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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Best. Day. Ever.

I was at the zoo today when the news broke. I was wrong when I wrote last month that Melati the Sumatran tiger was pregnant. She had already given birth, to three cubs.


The babies were born on 3rd February. They are not yet on show. However, as those who have the concentration of a gnat wandered away, I continued to watch Jae Jae over by the gate, where Melati joined him from the other side. Then she walked way - with a cub in tow! I was the first visitor - almost the first person - to see a cub in the flesh! I squealed, and people reappeared, one with a powerful camera with which she took a movie. She promised to try and send it to me if the file isn't too big. Jae Jae had already thrilled us with his athletic feats and his beauty.

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And for those interested in meeting the neighbours from hell:

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Founders' Day

The first Thursday in March is the day when my old school (my current employer) celebrates Founders' Day, with a celebration in a local church in the daytime, and a reunion for old scholars in the evening.

I wasn't working on Thursday, but I took my atheist body along for the service, which opened with the School Song (a very rare thing for a school to have, they usually adopt a hymn and call that the school song, but my school has its own custom written song).

These days, this sentimental old baggage can't sing it for crying. There's a verse dedicated to each House (Addeys - Green; Stanhopes - Blue; Pepys - Yellow; and Evelyn - Red).

Addeys are named after the Elizabethan shipwright John Addey, whose 1606 legacy for the poor children of Deptford was later used to co-found the school. Stanhope is for Dean George Stanhope, a local churchman of the early 18th century. Pepys (pronounced by us Peppies, not Peeps) is after the 17th century diarist. Evelyn is as after John Evelyn, another noted diarist from the 17th Century. All had local connections.

The last verse of the School Song celebrates John Addey's craft, which would have been of great use to Elizabeth I at the time of the Spanish Armada. Britain's shipbuilding and ships are known as Hearts of Oak, and here's the final verse:
Hearts of Oak that Deptford made
Guarded England well.
The ships are gone, but stands the School,
The shipwrights' worth to tell.
As builded they right sound and true,
So builds the School, and shall for aye,
Sing Addeys, Stanhopes, Pepys, Evelyns,
Prosper School always!

As I recently mentioned, next year is the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Stanhope school, which later incorporated the Addey bequest.

This year I managed to persuade one friend along for the evening. Next year, I plan to entice lots more, whether I'm still working there or not.

Meanwhile, enjoy the sight, as I enjoyed the taste, of the cupcakes bearing the school badge served up to the evening visitors:


The thought of Bobby wrestling is almost too much for me.

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