EARTHQUAKE!!! And: Lard sculptures

Earthquake epicenterWow. A 5.2-magnitude earthquake hit England and Wales early this morning.

If we’re to trust the epicenter, the blame goes to Lincolnshire.

A number of houses experienced some damage, but all in all everyone got out of this one okay. This brings us to some relevant trivia regarding earthquakes in the Isles:


What’s the most powerful earthquake to strike the British Isles? The answer later in today’s entry.


We’re getting together in the pub tonight armed with instruments of music-making and vocal implements of destruction…er, harmony? Point being: It’s the weekly Merlins Rest Folk Jam. Billy Watkins and friends will be up front playing informally and without mics and amps. Give ’em Guinness, that’s all they need.

It’s a grand time, and a nice bit of spirit in the middle of the week. Check it out and enjoy.


Thursday, February 28, 6:00 PM – It’s the Birds & the Beers Gathering! Sharon Stiteler (aka, the Birdchick) is calling all birders together again for pints and a meetup. If you have even a casual interest in birding, check it out. Great group. And I think it’s going to be a bit more high-tech this time as Sharon has suggested she’ll bring her scope. (Scroll to the end of the entry for the Birds & Beers note, and for a nice photo from their last gathering here.)

Later on, about 9 pm, Dino and the Dinosaurs will prove that sometimes it’s good to have the blues.


Scotland Children Carve Sculptures with Pastry Lard* Well. I’d thought we were a bit odd here in Minnesota for carving beauty queen busts–those are the heads, Watkins!–out of butter for the annual Minnesota State Fair. But children in Scotland sculpt with pastry lard. And they apparently win titles for it.

* The seaside, cliff’s edge tower that inspired poems from Thomas Hardy and a novel (The Black Tower) from mystery juggernaut and baroness PD James has been saved. The tower was only meters from the edge after years of coastal erosion (and its from-the-get-go poorly sited placement). It’s been rebuilt on more solid ground.

* British doctors are demanding an end to high parking fees for patients at Welsh hospitals. Good on ye!

* And let me just say that Jamie Oliver’s Cheat’s Pappardelle with Slow-Braised Leeks is outstanding! I didn’t make the porcini pangrattato–don’t know what a pangrattato is, actually–but braising the leeks in this style was delicious. As St. David’s Day is coming up (March 1), consider adding some leeks to your diet and celebrate Wales!


Hard to say, but safe to say no earthquake that we know of in the British Isles has crested 6.0 on the Richter Scale. I know, that’s not a satisfying answer. It’s an answer, but not a satisfying one. But here’s the low-down on some historical earthquakes in our British Isles:

Estimated Magnitude: 5.5
Date: 20 February 1247
Location: Wales

Estimated Magnitude: 5.8
Date: 21 May 1382
Location: Canterbury, England

Estimated Magnitude: 5.8
Date: 6 April 1580
Location: Straits of Dover

Estimated Magnitude: 5.3
Date: April 1783
The Welsh Delivery room in which a screaming baby John Dingley is born

Magnitude: 5.4
Date: 19 January 1984
Location: LlÅ·n Peninsula

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