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Grand National

April 13th, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Today is Grand National day in the UK.
The Grand National is probably the most famous horse race in the world. It is run over a distance of four and a half miles making is the longest British horse race, over the largest fences, with up to 40 horses which is more than any other horse race in Britain.
The race was first ran in 1839 when it was won by a horse called Lottery. Since that time probably hundreds of horses have been killed, though records do not exist as to the exact amount. There have been many calls for the race to be abolished, but the race still goes on.
Almost half the population of Britain have a bet on the grand national and betting money adds up to over 300 million.
The prize money is worth 975,000. The horse gets a pat on the back and some nice straw.

Happy Birthday Karl Albrecht

March 28th, 2012 at 12:11 am

Karl Albrecht is 90 years old today.
He is worth an estimated $25.4 billion making him oldest billionaire in the worlds top 20 billionaires and the richest man in Germany.
After the second world war, Karl and his twin brother Theo (co-incidentally also born on the 28th of march), took over their mothers small grocery store calling it Albrecht Discounts. This was later shortened to Aldi.
Aldi is now one of the biggest grocery chains with over 9500 stores worldwide.
So lets raise a glass to Karl.
Many happy returns.

Great misers of History

January 12th, 2012 at 12:27 am

My wife sometimes accuses me of being miserly because I turn off the heating in rooms that are not being used. Compared with some of the misers fom history I am a spendthrift. Here are some people more miserly than me.

Hetty Green
Probably the biggest miser in history. Despite being one of the richest women on the planet. She would never turn on the heat or use hot water. She ony had one black dress and she would only change her undergarments after they had worn out. Her own son had to have his leg amputated because she could not find a free clinic for the poor.

The Collyer brothers
The Collyer brothers were wealthy eccentrics who came from a well to do, New York family. They became recluses and set booby traps in their filthy junk filled house. Their dead bodies were found under tons of collected rubbish.

John Elwes
John Elwes was a British MP who was thought to be the inspiration for the character "Ebinezer Scrooge". He would go to bed when darkness fell in order to save money on candles. He wore a wig that he found in a hedge and he would treat himself rather than pay for a physician.

Joseph Nollekens
Joseph Nollekens was a famous and wealthy Sculptor who lived the life of a poor man. He would sit at home in the dark and would only light a fire if guests called. His wife was also notoriously mean.

Yossele the Holy Miser
Yossele was a jew who lived in Poland in medieval times. He was so hated for his meaness that the townspeople refused to bury his body for several days.

I think I have every right to turn down the heating a little bit.

Boiler mathematics

November 24th, 2011 at 04:21 am

We bought our guest house 2 years ago. It had an old oil boiler for heating the radiators and hot water.
It kept breaking down and was using a vast amount of oil. So after the first year we bought a new oil boiler. It cost 2,500 for the boiler and the fitting.
Well the new boiler is marvelous and it is probably saving us a fortune.
In the first year we filled the old boiler 4 times in a year. In the second year we filled the new boiler twice.

The old boiler cost us about 1260 in fuel costs.
The new boiler about 840.

At this rate I will be able to afford another boiler, but I don't know what I will do with it.
I would recommend an oil boiler to anyone except of course an Eskimo.