Listen up!

March 26th, 2015

Photo credit: David Benbennick
Used under this licence

It is a long time since I did anything to EP Tips. It was always my intention at the beginning of the saga to have sound clips attached to lots of the tips.

Well, now I have decided to start work on adding more of these. The first is already in place.

As always I will be grateful for any comments. You can post these on the EP Tips comments page. The link is in the side-bar under Pages. I have cleared out all the old comments from this. The link to the EP Tips page is also in the side-bar.

Terra errata

March 22nd, 2015

I have just been using Google maps to find the location of a road in Penzance. The experience has hardened my opinion that the internet is just full of garbage.

Oh, I found the road OK. Just in case you have the slightest interest the name is Polwyn, which means ‘white pool’. But while looking I came across a jaw-dropping number of goofs.

First, I came across “Wherrytown Co-operative Food Market”, but not at Wherrytown, which is an area of the Penzance seafront, but about half a mile inland and probably a mile east of where it really is. Then there were an art gallery and a fish and chip shop, located on the map at the other end of the fairly long street from their true positions. A clothing store is apparently in the middle of the main car park in the town and if you want to find Lloyd’s Bank, trust not the map! You will end up about a quarter of a mile west of where it actually is and find yourself at the Police Station oops! Royal Mail sorting office. A bakery is shown on the wrong side of the road and anyway it closed down about three years ago and a pharmacy is really a good 200 metres away from its map position. I could go on…


March 20th, 2015

White to play. There is an apparently daft, but actually very sneaky move for white. Any offers?

Chin chin

March 15th, 2015

Please don’t ask how this started, because I can’t remember. Anyhow, the phrase chin chin, admittedly a little outmoded now, popped into my head. There are two distinct meanings in English. One is an alternative for “Cheers!” when drinking. This is also used, as cin cin or cincin, in Italian. I don’t know any other languages that use it.

The other meaning is “Goodbye”. It is used thus in the WW1 song Goodbye-ee:

Goodbye-ee, goodbye-ee,
Wipe the tear, baby dear, from your eye-ee,
Tho’ it’s hard to part I know,
I’ll be tickled to death to go.
Don’t cry-ee, dont sigh-ee,
There’s a silver lining in the sky-ee,
Bonsoir, old thing, cheerio, chin, chin,
Nah-poo, toodle-oo, Goodbye-ee.

In case you are wondering, Nah-poo is obsolete army slang for “finished”. It is a corruption of French il n’y (en) a plus. In case you are still wondering, toodle-oo is also an old-fashioned farewell greeting, but of unknown origin. It has a variant toodle-pip. You may well have come across some of these words if you have read any of the Jeeves and Wooster stories by P.G. Wodehouse.

Well, back to chin chin. I was mightily surprised to find that its origin is the Chinese word qǐng tɕiŋ, which means “please” or “to invite”.

Mind your peas

March 10th, 2015

Quite often when deciding what to cook for dinner I look in the fridge and the store cupboard and then take to the internet to see if there are any suitable recipes I can use. This is exactly what I did the other day.

At one point I got side-tracked by a link to a recipe for spiced roasted chickpeas. The chickpeas are dusted with a mixture of spices and then roasted in a hot oven until crispy. The result is meant to be a tasty snack.

I looked at the comments on the recipe and most seemed very favourable. But right at the end was the forlorn comment:

They exploded in the oven!

This gave me a severe giggle fit. I’m not sure why.

Photo credit: Sanjay Acharya. Used under this licence.