In this blogposting…
* Two Short Planks
* 1,001 Buildings
* WildlifeReport:  Penguins
On with the motley...

A big Thankyou to Linda for sending me these two photos taken at AGM XXVIII (at the Tanfield Railway).

The first shows what Linda unkindly calls ‘the witches of Eastwick’ at East Tanfield station.
The second shows me at Causey Arch station Skyping with Serge in France.  (For those not in the know, ‘Skyping’ is making a video call via a computer, portable or otherwise.  In this case, Serge could see us and talk to us on his computer in France, just as we could see him too.  Skyping is free.)
The fact that Skyping is possible, from a portable computer on the move, suggests an exciting new possibility to me.  If I bring my computer to AGMs as a matter of course, truckshunters unable to attend - and who have a computer at home or wherever they are - can Skype with us for a while and join in the fun.

What do you think?

Prompted no doubt by the list of inane complaints made to Thomas Cook and featured in posting 302, the wonderful Martin, of Houghton-le-Spring, has sent me this list of answers given by contestants in tv quizzes.

I know there are several lists like this doing the internet rounds but I’ve never seen this one before - and I like it a lot.

Which Duke lives at Woburn Abbey?

There are three states of matter:  solid, liquid and….?

What is the name of the insect which makes honey?
The honey fly

What Z is a human who has returned from the dead?

Name a Paris landmark

Name an animal with horns
A bee

Name something that flies without an engine
A bicycle with wings

If you know of any others, send them to me, please.

And thanks, Martin.

Time once again for the next ten ‘buildings you should see before you die’, as recommended in the lovely book I got for Christmas last year.

The buildings in the book are in chronological order. This list brings us up to 1462.

If you’ve seen any of them, or plan to, please get in touch.

I’m delighted to say that, with numbers 92, 93 and 98, my tally has gone up to eighteen - a respectable total of which I am immensely proud!

91 - Santa Maria da Vitoria Monastery, Portugal
92 - Florence Cathedral, Italy (above)
93 - Ca’ d’Oro, Venice, Italy
94 - Kumbum Chorten, Gyantse, Tibet (above)
95 - Palazzo Medici, Florence, Italy
96 - Hotel Dieu, Beaune, France (above)
97 - San Francisco and Temio Malatestiano, Rimini, Italy
98 - Brussels Town Hall, Belgium (above)
99 - Malbork Castle, Poland
100 - Palazzo Piccolomini, Pienza, Italy

Having reached number 100, we’re now 10% of the way through our journey and it’s taken us all over the world.  Perhaps we can forge links with another truckshunter project - our World Geography.  If we’re not careful, this blog could turn into a kind of ‘alternative encyclopaedia’!

National totals so far are:
Italy 23, France 8, Egypt 5, England 5, China 5, India 4, Spain 4, Ireland 3, South Korea 3, Syria 2, Croatia 2, Iraq 2, Japan 2, Uzbekistan 2, then 1 each for Afghanistan, Armenia, Belgium, Cambodia, Denmark, Ethiopia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Indonesia, Iran, Isreal, Libya, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Tibet, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, USA, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

My thanks to Dave for sending me this interesting and little-known fact of penguin life.  He writes…

Did you ever wonder why there are no dead penguins on the ice in Antarctica?  Where do they go? 

Wonder no more!

It has recently been discovered that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird which lives an extremely ordered and complex life. 


A penguin is very committed to its family and will mate for life, as well as maintaining a form of compassionate contact with its offspring throughout its life.  

And if a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other members  of the family and social circle have been known to dig holes in the ice, using their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into it and buried.

The male penguins then gather in a circle around the fresh grave and sing:

"Freeze a jolly good fellow"

"Freeze a jolly good fellow."

Then they kick him in the ice hole.


Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com


Sid said...

Do you recollect the penguin that turned up alone and lost on a beach in New Zealand.
It was returned to the wild after being fed and nurtured, and fitted with a GPS transmitter.
The penguin, named 'Happy Feet' has caused some more worry. The tracking device has stopped working....

Hildie said...

I do like Linda's photos from the Tanfield AGM .... things are looking rather intense on photo one
.... there must have been a lot on the agenda that day! And photo two .... it will be nice for Serge to see that one.

To continue the theme that Martin has started, I have sent you an email, Ian, with some more funny answers to quiz questions..... the pick of the bunch is attributed (on several internet sites) to Paul Wappat (Radio Newcastle) - but weren't you the one who always asked the quiz questions on the Blue Bus programme?
Anyway ..... if you have a little look around your house .... you will find a book I gave you (either for your birthday, or for Christmas, last year) ... the whole book is about contestants' silly answers to quiz questions. Serge, Gerry, Ada, Nev, Linda, Keith, Michael and Vivienne were all there when I gave you the book ... it was at the December AGM. Now, where did you put it?

You know Florence Cathedral? The tower? It looks to me, on that photo, as though it's leaning.

Hi to Sid ..... and also to Dave who, I see, has been contributing comments just lately. Good lad!
Did you get up to Cragside this windy weekend, Dave? I'm sure this
was the weekend you were planning to go.

Anonymous said...

Nope Hildie, did not get to Cragside as intended, went to Sisters instead for Sunday lunch, and due to go to other Sister ,s tomorrow. Will have to go to Cragside next year. Dave S x

Linda South Shields said...

Ahem.... dear hearts... 'twas not I that "christened" the photo as The witches of Eastwick..... the guilty party being Keith!! Charming just ain't the word!!! I can't even remember what we were talking about at that point however,I do remember we were speculating what the new concrete base was intended for at the top of the railtrack.

Ian Robinson said...

Hildie...'the Leaning Tower of Florence' looks like that because of a phenomenon known as 'perspective', which you don't have in Dipton. When you look along parallel lines - like railway lines, for example, they look as if they are converging. Notice, for example, that if the belfry is leaning, so is the Baptistery on the left, but TOWARDS the belfry. Think of them as vertical railway lines.

Dipton is the only place on Earth where perspective is a false illusion. In Dipton, railway lines only LOOK parallel; they do, in fact, converge - probably in Consett or somewhere like that.

This means that, if the Florence belfry was in Dipton, it would indeed fall down...

I hope I've cleared that up.


Hildie said...

My perspective on this is that you,young man, are now on the naughty step ....
and I will deal with you later ...

Meanwhile, it's time for some lush quotes:
I love this one:
After you've heard 2 eye-witness accounts of a car crash, you begin to worry about history. AUTHOR UNKNOWN.

Each moment is a place you've never been. MARK STRAND.

If everybody contemplates the infinite, instead of fixing the drains, many of us will die of cholera. JOHN RICH.

Reality leaves a lot to the imagination. JOHN LENNON.

Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes, doesn't mean he lacks vision. STEVIE WONDER.

A penny will hide the biggest star in the universe if you hold it close enough to your eye. SAMUEL GRAFTON.

And lastly (this I find intriguing)
How many merits one sees in those one likes! How many faults in those one dislikes! Yet people fancy they see with their eyes.

Sid, I don't think they've found your missing penguin yet ... the last I heard, they had just about given up all hope.

Dave, I'm sorry you didn't get to Cragside. Was it the weather that
got in your way? Fingers crossed for next year. Maybe AGM, September 2012.

Linda, maybe that photo was taken when we were plotting and planning future AGMs ... the one that involved Paul and the one that involved Ada.

Ian, petal dust, any luck finding that book yet?

Vivienne said...

Well, I have four 'witches' in my photo........enjoying a 'spell' at East Tanfield. I think they were discussing the converging railway lines, or lack of them. I guess if the lines had continued we'd have ended up in Dipton!