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Five things I learned this week

As a middle-aged editor-tutor-writer, I'm pleased I can still find out something new every day. Here are five things I learned this week.

1. The difference between a wood mouse and a shrew

Photograph of a wood mouse

I saw this little guy scuttling around while I was cooking last night, and it was so small, I thought it must be a shrew, but Thing 1 re-educated me. 'It's a wood mouse, Dad. Shrews have long noses and can be venomous.' Venemouse, I wanted to say, but didn't. The teens need to be humoured carefully.

2. Swedish has two noun genders

and they're called common (utrum) and neuter (neutrum). It's a streamlined and modern-feeling grammar compared to the gendered systems of other European languages. Since the middle of the year, I've been learning various languages on Duolingo along with half the world (and hope to keep it up now that work has started flowing again!)

3. Where Rutherglen is

We have taken to helplessly watching for signs of change as the slash, burn and pillage continues.

4. How Christopher Nolan made a micro-budget film

Christopher Nolan's 1999 debut, Following, has appeared on TV here in the UK. It was full of his trademark parallel plotlines, assured noir shots and satisfying pay-off (and masculinist characterisation). I read an interesting brief interview of Nolan and Jeremy Theobald by James Mottram which revealed just how hand-made the film was. It inspired me to carry on writing those screenplays.

5. Real builders don't use small screws, apparently

A set of screws, nuts, bolts and washes in a semi-transparent plastic case

I wanted to get a set of small screws to fix a name plate and Thing 1's closet, so I thought, 'Nah, I'm not going to go to Homebase, I'm going to go to the serious building supply shops for this one.'

Visits to BPS, Tool Station and Screwfix all ended up the same. You can get moerse decking screws and for building houses and bridges and new planets and such, but nothing small enough to fix your drawer. Homebase had a lovely set of screws and bits that made me feel very productive.

The drawers are sliding again – kind of.


That's my selection for this week. Which is your Most Interesting Thing of the Week? Vote below!

You live and learn, hey. Did you know any of these factoids? Let me know in the comments.

See you soon!

Which is your favourite factoid of the week?

  • Mice and shrews

  • Swedish nouns

  • Rutherglen

  • Following

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