Friday, February 29, 2008

Trivial History February 29

Happy Birthday to all the Leap Year babies! mrgreen

1288 Grab your partners, ladies! The Scottish Parliament passed legislation along with the breakfast haggis that women could pop the all-important question on February 29. Should blokes refuse the oh-so-kind offer, they could be fined anything from a kiss to a silk dress. Start puckering up, lads!

In the late 1940's in Albury 12 year old Peter Ash thought climbing a tree to study bees under a magnifying glass was a good idea. What wasn't a good idea was when he accidentally directed the suns rays onto the dry bark of the tree and started a major bushfire.

1796 Macarthur saw the writing on the colony wall and resigned as Inspector of Public Works...though he kept his nose in Public Affairs.

Ghost Spot-
A former private home that became a small nursing home in Mont Albert, Victoria, was often visited by the original owner's wife; often seen at night by nursing staff and mistaken for a wandering nursing home resident the staff were often taken on a wild goose chase around the grounds until they realised no one was missing from their beds.

1820 Feeling a little tired and emotional, Governor Macquarie again asked permission to resign from Chief Cook and Bottle Washer of the NSW colony.

Great Aunt Hepzibah's Handy Hints-
Instead of a slab of beer or bottles of spirits for an 18th birthday, get a group of friends together to buy a defensive driving course for the birthday boy/girl. The gift will last longer than grog and might be a lifesaver.

1904 A chappie born near Hamburg in Germany was inflicted with cruel parents who saddled him with the moniker Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenberdorft Sr. - a name starting with every letter of the alphabet which he shortened to Mr Wolf plus 585 Sr.

Miss Ed Ma Kate Shun's Elucidations-
If indoor pot plants are too messy for kids in your home, buy them a large jar and let them fill the bottom with a layer of rocks and potting mix before planting a couple of plants inside it. They can then have their own terrariums to learn about plants, gas exchange and photosynthesis.

1908 The very first Governor-General of Australia and former Victorian Premier, John Adrian Louis Hope, 7th Earl Hopetoun passed his use-by date at the rather young age of 48 in France.

1944 Hide those nylons that fell off the back of a truck, Mildred! Canberra courts were given a heavy duty broom and sweeping powers to deal with those dreadful black marketeers.

Great Uncle Rupert's Ripper Refreshments-
Rum Ginger Tea.
Make a cup of black tea, using a heat resistant glass. Pour in 2 oz rum and 1 teaspoon crushed fresh ginger.
*Great Uncle Rupert advocates responsible service of alcohol and drinking in moderation.

1964 The original Balmaine Bathing Beauty, Dawn Fraser, racked up her 36th world swimming record when she punched the clock at 58.9 seconds in a 100 metre freestyle paddle.

2004 Malcolm Turnbull began his political career not by changing light bulbs but by winning pre-selection in the seat of Wentworth.

Grandma Mehitabel's Menu-
Potted Prawns.
Remove shells,tails and alimentary canals from the prawns and simmer gently in a light stock with seasoning to taste and ground cloves.
Press them into ramekins with a teaspoon of butter over the top and bake in a moderate oven for 10 mins.
Allow to cool and cover with melted butter.
Serve with a crisp green salad and dressing of choice.


  1. "...the staff were often taken on a wild goose chase around the grounds until they realised no one was missing from their beds."

    Sounds like the local pervert to me. Did the staff ever bother to check if there were any extra patients in the beds?

  2. LOL No they were usually trying to bust out...and that was just the staff!

  3. I love your ghost stories Jayne. A nursing home in Mont Albert. I wonder if it is the one that I am thinking of...a beautiful old house tucked away in a back street with a cul de sac. Can't remember the name of the street but I visited an elderly resident there. I noticed you have got 61 ghost tags on your blog. I have got some catching up to do.

  4. There are a few in that area with ghost stories LiD but this particular one wasn't in a cul de sac ;)
    Hope you enjoy the reading !