Website additions, more on squirrels, useless facts & a quote.

At long last another five years of baptisms and burials have been put online today following a long overdue visit to the archives last Friday.

Following on from the last post about grey squirrels I was delighted to read in the Shooting Times (9 October 2008) that the Red Squirrel Protection Partnership have culled over 20 000 [20 246 since January 2007] grey squirrels in Northumberland.

The Partnership which was founded in 2006 and to quote their website

“… consists of a group of individuals committed to saving the red squirrel from extinction in Northumberland. To do this we are building a network of monitors who can scout designated areas of land in red squirrel zones for any signs of grey squirrel incursions. Based on this work, any greys spotted in these zones will be trapped and dispatched by a trained and regulated team, stopping the threat of the grey squirrel spreading. We have received funding from the local Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs in Northumberland.”

While reading this week I finally discovered why when dealing with pre-decimalization currency pence is abbreviated to ‘d’, as in l. s. d. Well if like me it is something that has puzzled you then the answer is pence is abbreviated to ‘d’ for denarius or denarii (a Roman coin), shilling is abbreviated to ‘s’ for solidus (again a Roman coin) and pond is abbreviated to ‘l’ for libra (a pond in weight).

Finally I would like to leave you with this quote from “50 People Who Buggered Up Britain“, the Daily Mail’s peerless sketchwriter Quentin Letts’ new book

“Fox-hunting, as traditionally practised, became an illegal activity during Tony Blair’s second term. Hundreds of hours of parliamentary effort were devoted to its extermination. MPs bent over backwards to criminalise an outdoor sport pursued by some of the most upstanding members of the community. The ban was ridiculous and impractical and it tarnished Parliament’s own standing.

“The Government minister who pushed through the hunting ban? A dismal little doormat called Alun Michael.

“To look at, he is not a striking proposition, a careworn creature with the hunched shoulders and lank hair of a natural loser. Alun Michael is an authentic middler, a worker bee, putty in the hands of more confident colleagues.

“On hunting, he got his way. Ill-informed, emotive arguments defeated common sense. But he still looked flea-bitten as he led the canter towards the ban. He still looked miserable, mangy, weak.”

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