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Lafayette Louisiana

 

We would be in Lafayette for a day and asked the concierge for advice on what to see.  Vermilionville Historic Village was suggested.  This turned out to be very interesting.

 


One of the interiors at Vermilionville Historic Village - Click on this picture to see more
 

Considerable trouble has been taken collecting and restoring the houses and their grounds.  Each house has original furniture and domestic objects from its period and in each of them there was one or more 'explainers' dressed in period clothes and very knowledgeable about 'their' house.  The same applied to the grounds where a shepherd explained that the sheep were historically accurate and a unique flock.  

In one house women were making cotton fabric.  Starting from the raw cotton they showed how to 'card' the fibres then spin the thread/twine.  This is then wound onto multiple spools to be transferred to the drum of the rustic loom and form the weft of the fabric.  The shuttle is also wound with the warp thread and pedals on the loom selectively pull down weft fibres to create various patterns as the shuttle passes between them on alternate passes.  Using this technology the women could be expected to makes enough fabric to make one garment per year.  Presumably not full time.

In another house the host played a fiddle and was difficult to escape as he went through his repertoire of different regional styles.  In yet another we learned how important a guest room was to give hospitality to travellers and how to protect one's daughters' virtue with appropriate architecture. 

Of particular note in one house was a double seat waste closet.  In Australia we would call it a two hole dunny.  Our host invited us to consider using it as a rather too intimate family convenience - presumably avoiding a queue. 

There was also a nice little museum with an environmental and historical theme and more information about The Louisiana Purchase.

 

 

 


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Travel

Southern England

 

 

 

In mid July 2016 Wendy and I took flight again to Europe.  Those who follow these travel diaries will note that part of out trip last year was cut when Wendy's mum took ill.  In particular we missed out on a planned trip to Romania and eastern Germany.  This time our British sojourn would be interrupted for a few days by a side-trip to Copenhagen and Roskilde in Denmark.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

His life in a can

A Short Story

 

 

"She’s put out a beer for me!   That’s so thoughtful!" 

He feels shamed, just when he was thinking she takes him for granted.

He’s been slaving away out here all morning in the sweltering heat, cutting-back this enormous bloody bougainvillea that she keeps nagging him about.  It’s the Council's green waste pick-up tomorrow and he’s taken the day off, from the monotony of his daily commute, to a job that he has long since mastered, to get this done.  

He’s bleeding where the thorns have torn at his shirtless torso.  His sweat makes pink runnels in the grey dust that is thick on his office-pale skin.  The scratches sting, as the salty rivulets reach them, and he’s not sure that he hasn’t had too much sun.  He knows he’ll be sore in the office tomorrow.

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Opinions and Philosophy

The race for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine

 

 

 

 

As we all now know (unless we've been living under a rock) the only way of defeating a pandemic is to achieve 'herd immunity' for the community at large; while strictly quarantining the most vulnerable.

Herd immunity can be achieved by most people in a community catching a virus and suffering the consequences or by vaccination.

It's over two centuries since Edward Jenner used cowpox to 'vaccinate' (from 'vacca' - Latin for cow) against smallpox. Since then medical science has been developing ways to pre-warn our immune systems of potentially harmful viruses using 'vaccines'.

In the last fifty years herd immunity has successfully been achieved against many viruses using vaccination and the race is on to achieve the same against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19).

Developing; manufacturing; and distributing a vaccine is at the leading edge of our scientific capabilities and knowledge and is a highly skilled; technologically advanced; and expensive undertaking. Yet the rewards are potentially great, when the economic and societal consequences of the current pandemic are dire and governments around the world are desperate for a solution. 

So elite researchers on every continent have joined the race with 51 vaccines now in clinical trials on humans and at least 75 in preclinical trials on animals.

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