You’ve all heard of grand pianos, but I bet you’ve never seen one quite as grand as this!
It’s in the beautiful garden of The Giant’s House in Akaroa. I could have played all day!
This week’s photo challenge theme is Let There Be Light. We were asked to photograph a light source and I had a light bulb moment! I did some research and came up with the following amazing facts about light bulbs.
The world’s oldest light bulb is in Fire Station 6 in Livermore, Northern California. It is still working after 112 years. This puts a new slant on the recent media discussion about extending the retirement age. I hope I’m not still working when I’m 112 years old!
How many retirees does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but it might take all day!
The world’s largest light bulb is on top of the Thomas Edison Memorial in Edison, New Jersey. It is four metres tall. If I wanted to use it as a reading light I would have to sit on top of a giraffe. This might be a little precarious and most uncomfortable.
How many giraffes does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, if your ceiling is high enough.
According to the Guinness Book of Records the most Christmas lights on one decorated house is 502 165. Imagine if that string of tiny glass bulbs came out of the box in a tangled mess…
How many elves does it take to change a light bulb? Ten, one to change the light bulb and nine to stand on each other’s shoulders.
An average light bulb will last around 750 hours. If it takes me ten minutes to eat one piece of chocolate cake I could enjoy 4500 pieces before the lights went out!
How many doctors does it take to change a light bulb? Two, one to change the light bulb while the other attends to the beaver who ate too much cake.
I’m not your ordinary beaver, as you’ve probably noticed, and one of the beaver-ish things I don’t do is venture underground. Sometimes though an opportunity too good to turn down presents itself and I take up the challenge.
I was on Fox Glacier with Dean of Fox Glacier Guiding when he discovered a new ice cave. He decided to explore and invited me to tag along.
The blue illumination from the daylight above was eerie and even with my fur coat on the air was very chilly. I was secretly glad that Dean didn’t want to venture further into this subterranean grotto.
My career as a spelunker was very short lived!
The game of cricket has a long and distinguished history dating from the 16th century. It began as a children’s game in England, but by the 17th century cricket was a serious game played by adults. One of the greatest cricket clubs in England was Hambledon, in Hampshire.
Even though cricket had already been played for more than two hundred years, the rules of the game decided upon by the Hambledon Cricket Club at The Bat & Ball in the 1760s formed the basis of the modern game we all know and love.
Travel forwards 120 years with me to 1882, when a visiting Australian cricket team recorded their first Test win in England. The newspaper The Sporting Times published an obituary for English cricket.
In the return series played in Australia the following year, England won two of the three tests and the captain was given a small urn said to contain the ashes of a wooden cricket bail. This urn became an icon of the one of the greatest sporting rivalries in the world – The Ashes.
Journey ahead another 141 years to the present. The latest Ashes series began at The Gabba in Brisbane last week and for Australia the stakes were high. They haven’t held the Ashes since 2007 and the hopes of a nation rested on the shoulders of the Australian team. I was there with 38 000 other passionate followers of the game.
The competition was fierce and the players gave their all.
After two impressive innings of 7/401 and 295 by Australia, England’s task was enormous and although the players tried their best they succumbed to the pressure, scoring a mere 179 and 136 in return. Jubilation and celebration were the order of the day for those wearing the green and gold!
One match down, four more to win. Go Australia!
Whenever I meet another famous person it’s very exciting – for both of us. There’s a real thrill in seeing someone well-known up close and personal, especially if the encounter is unexpected. I would never have expected to meet this King…
and I bet he never expected to meet me!
His fur coat is nearly as nice as mine!
Given that I’m a high altitude beaver from the Bavarian Alps it’s only natural that I would enjoy heights. But there has to be a limit, even for me, and I reached that limit at Skyswing Rotorua.
I watched as those foolhardy enough to try this ride were slowly raised to a height of 50 metres where they dangled for what seemed like an eternity before being released like stones in a slingshot. They plunged towards the ground at a speed of 120 kilometres per hour- it was not a pretty sight.
The screams of terror from those on board as they hurtled through the air were bloodcurdling, and hearing them shrieking was enough to convince me to find another way down the mountain.
The Skyline Gondola was the perfect alternative – safe, sedate and hurtle-free, with beautiful views over the city of Rotorua and plenty of time to enjoy them on the way down.
There was no screaming or shrieking and the only things dangling were the gondolas as they passed by on their supporting cables.
This is my kind of ride.
I know I’ve been talking about chocolate a lot lately, but I just had to share this photo with you for this week’s challenge.
It was taken at the shop at the Cadbury factory in Hobart, Tasmania.
Can you imagine how exhilarating it was to be surrounded by layer upon layer of chocolate…I was in chocolate heaven!
Belgium is a small country. With a total land mass of 30 510 square kilometres it covers just 0.02% of the earth. There are only 65 kilometres of coastline and a drive from north to south takes about four hours.
What Belgium lacks in size it makes up for in other ways. The food they serve in cafés comes in giant portions. This café in De Haan wasn’t exaggerating when it advertised its maxi snacks.
Their salad rolls were enormous.
Since the day I spent with Robbert learning the skills of tour guiding I have been thinking more about the sort of tour I would like to do. As you know my speciality is food, especially if it’s sweet.
So I decided to work on an itinerary for the “Justin Beaver Tour of Chocolate Shops of the World”. Here is my work in progress:
Greetings fellow chocolate lovers! Welcome to this tour of chocolate shops of the world. During our time together I will share with you some of the most delightful, delicious and delectable chocolates you will ever taste, in stunning locations.
These beauteous, pillowy morsels come from Elizabeth Brussels. The marshmallow domes simply melt in the mouth and the layers of sweet biscuit and chocolate add that extra crunch. These are available in both milk and dark chocolate and are my absolute favourite.
This giant chocolate J is made by Leonidas in Bruges. All the letters of the alphabet are available, so if you are a true chocaholic you could eat your whole name!
The chocolate at Leonidas comes in all shapes and sizes: even Mr Potato Head has a chocolatey likeness.
Ypres has its fair share of chocolate shops too. My favourite decorates according to the season, whether it’s Autumn or Halloween.
So far I’ve only covered Belgium. This tour is going to be more involved than I thought.
P.S. I practised my tour guiding on Manny, and we did some taste testing along the way.
P.P.S. If you are thinking of joining me on this tour please note: No responsibility will be taken for indigestion, weight gain or trousers that no longer do up at the waist.
Remember when I had a work experience day at Fox Glacier? It was so much fun and ever since I have been hoping I would have another opportunity to learn a new trade.
When I was in Brussels I decided to go on a free walking tour with Robbert of Sandemans New Brussels. Robbert is great – he knows everything there is to know about Brussels, he remembers all the people he takes on tour and best of all, he said I could tag along and learn the finer points of operating guided tours.
I watched while he shared his knowledge of and passion for Brussels with his spellbound audience, all the time wondering if I could ever do as well as he does.
Then I began to think about all the things I know about and the types of tours I could run, and the list was just grew and grew.
Being an alpine beaver, I could do the “Justin Beaver Tour of Very High Places”.
I’m sure lots of people would like to come along on the “Justin Beaver Tour of Famous Comic Book Characters”.
Best of all would be the “Justin Beaver Tour of Chocolate Shops of the World”. This is definitely my area of expertise.
Who’s going to join me?