Who Won the Week (30 August 2020)

I always liked Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, and like to join in with some quirky stories from my own newsfeeds. All from our unique vantage points, the idea is to pick something (a person, organisation, anything) which “won” the week. Poor old Fandango sounds really p’d off this week, so let’s hope this one will cheer him up.

I guess this is a feelgood story, all the way from Quito, Ecuador.

Julio Mora and Waldramina Quinteros knew each other because his cousin was married to her sister. Romance slowly blossomed between the two, and they were married seven years after they met, on 7th February, 1941 (79 years this year).

Julio was born on 10th March, 1910 (110 years old), while Waldramina is five years his junior, being born on 16th October, 1915 (104 years old). The pair have a combined age of a staggering 215 years.

Last week, they were named by the Guiness Book of Records as the world’s oldest married couple.

I bet they’re absolutely sick of each other!

Life through the Lens (30 August 2020)

When my eyesight was still good, I was a bit of an amateur photographer. This is one of mine.

image showing a silhouette of a camera

My first week, this is known as the Porte d’Aval, in Étretat, on the northern coast of France. Étretat has a beautiful crescent-shaped beach, flanked at both ends by these beautiful chalk arches. I’ll post the view in the other direction next week.

A Birthday Surprise

My wife has a friend’s birthday coming up, so she decided to make a card for them. She has been quite enthusiastic about her crafting lately, and this is the card she produced. I thought it was lovely so scanned it in. The skeletal design came from some stamps, and she has added watercolour. What do you think? Do you think she deserves some cake after her lunch?

Dreaming Spires

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 30 August 2020, covered.

– When is it, again?

– I told you, it’s in three weeks. Tuesday to Thursday.

Anna was just at the point in her career when she was asked to go to seminars on the firm’s behalf.

– The main speaker is a real hotshot. He’s a former judge, professor at one of the colleges there.

In truth, she and Paul hardly saw each other during the week anyway, so it would not make much difference. She continued:

– This is good stuff, Paul. They want me to go down to Oxford and represent them at an international conference. It shows they’re starting to trust me. Besides, I’ve never been to Oxford, it’s meant to be really nice.

Oxford lies about sixty miles north-west of London, and the train journey up from Paddington Station was completed in an hour on the Monday evening. Not really having much of a clue where she was, Anna passed what seemed to be thousands of pushbikes and caught a taxi to her guest house, located by the Botanical Gardens. The journey only took five minutes, at that time of day.

In fact, that was the main topic of conversation – that the traffic would turn the drive into a half-hour journey, if she happened to get the timing wrong.

She knew she was only on the fringes of the city centre, so she asked the hotel for directions to the Centre for International Studies, where her conference started at 9:30AM the next morning.

“It’s quite straightforward”, said the receptionist, pulling out a small map. “We’re here, you see, just off the High Street. So, out of the door here, turn left, then walk along the High Street into town. It’s only 5 minutes. Then, take a right along Cornmarket Street – you’ll easily recognise it, it’s the main shopping street. It’s pedestrian, apart from all the buses go down there. If you walk the length of Cornmarket Street, the place you’re after is just a bit further, along St. Aldgate’s. The whole journey should only take ten minutes.”

Anna slept well and was greeted the next morning by a good array of items in the breakfast buffet. “I’m quite surprised at the buffet”, she approved. “Normally there’s such little choice, I resign myself to going without. The waiter assured her that, these days, they catered for more and more vegan travellers.

Anna left the hotel and managed to find the Centre for International Studies without any problem. The most difficult part was finding the building itself, just one house along a terrace.

The conference finished for the day shortly before 4PM, and Anna had to retrace her steps back to her hotel. With no time pressures now, she looked around the city centre. Oxford is a charming city, with many students and some wonderful architecture, thanks largely to the colleges. It was not surprising that this was the most affluent city outside of London, that so many people lived out here and commuted in.

Feeling adventurous, Anna wandered through the wonderful architectures, past the Bodleian Library and the Ratcliffe Camera, then up a side street, Anna discovered Oxford’s quaint Covered Market. Too late, she realised that this market comprised mostly of butchers’ shops, and Anna felt that she had to hold her breath until she found the exit.

I used to live in Oxford between about 1990-5, and all the places are accurate as far as my memory goes – the Covered Market certainly did stink! Also, I’ve written a background to these characters, in the posts below.


Let me take a moment to write this ditty,
It is certainly fun, and very witty,
I worked quite hard to make it rhyme,
And almost succeeded, as you can see.

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