Tuesday, 2 April 2013

A few things I learnt this week: how to drive (2 ways), cat trivia and chocolate disaster prevention.

How to drive 1) a tractor and 2) a golf ball  (sort of)...(on both counts)

  • Having never driven anything bigger than my mum's Polo, this week saw me take on the challenge of driving a tractor. Being a particularly poor manoeuvrer and a bit of an Annie Hall-esque parker (you really can enjoy a pleasant stroll to the 'sidewalk' when I pull up to the curb) this was a bit of a daunting prospect. But it turns out it's really quite fun and the basics are just like driving a car. Steering wheel, brake, clutch, that 'look where you're going' thing and all that jazz.  I'd recommend having a go if you get the chance. Moving what feels like a hefty piece of machinery made this unpractical person feel vaguely capable (and also, I must add, terribly, terribly powerful, like a farming wizard) It wasn't too hard at all, or at least, driving around with loads of help in an empty field with no chance of hitting anything, EVER, wasn't too hard. So, as long as it's always like that then count me in for the next series of 'Strictly come Top Gear Tractor Wars.'

  • It's a little far-fetched to say I actually learnt how to drive in golf this week, because I was so appalling, but I certainly went to a driving range and had a go. Now it is true that the ball did either stay exactly where it was because I kept missing it, or zoomed off at a sharp 90 degree angle which, believe it or not, was not some clever tactic, but rather my complete incompetence. However,with a few tips such as 'always keep your eye on the ball'- it's amazing how hard this seems- and 'keep your arm straight'(which arm? When? How??) hopefully some of this advice sunk in... subconsciously at least. Who knew there was so much to think about? Head, arms, knees, feet, toes, eyes,  (a children's song in the making!?) let alone the fairly essential ball and club themselves.I can certainly say I am not ready to be called 'Tiger' just yet. Maybe more of a house cat...

Which is a terribly tenuous link to the next thing I learnt this week....

Why cats knead (/'make biscuits')

  • With the detective help of my lovely friend Emily, also curious about this common cat trait, we delved into the mine field of kneading. After a little investigation we discovered curiously that the colloquial term for kneading is 'making biscuits.' (Firstly, is it?!? I've never heard of that, but do let me know if you have. And secondly, what kind of biscuits?!)  We then moved on to the reason cats knead and found a very interesting answer. It is not in fact just because of their love of tasteful furnishings and good quality fabric (although I feel sure this must play a vital part in it), but because it is an instinctive trait from when they are kittens. They massage (i.e. knead) their mother during feeding to help her to produce milk more easily. You'd think they might have learnt by now that the particularly cosy cushion on the sofa doesn't actually produce anything but snuggly moments of joy, but I guess they don't mind that- the crazy kooks that they are.  Fascinating stuff anyway!!

And finally, in this week of Easter related goodness it seems only right that I learnt:

Where not to leave your Easter egg
  •  The answer: in a sunny spot in your room, because this will happen:

A potentially artistic, but really quite scary, result.