Things I’ve Learned This Week

Hap Pee Fry Day!  (say it out loud if it didn’t make sense just reading it) 🙂

My education has grown in height and in width this week –   and funnily enough, my figure has grown in width too –  there’s a strange thing!  Wouldn’t know why it’s happened.  It’s not like I’ve eaten chocolate every da……  ah.  no.  Ahem ….  Actually, I might know why that’s happened.  (suck it in Cobs.  Suck it in).  😀

So anyhoo … You’re waiting to find out what lessons Life has taught me this week, aren’t you?  So  I guess I’d better dive in and drag you under with me.  Put your Snorkel on Madge, and buckle down your Scuba diving equipment Albert …  we’re going in!

My Edumacationamilisation began last Saturday morning whilst in the shower.  DON’T WALK OUT!  OY!!!  This is not a mucky story, so sit back down and pin back your lug ‘oles!

I’d done all the body shower bit, and washed my hair,  and was doing a final rinse of my face.  I cupped my hands under the water as it rained down, and getting a little handful, I raised my hands to SPLASH the water all over my face when the accident happened.

I misjudged the distance to my face and in doing so, I scrapped my thumb nail up my chin.  Ooooo!  That stung.  “Cooo”, I thought, “I bet that will leave a red mark!”  I said to myself (and yes, I admit there was a bit of swear word in there somewhere … ‘dash’ and darn’.  That sort of thing because it did rather hurt).  After all the splashing I got out of the shower and looked into the mirror on the door of the bathroom cabinet.

Hells Bells Woman!  You’ve done a grand job there!”  I said, looking at the red mark on my chin.  I stepped closer to the mirror.  “Ohh heck!“.  I looked in the mirror and could see that this wasn’t just a mark.  This was several layers of skin which I’d taken off, and it was bleeding  –  rather a lot.

Summing up … the outing I’d planned for that Saturday had to go ‘by the bye’ –  because Life taught me to: Be More Careful When Washing  my face, because my hands (and finger nails) are the most magnificent weapons of destruction.

A week later and I’m still sporting a nasty wound to my face.  It’s healing – but not as fast as I’d like.

I learned this week:-   that Florida has more bear hunters than it has bears.  Which led me to wondering why there were ANY bears in Florida at all in that case!   Just that.  Nothing moreBut I thought it was an interesting thought.

I also learned this week …  that  Nostalgia was classified as a disease by the Royal College of Physicians until 1899.  Yes, seriously.  It was considered to be a ‘Crippling Mental Illness’.

Emigrants and soldiers would often fall victim to nostalgia, and it was thought that if it wasn’t stopped fairly quickly, it would end in victims wasting away and losing their ability to adjust and cope with daily life.

However,  more recently, studies have been conducted on nostalgia and have discovered that there are actually some benefits to it—a far cry from the ideas that contracting nostalgia would make a person give up on life and simply waste away. Researchers at the University of Southampton have found that indulging in a bit of nostalgic reminiscing might make a person sad for a short period, but in the long run, it serves as a comfort.

I also learned that . . .  When you blush so does the lining of your stomach Yes, I thought it was an early April Fools Joke too, so I went in search of more details to make sure that I wasn’t believing in the ‘Money Tree’  . . . .   and this is what I found…

Blushing is a response that is the result of the sympathetic nervous system causing increased blood flow throughout the body. During periods of embarrassment, the body releases adrenaline, a hormone that prepares the body for stressful situations. Adrenaline also makes the blood vessels dilate in order to improve blood flow and oxygen delivery in case the body has to suddenly flee a dangerous situation. The veins in the face, as well as in the stomach lining and throughout the rest of the body, then have more blood than normal flowing through them, and they appear red.

Now this next bit of edumacationamilisation totally floored me.  BUT …. Before I share it with you I need to tell you about a place called Cornwall.  Cornwall is a fabulous holiday destination here in the UK. For those of you who have seen and watched the programme  Doc Martin – Cornwall is where Doc Martin is filmed.  It’s a truly lovely place and I have fond childhood memories of holidaying there.  It’s in the South of England.

A map to help you visualise where Cornwall is….

Map showing Cornwall

Cornwall is down in the south, at the far point on the left.  Next to it is Devon, another beautiful place, where, if you meet a local who’s been there for all their life, they’ll pronounce it:  Debun  (but it actually comes out as: Debn).  Next to Devon, along the coast line,  is Dorset – or ‘Darsit’, if you’ve lived there all your life.  Dorset is where you’ll find  Mr.Cobs and myself, and Little Cobs (and his Mummy and Daddy).  Mr.Cobs and I are generally trying to find as much fun and as many giggles as possible, all without the aid of alcohol.  (mostly)

But back to the plot:-

The world’s only Cornish pasty museum is in Mexico.  Those of you from the United Kingdom will perhaps now have eyes as wide as saucers and you’ll be scoffing at me saying this.  Yup … that’s how I felt when I learned about this.  So… me being me … I double checked …  and guess what … it’s  t.r.u.e. 

The world’s first museum dedicated to the “delicacy” is in the mining municipality of Real del Monte,  more than 4,500 miles away from Cornwall,  in Mexico.

The pasty has been in Mexico for generations,  having been taken to the country  along with football  and technology by Cornish miners in 1824,  as they helped build up the local mining industry.

For those who might not know what a Cornish Pasty looks like…..

 

Genuine Cornish Pasty

A Genuine Cornish Pasty.

Genuine Cornish Pasties have their crimping around the side, as you see in the above photo.  However … when I make my own Cornish Pasties, I always put my crimping over the top, like the ones in the picture below.

top crimped cornish pasty

Top Crimped Cornish Pasties, being made.

You can imagine how both funny and weird I found it when I learned that here is Cornwall, nestled in the UK.  A place of beauty  and wonder, Cornish Pixies, incredible people, great places to visit, AND … famous for it’s fabulous Pasties … and yet …  the only Cornish Pasty Museum is four and a half thousand miles away in Mexico!  There is something very strange about this.  Something has gone badly wrong.  The World has surely gone mad!!!

Nope .. still can’t make head nor tail of that one.

I also learned this week …

  • That a group of Unicorns is called a blessing.
  • A group of Shrews is called  A Whisker
  • A group of Ladybirds is called A Loveliness
  • A group of Snails is called an Escargatoire
  • A group of Hippopotamuses is called A Bloat
  • A group of Ponies is called A String
  • A group of Hyenas is called A Cackle
  • A group of Pekingese is called A Pomp
  • A group of Owls is called A Parliament
  • A group of Ravens is called A Storytelling  – or – An Unkindness
  • A group of Husbands is called A Couch or A Bench
  • A group of Wives is called …. A Nag  (the cheek of it!)
  • A group of Guinea Pigs is called A Muddle
  • A group of Caterpillars is called An Army
  • A group of Parrots is called A Pandemonium.
  • A group of Porcupines is called A Prickle.

I also learned this week …..

That even the wonderful Twillweld, that most brilliant of wire netting used on Aviaries, chicken runs, guinea pig and rabbit hutches,  is no match for a bloody minded mouse with food on its mind!

Rabbit Hutch

Not ‘our’ rabbit hutch, but ours is similar in design.  Ours has two doors and a central non-opening section, downstairs, and a larger bedding section on the upstairs section.

You can see in the photo above how tiny the holes are in the Twillweld wire on the hutch.  We’ve had the hutch since my rabbit was born and never had a problem with it.  However … read on dear reader,  read on!

We found a mouse had managed to get into my rabbits cage, and had set up home in there, happily munching away on all the lovely rabbit food my bunny has, and made itself very snuggly in all the hay she has to eat, and straw she has for her bedding.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!! (and some swear words thrown in there because I’m so cross).

THEN … when Mr. Cobs had found the little blighter  –  it ran out of the hutch and passed Mr.C at a gazillion miles an hour, so that it couldn’t be caught. Now how this happened is a total mystery to Mr.C and myself … because not only was Mr.C on the case, wanting to catch said mouse and take it far away, into the woods, to leave it there – as per my instructions.   But our two cats were on guard duty – one at the rear of the hutch, one at the side, waiting, waiting, waitingone of which was Alf Capone (Used Furniture Dealer) – who IS a killer of mice (and pigeons, garden birds, – and also a thief, as I’ve previously discussed), AND ALSO, bringing up the rear and checking for any escapees, was Madam Jack Russell, (aka: my little fat bitch – because she is.  Fat, and a bitch)  who finds mice and rats and the killing of, a pastime.  So how that cheeky mouse got past my army, I have absolutely no idea!  I know it went under the hutch, because I saw it go…  and so did my cats (Alf Capone was at this stage going crazy to get it.  He knew it was under the hutch) – but when Mr.C came back from his trip to his shed, bringing with him a long piece of wood which he ‘swept’ under the hutch, back and forth – absolutely nothing came out.  We had no idea where it went.  Nor did the cats.

So Miss fluffy bunny rabbit was totally cleaned out and everything was either thrown away or washed and put back into the rabbit hutch.

Two days later . . .  Mr.C found that mouse b*gger had only got back in there again and been busy stashing food into a corner behind the rabbits litter tray for itself.  Mr.C found it because he saw the mouse droppings around the insides of the hutch.  But upon searching, there was no mouse to be found.  So another clean up followed and some changes were made.

Dearest Mr.C has sealed off the lower floor of the hutch from the upper floor,  and he’s taken away the ladder, as my rabbit is quite old now and no longer used the upstairs part of her hutch as she didn’t find it easy to clamber up it any longer.  So by doing what he’s done he’s made sure that the blasted thing can’t get to my rabbit again,

So … she’s moved upstairs and only she is there.  Mr.C has then paid some attention to the lower part of the hutch and sealed off the Twillweld  (metal wire netting) in the lower part of the hutch so that mouse will have to go and look elsewhere for his meals.

Let all mice be warned … I’ve given Alf Capone complete control over the matter, and if there happens to be a mouse wandering through our garden, anywhere near that hutch, he’s been given permission to do with them what-ever he sees fit.  Bl**dy mice!

Ok…  we’ve finally reach that point which we’ve all been hanging around the back of the class room, waiting patiently for….  THE JOKES!

Ready?  Let’s dive in to a pool of chuckles …

The Jokes

My Czech mate is surprisingly bad at chess.

Last night I went to a comedy and philosophy convention.  Laughed more than I thought.

What is Beethoven’s favourite fruit?    Ba-na-na-na.

My wife told me I was a fool to build a car out of spaghetti. You should have seen the look on her face when I drove pasta.

Jokes about opticians just get cornea and cornea.

When my husband told me I had to stop impersonating a flamingo, I decided to put my foot down.

Why did no one bid for Rudolph and Blitzen on eBay?  Because they were two deer.

If you want a job in the moisturiser industry, the best advice I can give is to apply daily.

A woman told me she recognised me from the vegetarian club,  but I’d never met herbivore.

How did Mary and Joseph know that Jesus was 7lb 6oz when he was born?  They had a weigh in a manger.

I hate perforated lines, they’re tearable.

❤  ~  and finally …  ~  ❤

How much did it cost the pirate to get his ears pierced?   A buccaneer!  😀

Aaaaand,  those are the jokes folks!

Happy Friday, wherever you are,  and wherever you are, make it a good one.

You have two choices … you can either decide to have a good day … or you can decide to have a bad one.  Then you have two more choices …  fix to your memory one of your favourite jokes from the ones above, and then share it with someone today and make them smile.  Or, you can keep the jokes to yourself and not share the smiles around.

Each day is filled, from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, of a series of two choices.  This or That.  Yes or No.  Stay or Go.  Here or There.  This outfit or That one.  Bath or Shower. Smile or Grizzle.  All the time, two choices.  Look out for them today and become aware of them as the choices appear.  Make sure you make the right choice.  Then once you’ve made your choice, don’t complain when you don’t like what you chose.

Have a truly fabulous Friday.  May the day be kind.  May all the people you come across today be even kinder.  May you not have too many choices to make where you don’t like either choice.  But … where you do make your choice, may you be able to find the joy.

Have a truly blessed day my friend.  I’ll be thinking about you.  Be safe and …  may your God go with you.

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What I’ve Learned This Week.

Morning all.  Happy Friday!  And …  a Very Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all.  🙂

St. Patrick has a great history, and makes a good read.  So if you’re in the mood for reading, then I supply a link here —>  A history of St. Patrick the patron saint of Ireland.  <— which will open in another window and sit waiting patiently for you, until you’ve finished having a read here.  🙂   The website is owned and written by an Irish lady who’s family history also makes a great read.  So the story (and all the pages on the site) all come direct from Ireland without any twists which shouldn’t be there.

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Anyhoo ….

The world continues my educationalamalisation,  and I’m now wondering if that’s why I keep forgetting things.  Names of people.  Road names.  Appointments.  What I went to the fridge for?  What it was I wanted from the shop, before I’ve even got my shoes on to leave the house!  How to get to places.  (don’t suggest  SatNavs, because I can’t use the darn thing.  ‘She’ really politely tells me what to do next, and I can’t remember what it was she just said!   Useless.  I’m totally useless.  Of no use to man nor beast.

But I’ve come up with a theory that the reason I’m forgetting things is because I’m learning allll the time, and all the new stuff is pushing some of the other stuff over the edges of my brain!  Where they’re going from that point is anyones guess,  I do have a theory at that too … but I’m not about to discuss it in polite company.  😉

What were we talking about again?  Ohh yes! … educationalamalisation …  I shall continue:

I learned this week ….

That Trees sleep at night.  (cor!  I heard you gasp from here!).  Well, when you think about it,  wouldn’t you need a bit of a snooze after a long a long day of photosynthesizing?

Here, straight from the horse’s mouth (or scientists mouth in this case) is the explanation ….

It depends on how you define “sleep,” but trees do relax their branches at night, which might be a sign of snoozing,  the scientists said.

In the only reported study to look at tree ‘siestas’:  researchers set up lasers that measured the movements of two silver birch trees at night.  One tree was in Finland and the other in Austria, and both were monitored from dusk until morning on a dry, windless night in September.  This was close to the solar equinox, when daylight and nighttime are about equal.

The laser scanners used infrared light to illuminate different parts of the tree,  each for fractions of a second. This provided enough detail to map each tree within minutes, the researchers said.

The silver birches’ branches and leaves sagged at night; they reached their lowest position a few hours before sunrise, and then perked up again during the wee hours of the morning, the researchers found.

“Our results show that the whole tree droops during night, which can be seen as position change in leaves and branches,” study lead author Eetu Puttonen, a researcher at the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute, said in a statement. “The changes are not too large, only up to 10 centimeters [4 inches] for trees with a height of about 5 meters [16 feet].”

It’s unclear if the sun “woke up” the trees or if they relied on their own internal circadian rhythm, the researchers said. But “the fact that some branches started returning to their daytime position already before sunrise would suggest this [internal circadian clock] hypothesis [is right],”.

The finding isn’t too surprising.  Most living organisms have day and night circadian rhythms, and any gardener will notice that some plants open their flowers in the morning and that some trees close their leaves at night.  The famed botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) found that flowers confined to a dark cellar still opened and closed, and naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) noted that the nocturnal movement of leaves and stalks on plants looked like the plants went to sleep.

So … what else did I learn this week?

Well … from watching a TV programme on TV, I learned this mind-blowing (no not really.   Not in the least bit mind-blowing, but it is a bit of fun)  information which should change the world (no it seriously won’t) …  I learned:  That ‘Google’ reports that searches for  ‘How to put on a condom’  peak at 10.28pm.  Saying nothing.  Nope.  Not going to get into that one.  I’m only here to report on my ‘learnings’.  🙂

I also learned:  There is no word for  time  in any Aboriginal language.  Maybe I should move there?  Time wouldn’t exist, and therefore I wouldn’t get any older!  Sounds fine to me … oh …. hang on ….  if I don’t get any older then I’ll miss out on Birthdays and birthday presents ….  hmmm  …  as Fagin said:  I think I’d better think it out again!

I learned that  ‘Emoji’ –  these things:  🙂  😦  :/  😀  –  is the fastest growing language in historySee,  … now  this made me think that we’re all going backwards.    Cavemen and women used a similar sort of thing by drawing on cave walls in order to tell the story of their day.  “I saw a cow.  I threw a stick at the cow.” – only they drew pictures to tell that story.   …  maybe that’s where we’re heading?

And I also learned that apparently….  The name Donald means  ‘ruler of the world’.  His mother,  Mrs. Duck, must be SO proud.  (Mr. Disney will be chuffed to know that too!).

Finally ….  I learned that …  (and this made me feel a little bit sad, and think of Wall-E ...the last robot left on Earth . . .) …  On each anniversary of its landing on Mars, the Curiosity Rover hums  ‘Happy Birthday’  to itself.  😦  (imagine an ‘Emoji’ here of a crying face)

Crafters of the World – we need to unite and craft poor little Curiosity some birthday cards.  (We’ve got plenty of time, his birthday isn’t until August the 5th)

Shall we now move on to the part you’re waiting for?  Do you have your coffee ready?  Biscuits and cookies?  Ok … let’s go!

These are the JOKES folks!

I just ate a frozen apple.  . . .  Hardcore.

Yesterday a clown held a door open for me.   …  I thought it was a nice jester.

I bought a dog from my local blacksmith. . . . When I got it home it made a bolt for the door.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went.  . . .  Then it dawned on me.

I told my friend she drew her eyebrows too high. . . .  She seemed surprised.

I used to have a job at a calendar factory.  . . .  I got the sack because I took a couple of days off.

So I applied for a job making sandwiches, . . . but the  roll  had been filled.

Then I got a job working in an origami shop, . . .  but it folded.

What do you get hanging off banana trees?  . . .  Sore arms.

and finally . . .

I’ve just been diagnosed as colour blind. . . . It came right out of the purple!

~  ❤  ~

So do you feel more intelligent?  Has reading all this new stuff, pushed some of your old stuff out of your brain,  and now it’s free-falling at rapid speed,  throughout your body, bouncing off your liver, kidneys and all those other squishy things inside you?  If so … then thank heavens for that!  At least I know I’m not alone  in this weirdness.  (lol)

Have a truly fabulous Friday, and perfect St. Patrick’s Day.  May your weekend bring love, smiles, joy, and a clear conscience.

Be good to each other, and …  may your God go with you.

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What I’ve Learned This Week.

Hello, and a very happy Friday to you.  This week … or is it this month in general?,  seems to be positively whizzing past!   There are only 9 days left (as of today 17/2/2017) of this month!   Y’know .. considering that February only has two or three days short of the other months, it seems (to me at least) to go twice as quick!

I’ve learned this week … that Little Cobs (my Grandson aged 5) still (apparently) believes that I can do ‘stuff’ with Lego.  I can’t.  To be honest, I’m unsure whether it’s misplaced faith, or out-and-out humour which keeps him asking.

He hands the big red storage box of Lego over to me (for that read: shoves the box into my hands) with the instruction:- “Build me something Grammy!”, he has this smile on his face teamed with a twinkle in his eye which tells me that this little chap is holding in hysterical laughter as he enjoys watching me squirm and groan as I roll my eyes and experience the pain of being a non-starter in the game of Lego Builder of the Year!  (at which I lose BIG TIME!).  But he allows me to struggle as he watches me take out a brick, peer at it through my glasses and just when I think it might ‘fit’ … he takes it off me with the words:  “Give it to me Grammy” … and he sighs a tired sigh which says:  ‘Give it to me and Grandad.  We know what we’re doing.’

This week I also learned:  That I LOVE those blow torches which you see professional chefs using!

They’re called a ‘Cooks Blow Torch’  –  and I’ve had mine for . . . .  (wait for this) . . .  about 6 years.  (I know, I know!)  It was bought as a gift for me, from daughter No.2,  and should have been taken from the packaging AND USED when I first received it.

To be honest:  I looked at it when I received it and was fully up for using it….  however … I read the instructions and they scared the living snot out of me.  Everything went back in the packaging and it’s stayed in there since.

But … I found a recipe for some cupcakes in a Sunday Supplement Magazine and SOOO wanted to make the cakes.  The recipe gave an option of putting the cupcakes under the grill, or using a Cooks Blow Torch to brown off the topping.  So … since Mr. Cobs was there, I told him to hang around the kitchen while I tried this new (old now! sheesh!) toy out as I was scared silly of burning the house down … or me!  But …  OH.  MY.  GOODNESS!!!  I have found out that I LOVE Cooks Blow Torches!  Aw my stars, these things are magical!  Although mind…  please, if you go out and buy one, do be careful with them because they can be dangerous – they are a blow torch after all,  … but ohhhh I LOVE mine!

(…And daughter No.2 is really very pleased that I’m now using it!  LOL)

Now this next ‘thing I learned’ is probably not news to folks from the USA, but cor, was it an eye opener to me!

I learned this week that …  In the U.S. you can buy bras with in-built gun holsters!  Now see, this both tickled me, and at the same time, my brain said:  “Well that would be totally useless to you kiddo!”.  You see …  I have a little too much .. erm … no.  Hang on.  Let me put this another way.  I, uhm  …  .  No. No.  Wait.  I’m sure I can get this worked out.   I’m afraid that there would be a problem with me having an in-built gun holster in my bra beeeecauuuuse ...  I don’t have enough spare room to begin with.  There.  That sorts that out.

I tuck my cell (mobile) phone down my bra, because one really can’t look lady-like and carry a cell phone – but I can only tuck it down the right side of my bra, for if I tuck it down the left side, I found out that it makes my heart race.  Yes.  Seriously.  I’m not joking.  I can feel my heart begin to quicken and pound hard in my chest after a short while of having my cell phone stored on the left. So I stopped carrying it around on that side of my body pretty darn quick once I realised that it only happened when my cell phone was on the same side as my heart.

Now a cell phone is very much slimmer than a gun – so I don’t think I would be able to hide one adequately.  I guess I could just hang one on a chain around my neck …. although trying to pull it up could cause an accident if it caught on the bra.  Mmm.. I think I’d better think it out again! (as the song from ‘Oliver’ goes)

Now I know that I’ve learned an awful lot of other things this week, but for the life of me I can’t remember what they are.  Had I been a sensible Cobs, I would have made a note of them like I normally try to do, as I learn things, so that I can share them with you.  However, apparently this week, sensible wasn’t managable.  Not even for a numbskull like me!  tsk tsk.

So  … shall we go straight into the jokes, because I know that’s all you’re here for?

Ok. …  get ready … here they come:

Q…  What is invisible and smells like carrots?    …. A:-Rabbit Farts.

Q…What do you do when you see a spaceman?  …A:-Park Your Car, Man

Q…What do you call a Bee who’s having a bad hair day?  …A:-Frisbee

Q…What do you call a pig that does karate?   A:-Pork Chop

Q…What’s the best way to carve wood?  …A:-Whittle by whittle

Q…How does a lion like his meat?   …A:-Roar

Q…What kind of horses go out after dark?  …A:-Nightmares

Q…How does the man in the moon cut his hair?  …A:-Eclipse it.

and I bring to you  . . .   a beautiful poem . . . .

My eyes are full of tears, 

and they can no longer see. 

I wish that you were here, 

to chop these onions for me.

Finally ….

For those of you who might be wondering what the Cup Cakes were which I made this week and used my Blow Torch on …. here’s the recipe, along with a photo of the finished cakes.

I’d invited Little Cobs round to Afternoon Tea, and told him to bring his Mummy of course!  His school was on its half term break this week so I thought it might break the week up for him, and give his mummy some brain chill time by inviting them both round to afternoon tea.

There were little sandwiches, tiny sausage rolls (cocktail sized), and cocktail sausages because he loves them, and one or two other things which I know can tempt him – which probably aren’t on the Queens Afternoon Tea list of fun food, but they’re firmly on Little Cobs list.  I wanted to make him some cakes.  I made Lemon Meringue and Strawberry Cupcakes …  the recipe for which I’d found in the Sunday Supplement magazine which came with one of the weekend newspapers.  He LOVED them.  So much so that he asked if he could have another one.  So did his mummy!  (I have to admit … they are rather more’ish’.  You have been warned!)

lemonmeringue-and-strawberry-cupcakes

Lemon Meringue and Strawberry Cupcakes

makes 12 cupcakes

cook time 20 minutes, plus cooling.

FOR THE SPONGES

  • 100g (4oz) baking spread (such as Flora)
  • 150g (5oz) self-raising flour
  • 150g (5oz) castor sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 eggs
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 7g (¼ oz) freeze-dried strawberries.  If they don’t have the really tiny chopped up dried strawberry pieces, then do what I did,  —  using the back of a wide bladed knife, press and crush a little at a time of the dried strawberry pieces until they’re tiny enough.
  • ½ jar homemade or shop-bought lemon curd

FOR THE MERINGUE TOPPING

  • 2 egg whites
  • 100g (4oz) castor sugar
  1. You will need a 12-hole muffin tin lined with paper cases and a piping bag fitted with a plain 1cm (½ in) nozzle (optional). Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  2. First make the sponges. Measure the baking spread, flour, sugar, milk and eggs into a large bowl and add the lemon zest. Use an electric hand whisk to beat until light and fluffy, then fold in three-quarters of the strawberries. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases (see tip), dividing it evenly among them. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden, risen and springy to the touch. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.
  3. When the cupcakes are cold, use a small sharp knife to cut a circle (about the diameter of a £2 coin) in the centre of each cake and scoop out a walnut-sized piece of sponge to leave a hole. Spoon 1 teaspoon of lemon curd into each hole, making sure the curd is level with the top of the cake.  (You can buy a little gizmo which will remove a ‘plug’ of cake in just the right size.  I found mine quite some time ago, on a cooks website.  But there must be lots of places you can get one, – if you think you’ll get use out of it).
  4. To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites until stiff in a large, spotlessly clean bowl using an electric hand whisk. Gradually add the sugar a little at a time and continue whisking on full speed until you have a stiff glossy mixture.
  5. Use a small palette knife to spread some of the meringue mixture on the top of each cupcake, or pipe the mixture on if using a piping bag, and place back in the moulds of the muffin tin. Use a blowtorch or heat briefly under a hot grill to lightly brown the tops of the cupcakes – watching carefully as it only takes a minute – and sprinkle over the remaining dried strawberries to serve. Allow to cool and enjoy!

If you don’t use the measurements shown above, but instead use ‘cups’ or something else – then Google will be your friend for the conversions.

If you use a different system of cooking heat, again, ask Google and it will give you the conversion to what you use in your country.

Close ups so that you can see them better ….  although I’m sorry about the blurry images … they were the best I had.

Well that’s another week done and dusted.  Have you learned anything this week?  Do share, as I’m sure I must bore the arms and legs off the proverbial donkey with my ramblings, and I’d love to do some of your learnings!

Have a fabulous Friday….  and a truly wonderful weekend.  Try not to get in a twist over stuff – and that includes Politics.  There are enough people to do that, give yourself the weekend off.

May your days be peaceful, may any visitors you have come bringing warm smiles and happy hearts, and may the Fairy of Fun sprinkle you with happy dust.

Sending weekend squidges and soft little kisses to your head!  Stay safe, stay warm, stay happy, be good to each other and … be good to yourself.  You’re worth it.

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What I’ve Learned this Week

Hello  🙂   Happy Friday!

Well what a lovely week it’s been.  I seem to have done a lot and achieved very little to show for it.  But I’ve really enjoyed it, and that, after all, is what life is supposed to be about.  Enjoying it.

The weather, here in the south of England, has been a bit chilly, and night-time get’s really rather cold.  I’ve been getting Mr.Cobs to turn the heating up by around 9pm of a night-time, just to keep the temperature at ‘toasty’.  Mr. Cobs has to control the heating because I cannot understand our heating control box thingy-ma-jig.  I always end up pressing the wrong button, or combination of buttons.

So …. What have I learned this week?  Well I thought I hadn’t really learned anything at all until I got thinking about it ….  check this little list out:-

I learned that probably the worst thing a woman can hear when she’s wearing a bikini is:   “Good for you!”

I learned that Bifocals are God’s way of saying, “Keep your chin up.”

I also learned about  Honest Brand Slogans  and how these should become ‘Law’ – such as:

Hallmark:   “When you care enough to give a card mass-produced by 
a corporation.”

Ritz crackers: “Tiny, edible plates.”

Gillette:  “We’re just going to keep adding blades.”

ChapStick “You’ll misplace it before the tube’s empty.”  (ain’t THAT one the truth!)

Hot Pockets:   “Every bite is a different temperature.”

I was reminded that I learned many years ago  when Daughter No.1 was 15/16 years old  that the four most beautiful words in our common language are:-  “
I told you so”.

I finally found out what Instagram is actually all about.    It’s ‘Twitter’ for people who go outside.  Ha!

I still haven’t learned why my dog always barks like crazy and races to the door, all the time she’s running round in circles,  when someone knocks on the door.  She get’s SO excited, and yet  . . .  it’s hardly ever for her!

I learned that I’m more gullible than even I thought I was.  . . .   I heard, via a TV programme, that the Welsh word for microwave is popty ping.   So … before I added it to the list of things I’d learned this week I asked Mr.Google if this was true.  The very first result which came up said it was true.  So I shared the information with Mr.Cobs because I thought this was such fun.  Popty Ping.  Say it out loud.  It’s kind of ticklish!

HOWEVER . . .  I didn’t quite trust the first answer  so did a little more digging around on Google and discovered that  ‘popty ping’  is a made up word.  The Welsh word for microwave is actually:- meicrodon(And no, it doesn’t mean ‘tiny gangster’. lol).  Shame … I rather liked popty ping.  It was such a perfect description!

And finally …  I learned:  Women’s tears contain pheromones that lower the testosterone of nearby men.  Would you believe it?  When us gals shed a few tears, it makes the men nearest to us go all soft and gentle.  From this I deduce that we should cry more often.  Especially so when we want to buy ourselves a new pair of expensive shoes or maybe a handbag!

Well, I know why some of you are here.  You just want some Jokes to spread happiness around the world this beautiful Friday.  Ok … gird your loinshere are the Jokes:-

Q.  What do Eskimos get from sitting on the ice too long?  ….A.  Polaroids

Q.  Why does a Moon-rock taste better than an Earth-rock?  …  A.  Because it’s a little meteor.

Q.  What did the ghost say to the bee?  …  A. BOO-BEE

Q.  Why didn’t the melons get married?  …  A.   Because they cantaloupe!

and finally ….

Q.  What do you get when you cross a tyrannosaurus rex with fireworks?  …  A.  DINO-MITE!

Well that’s another week which we’ve put to bed and noted it in our diaries.  Have you learned anything this week?  Been somewhere exciting?  Done something amazing?  Do share your story.  I love to read about what’s going on in your corner!

Anyhoo ... all that’s left for me to do is wish for you a truly lovely weekend.  May the weather be kind, may your heart be happy, and, where ever you are or where ever you go this weekend, may your God go with you.

Have a blessed weekend my beautiful friend,  ~

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Things I’ve learned this week

Hello!  Happy, happy Friday!  I can’t believe that we’re here again already.  It seems like I only took a nap since last week, and here we are, seven days later!

Shall I presume that since you’re here, you’ve already donned your crash helmet;   are wearing your galoshes;  and have slipped into your Flame Retardant Clothing?  Yes?  Good.  Jump into your seat, put on your seatbelt (do ask if you need an extension belt) and hold hands with the person next to you.  Let’s have no screaming now ….   OFF WE GO…

I learned this week that I’d forgotten exactly how much I loved Mary Tyler Moore, the wonderful, deeply funny but never mucky, American actress.  I grew up watching her on TV, and as I grew my enjoyment grew with me.  I appreciated her more and more as I became an adult.

She represented a time which I wanted to stay living in.  I could already see, as a young adult, that comedy was changing and how comics/comedians/actors and actresses were slowly breaking down or jumping over boundaries and barriers.  I didn’t want this new ‘thing’ which dipped its toes in bad taste.  I wanted what Mary offered, and women like her – on both sides of the pond.  Valerie Harper and her Rhoda Morgenstern

From the UK:  a wonderful programme called Are You Being Served? – all of the actors and actresses who were a part of the whole fabric of this wonderful comedy.  Felicity Kendal and Richard Briers in the fabulous ‘The Good Life’.  I could go on, but I’d bore you to tears.  But it is these types of programmes which had a magical quality which comedy shows just don’t seem to have today.

I learned/realised this week that I hadn’t really appreciated Mary Tyler Moore ENOUGH when I had the chance, and I so wish I had.  Ms.Tyler-Moore left us, two days ago, on the 25th of January.   When I heard the news on TV, I felt a lump come to my throat and a tiny piece of my heart broke.  I shall never forget her.  Thank you for the great joy and happiness you brought to my life Mary.  x

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

 

I learned this week that …. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A ‘NORMAL’ PERSON.  Yes, you read that right.  No one is ‘normal’.  Each and every one of us is made up of a multitude of individual characteristics.  If you take an average of each of them (height, shoe size, length of fingers etc),  you won’t find any individual who is average in all respects. 

This is known as the ‘Jaggedness Principle’.

During the 1940s the Jaggedness Principle forced the US Air Force to re-fit fighter airplanes with adjustable seats and other ‘adjustable to fit’  fixtures.   You see: the cockpits were originally designed around the average range of just 10 body measurements taken from a population of 4,063 pilots.  But because no single pilot met all of those criteria, they ended up with a seat which actually didn’t fit anybody.

And if you need further proof:   In 2011 the Australian Bureau of Statistics used their national census to find the ‘average Australian’.  They announced that she is:  a 37-year-old woman with a son and a daughter aged six and nine. She is 162 cm (5’4”) tall, and weighs 71.1 kgs (11st). She lives in a three-bedroom house, has about $200,000 still to pay on her mortgage and her family originally came from the UK. However, when they checked this description against their census data they couldn’t find even a single person in the whole of the country who fitted that description!

See?  No such thing as a ‘normal person’.  So …   that must mean that we’re ALL abnormal!?!   LOL!!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

I also learned this week ….  that the Pope is paid no salary what-so-ever.  He is paid nothing and owns nothing.   A Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls ended speculation about the Pope’s personal wealth in 2001 by saying ‘The Pope does not and has never received a salary.’

As head of the Catholic Church and head of state of the Vatican, all the Pope’s worldly needs are looked after.  A recent estimate of the Vatican’s wealth by Time magazine put it at between $10 and $15 billion. In full, the Pope’s job titles are: Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City and Servant of Servants of God.

Before officially taking on the role, the Pope-elect’s private property is donated to the Church, transferred to another relative, used to endow a foundation or placed in trust. He can also choose to retain controlling ownership and use his Will to specify what should happen to everything when he dies.

When John Paul II died in 2005 he left no possessions and asked for his personal papers to be burned.  Three bags containing gold, silver and bronze coins were placed beside the body.  Each bag contained one coin for each year of his reign, the only monetary compensation he received for his service,  adding up to about £80.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

 

And now … that thing you’ve been waiting for … THE JOKES!

Q: Why did the banana go to the Doctor?
A: Because it was not peeling well

Q: What do you call an illegally parked frog?
A: Toad.
Q: Did you hear about the  Italian  chef  that died?
A: He pasta way.
Q: What’s the difference between bird flu and swine flu?
A: If you have bird flu,  you need tweetment.  If you have swine flu,  you need oink-ment.
Q: What did one elevator say to the other elevator?
A: I think I’m coming down with something!
Q: How many books can you put in an empty backpack?
A: One!  After that it’s not empty!
Q: What do you call a group of men waiting for a haircut?
A: A barbercue

Q: Did you hear about the astronaut who stepped on chewing gum?
A: He got stuck in Orbit.
Q: What do you call a nervous javelin thrower?
A: Shakespeare
Q: What does it mean if  life gives you melons?
A:  It means your dyslexic

and finally . . .
Q: What did one raindrop say to the other?
A: Two’s company, three’s a cloud
~  ~  ~
Well, that’s another weekly round-up of things I’ve learned this week, done and dusted.  Not only am I cleverer* than I was a week ago, but now you are too!  ~Aaaand …  I’m slowly turning your skeleton into funny bones.  I reckon I’m about up to your knees around this time … so we’re doing well!
*I know it’s not a proper word, but I likes it.  🙂

  ~ 

May today leave you filled with peace and with a smile in your heart, and may your weekend be restful, joyful and with a smattering of love surrounding the days.  And … if you don’t have someone who can share their love with you this weekend ….  then have some of mine. . .   ❤    ❤    ❤ 
~

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

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Things I’ve Learned This Week.

Hello, and a very happy Friday to you!  I trust your week has been good and that no gremlins have got into your days.

Let’s, for a few minutes, move away from what’s happened, and happening, in the world today and lose ourselves in a bit of blogging fun for a little while.  Shall I begin?  Ok . . .   you know the drill: seatbelts on; allow your oxygen masks to drop from their over-head storage facility;   place your tin foil hats on your heads and hold hands with the person next to you  . . . .  let’s GO!

I learned this week that . . .

  • When the game  ‘Twister’  was introduced in 1966, it was denounced by critics as “sex in a box.”
  • There are more lifeforms living on your skin than there are people on the planet.  (yes that freaked me out a little bit too).
  • A human will eat on average 70 assorted insects and 10 spiders while sleeping. (ok… now that REALLY freaked me out!)
  • Fifteen percent of the air you breathe in a metro station is human skin.  (ewww!)
  • A group of Pugs (dogs)  is called ‘a grumble’.  (isn’t that the cutest thing!  lol)
  • Coca-Cola would be green if colouring wasn’t added to it.  (I wonder if that would affect sales?)
  • The United States, Burma, and Liberia are the only countries in the world that have not officially adopted the metric system as the standard of measurement. (This really surprised me.  I would have guessed that most of the world outside Europe still used good old feet and inches).
  • Blue Whale fart bubbles are large enough to enclose a horse. (ok, this tickled me enough to make me laugh)
  • Since 1945 all British Tanks come with tea making equipment.  (Yes, it’s true. I double checked).   Technically the device is called a Boiling Vessel ( BV ), or ‘bivvy’ in the troops’ parlance, which also then gets used to mean a hot drink in general.  Hence “necking a bivvy” means “drinking a cup of tea” ( or coffee ) in UK army slang.  You can read a little more on Wiki:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_vessel

Did you know that Almost’ is the longest word in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order?

I learned this week  . . .  The BIGGER the navel on an Orange, the sweeter the Orange will be.  “Hmmm,”  I thought, “could that be true, or just a load of rubbish”  . . .  So …  me, being me,  I had to check this out using the Oranges in the fruit bowl in the fridge.  I chose carefully, one on Wednesday and one Orange on Thursday . . .   It’s TRUE!  However, if I get an Orange with a large navel which is sour, I’ll let you know!

I also learned this week . . .  That the last name of the creator of the Simpsons, Matt Groening, is pronounced “Graining”, not “Growning”.

Something else I found out this week is that a TITTLE isn’t something naughty or rude, it’s actually the dot above a letter  ‘i’.  It’s called a Tittle.

Ohhh…  and this bit of new knowledge tickled the heck out of me this week ….    Calvin Klein’s  “Obsession for Men” is often used by photographers to attract ‘big cats’ – jaguars, leopards, tigers, lion, etc.  According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, the cats go crazy for it!  One zoo (Brookfield Zoo) even uses it to keep their big cats in very visible areas of their cages during business hours.

I’m rather glad that my cats don’t have such expensive tastes.  Cat-nip works perfectly for them.  lol

But anyhoo . . .   I know that the main reason you’re here isn’t to find out about things which I’ve come across and learned this week,  but you’re really here just for my [rubbish] jokes….  so here goes.  Brace Yourself!

Q: What do you call a computer floating in the ocean?
A: A Dell Rolling in the Deep.
~  ❤  ~
Q: Did you hear about the shampoo shortage in Jamaica?
A: It’s dread-full.  (think about it for a moment and the penny will drop)
~  ❤  ~
Q: Why did the picture go to jail?
A: It was framed.
~  ❤  ~
Q. What do you get when you cross a cow and a duck?
A. Milk and quackers!
~  ❤  ~
Q: How do you organize a space party?
A: You planet!
~  ❤  ~
Q: What washes up on very small beaches?
A: Microwaves!  ( . . . .  wait for the penny to drop)
~  ❤  ~
Q: What’s the difference between bird flu and swine flu?
A: If you have bird flu, you need tweetment. If you have swine flu, you need oink-ment.

and finally . . .
Q: Why can’t your nose be 12 inches long?
A: Because then it would be a foot!  
(I love this joke, it’s up there with my favourites!)
~  ❤  ~
Well, that’s it for this Fridays lessons in life as we know it.  I hope that I’ve taken your mind off any troubles you have, made you wonder, made you smile and, if I’ve done my job properly …  I hope I made you laugh, even just a teeny tiny bit.

May your weekend be restful.  May smiles creep into your day and love show up in places too –  even if it’s your love for something that you love doing.

Think good wishes for the very next person you see on the street.  You might not know them, and, who knows, they too might read this blog post just like you do….  and if they do, they’ll be wishing good wishes for you – and you won’t ever know they did it.  But it might just make a difference, to you, and or to them themselves.  It doesn’t have to be something big or world-changing.  You could just wish that they have a great day.  That they find something to smile about today.  Wish them luck, love, peace, joy, contentment.  Anything.  Just make it a good wish.  You’ll be amazed at what a difference this small thing makes to you yourself too.

I wish you a truly blessed day.  HAPPY FRIDAY-ING!

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

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Things I’ve Learned This Week.

Happy Friday!  Last Friday of November this year.  You know what that means, don’t you?  …….  It means that ‘thing’ is upon us.  Yes…  Christmas is only four weeks and one day away!  But don’t panic – we have ages yet.  29 days in fact. (not including today and Christmas day of course).   Ages!  Just remember to put your sprouts on a low light by the end of this month and you’ll be fine!  (I think British readers might understand that little joke about ourselves,  more than anyone else understands it).

But let us put away thoughts of Christmas and instead turn our attentions to Friday, because, after all, that’s what we’re here for!

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Shall I share with you what I’ve learned this week?  Do you have your seat belt on?  Ready?  Steady?  GO!

This week I’ve learned:   That The founder of match.com, Gary Kremen, lost his girlfriend to a man she met on match.com!  How embarrassing, but fantastic is that?  It’s sad, but it proves that the site actually works.

I also learned: The sun’s core is so hot that a piece of it the size of a pinhead would give off enough heat to kill a person 160 kilometres (over 99 miles) away.  Can you believe that?  A tiny piece like that?  WOW!

I learned this week that the shortest war ever fought was between Britain and Zanzibar on August 27, 1896. Zanzibar surrendered after 38 minutes.  (You can read about this if you want to find out what this was all about, HERE)

I learned a very important lesson this week,  that being:  … Medically –  you shouldn’t ever ignore a symptom.  If something isn’t quite right or doesn’t seem or feel right, you should get yourself to your Doctor and not hang about.  Hanging about can make a problem worse.  So look here you lot!….  Do as I say, not as I do!

Oooooo  . . .   This one tickled the heck out of me:-

I learned this week that until 1913,  children in America could legally be sent by parcel post.  I can’t see a problem with this.  It’s an economical way of travelling and I think we should all do it!   I bet it would be cheaper than buying an air ticket!  (nooo… I’m only joshing with you! lol)

Ohhh, and this one sent me off on a totally different thought pattern  .. Did you know that if you drilled a tunnel straight through the Earth and jumped in, it would take you exactly 42 minutes and 12 seconds to get to the other sideAgain … another cheap way of travelling.  I think Walt Disney ought to look into this.  They could make it into the ‘Worlds Biggest Slide’, and charge people to experience Time Travel just by buying a ticket to: ‘Travel on the World Slide‘.  We could all visit Australia (or wherever the other side of the world is for you where you live) just for the day.  Travelling time to go there and back would be just One hour and 24 minutes!   It would be a Walt Disney Spectacular!  (Those Airlines would soon be putting their charges down and bringing back those good old-fashioned seats which gave paying customers leg room and comfort!)

And here’s something I learned this week which I absolutely loved ….  When he enlisted in the army,  J. R. R. Tolkien’s son Michael put down his father’s profession as ‘Wizard’.  Ohhh I love this sooooo much!  It tickled me in just the right place,   I think perhaps because our girls talked it over when they were little and decided, that I was The Magnificent Mad Madam Mim – from the Walt Disney film: The Sword in the Stone.  I don’t think they saw her (at their tender ages) as being an antagonist or wicked person – but more of a slightly crazy but kind of loveable woman who made them giggle.

However  ‘pet’ names sometimes live on, and for daughter No.1who is now approaching her mid 30’s,   I am still and probably forever will be:  “Mim”.

Of course, I always showed mock horror and denied that I was anything like her.  “After all,” I said,  ..  “I don’t have Purple Hair!”.

And finally ….  Friday wouldn’t be Friday if I didn’t share a few jokes with you which I’d learned this week!

What key won’t let you through any doors?  …….  A turkey.

Why do bees hum?  ….  Because they don’t remember the words!

What key would open a banana?   …….  With a monkey!

What’s white and sits on the TV at night?  …. *click and hold the click and roll your cursor over this area here to see the hidden answer →  A fly in her nightie.

It has four legs and it can fly, what is it?  ……. do the same again, click, hold the click and roll your cursor over here → Two Birds!

How can you tell you have an elephant in your bedroom? ……  By the big “E” on his pyjamas.

How do you measure a snake? …..  In inches.  Snakes don’t have feet.

Why did the elephant wear green socks?  …..  Because the red ones were wet.

Why did the elephant swim on his back?  …..  So his green socks wouldn’t get wet too.

What is black and white and waits on the washing line?  ….. find the hidden answer by holding the click and hi-lighting here → A fly in a wedding dress.  ←  (you didn’t see that one coming, did you!  LOL)

Thank you so much for coming and sharing a coffee with me.  This week has been an adventure of learning,  and I’m sure that you’ve learned some stuff this week too.  If you’d care to … I’d love to hear about whatever you’ve learned this week too.  Just tell me in a comment, so that I can come and spend some time in your world too, and see how your ‘education’ has, like mine, grown this week.

This weekend waste some time.  Hard working people never waste time on frivolous fun-filled activities.  Yet, for hard-working people, any time spent this way is far from wasted.   So one of my wishes for you this weekend is to waste some time.  Grab your coat, and a friend or partner or dog or the children, and go out and have some frivolous, fun-filled time doing nothing but enjoying the freedom.  If it’s raining, have a tea party in the house with your little ones, and if you don’t have little ones, then go and visit a friend who does, take some little cakes and biscuits (cookies) which the little ones would love, and tell them you’ve come for a tea party.  Really throw yourself into it.

You’ll be the bestest, most loved, fun-filled uncle/aunty/grammy/granddad etc, etc, that they ever knew,  and you, in turn, will have had one of the most enjoyable few hours, ever!

Of course … if there are no children around to have a tea party with …  then have one with a friend or two!  Make, bake or buy cakes, set the table and get your friends over for a tea party, and just to have some fun.  Of course … you could also have a Beer and cake party if you’re a chap.  Or … how about visiting your parents and taking the tea party idea to them as a surprise?!

May your weekend be blessed with love, smiles and joy.  Be safe out there, and … be nice to each other.

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