Friday Facts

Here’s something I bet you didn’t know!

1. My city, York, was founded by the Romans. They built a huge fortress and some of the stone walls are still there. Several hundred years later the Vikings invaded. The last Viking ruler was named Eric Bloodaxe. Isn’t that a fearsome name? I love reading exciting history like that, but Mam wouldn’t let me repeat his name. She said it sounded like swearing. You don’t mind, do you? I’m going to yell it: Eric Bloodaxe! Eric Bloodaxe!

2. When we took the train to Liverpool I couldn’t believe how big the city was. My Dad said that 700,000 people live there. He learned that from the 1901 census. Liverpool is more than twice the size of the biggest Canadian city, Montreal!

3. Patrick told me flat-coated retrievers are a new breed and very popular at the moment. They are wonderful at retrieving water fowl and his uncle thought they would be most useful for duck hunting. That’s wild ducks, of course! Patrick says the prairies abound with wild ducks and geese.

4. Remember the army man who used the clock face to tell us where to look for the whale? He showed me his wristwatch from the Boer War. The Boer War was the first time officers were issued wristwatches instead of pocket watches. He said it was hard to check a pocket watch while you were holding a gun but easy to just turn your wrist. That makes sense, doesn’t it? At first many men didn’t want to wear them. They called them wristlets and said they were only for women.