Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Monday, 31 March 2014
What's afoot, Holmes?
People have now stopped asking me why none of the rest of my family ever go to the pub as I do every day, so it was ironic that every one of them turned up at The Bell yesterday afternoon expecting to see me there as usual, when I had decided to go to a different bar for a change, and read this newspaper.
My eye was caught by the photograph of the biblical Dr Irving Finkel who, judging from his name, is precisely twice as Jewish as I am. I read - with horror - that he is actually two years younger than I am as well. What the hell do I look like to all those 23 year-old barmaids?
Fighting back tears, I read on to discover that he is the antiquarian who deciphered the blue-print that Noah must have used to build The Ark. Someone just turned up one day with a piece of dried clay, and Finkel almost shat himself (my words, not his) when he read the cuneiform letters pressed into it.
Every detail about The Ark is contained within the borders of this bit of dry mud (apparently the mud of the Tigris and Euphrates was a superior sort) including materials used and the precise dimensions of the finished boat. For Rachel's benefit, I can tell you that it was pretty much the exact length of a football pitch.
You have to know what each unit of measurement represents in today's system of course, but one of these units is the average length of a human foot - hence our quaint term of 'foot' for twelve inches.
In the UK shoe-size table, a size twelve is usually exactly 12 inches, and it is the only size where the number corresponds to the length in terms of inches. I say 'usually'.
This weekend, I resolved to wear my black Crockett and Jones boots, never having enough excuses aside from weddings and funerals to wear them more often. I had even bought a pair of black trousers to go with them, not wanting to wear a suit.
I tripped up steps FIVE times this weekend, twice spilling some expensive drinks.
Because of the slightly pointed, chiselled toes, these size 12s are more like 13 inches long, and my foot-eye coordination has yet to make an allowance for the extra inch.