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Bill Bryson: The secret life of your home
Ever wondered why forks have four prongs? Or why we choose salt and pepper over other spices? For his new book, Bill Bryson took a trip around his own house to find out why we live the way we do.
via Bill Bryson: The secret life of your home | Life and style | The Guardian.
In one passage, describing the original owner of the house in Norfolk where he and his family now lives, Bryson writes:
“If it was Thomas Marsham’s goal in life to make as little impression as possible upon history, he achieved it gloriously.”
We’re in the presence of a master here, possibly the most informative and yet funniest non-fiction writer of our times. In the wake of that kind of writing, I know when I’m outclassed. So just read the rest of the article, and marvel again at Bryson’s gift for finding such wonder in the seemingly commonplace and mundane. Still on top of his form, after a long run including A Short History of Nearly Everything, the man shows no sign yet of slowing down. It’s enough to make you weep.
CHARTREUSE, the liquor, with its slightly vegetal taste and vivid green-yellow colour, was the preferred tipple of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson and remains a favourite with late-night barflies. But the demon drink has more celestial origins, originating from the Carthusian monks in the Chartreuse mountains of France. The secret recipe is said to date from a 17th-century alchemist and is held by only three monks at any one time…
via Chartreuse, France travel guide | In the spirit of reflection.
Well, I’m not sure how relevant it is that Chartreuse was Hunter Thompson’s ‘preferred tipple’, as I think his preferred ‘tipples’ ranged anywhere from wild turkey to heineken, chivas regal to champagne to margaritas. I don’t think the mad old coot would have turned his nose up at Tequila either – provided of course he’d just hoovered up another fat line of cocaine or speed. (Not that I’m one to knock another man’s hobbies).
Perhaps what the writer from the Sydney Morning Herald’s travel section is trying to say, is that this Chartreuse concoction is fairly combustible hooch. She’s got that right. Yet the words Handle With Care are not printed anywhere on the rather elegant bottle, at least as far as I recall. Chartreuse is a sophisticated drink.
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Memo to Eli Roth, the creator of Hostel, these pictures depict some of the scariest scenes to be witnessed in Bratislava, namely, the gargoyles on the town hall. Oh, there’s the occasional menacing skinhead I suppose, and in the summer, plenty of pissed-up Brits doing the bachelor party thing.
Obviously, these gargoyles aren’t particularly scary, but they are beautiful, at least to my way of thinking. The hobo has been to the Slovakian capital more times than he can remember. (Known as Pressburg to the Austrians, and Pozsony to the Hungarians) On this particular visit, we were on our way to a place called Cachtice, which was one of Erzsebet Bathory’s many residences.
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A snow white Bengal tiger has become the first of its kind to exist in the wild today after being born without stripes.
Keepers at the ranch were delighted when Fareeda and her siblings were born on Christmas Day last year, but even more surprised to see Fareeda’s rare lack of markings. Photo: CATERS
The six-month-old cub is so rare it is thought there are fewer than 20 tigers like her alive in the world – all in captivity.
via Tiger born with no stripes – Telegraph.
For a grown man who has spent much of the last three months wrestling with feral cats, or at least a book about them, this delightful story and photo were simply too cute to resist. You’d think I’d have had enough of felines by now…