Friday 4 April 2014

Random Friday: 5 random facts for the weekend ...

This week has been really busy. It's taken me an awful lot of time to get very little done. I don't know whether I was broadsided by the onset of my son, Emi's, school holidays or whether there was some sort of sedative in the cloud of red dust that arrived in London from the Western Sahara at the beginning of the week. Whatever the way of it my car looks like it's just done the Paris to Dakar rally, and I'm running on a fixed go-to-bed early setting.

I hope that you've had a productive week and that everything's going well at your end.

Here are my five random facts for Friday.

1. Emi finally got his passport. Hurrah! We had to wait for two and a half hours at the Irish Embassy just to pick it up, but given what was going on around us that didn't seem so bad. Ladies were crying, men were shouting with anger and children were running amok as their parents slowly lost the will to live. The hands of the clock travelled around its face, the sun went by outside, and still the people waited ... and waited ... and waited in the passport queue. It seemed as though no one's passport had been printed when it ought to have been. All around us holidays were being ruined, plans for family get-togethers were withering and dying on the vine and business trips were being postponed. It was not a happy place. The Irish government's budget cuts were very much in evidence. The Embassy was under-staffed, and I felt sorry for the poor people on the other side of the counter who, through no fault of their own, were having to deal with so much unhappiness.

OK! OK! So I've got nothing to do with the random facts ... let's just say it's a random photo!

2. Armed with Emi's passport we were free to blow town and head for Spain. First thing the following morning we caught le Shuttle, sped through le Tunnel under the English Channel, arrived in Calais and bombed down the French motorways to cross the Pyrenees into Spain 12 hours' later. It was a great trip with a few stops here and there for coffee and a closer look at the odd thing that called out to be investigated. Maxi and Emi kept one another entertained in the back seat and our Spotify play-list lasted the course.

The Costa Brava ...

3. Meanwhile back in London they've been excavating a plague pit under Charterhouse Square. Since they exhumed Richard III from under a car park in Leicester we've all been on tenterhooks to see who they'll pull up next. These days Crossrail are busy digging all over the shop to put in the infrastructure for their high-speed trains. Last week one of their tunnels made the news when it was unknowingly sunk in a forgotten cemetery for victims of a plague outbreak way back in 1348. Archeologists had long suspected that there was an unaccounted-for burial site somewhere just outside the old city walls, but they'd been looking for it in all the wrong places. Everyone got very excited and the forensic experts started to examine the bones. And it was amazing what those old bones were able to tell them. The people buried there were poor folk, from the bottom end of the social scale. Somewhere in the region of  forty percent of them had come from other places to make their lives in the Big Smoke. Their skeletons spoke of how they'd been accustomed to hard, manual labour. A few bad summers with failed harvests had left them malnourished, weakening their immune systems and making them more susceptible to infection. Many of them had rickets. Most tellingly of all they found traces of the plague bacterium still in their teeth, and concluded that this was how they'd met their ends.

4. And now back to sunny Spain, where ... its raining!! ... Argh!! Where has the warm embrace of the Mediterranean sun gone to? The forecast promises that things will get back to normal weather-wise tomorrow - and not a moment too soon if you ask me!

5. So to celebrate the return of normal spring weather, Emi, Maxi and I are going rock-pooling tomorrow. It's one of our favourite things to do over here. There are lots of little beasties hiding out in the pools, and Emi is always enthusiastic about having a look at them. Maxi is very happy to spend his time just running around in the sand, so he'll probably go chasing up and down the beach trying to catch the wind. And, if there's a sea breeze then maybe we'll bring our kite to do a bit of wind-chasing as well.

Emi's super-cool kite

Whatever you're doing, and wherever you're doing it, have a great weekend,

Bonny x


  1. Yay for Emi getting his passport. I definitely would not have wanted to be working at that office...those poor employees!

  2. Thanks, Robin. Yes it totally wasn't their fault, but they were treated as though it were. All the best, Bonny