then keep going!

I’m not going to ask you in a weeks time to share your list with anyone.  Obviously … you can if you wish, but this challenge isn’t that sort of challenge.

This challenge is a personal, just to yourself, challenge, to find things in your life that you love;  that make your life wonderful;  things that, if they suddenly disappeared from your life,  you’d miss them.  

It could be a person or a group of folks.  It could be your home.  Your spouse/partner.  Your car.  Your garden.  The people in the local shop(s).  The store across the road.  Your job.  Your colleagues.  It could be the health people at your doctors or hospital who know their jobs so well that they’re working hard on your behalf to sort out a problem.

It could be a friend …  or a few friends.  It could even be your computer!

Yes, … actually …  that’s a good one.  Just think how miserable your days would be if your computer no longer worked.  You certainly wouldn’t be able to be here reading this, would you?

Let’s make some changes in our lives which would make us feel more positive.  Make us feel great.  Give us something wonderful to get up for in the morning.

Let’s remind ourselves of how darned rootin’ tootin’ fabulous life itself is, and how privileged we are to have been blessed with what we are blessed with.

Count your blessings.  Go on . . .   start now.  START RIGHT NOW.

~  ❤  ~  ❤  ~  ❤  ~

Well, that’s school over and done with.  We’ve taken care of your edumacation;  we’ve done a bit of physical education and exercised your chuckle muscle;  and we’ve taken care of your mental health by giving you something to think about.  And this week, just for a change …. you’ve got homework.  Your note-book and pen will be put to good use every day as you write your three (or more) things you’re blessed with.

I’ve already got one of my things in my book ….  you!  I’m blessed with having YOU in my life.  You’re one of my blessings.  Thank you for being you.  I love who you are.

Well … I guess it’s time for us to now move our bodies and get a bit of a happy wriggle on.  So drink up the last sips of your coffee, and we’ll get on with Friday, shall we?

I’ll have to put on my snow shoes, because we’ve got a ‘fabulous’ falling of snow here, and although it’s stopped for the time being (as I’m typing)  …. the weather people are saying that there’s going to be another shed load delivered during the night.

The poor dog isn’t happy about it.  She’s only got short legs, and she’s got a big belly … so the belly gets dragged through the snow.  Having a ‘tiddle’ isn’t the fun thing it normally is … and finding a place to … well … do the ‘other’ thing … she’s totally flummoxed.  Where’s the grass and the dirt???  I swear to Dog that she’s blaming Mr. Cobs for this stuff.  LOL.

Now the cats …   well . . .  Alf Capone finds the whole thing LOTS of fun especially on the decking, for as each tiny flake lands he bats it onto the decking to catch it.  Problem is that this stuff is magical.  He KNOWS he caught ‘it’ …. but when he lifts his great big panther sized paw, the thing has disappeared!  GASP!!!  So funny.  He can’t figure it out.

However ... Miss Maisie Dotes thinks she’s way above and beyond this ridiculous stuff, after all, everyone knows she’s a Princess, and whatever the white stuff is, it’s not anything like Princessy, so can we please get it cleaned up as it’s making climbing the fence a wholly disappointing thing to attempt.  Plus … it’s too cold on her tiny Princess toes.

These animals are such a joy.  I love them from nose to toes to tip of tail.

Oh look …  three more blessings!  Hey heeey..…  I’m beating you already!  You’d better get a big wriggle on because at this rate I’m going to have filled my book before you’ve got to the end of page one!  LOL

Have a truly fabulous Friday, and may your weekend fill you with joy, warmth and contentment.

Sending you love from me, here in my corner, to you, there in yours.

Sig coffee copy