Archive for September, 2010
September 18, 2010
Filed Under (History) by Keith on 18-09-2010
In the 1960′s, or thereabouts, I worked at the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) on the Watling street (A5) near Nuneaton for a short time as an electronics technician.
At that time there was some spare land next to the Watling St which the management announced that it could be used as allotments by the people working at MIRA. So we formed an Allotment Associaton which meant we could get seeds and potato tubers etc at cost price from the wholesalers. The land was divided up into equal lots with paths running between them and we set to planting them out. My own plot was about 100 yds from the road.
Nuneaton Council decided to widen the A5 at that point and convert it to a dual carriageway. Fortunately MIRA wouldn’t let them have the land on their side so that had to take land from the farm on the south side. There were about 17 huge elm trees in the way, so the contractors asked Blaster Bates to remove them, which he did, very efficiently I might add. It was a spectacular sight seeing 17 trees sailing through the sky!
The downside was that most of the soil, rocks and other stuff landed on our allotments so we had the job of sorting out the mess and trying to reclaim our vegetables.
The following year I was double digging my allotment when I found what I thought was a heavy stone, but the shape intrigued me so I put it in my pocket to examine later. When I arrived home I took it into my shed/workshop and was surprised to find that it was just hard clay so I put in to a bath of cold water for a few days and then I could rub the clay off. It turned out to be an ornament of some sort. After many hours of scrubbing and cleaning the badge you see in the picture came up.
It seemed to be made of poor quality brass or bronze. I couldn’t make out whether the pitting (more obvious on the base) was from corrosion or the eagle was cast in sand. The back is smooth, with slightly rounded edges that shows it was poured into a mould and left to cool. The shiny parts on the front are my fault I’m afraid; over the years I have tried to polish it using Brasso. The “marble” base doesn’t exist in the real world, I created it in Photoshop 7 just for the photograph on eBay when I sold it. The eagle did have what looks like a hole on the underside, but it proved impossible to clear (perhaps it has a 10mm screw thread in there?)
There has been a lot of finds along that stretch of the road over the years, included a vast hoard of gold coins which was thought to have come from a paymasters wagon to pay the soldiers wages.
September 14, 2010
“Let us say I break into your house. Then, when you discover me in your house, you insist that I leave, but I say, ‘I’ve made all the beds and washed the dishes and done the laundry and swept the floors. In fact, I have done all the things you do not like to do. I am hard working and honest. Well, except for when I broke into your house.’
According to the protesters, not only must you let me stay, you must also add me to your family’s insurance plan, educate my children, pay for all my family’s medical and other healthcare needs, and provide many other benefits to me and to my family. My husband will do your gardening and general odd jobs because he, too, is hard-working and honest. Well, except for when we broke into your house.
If you try to call the police or force me out, I will call my friends, who will picket your house carrying signs that proclaim my legal right to be there. It is only fair, after all, because you have a nicer house than I do, and I am just trying to better myself.
I am hard working and honest ,well, except for the breaking in part.
And what a great deal it is for me! I live in your house, contributing only a fraction of the cost of my keep, and there is nothing you can do about it without being accused of selfishness and prejudice against house breakers.
You must learn my language, so you can communicate with me, because English is too hard for me to learn. Also, you must change the rules in your schools so that my children can wear the clothes I want them to wear, rather than the uniform your children have to wear. Your schools must also provide special foods to my children and your children must eat these foods, too, because I do not want my children eating many of the foods you and your children eat. Otherwise, you must build schools that are especially for my children, and others like them, where they can wear the clothes of my choice, speak the language of my choice, eat the food of my choice and are taught the subjects of my choice. If you are of a different religion to me, you and your children must also learn all about my family’s religion, although the schools you build for my children will not teach them about the religion of you and your family. As I am living in your house, you and your family must stop celebrating your own religious festivals but allow me always to celebrate mine.
If I break the rules of your house, I should not be subject to the same punishments as your own family because my rules may be different from yours.
You should also allow me to vote – in my own language – because I live in your house”.
(Author unknown at this time.)
September 13, 2010
Filed Under (Puzzling) by Keith on 13-09-2010
I wonder if there is anyone who understands the strange language that’s used by ‘texters’.
Being of an incredible old age I can’t get my head round it; to me it’s like some secret wartime code.
I received the following message a month ago from a friend, who I haven’t seen for the last four weeks, and he’s not answering his phone so I can’t ask him what the strange message is about.
If you can help translate it into English for me, or even French, I would be most grateful (but not grateful enough to pay money!).