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Three random things I learned, or remembered, today

Archive for Strange phenomenon




Triskadecaphobia is a fear or phobia of number 13, or anything dealing with 13.

Arnold Schoenberg, the composer, was born on the 13th and was afraid he would die on the 13th. It is said that he feared Friday 13, 1951, as it was the first Friday 13th of his 76th year (7 +6 = 13). Apparently he stayed in bed that day. His wife begged him to get up and “stop this nonsense.” She was shocked when he uttered the word “harmony” then died at 11.47 pm (1++4+7 =13), 13 minutes before midnight.


Another coincidence



I didn’t mean to go to a book fair to buy a book for my daughter’s birthday.

Far from it.

My plan was to go to a craft shop in a country park to buy her a card and perhaps a small item, so she would have a parcel to open from me, since my “real” present was boring money. It just so happened there was a book fair that weekend.

Now, The Blue Fairy Book was not the only book I bought. No. It was the second book.

When I walked into the room, I was faced with rows and rows of books on shelves and tables. Why then, did I immediately pick up a humble little old red book that had no presence at all? Why did I choose it from all the others? There was no reason – my hand just picked it up.

I opened the book at random and read a bit of text. A woman called Mrs Barrowfield. How odd. That name is so familiar to me. I never knew a Mrs Barrowfield, but the name Barrowfield is part of my life. You see, Barrowfield House was the name of my grandparents’ home. The house where my mother was born.

I never knew my grandparents. They both died when my mother was a child.

I opened the first page. The old dog was called “Clyde.” My mother as a young woman, while living in Barrowfield House had a dog called “Clyde.” Barrowfield and Clyde. I knew the pair of them well. The house was demolished long before I was born, but Barrowfield House and the dog Clyde have fueled my imagination for as long as I can remember.

And so I bought the book “Wax Fruit” by Guy McCrone.

The 1948 edition.

For a fiver.




If you don’t believe in magic, then you have to believe in the power of coincidence.

Here is a tiny, tiny, tiny, coincidence.

On Sunday, I mentioned I had bought my daughter the Folio edition of “The Blue Fairy Book.” Funnily enough the illustration on the inside cover was very familiar to me. I used it a couple of weeks ago for a Powerpoint presentation. I knew it was from a Folio Society book but I didn’t know which one.

Yes, it was a tiny, tiny, tiny coincidence.

I bought the book partly because of it.

My daughter was well pleased. She informed me that we had come across an original first edition of one of the “Fairy Books” when we visited a book show a couple of years ago and it cost thousands of pounds. I had forgotten about that but eventually managed to retrieve the memory of the event from the depths of my brain.

I had a search in Abe books and, sure enough, there was an original first edition of the Blue Fairy Book selling for a lot of money. A lot.

Now, that is a “three tiny” coincidence. When I bought this book , there was another coincidence – a “two tiny” one this time. But that can wait till noon.



Is gruntled a real word, and if so what does it mean?

Apparently it is. Gruntled means, just as it sounds, ie grumpy. Disgruntled means even more grumpy than gruntled.

The prefix dis…. does not always negate. In some cases it means more of the same ie an intensifier.

PS  Missed my morning posting.  Something very strange happened. I had hoards of incoming Turkish links and the site was disabled for a while.  Why me. What have I done?????????