Archive for the ‘Life’s little mysteries’ Category

No entry to where?

Posted: January 20, 2020 in Life's little mysteries

Spent some time trying to figure out the reason for these no-entry signs seen at a service station on the M3 on Saturday.

Perhaps they are just in case you want to drive over the pavement and the grass, but strangely the little sign says ‘Authorised Vehicles only’, so I guess it is OK for them.

From ParishPump ( ) with permission

Sue and I came across this dinerin Wiltshire as we travelled down to Cornwall

Not quite what you expect to find in rural Somerset!

Nessie Lives!

Posted: April 23, 2018 in Life's little mysteries

The 21st April is an important date in the history of Nessie ‘the Loch Ness Monster’. It was the date that the Daily Mail published a photograph claiming to prove the existence of the monster.


The photo published in the Daily Mail copy taken from (23/4/18)


Although a legend of a monster dates back to as early as the Dark ages, the real story does not begin until the years between the first and second world wars. In 1933, a big game hunter, Marmaduke Wetherell, had claimed to find footprints on the shore, although a later examination by an expert from the Natural History Museum said that they were probably created by the Hippopotamus foot (possible part of an umbrella stand or an ashtray). It appears Wetherell had been conned and the Daily Mail, which had headlined the story, was embarrassed and sought pubically to ridicule Wetherell. He quietly planned his revenge. He had a model made from plastic wood over the conning tower of a toy submarine he’d purchased. The neck, estimated by some from the photograph to be over three feet high, actually measured between 8 and 12 inches! Wetherell and his son, Ian, took it to Loch Ness and photographed it. Then so as not to arouse the suspicion of the Daily Mail, the photos were offered to them by an intermediary. The story caused a sensation, although some questioned it at the time.

It was not until 60 years later that Ian Wetherell admitted that it was a fake and how it had been done. Even so, some still believe that it is a true picture and that for some reason he was persuaded to confess to a hoax that never happened.


Posted: April 5, 2018 in History, Life's little mysteries


My thanks to Craig Smith for pointing out this interesting entry in 1880 census:

‘Catherine Cudney, daughter, age 15. Occupation: Does as she pleases.’



I have always wondered why dramas about the ‘everyday’ lives of people were called ‘soap operas’ and today I happened on the answer. Back in the 1930’s and 40’s a number of successful dramas were made by Procter and Gamble productions in the USA. This was a division of the large company famed for producing domestic wares such as soap powder – hence they were ‘soap operas’. Many of these originals continued to be shown in the early years of this century, but with the declining audiences, one by one they were shut down. Guiding light ceased production in 2009 after a 72-year run and As the World turns finished in 2010 having run for 54-years.

Procter and Gamble Productions, now known as Procter and Gamble entertainment is still in existence concentrating on ‘multi-platform entertainment’ but still sponsors day-time drama on the CBS channel.

The series Coronation Street is the oldest running TV soap opera in the UK, having begun transmission in December 1960. This almost makes it the oldest soap still in production in the world. However, this is eclipsed by The Archers on BBC radio which first broadcast in 1950 and still produces 6 episodes a week.


It’s good to know that some have an element of truth behind them.

Stephen Liddell

Most of us are familiar with Old Wives Tales, traditional pearls of wisdom from sources lost through the ages but seemingly tapping into an eternal truth that is only revealed to older married women whose only qualification is a lifetime of experience.  They cover all areas of life but not least the weather.

Despite being bombarded daily by weather forecasts that use the latest computer technology and models,  three in four of us in the U.K. are still more likely to rely on old wives’ tales to predict the weather.

We retain a belief – often misguided – that cows lie down when it’s about to rain or that a red sky at night means it will be fine tomorrow, according to a survey for the Met Office.


It found 58 per cent of UK adults believe weather proverbs are accurate to some degree – and two-thirds of these say they…

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One of the Christmas ;  New Year traditions has become the release by the emergency services of some of the more unusual calls that come through to the emergency services phone number.

My favourites this year the woman who rang the police to complain that her kebab was cold and the man who rang in the early hours of the morning to ask where he could buy a bacon sandwich!

I guess peoples ideas of emergencies vary!


One of the advantages of digital photography is the capability to take lots of shots and sometimes you don’t get it right. Things get in the way particularly if you are on a moving bus, like this unfortunate clash of signs from my recent trip to Newcastle.


(For those not from the UK – the traffic sign means ‘No Entry’)

dancing  Auroras
Photo by Álfheiður Magnúsdóttir (

Came across this brilliant quiz which matches your personality to the country most suited to it. I came out as Iceland which I admit was a bit of a surprise. Give it a go and see if you are living in your most suited country?

Winter is Coming
Photo by Trey Ratcliff (