Tessa's Tête-à-Tête
A disembodied photo of my head. (Normally, I try to keep my head on my shoulders!)
Hello - thank you for
taking the time to visit
my Blog. Please feel free
to add your comment to
any entry via the 'post
your comment' link......
Come back soon.

*SPAM Comments*
N.B. These will be deleted!

I'm Fund-Raising
with Oxfam UK

Help me to buy a Camel
for a Community in Need
links to a secure site for donations
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
        Access Archives
« April 2005 »
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
via the Calendar or view...
Entries by Topic
All topics
Blog Moved
Family Days Out
Festive Season
Films and TV
Health Issues
In the News  «
Music and Art
My Web Pages
Nature and Our World
Poetry and Poets
Recipes and Food
Special Days
Web Design
Print A Recipe
Brandy Pudding
New England Plum Pudding

On My Website:
Marthe Janssen-Leyder
About Me
The Airman's Story

• Excelent Read •
World War II History
Forced to parachute to safety, Douglas Jennings was helped by the Belgian Secret Army
by Douglas Jennings the RAF Air Bomber featured on my website
Book Details AND
How to Order

My Blog List
An Englishman's Castle
A Product of the 80's
Baghdad Burning
Blognor Regis Cancergiggles
Daily Iraqi Cheese Grader
Jamie's Big Voice
Jonzo's Rantings
The Loom
My Big Trip Blog
Moniales OP
Random Acts of Reality
Re. Tired (Joanna's Blog)
Stephen Pollard
Stu Savory's Blog
The Gray Monk
The Pope Blog

Useful Websites
Dan's Web Tips
HTML Goodies
Lynx Viewer
Rogue Anti-Spyware
Shields Up
Webmonkey Tools

About Chichester
(My Home Town)

Roman Chichester
A Brief History
Chichester Cathedral
Weather Forecast

the old Market Cross in Chichester, West Sussex
Near Chichester
Bosham Village
Boxgrove Priory
Roman Palace
Open Air Museum

Recent Posts:
September 2005


Battle of Britain

Fertility Treatment

The Plumber's Tale of Woe

Learning to Read and Write

Bureaucracy Gone Mad

What is Really Happening in New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina

The Tooth Fairy Forgot to Come!!!

August 2005

More Surgery!"

How I Met Michael Rennie (1909-1971)

"The Sixth Lamentation" - An Excellent Book

French Onions

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)

I'm Recovering Well

Well, I'm Glad That's Over!

Just Me Prattling

The Russian Mini-Submarine

Amazing Animals: The Sturgeon

The Tower Subway

Surgical Pre-Assessment

July 2005

The Coal Delivery

Spyware and Anti-spyware"

Getting Enough Sleep?

An Insidious Cancer

Americans First on the Moon

"The Lion King"

Update on my Biopsy

Have I had my Head Buried in the Sand?


Animal Intelligence

Fl./Lt. Dennis G. Hornsey, D.F.C.

The English Language

London Bombs

Marriage Advice?

My Biopsy

A Message for the World's Leaders

June 2005


A 'Perfect' Day

Amazing Animals: The Emperor Penguin

Crowned on this Day in 1509

A Sweet for a Special Occasion

King Solomon's Mines

Father's Day

Tiger, Tiger....


Cockroaches and Human Fertility

World's Best Character Actor

Computer Decisions

Food for Thought


World Ocean Day

Daft as a Brush (or Two)

Douglas Jennings, RAF Evader During WW II

Lord of the Rings

Driving Me Mad

You are not logged in. Log in

Map of the United Kingdom
This confuses the Spam harvesters

Unique Hits
hit counters
Free Counter added
5th December 2004

Sponsor Link
Baby Stores

Free JavaScripts on this page from

Monday, 4 April 2005
Royal Wedding Postponed!
Topic: In the News
Following confirmation from the Vatican that the Pope's funeral will take place on Friday and after initial reports saying that the Royal Wedding would go ahead as planned, Prince Charles has been forced to postpone the ceremony. The Times Online has now revised its earlier article to report that Clarence House has announced that the Royal Wedding will be delayed one day, "as a mark of respect".

Pull the other one - they didn't have any choice. All the important guests, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is giving the 'blessing', and the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, wanted to attend the Pope's funeral.

Posted by Noviomagus at 16:16 BST Post Comment | Permalink

Karol Wojtyla (1920-2005)
Topic: In the News
The first non-Italian Pope since 1523, he is already being called John Paul the Great - a humble man who chose the same name as his predecessor. See this Blog entry by, Moniales a Dominican Nun, and the translated poem by Juliusz Slowacki (1809-1849).

The Polish people have asked for his heart to be sent home to Krakow, where Karol Wojtyla was appointed Archbishop in 1964 and Cardinal in 1967 before being elected Pope on 16th October 1978. Apparently, this was one of the Pope's last wishes. I know it has been a tradition of the Church to distribute relics of saints but somehow it seems wrong to me to 'desecrate' a pope's body so soon after death. Why not send some of his hair?

Will Karol Wojtyla become a Saint? Yes, I am absolutely sure he will.

It seems that the Pope's funeral is likely to be held on Friday, 8th April 2005. Was something else scheduled for that day? Oh, yes - a wedding. Perhaps that is God's way of diverting attention away from someone else's sinful past!   [Stop being cynical, Tessa, and remember the parable about throwing the first stone.]

Posted by Noviomagus at 13:14 BST Post Comment | Permalink

Sunday, 3 April 2005
John Paul II (1978-2005) - Requiescat In Pace
Topic: In the News
May the angels Pope John Paul IIlead thee into Paradise; may the martyrs receive thee into the holy city Jerusalem.   May the choir of angels receive thee; and with Lazarus, who once was poor, mayest thou have eternal rest. (from the Absolution of the Dead)

I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of Thy House; and the place where dwelleth Thy GloryIn those days: I heard a voice from heaven, saying to me: "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. From henceforth now, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; for their works follow them."
(Apocalypse 14. 13)

Posted by Noviomagus at 11:02 GMT Post Comment | Permalink

Thursday, 31 March 2005
Elections in Zimbabwe
Topic: In the News
So, Zimbabweans are going to the polls today to vote. My dictionary defines 'vote' as "a formal expression of will, wish or choice in some matter". What wish? What choice? None, it seems, under Robert Mugabe. Voters have been intimidated and threatened with violence, and even denied food supplies unless they vote for his Zanu-PF Party. Now, it seems that even a candidate for the MDC, the main opposition party, (the Movement for Democratic Change), has been attacked and has 'disappeared'. Will he resurface or is his fate to be 'eaten by a lion'?

This will not be a democratic election, nor will it be a legitimate election. The rumours are that the voters' roll lists up to 1 million dead people, more than 300,000 duplicate names and 1 million people who no longer live at their registered addresses. Everyone agrees that there is intimidation and violence. Everyone knows that there is cheating and rigging. The West "condemns" this election but will anyone do anything about it? Will anyone help the people of Zimbabwe to escape the mad cruel tyranny which is slowly choking the life out of their land? I doubt it.

Posted by Noviomagus at 12:07 GMT Post Comment | Permalink

Tuesday, 22 March 2005
Water Shortage
Topic: In the News
It was on the BBC News at Ten last night, it was on the Radio Two News this morning, there is an article in today's Times Online and probably lots of other newspapers are running the story as well. What is it about? Well, apparently we have had such a dry winter in the South of England that the Environment Agency is predicting a water shortage and warning householders of impending hosepipe and sprinkler bans. "Save water", we are told - don't buy plants!

So, what did it do last night? It poured and poured and poured with rain - all night and well into the morning. So heavy was the rain that there was a constant thundering waterfall from next door's faulty guttering at the back of their house. Good job we sleep at the front of our house.

Apparently, the average rainfall for the last four months is down by about 140mm, which means that a lot of reservoirs are down to 57% full instead of 85-90%. Well, they told us that last year and we still got the normal amount of average rain - it just came later than usual! April Showers will probably turn into April Floods - we will wait and see.

Posted by Noviomagus at 12:09 GMT Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink

Sunday, 20 March 2005
Palm Trees and Parrots
Topic: In the News
the date palmApparently, Christian churches are amongst the largest consumers of palm trees, especially on Palm Sunday. Palm fronds, usually from the Date Palm, are handed out to every member of the congregation to commemorate the triumphant entrance of Jesus riding on the back of a donkey, into Jerusalem. So, I was surprised to come across this news item last night, Palm Sunday Pact for Parrot about an initiative in Columbia.

yellow-eared parrotApparently, there are only 540 or so yellow-eared parrots alive in the world today and they all live in the Colombian mountain forests. This is where the world's tallest palm tree, the Wax Palm, (Columbia's national tree) grows. For centuries, Colombians have used the fronds of the wax palm for Palm Sunday. However, when fronds are cut off young wax palms, they die or their growth is seriously stunted. The practice has led to a dramatic thinning of the towering palms, which in turn, affects the poor parrot living amongst them.

So, in a special ceremony in Bogota, a priest has blessed thousands of palm seedlings of the Alexandra palm - one of the alternatives to the wax palm. These will be planted for future Palm Sundays and, hopefully, this initiative will save the wax palm and the yellow-eared parrot from disappearing from the planet.

I knew about date palms, coconut palms and ornamental palms but I had never heard of the wax palm or the Alexandrian palm before, so it made me wonder how many varieties of palm trees there were. Would you believe that there are between 210-236 genera comprising some 2,000 to 2,500 species of palm trees?

Also, I thought palms were mainly tropical plants growing in desert oases or on sandy beaches on coral atolls. So, I was surprised to discover that the great majority grow in gloomy rainforests and perhaps never see the sun, certainly the young plants don't! Apparently, there are many species thriving a long way from the tropics, which actually prefer cool climates, and will happily thrive outdoors in temperature areas such as the United Kingdom. (So, you don't need a conservatory or a greenhouse after all!)

It seems that palm trees, which first evolved during the late Cretaceous period about 85 million years ago, must be one of the most successful and wide-ranging trees on the planet.

Posted by Noviomagus at 12:21 GMT Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink

Monday, 14 March 2005
Einstein's Theory of Relativity Comes 'Full Circle'
Topic: In the News
Albert Einstein's image on a banknoteIt is one hundred years since Einstein wrote his Theory of Relativity (E=mc?) in 1905 and, in his honour, the U.S. General Assembly has named 2005 the World Year of Physics. I read somewhere that Einstein described his famous theory in this simple way: 'When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, it seems like two minutes. When you sit on a hot stove for two minutes, it seems like two hours. That's relativity.' (Wish it was that easy!)

Einstein had a strong belief that the laws of physics were an expression of the Divine. He hated the implications of Quantum Mechanics as this meant that you could no longer describe the universe with absolute accuracy and he spent many years trying to formulate a Theory of Everything. If he is watching from above, I am sure he would be delighted with the theories expounded in a new publication Absolute Intelligence, available from today (the anniversary of his birthday). [Also read this article]. Written by Ilexa Yardley, this book sets out to prove that there is a 'higher intelligence' guiding the universe . I must have a look although I suspect it may be a little too erudite for the likes of me!

Posted by Noviomagus at 13:20 GMT Post Comment | Permalink

Sunday, 13 March 2005
Do You Think You Are A Good Driver?
Topic: In the News
It is 70 years ago today since the introduction of the dreaded Driving Test in Great Britain and around nine years since the theory examination was introduced in 1996. Apparently, a third of motorists (including me!) fear that they would not pass their test if they had to re-take it. [see this news article]. In fact I'm sure I would fail as, in common with a lot of women, my spatial cognition is lacking and I can't reverse park into that small space between two cars or reverse park into my own drive!

Could you pass your Driving Test today? Do you know your Highway Code? Have you had your eyesight tested recently? Are you an agressive driver? Do you think that women are better drivers?

If you want to be a better driver, why not find your local group of Advanced Motorists. These 'clubs' are run by volunteers who advise prospective candidates on how to prepare for the Advanced Driving Test. The approaches vary from informal classroom sessions to on-the-road advice from skilled and experienced IAM Group Members called Observers. Even if you don't take the Advanced Test (or fail it, like I did!) your driving will improve and you will be a safer driver. And, if you have the chance, go for a demonstration drive in a Police Car (part of an LEA evening course on "Better Driving"). Wow! The running commentary on the road ahead and possible hazards was a real eye-opener. It was also great fun watching all the other motorists pulling in and slowing down!

Go on - find out what courses are available in your area.

Posted by Noviomagus at 12:36 GMT Post Comment | Permalink

Sunday, 6 February 2005
May Your Tribe Increase
Topic: In the News
Can you imagine having eighteen children? Possibly - lots of people had very large families in the not so distant past. In Spain in the Sixties, General Franco used to give an annual present of a house to a poor family with the most children. I stayed with my sister in Madrid helping in her English Nursery Class in 1961/62 and I can remember a winner with twenty-four children! It must have been very hard for the runners-up who were persuaded to try for one more child in the hopes of gaining that coveted prize.

So, now you have eighteen children, can you imagine having one hundred grandchildren? And eighteen great-grandchildren? Well, this is the family of a Norwegian couple, Randi and Filip Bekkevold, who have just celebrated the birth of their 100th grandchild. [See this article on the BBC World News]. And they say they know all their names! I know I wouldn't, for sure!

That reminds me of a much-loved teacher in my primary days at the Manor House Convent School in Finchley, North London, who called everyone "Girlie". One day, she was surrounded in the playground by a mass of lassies clamouring for her attention (including me) when the school's Groundsman approached to ask her a question. She turned to him and, without thinking, said, "Yes, Girlie?". She never did quite live that one down!

Posted by Noviomagus at 00:49 GMT Post Comment | Permalink

Tuesday, 11 January 2005
What Happened to the Pure in Heart?
Topic: In the News
Early this evening, (I'm still up, so it still feels like Monday!), my husband switched on the radio as he was getting changed in the bedroom after doing his exercises. He listened to a report on the Business News about "unusual auctions" and repeated to me what he heard over supper. I couldn't believe what he was saying, at first. But, yes, it is true and it is all over the Internet.

Rosie Reid, an 18-year-old student at Bristol University and a self-proclaimed lesbian, auctioned her virginity on the Internet. An unnamed, 44 year old BT engineer and father of two was the 'lucky winner' - for the price of #8,400.

Oh, how the world has changed that anyone can even think of prostituting themselves in such a degrading fashion. Fifty years ago, she would have been expelled from her university and widely condemned for selling herself in such a public manner. It brings disrepute to her university and to her fellow female students, to her family and, also, to our country and to women worldwide.

She apparently wanted "to avoid graduating with excessive debt". What is wrong with doing some work during the summer holidays like my son did? He helped to support himself by working at a supermarket at weekends, then every summer break as well. He pursued every opportunity to earn extra cash and even got a job dealing with students' meal tickets at the Halls of Residence, which meant he couldn't eat his own meal until they had all passed through. I know student fees are much more expensive these days but there is also a fatuous culture of 'must have' amongst the young - 'must have holidays', 'must have designer clothes', 'must eat out', 'must enjoy social drinking and clubbing', 'must have a credit card'.

University students, in particular, are supposed to be the future elite of our society. Blessed with brains and fortunate enough to receive an education, which is the envy of many other countries, they are our country's investment in the future. It makes my stomach churn to think that a person totally without principles, with no concept of Christian morality as it was taught to me at school, could one day become one of our political leaders or, worse still, be involved in the education of others.

Will she ever regret doing it? Probably not - and that is the saddest thing of all.

Posted by Noviomagus at 00:34 GMT Post Comment | Permalink

Newer | Latest | Older