Showing posts from April, 2016

Interesting Fact - Clothes

If we ever needed proof that Brits are getting bigger, here it is:  High street retailer Debenhams is now stocking clothing in sizes up to XXXXXL.

(Debenhams say they have begun to stock the 5XL size in male ranges to meet demand.  The new big and tall range goes up to a 64-inch chest and a 20-inch collar.

The previous largest size was 3XL, but demand for larger sizes of shirts, suits, tops, casual jackets and trousers has soared by 170% over the last 2 years.

If you go to their Big and Tall website, they even list XXXXXXL - 6XL!

Now all I can think about is what clothing size the Hulk is.  Does anyone know?)

Interesting Fact - Time

According to researchers from the Sao Jose Faculty of Medicine in Brazil, time goes by more quickly when you're over 50.

(In the study people were asked to close their eyes and mentally count the passing of 120 seconds.  They all counted too quickly.

On average, men and women in the 15 to 29 age group counted down the 120 seconds in 115 seconds.  In the 30 to 49 age group they took 96 seconds, but the over-50s took just 86 seconds. This meant the oldest group perceived time as passing 25 per cent more quickly than the youngest did.

The researchers believe it is possibly due to age-related changes in levels of brain chemicals involved in concentration and memory, both of which are involved in estimating the passage of time.

I think it's more likely that at 50+ you simply have more to do, and feel you have less time to do it in.)


PS -If you want to be able to count in seconds more accurately, say the number plus the word elephants.

Interesting Fact - Family

According to research carried out by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’.

(The unamed monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe.

Previous genetic research has found that 16 million men across the world could be related to Genghis Khan, the Mongol leader who died in 1227.

So, who's your daddy?)


Interesting Date - 23rd April

William Shakespeare was probably born on April 23rd, and he died on this day in 1616, 400 years ago. It is also St George's Day in England, and according to the Arden Shakespeare Miscellany, St George is mentioned 16 times in his plays.

(The most famous mention is in Henry V: "Cry 'God' for Harry! England and Saint George!")

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let it pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nost…


22nd April is Earth day.

(It's also Jelly Bean day, which makes it a great day to be on planet earth.)

Happy Earth Day Earthlings.  :)


21st April

Queen Elizabeth turns 90. This is her "real" birthday. She was born at 2.40am on 21 April 1926 at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London.

Happy Birthday

Interesting People - Queen Elizabeth II

When Queen Elizabeth was born she stood third in line of succession to the throne after Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), and her father, The Duke of York.

(She has 9 royal thrones - 1 at the House of Lords, 2 at Westminster Abbey, and 6 in the throne room at Buckingham Palace.

It was never expected that she would become Queen.)

90 pictures

Interesting Fact - Finding Money

According to a study conducted by TopCashback website, on average, in 2015 pedestrians in the UK picked up £5.45 each in dropped change, and one in 20 managed to find £20.

(However, millions of Brits would not stoop to pick up anything less than 50p dropped on the floor: only 4 in 10 people would bother to bend down to pick up a penny, and most would ignore anything that wasn't silver. 

1 in 3 people said they would not pick up any cash dropped as in their eyes it would be stealing, however 8 in 10 Brits applied the finders-keepers rule, but they were unsur about how much they would pocket if no-one was around.  Most agreed that anything over £10 and they would hand it into the police, or give the cash to charity or a homeless person.

6 in 10 would hand in money left at a cash point by mistake, but only a fifth would run after the person who absent mindedly walked off without it.  Scarily 1 in 10 would quietly pop it into their purse or wallet.

I will admit, I picked up a 50p pie…


20th April

National look alike day.

Who do you look like?

Interesting Fact - Toilet Paper

According to consumer watchdog Which?, loo rolls in the UK have shrunk in size.

(The best selling brand Andrex has reduced the size of its Classic White by 8% (from 240 to 221 sheets per roll), but of course prices have remained the same.
If they keep going, they'll just be selling the cardboard roll.)

Interesting Fact - Work

According to research from Japan, people over 40 perform best at work if their working week is restricted to 3 days.

(They found that a part-time job keeps the brain stimulated, while avoiding exhaustion and stress.

The bad news is that not working also damaged brain function. However, working extremely long hours was more damaging than not working at all.)


13th April

Scrabble Day

Interesting Food - Liquorice Allsorts

Licorice Allsorts are a very popular sweet in the UK.  They are a colourful mixture of liquorice, sugar, coconut, aniseed jelly, fruit flavourings, and gelatine.

(They were first produced in Sheffield, England, by Geo. Bassett & Co Ltd, under the name Bassett's Allsorts, but the idea of mixing up several sweets came about by accident.  According to Basset's own marketing, in 1899 a sales representative for the company, Charlie Thompson, supposedly dropped a tray of samples he was showing a client in Leicester, mixing up the various sweets. After he scrambled to re-arrange them, the client was intrigued by the new creation.

All I know is they are delicious, and thankfully there isn't one bit of salted liquorice in them.)


April 12th

Is liquorice day.

!Note -  liquorice (BrE) / licorice (AmE)

Interesting Fact - Home Decor

According to a survey commissioned by Nationwide Credit Cards, the 1970s was the most tasteless decade when it comes to home decor in the UK.

#TBT to when avocado bathrooms were in. Seriously, who thought that was a good look?! — WICKES (@Wickes) January 29, 2015

(Lava lamps, orange and purple decor, tartan upholstery, shagpile rugs, avocado bathrooms and woodchip wallpaper all contributed to make the 70s so unstylish, but the 1980s, with its textured ceilings, frills and flounces, and Laura Ashley prints came second at 16 per cent.
I wonder what they will say about the 2010s?)

Interesting Fact - British Weddings

According to data from, more and more Brits are getting married on a Thursday.

(Is this because of tradition, or for religious reasons?  No.  It's because it's cheaper.  Seemingly, tying the knot at weekends can cost thousands of pounds more for the cost of venues, catering and entertainers.

Caroline Hendry, editor of, said that Thursdays are popular as many venues charge the same high prices on a Friday as they do on the weekend. She added: ‘With many venues and wedding suppliers booking up months or even years in advance, a Thursday wedding can also give couples a better chance of booking their first choice vendors.’

At a time when everyone is struggling with debts and rising house prices, around 21,700 couples chose to marry on a Thursday in 2015 – about 6,000 more than in 2008.

According to figures compiled by the Daily Mail, the Achnagairn Estate in the Highlands, where castle hire, including use of the ballroom and a two-night stay for 55 peo…

Interesting Fact - Books

Acopy of Shakespeare's First Folio has been discovered at a stately home on a Scottish Island, just in time for the 400th anniversary of his death.
(The book contains 36 of the bard's plays, and was published in 1623, seven years after his death.  It brought together the majority of his plays for the first time, without which there would be no copies  for more than half of them, including Macbeth and The Tempest. The book had been in the library of Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute for more than 100 years, and was confirmed as genuine by Emma Smith, Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Oxford University.  It's quite a find, as a previous copy sold for £2.8m in 2006.)

Interesting Word - Sett

In honour of Tartan Day, did you know that the word 'sett' doesn't just apply to a badger's lair, it also is used to describe the vertical and horizontal striped pattern on tartan.

(The sett the basic 'tile' or 'block' that repeats itself across the width and along the length of the tartan or plaid.)

If you would like to find your tartan you can do so here:-


6th April

National Tartan Day

Interesting Place - Dudley

A ferris wheel has been branded the "worst tourist attraction in Britain" because it offers panoramic views of - Dudley.

(In a bid to put Dudley "back on the map", the 114 ft (35m) attraction has been erected in the centre of the Black Country town. Sponsored by local radio station Free Radio, it costs a mere £4.50 a ride. It was previously erected in Birmingham, but will only be in the town for one month.

Organisers boast that it offers a birds-eye view of the regeneration of the town centre, including the zoo and castle, but people in the town and surrounding areas have criticised the move and fear it will make them a "laughing stock".

Local resident Barney Fletcher said, "Who would want to spend £4.50 to go and get an elevated view of some old office buildings, an abandoned bingo hall and a shopping centre?",and it's already been nicknamed the "Dud-l'eye" (which is how the town is pronounced in a West Midlands accent.)

Interesting Fact - House Prices

According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics, house prices in the UK have risen 47 thousand percent since the Queen was born.

(The average house price has risen from just over £600 when she was born in 1926 to £291,000 today.

To put that into perspective,  a pint of milk cost the equivalent of 1.3p in 1926 and is only 42p today, a rise of 3,131%. However, if the price of milk had risen in line with property prices it would cost £612.57 a pint.

47,000% ! If only my income had increased that much.)


4 / 4 / 16
Square Root Day - The 4th day of the 4th month of the 16th year.


4x4 = 16

The next square root day won't be until 2025.  Can you work out what date it will fall on?