Saturday 23rd September 2000
NEXT DOOR'S SUNFLOWER looks down on us over the hedge. It hangs its heavy
head, nodding and shrugging nonchalantly in the slight breeze. This is
the stoutest of a group of sunflowers grown from seeds taken out of the
chicken feed. Its weaker companion was blown over by a sharp gust a few
weeks ago. We rescued this one (our neighbours were away at the time)
by tying its stake to our bird table.
A Comma butterfly suns itself on the patio window.
I harvest our first Purple French Beans (we were late putting them
in). Unfortunately the dark purple is lost in the boiling and they show
their true colours as green beans. The mere handful I get means that we
almost have to count them individually as we serve our dinner guests.
Now, how did my Dad count beans? He'd answer the question 'How many beans
make five?' in a staccato voice which he'd apparently perfected during
his time as a sergeant in the war;
'A bean, a bean and half, a bean and a half and half a bean.'
Arithmetic was never my strong point.
My thanks to Joseph Court who writes;
'The version I remember goes as follows : -
a bean and half and
half a bean.
This DOES add up to five. :) '
Alan Ford writes: 'for the record, my dad always used
A bean, a bean, a bean and a half, half a bean and a bean.'
Yes, that comes to five. And he also remembers these:
'How many yards are there in a back yard?' or 'How many yards are there
in a ball of chalk?'
Joseph Court's History of Wakefield web site.
West Yorkshire home page