Met up with Terry for a little walk and a pub lunch. We rendezvoused at the Natural History Museum in Tring, we have met here before, see theBloG entry for 2014, then car shuffled to Cowroast and Berkhamstead. Our plan being to walk to The Rising Sun in Berkhamstead along the canal towpath.
After lunch we had to find the car which we had parked right next to the pub according to the sat nav but was in fact off the high street and on the other side of the canal. There was some debate in the bar as to where we might have left it, smart phones were drawn, and a route suggested. Then someone said 'are the stepping stones still there?' turned out that if we crossed the lock we could then get across the bywash on stepping stones....if they were still there... so across the lock we went and sure enough the stepping stones were still there though one was under water [quite a lot of water in the cut after the rains] anyway we reckoned we could use them and Terry stepped forward with confidence, balanced easily on the first stone and took a large stride for the steep bank and then fell back into the bywash and landed up to his knees in water.
He helped me to cross safely and then we had a squelshy walk back to the car.
So back to meet up with Rosemary at the Natural History Museum's temporary exhibition of prize winners from the 'Wildlife photographer of the year award'. We always tease Rosemary that it is her ambition to gain this award for her famous pics of fuzzy ducks.
The Wildlife photographer of the year photographs were stunning, and thought provoking and the picture of the pangolin pit especially so. It was of a pit dug to dispose of the contents of a shipping container that had been full of pangolin, part of an intercept of a small part of the illegal wildlife trade.
After this I decided I wanted a little light relief, if that is what one can call looking at more stuffed and dead animals, and went in search of rock hyrax. I wanted to see these as tw had enjoyed their companionship when he had seen them on Table Mountain in Cape Town. [Where they are known as dassie. Apparently, the African elephant is their closest living relative, though they are about as big as a cat.]
They are to be found on the top floor in Gallery 6, in Case 18 which, by co-incidence, they share with pangolin. Seeing the pangolin brought home to me the enormity of that container of rotting ones, which lacked scale, those curled up little bodies are not little trilobites, they are kittens and their mothers.
The same seizure also contained crated live pangolin some of which survived to be released back into the wild by Sharon Kwok, the Mission Blue Board Director, Founder and Executive Director of Aqua Meridian Conservation & Education Foundation.
They are prized for their scales which are made of the protein keratin, as is rhino horn, finger nails and hair. Apparently, this material has very beneficial properties in so-called alternate medicine as amongst other things it is said to be an aphrodisiac.
A few years ago, a popular measure of Bill Gates wealth was the value of just one of his eyelashes. I've just worked it out to-day and you can check my arithmetic if you like.
Bill Gates is worth approximately £90 billion that is $90x10⁹
I'm told that he weighs 64Kg.
An eyelash weighs 40x10⁻⁶g
So Bill Gates has the same weight as 64000/40x10⁻⁶=1.6x10⁹ eyelashes
So one of his eyelashes is worth $90x10⁹/1.6x10⁹ = $6
Pangolin scales sell for £3000 per kg, Bill Gates is worth $1.6 million per kg. oh well
Please contact me if you would like to buy my finger nail clippings, these have a rarity value being already reduced in the wild by 10%.
Had a great weekend down in St Leonards and Hastings with sister Alex , Jim ,Liz, Mark and Peter when he could escape from entertaining folk at the Ritz.
Apart from a lot [I mean a lot] of walking along the prom and round the second hand, charity and err antique shops, [there is nowhere else that I know of that can compare to these I think], buying wet fish off the beach and then barbequing it on the beach, what more could one want?
Niece Jane is in South Africa at the moment, ostensibly researching the genetic diversity of cheetahs. As you can see from her latest post, not everyone appreciates intrusion into the intimate details of their sex lives.
Those of a nervous disposition might like to note that the vegetable kingdom is just as vicious as the animal.
If you have a ship and she seems almost what you want, keep her, there may be a better ship, but there is certainly a worse one.
So I have finally listed Scarab on ebay, she has been a perfect family boat for us and will be much missed although more in prospect than in practice.
Rosemary has never really recovered from being rescued [in an other life] by the inshore lifeboat at Aberdyfi, they rescued her alright but she was hoisted on-board unceremoniously, by a hairy lifeboat crew member, suspended, helpless from her belt. So she has not been keen on sailing ever since.
Tanya's brother is getting married on Friday and tw has come back from the University of Cape Town for the occasion. Trips home during term time have to be short so a lot to do before he goes back, including making a wedding present.
Per and Marit in town so a good excuse to convene a meeting of the Cheesists. It was good to meet up with those who could make it and we have resolved to meet up again soon AND to embark on another series of peripatetic meetings along a different underground line, probably the Jubilee Line.