I first came across 4711 one summer as a young teen, when I and my little brother stayed with our big brother and his family in Germany. Big Bro was stationed in Berlin, with the British army. I saw the Berlin Wall, Berlin Zoo, the funny tower with the midday cross, the Brandenburg Gate (closed), the Reichstag, the Olympic swimming pool, drove past Checkpoint Charlie, and sat on a bench outside a German church. I also discovered Sha Na Na on American Forces’ tv, for which I will be eternally grateful, as I was able to impress my friends when Grease came out the following year, and Sha Na Na played the band in the dance-off. They were quite happy to let me talk all the way through the film about how great Sha Na Na were. I’m sure.
We were in Germany for three weeks and I wanted to go to church. There was one near the base, so I thought I’d pop along on Sunday morning. It was only when I got there that I realised the service would be in German. You may remember I was a wimp back then: I sat outside for an hour in the sunshine, listening to the singing, because I was too embarrassed to go back and say how daft I had been.
I’ve been to Germany three times, and I love it. The public transport is efficient and clean, and the country is gorgeous.
The last time was a visit to a place near Iserlohne, where my brother was stationed. We went Christmas shopping in the prettiest outdoor market and the Hub tried every German delicacy going. It’s one of the reasons I married him: he never let a language barrier get in the way of a good sausage.
Regular readers know that since 1.1.11 I have been blogging on the year’s fun numbers. At first, on the first day and it being the first time of the year, it was amusing. But we are half way through the year and it’s become repetitive. Look, I’ll show you:
I bet you dozed off before you reached the end of that list, didn’t you? I know I did. It’s natural; real, even. It would be odd if you didn’t.
I didn’t bother writing a 6.6.11 post and no one noticed. That left me positive that the number posts are past their prime. I don’t mean to be negative, but I think these posts are beginning to sound as if they’re written by the numbers – when was the last time I showed you a funny You Tube clip or sunny photo of the Queen to illustrate them?
I figure the best solution is to ask you, my faithful and beloved readers, to work once again; it’s the rational thing to do.
I’ve said all I can think of to say on the number eleven, so what about the number five?
It is Spud’s favourite number (What? You didn’t think this was going to be a serious exposition, did you?). We – and he – didn’t know why it was his favourite number until a couple of months ago, when I dug out some of his baby teddies and there was a horse, stuffed and blinkered (See no evil? A peg on the nose would have been better in a cot, don’t you think? Smell no evil…). With a massive number 5 on the toy horse blanket. The brain is weird (but you knew that, regular visitor).
5 is the third prime number. I thought it would be the fifth prime number, if I thought about it at all, but the Hub said to just leave the maths to him in future and not worry my pretty little head about it. How can a head be pretty? Face, yes (blush – my earlier post on the meaning of my name refers); hair, maybe (Dani Minogue, step forward)…but head? It’s just as well the Hub does my thinking for me, because that one hurts.
5ive were a successful British boy band. Now they’re all grown up and doing their own thing. I saw them in a reality show before they were famous, living in the house next door to the family in the show. I remember them because they were naughty boys, not a bit like
The Famous Five. Ginger beer, anyone? I’ve lashings! Number 17, Five Get Into A Fix, was my favourite; mostly because I’d never heard of a three-tiered bunk bed before, and wanted to sleep in one. Perhaps I should add that to my Things To Do Before I Die list. See me at 103 – it’d take several hours to get up the ladder. And what if I needed a wee in the night? Pity the poor Hub sleeping below me…
There is a 1951 movie called Five. The world is destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. Only five Americans survive…dum dum dum dahhhh! According to IMDb, all of life is represented there: including a pregnant woman, a neo-Nazi, a black man and a bank clerk. Yes, I know that’s only four, but there has to be some mystery.
That’s five disparate facts about five. I think I’ll stop there. Except to share this:
Under British law, when you reach
the age of five –
you become `of compulsory school
you can see a U or PG category
film at a cinema,
you have to pay child’s fare on
you can drink alcohol in private,
for example at home.
I’m off now: next door’s toddler and I plan to spend the afternoon getting drunk.
You know, maybe that last one isn’t as crazy as I think it is: my spellchecker just substituted ‘toddies’ for ‘teddies’…
Another interesting date…yawn. I’ve got eight more 11dot11 to write about, as well as other good numbers (9/10/11, anyone?), and I’ve already run out of stuff to say.
As this is a bad date post, I looked up bad date stories (I don’t have any myself as I haven’t been on a date since 1982), and came across this, which is funny because it’s not funny:
Well i had a date and my boyfriend was called Callum he was a ugly boy but i asked him out any way he said yes ! he dumped me a month later and i found out that that he was using me and the other day i saw him in the car and i made a rude face at him ha ha ha. ~Amy
And this one, which had me laughing out loud:
My boyfriend and I were at my house watching movies. My brother came in right as we were going to make out and threw a ball at the back of my head. It hit me and got my braces stuck to his. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get them unstuck. We stayed like that for 3 hours before we told my parents. They called the orthodontist and it was another hour before we got to the building and got unstuck. During that time though we had a good excuse for making out! ~Anonymous
Sorry this is a dull post; I guess dates aren’t as interesting when they happen all the time. There’s a word for it, actually: marriage.
If you are a new reader you won’t know that I get rather excited by symmetrical numbers. This is to compensate for my woeful maths O Level result, I have recently discovered.
There are so many palindrome dates this year, I’m struggling to find a new angle so, to continue the school theme (we’ve had music, maths, English), here’s a brief history of palindrome dates:
The first palindrome date was 01/01/1010, or 1/1/10…uh oh!
Told you it was a brief history.
You have to first decide on your date format. As this blog is as unscientific as a philosopher in a wind storm, I decide on the format and no science in the world is going to convince me not to drop d/m/yy from the dd/mm/yyyy format. (For goodness’ sake, don’t remind me about the American convention of mm/dd/yyyy, or you could be here ’til next 11/3/11 (3/11/11).)
I’ll go with interesting facts instead:
There are 366 Palindrome Dates between year 0001 and year 9999 if you go with mm/dd/yyyy, which I wasn’t going to do, but British daterologists are either in short supply or internet illiterate.
Yeah, that was pretty short, too. Turns out dates aren’t that interesting. Hence my marriage at age 21, when I discovered the Hub; life’s too short to spend three hours finding you have nothing in common except your hatred for the film Ordinary People. Though that date was enlivened by a bomb scare. Who says hoaxers are all bad?
So this post has fizzled out, but if you haven’t yet lost interest and you are interested in interesting dates, I have nothing of interest to say about them here, here, here and here.
Did you think I hadn’t noticed the date? Don’t worry: I saved this third post of the third day of the third month for the eleventh hour (UK time).
3.3.11 Isn’t it pretty? I love symmetry in numbers.
Which eleven-letter word has three back-to-back double letters? Clue: a person who minds all the tomes. The answer is below.
I wanted to share some jokes about the number three but I couldn’t find any. There are lots of rules of three, but none that interest me. The best I could do for you was three interesting facts and three number eleven pyramids:
11:11 x 11:11 = 1234321 111 x 111 = 12321 11 x 11 = 121*
*I knew that one!
Camels have three eyelids. Not sure if that’s on each eye or altogether; no one can tell me.
The three best known Western names in China are Jesus Christ, Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon.
Three facts about a three-initial president: JFK was the first Roman Catholic to be president, the first Boy Scout to become president, and the first president to be born in the Twentieth Century.
And here’s one I thunk up all by myself: there are eleven letters in the numbers eleven & three.
Isn’t that a great date? It’s like 2011 is saying, Yes, you had some interesting numbers in 2010; but let me show you what I’ve got…
2010 had the consecutive (8/9/10, 11:12:13), the repetitive (10/10/10) and the palindrome (01/11/10). Of course, it all depends on your perspective: my American friends won’t have had the same first one because they put the month before the day; here in the UK 8/9/10 happened in September but in the States it was in August. Then there’s the manipulation: if I had added or subtracted zeros then 8/9/10 would have been 08/09/10 and rather dull; 01/11/10 would not have been a palindrome at all as 1/11/10.
I love interesting numbers, hence my excitement last night: it wasn’t the 23,000 that got me squealing; it was the 999. If it had been 23,941, for example, I wouldn’t have mentioned it; but that one-under-a-round-figure in twelve months was just too good not to be shared.
Numbers also show you something about people – here’s something I learned in 2010: people like to smile. The post of mine to receive the most hits by far was Smile And The World Smiles With You; Dissect It And People Ask ‘Who’s That Freak?’ . Okay, not one of my better titles but it received 6,831 hits in six months so it must be doing something right. I’ve even learned the Turkish for ‘smile’ because 32 Turkish-speaking people found me using gülücük.
A total of 7,275 visitors found me using a variation of ‘smile/laugh/funny/cartoon’. Contrast that with the lowly 8 who found me using ‘scowl’ or ‘scowling’. There was also the one weirdo who found me using the search term ‘long nipples’, but the less said about them, the better.
Of course, it’s possible that people using negative terms in their blogs are receiving way more hits than I am; there’s a lot of ‘hate’, ‘spite’ and ‘misery’ out there. But I like to think that most people want to be happy. And if they do, I hope they’ll visit me: I like feeling happy. Don’t you?
Sad news for us: we lost our littlest fish: she who must not be named because I named her after a friend and I don’t want to say ‘X is dead.’ She was just a weak fish, we think; though she had a hearty appetite. I gave her a worthy burial with the crisp packets and apple peelings.
I was going to write that today marks the seventieth anniversary of the start of the Blitz but I got it confused with the fortieth anniversary of the founding of Saatchi & Saatchi; don’t ask me how. The Blitz anniversary was actually Tuesday 7th September. 1000 German planes flew across the North Sea to see us off. And failed miserably.
I’m still enjoying Vivinfrance’s war memoirs; they are fascinating. She told a story about her Dad and some black market sugar, and it reminded me of my Dad and the toilet paper. When we emigrated to South Africa in 1982, we had no money (one of the reasons for emigrating in the first place). Dad was working for Sasol, a huge corporation that turned coal into petrol. To help our grocery budget, my father the usually honest would come off shift with a toilet roll taken from the men’s loos. One day, he heard from a colleague that the company was cracking down on staff pilfering – stationery, equipment, and so on – and he went home in a panic and he and Mum spent an entire night ripping up a hundred half-used toilet rolls and flushing them down the toilet. What really made me laugh was that it was unmarked paper and the company couldn’t have come in to the house asking to see it. The price of a guilty conscience, I guess: a huge water bill.
I am a little fat. I like food; what can I say? I have dull hair: mousey. I don’t wear much make-up and have no need of a dressing table. If I look like a bag lady, I chose my own clothes. If I look nice, the Hub picked them for me. Despite all this, I am a little vain. This photograph is from 2003. I had to go back that far to find one of me that I liked. But I don’t really care: my husband still thinks I’m beautiful and if he doesn’t, he loves me enough to lie about it. I’m lucky. I have two boys. They never lie to me. Still, you can't have everything.
Today is National Poetry Day. I was going to bring you some fun and interesting facts about poetry, but you know what? There aren’t any. Not on the internet, anyway. Poetry is dull. By the way, remember to check out my poetry blog, I’m Not A Verse. * * * * * I did find […]
Viewfromtheside offered fascinating as the weekend theme. I thought you might like some fascinating facts. Can you guess which, if any, are true? You can’t fold paper more than seven times. You can, actually, if you are young and determined and rope in your family and a shopping mall. From Wikipedia: In January 2002, while a […]
With apologies to Paul, who might not find this blog to be quite what he was expecting. Take a look at this You Tube video. This – boy? young man? lad? What do I call him? He’s of a similar age to Tory Boy but obviously we are not on similar terms. I’ll call him ‘person’ […]
I have long been in search of the perfect handbag. It must be black; have a short and long handle, so that I can carry it down, under my arm, over my shoulder or over my chest; it must not be so big that I carry a load of junk around with me that I […]