9 October 2011

Well, that was that. The Met Office predicted an Indian Summer. It came. It was lovely. And it went. Now, we are back to our usual Autumnal offerings with grey skies, wind and much cooler temperatures. Winter can’t be all that far away.

We had a lovely afternoon out on Thursday which wasn’t exactly as had been planned but lovely nevertheless. Last Sunday we had a couple of visitors, a business contact of SeamStress and his wife. It’s a longish story but I will try and be brief.

Ms Playchute produces small playchutes for a company called Jabadao from time to time. They have a catalogue business and whenever they receive an order for a playchute, they send the details through to Ms Playchute who stitches it up for them. They provide the fabric and whenever she runs low, Pen gets in touch with her contact, Ian, who arranges for additional fabric to be despatched.

So, Penelope needed some additional red fabric which arrived one day last week. Unfortunately, the red fabric turned out to be orange so Ms Playchute contacted Ian who (a) organised for some red red fabric to be despatched to her and (b) said that since he and his wife were going to be in Northampton over the weekend, he would personally come to collect it rather than having Penny parcel it up and send it back. So, on Sunday Ian and his wife, also named Penny, came by to collect the fabric (and enjoy a cup of coffee and a piece of cake).

Penelope has dealt with Jabadao for many years and has exchanged e-mails and spoken with Ian on the ‘phone. They had not, hitherto, met however so it was lovely to finally be able to put a face to the voice on the phone.

Two Gentlemen of VeronaIn the course of our discussions we learned that the reason for their visit to Northampton was to see their daughter in a production of Two Gentlemen of Verona at the Royal and Derngate theatre. They said it was excellent (well, they would, wouldn’t they) and so, on the strength of their recommendation, we decided that we would arrange to go during its three week run. So, later on Sunday I went on to the Royal and Derngate web site and booked two tickets for the Thursday evening performance.

Or, at least, that’s what I thought I had done. When the e-mail confirmation arrived I noticed (fortunately) that I had managed to book two tickets to the 2.30 matinee performance! And, in large and unambiguous wording – No Refunds or Exchanges! So, the matinee it was.

And it was a terrific performance – modern dress and setting and full of energy and enthusiasm. And, as an added bonus, we found out who Eglamour is. (Some of you will remember that Nick and Lucy used to live on Eglamour Way just off Banquo Approach on the Warwick Gates estate where every road is named for a Shakespearean character). Lo and behold, Eglamour is in Two Gentlemen as a former suitor of Julia who assists Silvia in her escape from her father, the Duke. As I say, a terrific performance and a lovely day out.

A couple of interesting and/or amusing snippets we’ve run across this week. Firstly, it’s that time of year when the annual Ig Nobel awards are presented and this year there are the usual collection of extraordinary research topics. Amongst my favourites:

CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Makoto Imai, Naoki Urushihata, Hideki Tanemura, Yukinobu Tajima, Hideaki Goto, Koichiro Mizoguchi and Junichi Murakami of JAPAN, for determining the ideal density of airborne wasabi (pungent horseradish) to awaken sleeping people in case of a fire or other emergency, and for applying this knowledge to invent the wasabi alarm.

and

BIOLOGY PRIZE: Darryl Gwynne (of CANADA and AUSTRALIA and the UK and the USA) and David Rentz (of AUSTRALIA and the USA) for discovering that a certain kind of beetle mates with a certain kind of Australian beer bottle.

You can read about all the winners here.

And a couple of cartoons to share with you – the first arrived courtesy of Pen’s sister J; the second is from Friday’s In the Bleachers:

Stop Chopping Trees Couch Potato

I’ll have to save the curry competition which hospitalised two contestants for next time as well as the amazing video of a young man cycling from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye (also sent along by J, I think.)

Now there’s something to look forward to.

All my love,

Greg