Sometimes we hear a sporardic rumbling noise from next door. It is Leo, the staffordhire bull terrier, who has invented a solo game of football, which he plays in the cellar he has to himself. He rolls his ball against the wall, stops it and knocks it back, again and again.
We tend to take ball point pens for granted. But they were invented only 75 or so years ago by a Hungarian called Biro. The rights to the name were acquired by the French company Bic. Last week, apparently, Bic sold its 100 billionth biro. The company says it is has sold the equivalent of 57 pens every second since its launch in 1950.
Rossini, appart from being a composer, was a noted gourmet. Escoffier named Tournedos Rossini after him - fillet steak surmounted by foie gras and a generous slice of truffle. I read, today, that the composer made the mistake of marrying his cook for fear that she would leave him. She didn't leave, but never cooked for him again.
I think at least 57 of those Bic pens must have been bought by me in the span of a daily slog as a teacher.
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