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Boarding @ Home: Day 68/84: National Paper Clip Day et Journée Nationale du Coq au Vin

National Paper Clip Day. Of course paramount here in Milton Friday is Coffee Morning at 11.30am and we duly honoured that tradition. Clearest blue skies and scorching heat .. well above 82 … but as ever the National Day Programmes from the US gave inspiration for luciferous, enlightening online searching. The paperclip is something we reach for by habit and nowadays it comes in all shapes and sizes and colours. People have fastened sheets of paper together more or less permanently ever since the Chinese invented it in the first/ second century AD. Johan Vaaler a Norwegian inventor, an employee at a local invention office with degrees in electronics, science, and mathematics, was long considered to have invented the paperclip receiving a patent for his design from Germany in 1899 since Norway [still part of the Kingdom of Sweden] had no patent laws at that time. However, the first single bend wire paper clip had been patented in the USA in 1867 by Samuel B. Fay for the purpose of attaching tickets to fabric not holding sheets of paper together although that was feasible. Paperclips in the US were often known as Gem Clips after the earliest manufacturer Cushman & Denison whose design was characterized by the almost two full loops made by the steel wire and sold in a black box - also unsurprisingly known as Black Box Clips.

Just as intriguing, it's Journée Nationale du Coq au Vin. And the wine need not be red; could be riesling as shown or any other white like the Romans - perhaps English - although no chance of either tonight since it's fish cakes I'm told, not the usual fish pie. Various legends trace Coq au Vin to ancient Gaul and Julius Caesar, but the recipe was not documented until the early 20th century. It is generally accepted that it existed as a rustic dish long before that but a somewhat similar recipe for Poulet au Vin Blanc appeared in an 1864 cookbook. Coq au Vin Française is a very popular speciality today from the Burgundy region - a real ambassador of Bresse poultry made from a cockerel delicately braised and cooked in a red wine sauce. Whilst the classic version of the dish calls for red wine different areas of France have their own versions - Coq au Vin Jaune (Jura), Coq au Riesling (Alsace) and even Coq au Champagne [Prosecco/ Cava?].

Yes, there's a third National Day - for Senior Health and Fitness. Methinks most of us approach that notion with velleity, wanting it but can't always be bothered to make the effort. My indoor cycling has been off limits lately after a wee problem with my knees but Avril continues her Village Walk @ either half or a whole mile if she misses the jitty [Midlands colloquialism evidently!]. We do work at the mental health dimension though as evidenced by this blogging and much writing for Scottish pursuits; Avril spends much time on puzzles of which an extra 4pp per day appear in the Daily Telegraph in lieu of global news. But until I get my hip and knees replaced there's not much prospect of beach walking in Weymouth ….. I'm back to more fencing this afternoon of course which is keeping the right hand and wrist in good practice … almost there …..
1st Stuart Restoration Celebrations: Oak Apple Day May 29th This I'd overlooked but Arran brought me up to speed just in time. It celebrates the Restoration of Charles II as King of England; he'd already been crowned King of Scotland on the execution of his father and venturing to Worcester in 1651 had to hide in an oak tree having lost that battle - and promptly fled to France until 1660. The 2nd Stuart Restoration, of King James VIII of Scotland and III of England and Ireland, never took place of course despite myriad attempts not least Prince Charles Edward in 1745! Needless to say perhaps, our blue plaqued predecessor here at The Manor House, James son of Sir Sapcoates Harrington, author of Oceania proposing a Republic to be overseen by Oliver Cromwell was neither welcomed by Cromwell or well received after Charles II returned to England.

Published Date: May 29th 2020

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