Does anyone else have the occasional memory spring randomly into their mind about something heard or learnt in childhood but had long forgotten? Of course it usually happens when you’re in the shower or just dropping off to sleep, so you forget about it again even though you would like to investigate it.

Well that happened to me the other night, yes, as I was dropping off to sleep. Luckily I wasn’t so asleep I couldn’t scribble a reminder. (I always have a pad of Post-Its and a pencil by the bed.)

And what was this? Something I got from my mother as a child: dialect numbers and counting used by shepherds in various areas of the UK. I learnt one from my mother, but there are many and they’re all slightly different.

Imagine you’re counting sheep on a hillside. The one I learnt goes like this:

1    Yan
2    Tyan
3    Tethera
4    Methera
5    Pimp
6    Sethera
7    Lethera
8    Hovera
9    Dovera
10   Dick
11   Yan-a-dick
12   Tyan-a-dick
13   Tethera-dick
14   Methera-dick
15   Bumfit
16   Yan-a-bumfit
17   Tyan-a-bumfit
18   Tethera-bumfit
19   Methera-bumfit
20   Giggot

You can just see the old shepherd, who can just count to ten on his fingers, using this to count his flock.

I shouldn’t have been surprised to find that Wikipedia lists a couple of dozen such sheep counting schemes from around the UK. Apparently this one comes from Borrowdale. That would fit as my mother certainly spend time hostelling in the Lakes before the war.

At least it is logical — well as logical as the way the French count above sixty, where for instance 63 is soixante-treize, and 92 is quatre-vingt douze.

Isn’t it just brilliant?!

Pussy Porn

Winter is coming, the cats are getting keener to be in rather than out — not that this stops them going out for a little light mouse-foraging! All afternoon I’ve had two of our three cats with me in the study, very asleep and both determinedly trying to make it rain.

Wiz has found the warm spot in front of the airing cupboard …


Meanwhile Tilly has a little cave amongst the piles of stuff and toot …


Where number three is I have no idea, but doubtless in much the same state!

Weekly Photograph

Pussy porn again this week …

Meet the latest two additions to the household: The Tuxedo Twins.
Born: 6 April 2016
Arrived here: 3 June 2016
Mother was rescued, very pregnant, and cared for by our local animal rescue group, Guardian Angels Animal Support. These two were our choice from the five kittens. Needless to say our existing cat, Tilly, is not impressed. Well not yet anyway!

Tuxedo Twins (Primrose and Wizard) Enjoying a Lie-in and a Radiator
Tuxedo Twins (Primrose and Wizard) Enjoy a Lie-in and a Radiator
Greenford; June 2016

Wizard (Tuxedo Boy) Practices his Ninja Moves
Wizard (Tuxedo Boy) Practices his Ninja Moves
Greenford; June 2016

Primrose (Tuxedo Girl) Attacks the String
Primrose (Tuxedo Girl) Attacks the String
Greenford; June 2016

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Weekly Photograph

Apologies for the hiatus last week, I got buried in various pieces of urgent work.

This week we delve once more into the archives. This is from one of our 2010 visit to Rye and environs. It is a detail from the garden at Prospect Cottage, the late Derek Jarman’s home at Dungeness. The stone circle is probably just under 3 feet across.

Prospect Cottage Garden Detail
Prospect Cottage Garden Detail
Dungeness; August 2010

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Weekly Photograph

A couple of weeks ago I posted a photo of one of my Phalaenopsis orchids, all of which are in flower. And now, this week, one of my Dendrobiums has come into flower on the study windowsill. Not prolifically, but nice nonetheless.

Dendrobium in Winter Sun
Greenford; February 2016

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Oddity of the Week: Playboy

According to the Weird Universe website, quoting the Houston Chronicle of 12 August 2010 …

Playboy magazine has long published an audio edition, and the Library of Congress produces a text edition in Braille. However, as a Houston Chronicle reporter learned in August [2010], a Texas organization (Taping for the Blind) goes one step further, with volunteer reader Suzi Hanks actually describing the photographs — even the Playmates and other nudes. “I’d say if she has large breasts or small breasts, piercings or tattoos,” said Hanks. “I’ll describe her genitalia. I take my time describing the girls.” “Hey, blind guys like pretty, naked girls, too!”