Friday, October 21, 2022

Mapping it all out


There was an interesting thing appeared on Facebook about maps of various things.

There wasn’t one for ‘frequency of Prime Minister’. I think we might have been a hot spot at that.  We are doing Carry On Sleuthing next week, we have to keep re-writing the political jokes. Although there’s nothing funny about what’s going on in Westminster at the moment.

Anyway – Maps ! For instance, the most common surnames in Europe? It was Smith for Scotland and England, Jones for Wales and Murphy  for Ireland. Jensen in Denmark, Andersson in Sweden and Papadopoulos in Greece. There’s a small island in the middle of nowhere ( the Faroe’s ?) where the most common surname is Joensen.

In the rain cloud map the Scots do pretty well. The band of green going across Europe and into the northern part of Asia is obvious. The northern band of Africa and the western band of Australia has a wee stripe of sandy colour, as has the western edge of the Americas.

The map of Germany before 1871 looks like a jigsaw puzzle that hasn’t been put together correctly. There are hundreds of Dukedoms, Baronets and States which is why the country is populated with so many castles.

Another interesting comparison map shows that in April 2012 only North America ‘most used browser’ was internet explorer. By the time we get to April 2022 google chrome has swamped the world with the exception of Greenland.

I’m not sure how accurate the European child friendly curse words are, flip? And Feck for Ireland. Other ones I like were ‘window pane glue’, Wednesday, chicken, pancake and ‘go and scratch the armpits of an earthworm’. I’m going to get that phrase in my next novel.

If you’re a bit hungry the best place to go visiting to get some food is very definitely southern Europe; Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, according to the map, will always give you food. Scandanavians and Denmark you are out of luck. You’re more likely to get a biscuit with your cup of tea in Scotland than in England and as was agreed at the Bouchercon crime writing festival, you are much more likely to get a biscuit in Glasgow than you are in Edinburgh.

The map of the Netherlands cycle paths look as if its been attacked by a gang of marauding spiders doing Riverdance with inky feet. Our government, the Scottish one is very keen to reproduce this in Scotland as they don’t realise that Holland is flat and Scotland is not.

The 11 million people in Australia live in less than 1% of the country’s land mass. I think the rest of Australia is populated with things that want to kill you.

And it makes perfect sense the more Northerly you go in Europe, the earlier the evening meal is eaten. According to the map in varies from about 4pm in Norway to about 9.30pm in Spain and Portugal. I guess given the daylight hours makes perfect sense.

The highest coffee consumption in kg per capita belongs to Luxembourg with Finland and Sweden coming a close second. The Brits drink a 10th of what the Fins do. Turkey and Moldovia don’t have much taste for it.

Could it be of some relevance that Finnish men tend to be the tallest in Europe. The shorter men are definitely down at the Mediterranean.

There is also maps of something called the strongest to the weakest passport, I’ve got no idea what that means. It would seem that the European Union is strong, I’m not sure about our new non-Euro King Charles passport. But I’m writing this blog on Thursday morning to be published on Friday morning. The way this government is going we could have a new Prime Minister ( ??? How’s that for political forecasting!) a new government. Who knows we might have joined the European Union again, but its all rather mute as we can’t afford to heat our homes and we’re all going to die of hypothermia.

It is both touching and disgusting that in a developed country supermarkets are opening their cafes in the winter months offering soup and a sandwich and a seat in a warm environment for as long as anybody needs. Charities like the Salvation Army are putting on a weekly schedule for nutrition and warmth.

I know we’re not the coldest country in the world, and we live within easy access of the city, but  it’s a worry for those in remote locations who can’t afford wood for their wood burning stoves.

This winter, hypothermia might be a bigger pandemic than COVID.


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