I doubt that many of us give any thought at all to the papers and paper products that we use in multiple ways all day. Paper is ubiquitous and therefore almost invisible. But it wasn’t always so.
Gabriella Szalay has written a fascinating piece for The Recipes Project website in which she describes various attempts in the early modern period — when commercial paper was made from expensive linen rags — to make paper out of all sorts of other materials — wasps’ nests, for example, and poplar seeds, pine cones and green algae from rivers.
A good read.
For those who don’t follow cricket, you may not know that there are three different formats of the game played at the International level:
- Test cricket is the most senior form of the game, with matches taking up to five days to complete;
- ODI, or One Day Internationals, is, as the name suggests, a format designed to be completed in a single day;
- T20I, also known as Twenty Twenty Internationals, is a fairly recent innovation in which games take only about three hours to play.
When a country’s cricket team travels to another country for an international tour, it is to be expected that they will play a number of each type of game. Pakistan is currently touring England. They played four Tests, with the series finishing tied at 2-2. We are now in the middle of an ODI series of five games. England have won the first two. Today was the third ODI and it was record-breaking!
England batted first and scored 444 runs, the largest total made by any country ever in an ODI game. One English batsman scored 171 by himself, the highest run total by any English batsman in an ODI. Another English batsman scored the fastest 50 runs ever. Pakistan never stood a chance, and losing wickets early didn’t help. They lost the game by 169 runs (giving England the series at 3-0), but not before one of their batsman scored the highest ever number of runs for a #11 Pakistani batsman.
Neither side were at their best in the field, with fumbles and dropped catches aplenty, but it was a grand and highly enjoyable day of cricket to watch!
The now-late Gene Wilder was one of the comic geniuses of my youth. He will be missed.
In 1980 or thereabouts, I had a perm and thus curly hair. I was in an expensive restaurant with someone one day, and I noticed that a young lad of about 10 years at another table was eyeing me eagerly. As time went on, I caught him pointing in my direction as he passionately pleaded with his Mom for something. Eventually, carrying a small book with him and watched closely by the adults there, the kid slid down from his table and walked tentatively over to me.
“Can I have your autograph, Mr Gene Wilder, please?”
I was surprised, but hurried whispers between my companion and I about childhood disappointment led me to agree; and I signed his book as “Gene Wilder”. The kid was delighted and rushed eagerly and noisily back to his people. I nodded to them, smiled, and went on with my day. Looking back, I am still glad I did it.
The rustic lane unwinds
its way from the mountain
like a lover leaving her man
after a lingering entwining kiss;
a solitary clump of bluebells
reflects aquamarine raindrops
on the hood of the passing car
like mirrors round as hazelnuts in the mist;
and as I ignore the windowed beauty
the weekend ending burns into my soul
leaving me wondering if, once I’m gone,
she’ll remember me with a cheer or a hiss.