Köhler’s Apes


Blogger Tom Stephenson described recently how he retrieved a small, ancient metal blade that had mysteriously appeared on an out-of-reach flat roof by using a long pole and a magnet. I could sense his immense satisfaction in the flash of insight into how to retrieve it and it gave me vicarious joy to read how the blade popped on to the magnet for him to haul it in. Köhler’s apes would be impressed. This is how culture, in its widest sense, is passed on.

Wolfgang Köhler, if you’ve not heard of him, was one of those psychologists whose ideas made the study of that subject a pure delight before it became all numbers and logic. He described how insight and problem-solving are not confined to humans … (read full post on Blogger)



Isn’t it irritating when a blogger blocks you simply for questioning his rather biased and inflammatory political posts through polite and reasoned comment? Suppress all dissent! I didn’t even disagree entirely. Shame because otherwise he writes quite interesting posts. I suppose I will have to unfollow him.. (read full post with comments on Blogger)

Teenage Mums

My mum’s cousin who was born in 1928 said that for her thirteenth birthday she received a toy pram with a life-sized dolly. She paraded it proudly up and down the village high street.

Thirteen! I kid you not. In later life she couldn’t believe it herself. Nowadays, it’s more likely she would have a real one.

It reminds me of a joke about the much-parodied detergent ad:

         now hands that do dishes can feel as soft as your face
         with mild green Fairy Liquid

         Mummy, why are your hands so soft?
         Because I’m only fifteen.



The biggest, tastiest, juiciest plums we’ve had in over twenty-five years here. They seem to have thinned themselves out naturally during the earlier hot, dry weather and then swelled to perfection in the recent rain. At last, something to match the produce from all those gardener-bloggers who don’t live at 750 feet in the north of England.

Gardening for me started when I was little and wanted to “plant some seeds”…
(Read full post on Blogger)

From Ferrybridge to Finland


Those huge cloud factories, the eight enormous cooling towers of Ferrybridge C Power Station, have stood beside the A1 in Yorkshire for over fifty years (the power station itself has existed one form or another for over ninety), but not for much longer. One tower was demolished on July 28th, four more will go in October and all will be gone by 2021 … (read full post on Blogger)

Petrol Rationing

Could a no-deal Brexit lead to fuel rationing? There’s not much talk of it as yet but the Government would be negligent not to have plans in place.

In a recent post about petrol cans, I mentioned the 1973-74 oil crisis when rationing came close. Revisiting it again in archive newspapers reminded me what a comical tale of widespread selfishness and bureaucratic ineptitude it was. An indication of things to come, perhaps.

Read full post on Blogger (~1400 words).