Saturday, February 26, 2011

7 Quick Takes: 25th Feburary 2011

1. I have been feeling so sad all week for the people of Christchurch, New Zealand, as they deal with the terrible effects of this week's earthquake. It's hard to say why this touched me so much, as I don't have any friends or relatives in New Zealand. Maybe because NZ always seems such a gentle country, and a truly beautiful one (think of all that amazing scenery in the Lord of the Rings movies). It is certainly somewhere I would love to visit one day. For a positive story of good coming out of tragedy, go and read Linds' post on the Student Volunteer Army. Eighteen thousand young people out on the streets of Christchurch doing whatever is needed, mobilised through Facebook and other social media. Wonderful.

2. This week's archive find was a list of "Remembrances" scribbled on the back of a survey of trees in a manor park, dated 1599. Mostly a shopping list for his lady, this Elizabethan gentlemen had to remember a kirtle for his wife, a screen, his wife's gloves, a new silver seal, a "rebatta" for his wife (I have no idea what this is, but I'm pretty sure that was the word), and pins of three different sorts. I love stumbling across this sort of day-to-day trivia.

3. I also stumbled across Old Money, an iPhone app issued in conjunction with The National Archives which gives conversions of old money into modern currency and vice versa. Input the amount (pounds, shillings and pence) and the year and it will tell you todays value. Quite fun, and it only costs 59 pence - worth it to satisfy my curiosity about the real value of Mr Darcy's £10,000 a year. It caught my attention as the historian who contributed to the app was a fellow student of mine.

4. Another computer application I have completely fallen in love with is Evernote. I started using it to keep various notes, to-do lists and articles for my archive course together, but now I'm using it for everything I want to keep track of - recipes, knitting patterns, STUFF! I can then access all my stuff (and add more) from any computer (Mac or PC), my iPad and my phone. Sheer brilliance. I saw someone describe it as their second brain early this week. I know what they mean. A second brain is very important when your first brain no longer remembers simple facts like where I saw that comment!

5. It is half term. Domestic chaos reached its peak on Wednesday. A-next-door got her shower stuck on when everyone else in her family was out. I couldn't turn it off either, but fortunately I knew a man who could (their other neighbour, a member of our international dining company). Then Star saw fit to encourage Cherub to practice for a non-existent egg and spoon race. With a real, uncooked egg. In the sitting room. The carpeted sitting room. How Cherub managed not to drop it I have no idea, particularly given the number of times she subsequently dropped the potato she practiced with after I removed the egg. Star is still alive. I'm not quite certain she would have been had Cherub dropped the egg. Does the girl have no common sense at all?

6. Cherubism of the week ... Angel explained Blind Man's Buff to Cherub, who got very excited by the idea. A few minutes later she was told me "I'm desperate to play Chinese Buffles!" Apparently she confused it somewhat with Chinese Whispers. As the week progressed, she got closer to the right name. It is now known as Blind Man's Buffles.

7. The highlight of my day today was watching Cherub's face as she discovered that Rice Krispies really do go snap, crackle and pop.

Read more quick takes at Conversion Diary

1 comment:

Catherine said...

What IS the current value of the 10,000 pounds? We're reading Pride and Prejudice in school right now and I'd love to know. Looked at the app and it doesn't look like it works in dollars, so I'm not going to buy it. :)