Wednesday, 24 August 2011

More Bush Gems

I somehow left these two pretty flowers out of my post about the charms of the bush:

I assume they are natives of Australia but I'm ashamed to say I don't know for sure. Nor do I know what their names are. I would like to have these facts at my fingertips, although I'm not sure why. They are not the kinds of thing that would come in handy on a daily basis, but I'm always impressed when people do possess unusual and slightly pointless bits of knowledge. Maybe it's because I imagine that one day I might have to provide someone with an education about the world and will be found wanting in some areas, like Mr Watts in Lloyd Jones's beautiful novel Mr Pip::

'There were gaps in Mr Watts' knowledge. Large gaps, as it turned out, for which he apologised. He knew the word "chemistry" but could not tell us much more than that. He handed on the names of famous people such as Darwin, Einstein, Plato, Archimedes, Aristotle. We wondered if he was making them up because he struggled to explain why they were famous or why we had to know them. Yet he was our teacher and he never relinquished that status. When an unfamiliar fish washed up on the beach it felt right to ask Mr Watts to come and identify the strange eel-like serpent. It didn't matter that he would end up standing over the creature with the same blank face as the rest of us.'


  1. Makes me think of my friend who said she'd never have children because they would ask her things that she couldn't answer, like how does electricity work, or how does the telephone work. She thought she'd have to say, "Nobody knows how electricity works, but maybe you can discover it when you grow up."

  2. beautiful flowers! I've always thought a great smartphone app would be one that you could hold up to flowers and plants and it would tell you immediately what that plant was

  3. I just told them to shut up and keep watching the telly, as you know, Polly
    Thanks, Worm, what an excellent idea, might suggest it to Polly's tech whiz husband - it would be even more brilliant if the app included birds as well

  4. OK - the word from the tech whiz husband is that there's an app for birds that almost does what you need it to:

    but no doubt there are many further apps to be developed along these lines, such as, " what's this person's name, I can't remember" and perhaps more.

  5. I hope he's getting to work on that last one right now, Polly - the market for it would be almost unlimited, I imagine