Did you ever wonder…….?

Probably not.

I’ll be honest: I’ve spent a lot of time wandering (wondering) aimlessly over the past few months.  More often than not in the car, driving or chauffering hither and thither.  It gives you a lot of time for mindless thought.  And it occurred to me that I might share some of this miscellanea with you – maybe you have some answers.  Here’s a sampling of the drivel that the space between my ears throws up for consideration (trust me, there are some weird ones):

Ticks. One of my closest friends has endured the ravages of Lymes Disease for many years.  It has, in many ways, ruined her life.  For most of the time that she’s been suffering from it, the fact of it was denied, and she was written off as a malingering attention-seeker.  Far from it.  She tried every naturo-, homeo- and other-pathic remedy that she could find.  At one point she was a skeletal vegan in the quest for a cure or, at the least, mitigation of the symptoms.  All to no avail.  Happily (?), the recent contraction of said affliction by some very wealthy/high profile/famous people (or their children) has thrown a spotlight on the issue, and now more of the medical fraternity is prepared to consider it as a diagnosis, particularly amongst people who spend a lot of time outdoors.  More recently, two other friends have also had bad reactions to tick bites, and GPs here have been quick to take preventative action, which is excellent.  But it begs the question: Have you ever wondered why there are systemic treatments for flea & tick bites for animals, but not for humans?

HGV Truck Cabs: I grant you that this is a particularly random thought that resulted from driving upstream against a long line of lorries, but…. Why do HGV Truck Cabs have 2 seats? I mean, besides large vehicle driving schools, how many times have you ever seen a heavy goods vehicle have a co-driver?  Hitch-hiker, yes.  Co-pilot, no.  So why go to the expense?

Perigordine Roofs: Here, the standard roof line is much steeper than most other places.  And I got to wondering “Which roof design has the most usable space.”  And (incidentally). “as we don’t really get a lot of snow here, why such a steep pitch?” Obviously, I could take the time to do the drawings and make the necessary calculations, but I haven’t.  And I’m not about to.  However, my guess is that the Perigordine attic yields more useful space than its modern counterpart.  Please feel free to enlighten me (evidence appreciated!!).

Plane Trees: Recently, we’ve had a huge variety in our weather, with temperatures approaching 40°C for days on end, and late-season vine-destroying frosts.  No rain followed by torrents of the stuff, and so on.  And just the other day I realised that all of the plane trees have shed their bark, which now lies shrapnel-like around their bases.  I can’t say that I’ve seen this before, so I’ve no idea if this is a normal occurrence or not, but what makes the plane trees lose their bark, as if they have exploded from a carapace?

plane trees
The bark from the plane trees looks as if it has exploded from the trunk and major branches

Seed drills: With the changes of the seasons here, we’re well aware of the rotation of crops.  It is interesting to note how they change not only through the seasons, but also through the years.  A few years ago many of the fields were filled with tobacco plants.  No longer.  But I digress.. as I whistle along our lovely roads I often admire the freshly tilled fields, particularly when the new shoots of the latest crop pierce the earth.  And one day I asked myself, “How does a seed drill work?” I know that I can Google it, but I haven’t yet.

So there you go.  A scary glimpse into the workings of my brain.  Time I found myself something useful to do, I think.  Don’t you?


6 thoughts on “Did you ever wonder…….?”

  1. Crikey Alex, not too sure what you have for breakfast before your trips out (personally I stick to bran flakes it’s not too mind expanding) but give me time and I’ll attempt a few theories. Speak soon.

  2. Sadly, nothing more exotic than toast and Marmite, and a pint (or two) of Yorkshire Tea. But perhaps I should find something less trippy?

    But tell me that you don’t find odd thoughts appearing randomly in your head while walking the dog, or driving, or anything else, come to that?

  3. All those years away and as they say,”you can take the girl out of England but you can’t take England out of the girl”. Toast, Marmite and Yorkshire tea. Perfect.
    I don’t know much about ticks other than a good friend of ours, Esther, was bitten here in France and she was also so ill with Lymes disease. She went back to England in the end for treatment and has now recovered. But it was a bit touch and go at one stage.They say stick to paths, wear stout boots and long trousers and cover yourself in Deet when out walking but she was just out gardening!
    The last one I saw was some time ago wandering along a deer path not far from here. It kept stopping, looking back and appeared quite anxious. Maybe it was just a nervous tick!
    HGV trucks and long distance lorry drivers:
    One of the loneliest jobs on the planet and you want to deprive the driver of the occasional hitch hiker or companion by doing away with a passenger seat!! How dare you! A top of the range artic probably costs in excess of £150,000 to £200,000 and I can’t see Mercedes cost cutting on a £300 passenger seat. They come complete with a hot tub, sauna, double bed and high level flush toilet these days. When I was a lad, about 100 years ago and before horses had been invented, a friend of the family had a shoe repair business, a traditional cobbler and at the weekend, his son Julian and I would drive around with him in a 1930’s Morris open cab truck, delivering repaired shoes around Caterham. The truck had no doors and only a drivers seat (perfect for you) and we stood in the footwell and hung onto a strap as he went trundling around the corners. Seat belts, forget it. Health and safety, whaaat! Did we have fun and get lots of tips from satisfied customers. You bet.
    Plane trees:
    No idea really but it looks like a soft landing for anyone climbing it! Natures Health and Safety.
    Seed Drills:
    When he wasn’t standing on one leg playing his flute or maybe inspired by this stance, Jethro Tull had the brainwave of inventing the horse-drawn seed drill. The previously back-breaking job of seed broadcasting by hand and it’s random success was eliminated as every seed was planted at the same depth, same spacing and covered with soil. He went on to have a successful musical career and ended up fish farming salmon in Scotland.
    There endeth the days lesson according to moi.

  4. Just yesterday I felt the sting of the disproportionately large and determined gnashers of a tick sinking into my right shin as I was driving home from a dog-walk. It wasn’t there for more than a couple of seconds before being hurled from the car window…… but WHY isn’t there a systemic for humans when they’ve been approved for animals for ages?

    I don’t know about your earlier comment on this post, though… whatever you’re on, it’s clearly stronger than my toast, marmite and early-morning tea! And anyway, the marmite keeps the mozzies at bay. Old trick from old life.

  5. Them old ticks. Have a word with GSK or Bayer Pharmaceutical. They’ll probably fob you off with a reason for ‘why not’. I know you can vaccinate for tick borne encephalitis but not Lymes. So you be vigilant when out walking.
    I didn’t know about Marmite and mozzies. Do you have to apply it topically or does ‘on toast’ do the trick?

  6. The idea with the Marmite is that, like taking B-complex vitamins, it creates an aroma on the skin that isn’t discernable to humans but deemed to be thoroughly revolting and off-putting to mozzies. The consumption of garlic pearls is another ruse. A topical application of Marmite might deter more than just the mosquitoes – what do you think?

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