Archive for September 22nd, 2010

50,983,200 minutes

Can you imagine ……..97….that is 97 years!   Yes, today is my lady’s 97th birthday…..that means she was born in 1913!!  She has lived for 35,405 days or 849,720 hours or 50,983,200 minutes!!!  How cool is that!   My calculator can’t work out the seconds; not enough spaces 🙂 and she is still going strong. I was warned by the family that she does not like her birthday to be mentioned and doesn’t celebrate the day and hasn’t done so for years…..Ha! Not on my watch. First thing this morning I sang Happy Birthday to which she groaned out loud and said “don’t remind me” which of course I ignored completely.  She then did a complete turn-around and decided that today was a jolly day for a birthday and has excitedly opened her cards.  Yesterday I iced and decorated a cake that her niece baked on Saturday and this afternoon for tea she will have 9 candles to blow out (1 for each decade) and a happy birthday sing-song!  How can you not celebrate being alive and reaching the fine old age of 97!

During her 97 years she has seen 2 World Wars, The Vietnam War, The Gulf War, The Iraq War  lived through the Great Depression of the 1930’s, survived numerous Governments, saw the Queen’s Coronation, watched man land on the moon, the advent of television and many more world events…….for interest sake I have listed a few below, not in any particular chronological order, although some are:

The Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road across the United States, is dedicated.
Mohandas Gandhi is arrested while leading a march of Indian miners in South Africa.
The Panama canal opened.
Pluto is photographed for the first time but is not then classified as a planet.
Alexander Graham Bell in NY calls Thomas Watson in SF.
Thomas Edison invents telescribe to record telephone conversations.
John B Gruelle patents Raggedy Ann doll.
Easter Uprising in Ireland.
The Russian Revolution.
The first crossing of the Atlantic by plane.
Women finally gained the right to vote.
Lindbergh crosses the Atlantic.
The General Electric Company introduced the flash bulb for taking photos.
Albert Einstein, the renowned physicist, wrote President Roosevelt a letter outlining the potential of nuclear energy in weapons
Charles Carlson patented the first xerographic machine.
Peron becomes Dictator of Argentina.
India/Pakistan Gain Independence.
Yaeger Breaks Sound Barrier.
Edwin Land developed the first instant camera that developed photos on the spot.
King George VI Dies, Elizabeth crowned Queen of England.
Polio Vaccine Invented.
First kidney Transplant.
First Trans- Atlantic Telephone Cable.
Castro Seizes Power in Cuba.
Soviets detonated the largest atomic bomb ever exploded.
The Berlin Wall was built.
President Kennedy Assassinated.
Vaccine Against Measles.
The Concorde Super Sonic Transport is unveiled in Toulouse, France.
Mariner 5 flies past Venus.
Dr. James Bedford becomes the first person to be cryonically preserved.
Professor John Archibald Wheeler introduces the term “Black Hole”.
British Post office introduces First Class Post.
Pope Paul VI bans Catholics from using the contraceptive pill for birth control.
Hong Kong Flu pandemic begins in Hong Kong.
Dr. Christian Barnard performs the first successful heart transplant.
ATM First Philadelphia Bank installs the first automated teller machine in the U.S.

British anthropologist Richard Leakey discovers 2.5 million year-old human skull in Kenya
America celebrates its 200th birthday.
First test-tube baby born in England.
Sir Anthony Blunt, art historian to Buckingham Palace, exposed as fourth man in Britain’s worst spy scandal and stripped of his knighthood.
Earl Mountbatten murdered by IRA.
Mother Teresa wins Nobel Peace Prize.
England drives invading Argentines from Falkland Islands
AIDS virus is discovered.
Bill Gates becomes the computer industry’s first billionaire.
DNA evidence is allowed in some criminal trials.
Nelson Mandela freed from South African prison.

The first sheep ‘Dolly’ is cloned.
Channel Tunnel -‘The Chunnel’ completed linking England and France by road and rail under the English Channel.
World Trade Center in New York City bombed by Middle Eastern terrorists.
The “World Wide Web” started up for home use.
Hong Kong ceded from England to communist China.
Princess Diana killed in automobile accident in Paris.
NASA’s ‘Pathfinder’ module lands on Mars.
Peace agreement reached in Northern Ireland, ending over eighty years of terrorism and civil war.
Millennium celebrations take place throughout the world.
Pope John Paul II begins the first official visit by a Roman Catholic pontiff to Israel.
A rare conjunction of seven celestial bodies (Sun, Moon, planets Mercury-Jupiter) occurs on the New Moon
May 11 2000 – The billionth living person in India is born.
The world’s first self-contained artificial heart is implanted in Robert Tools.
Euro begins official circulation in 12 European countries
US space shuttle Columbia crashes.
Volcano explodes in Iceland.

The planet Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in over 60,000 years.
London hit by Islamic terrorist bombings, killing 52 and wounding about 700. It is Britain’s worst attack since World War II (July 7)
Three men wearing ski masks steal four pieces of artwork from the Zurich Museum in one of the largest art robberies in history. In broad daylight.

4Million-year-old skeleton found in Ethopia.
First Black American President voted into office.
For thie first time in over 500 years a Catholic Pope enters Westminster Abbey, dedicated to St Peter, which has been the kingdom’s coronation church since 1066, and which, for 600 years as a Benedictine Abbey, until the English Reformation, enjoyed a close relationship of mutual support with the papacy. 

She has seen the advent of Elvis Presley, The Beatles, experienced the swinging 60’s (although I am quite sure that would have been viewed with a frown!), seen fashions change from long skirts and sleeves, to mini-skirts or less, from cover-it all bathing suits to bikini’s and less, had countries come and go, new democracies formed or lost, Tiannamen Square, massive protests over a number of issues, the nuclear bomb and seen major achievements like the first summiting of Mount Everest.

the list goes on and on……….Researching the world events that happened since 1913 has been an exercise in fascination…..so much has happened that we forget about.

I hope I live to be 97…..

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I am one of those very unfortunate or fortunate people (depending on your point of view) who has a ‘sweet-tooth’.  All my life I have enjoyed sweet stuff…..biscuits, cake, jellies, sweets, puddings…whatever.  If it was sweet I was there 🙂  One of my favourite sweets was of course Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles and if today I had a £ for every fruit pastille I ate in my life, I could buy a new house.

Up till now, sharing a packet of fruit pastilles was a real hardship…..mostly coz it would seem that everyone who likes fruit pastilles want the black ones.  Finally Rowntree’s have solved that problem…….they have brought out a roll of just Blackcurrent! How sensible.

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