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Less huff and puff

I was watching a man unloading beer kegs at the pub on the corner near the church. The kegs were of the fifty litre kind, which, when full, weigh in around seventy-five kilograms. And he unloaded all twenty by himself!  It was his method that intrigued me. He would carefully roll the keg off the…

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Internal battles

I had reason last week to pay tribute to my hard-working lymphocytes, who engaged in numerous deadly skirmishes with some dangerous intruders of the flu kind. Not sure how many of them died in battle, nor how many received citations for extraordinary acts of bravery. It would be interesting to read their war records and…

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The Watchmaker

There is an old view of God that thinks of him as a watchmaker, that runs like this: God made the world, wound it up, and left it to tick away without having to hang around to check on either the time or the occupants. The view is called Deism, and is one of those…

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The four stages of life

My son sent me a meme the other day. We do communicate in more meaningful ways, but he is kind to pass on things that he thinks will enrich my life. The little brain-emission was titled ‘The Four Stages of Life’, and displayed four pictures in linear progression:  a baby bottle, a bottle of coke,…

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Death on Vine Street

In my life, I have seen more people killed by visiting a hotel on Vine Street, than by landing on any other piece of real estate. It’s not rocket science. It’s typically the first landing point for those who have spent some time in jail; and a bit cruel really. To step out of jail,…

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Divine surgery

I’m nearly done with Giulia Enders’ book ‘Gut’, a fascinating all-stops journey from the lips to the large intestine. Perhaps I should write and thank her in the words of the great Pavarotti, who once expressed his appreciation to an audience saying, “I thank you from the heart of my bottom.” In her book she…

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An Easter Key

In 1799, a discovery was made by some of Napoleon’s troops in Rosetta, a camel’s spit from Alexandria in Egypt. A stone bearing, in three languages, the decree of an old Egyptian king. The decree, actually, is underwhelming – basically the announcement of a tax-break to some rather impertinent priests. But the trilingual broadcasting of…

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Silicon Suicide

How utterly infuriating! In a technologically-advanced world such as ours, how hard can it be to retrieve a file accidently deleted from a flash drive, without spending a squillion dollars at the local computer shop? Yes. Yes. I thought it might have gone into the Recycle Bin, which would have been an easy retrieve. But…

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Northern Lights

If I did have a bucket list, near the top would an entry which reads: Northern Lights. The green rivers of light have long fascinated me, and I would love to see them from the front door of some Icelandic igloo. Apparently the lights peak every eleven years, and 2024 is the next promise of…

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The Blue Mauritius

I’m sure that if Jesus told his famous parable of the pearl in our day, he may well have used The Blue Mauritius. The Blue Mauritius is a postage stamp of enormous rarity and value, issued in 1847, in the denomination of two pence, and bearing the profile head of Queen Victoria. I can understand…

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