All entries for May 2006

May 25, 2006

multilingual animals

Writing about web page

I've always been fascinated by the way speakers of different languages "hear" different sounds of animals. How come the English hear "cockadoodledoo" and the Germans hear "Kikiriki"??

And can you say one is more accurate (one is 5 syllables and one is just 4)?


There's a brilliant website that I've just discovered where by clicking on animals and flags you can hear demonstrations of all sorts of animal noises.
animal talk

I love the fact that cows in most languages say moo (or something similar) – but in the Netherlands they say boo!! Are they scarier over there? I can imagine them hiding behind hedges and jumping out to boo at unwitting passers–by…

And to give you an idea of the variety around the world– compare the humble croaking frog.
The following are approximations of what the different nationalities seem to be saying

  • ra–ka–ka–keh in Hungary
  • va–va in Israel
  • coca coca in the Philippines
  • graba graba in Brazil
  • kwa kwa kwa in China
  • co co con in Poland

There's another interesting website with more languages and more animals, but only in transcriptions and not with demonstrations:

May 24, 2006

The expert's opinion!

Was flicking through the freebie Tesco magazine last night and spotted this article written by "expert" Alison Bell!

Alison Bell the expert

May 17, 2006

Madeira, M'dear

Madeira, M'Dear

She was young, she was pure, she was new, she was nice
She was fair, she was sweet seventeen
He was old, he was vile, and no stranger to vice
He was base, he was bad, he was mean
He had slyly inveigled her up to his flat
To view his collection of stamps
And he said as he hastened to put out the cat
The wine, his cigar and the lamps

"Have some madeira, m'dear
You really have nothing to fear
I'm not trying to tempt you, that wouldn't be right
You shouldn't drink spirits at this time of night
Have some madeira, m'dear
It's very much nicer than beer
I don't care for sherry, one cannot drink stout
And port is a wine I can well do without
It's simply a case of 'chacun a son gout'
Have some madeira, m'dear"

Unaware of the wiles of the snake in the grass
And the fate of the maiden who topes
She lowered her standards by raising her glass
Her courage, her eyes and his hopes
She sipped it, she drank it, she drained it, she did
He quietly refilled it again
And he said as he secretly carved one more notch
On the butt of his gold–handled cane

"Have some madeira, m'dear,
I've got a small cask of it here
And once it's been opened, you know it won't keep
Do finish it up, it will help you to sleep
Have some madeira, m'dear,
It's really an excellent year
Now if it were gin, you'd be wrong to say yes
The evil gin does would be hard to assess
(Besides it's inclined to affect me prowess)
Have some madeira, m'dear"

Then there flashed through her mind what her mother had said
With her antepenultimate breath
"Oh my child, should you look on the wine that is red
Be prepared for a fate worse than death!"
She let go her glass with a shrill little cry
Crash! tinkle! it fell to the floor
When he asked, "What in Heaven?" she made no reply
Up her mind, and a dash for the door

"Have some madeira, m'dear",
Rang out down the hall loud and clear
A tremulous cry that was filled with despair
As she fought to take breath in the cool midnight air
"Have some madeira, m'dear"
The words seemed to ring in her ear
Until the next morning, she woke up in bed
With a smile on her lips and an ache in her head
And a beard in her ear 'ole that tickled and said
"Have some madeira, m'dear"

— Michael Flanders

Madeira May 2006


  • the heady smell of Eucalyptus treesEucalyptus Trees

  • fantastic lush landscapes and dramatic sceneryPeace lily
    which mountain is this?

  • grabbing a thorn bush (well it's better than falling down the mountain!) and the resounding f**, f**, f*** that shattered anyone's idea of me being a lady!

  • the incident of the goat! (no picture… sadly)

  • the vibrant market (where I was ripped off big time… but the mango was fantastically juicy, despite costing double what it should have done, and not being from Madeira as was claimed!) Mercado dos lavradores

May 2006

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  • I loving looking at a house that show you do stuff .. get stuck in buy more outdoors toys ..lots bet… by Heathcliff on this entry
  • She looks so lovely. That's some good genes to have. by Sue on this entry
  • Great to see your pictures and brief resume of your trip. by Soo on this entry
  • That's a good idea – and although her short term memory is not very good these days, her memory of t… by Alison Bell on this entry
  • If your Grandmother needs something to do, ask her to write her autobiography before she really does… by on this entry

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