This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 30 December 2019

Spot the Frippet: something old.

Actually, don't just try to spot something old, see how old the oldest thing is that you can spot.

I mean, Grannie may seem old but she's probably a mere stripling compared to...


The oldest building in my town (as far as I know) was began in 1140. It's a church:

Hemel Hempstead - St Mary's Church - - 407742.jpgphoto by By Nigel Cox, CC BY-SA 2.0,

but there are plenty of places older than that, such as the Aula Palatina in Trier, Germany:

File:Trier - Aula Palatina.JPG

which was built in 310 AD.

Even if you live in a place where all the buildings are new, you will still be surrounded by some very old things. There are trees which are thousands of years old: the Llangernhyw Yew (Taxxus baccata) from, yes, Llangernhyw in North Wales, is about 4000 years old.

And then how about the Earth itself? Even Creationists think it's pretty old, and the scientists who have spent their whole lives carefully weighing the evidence put the Earth's age at about four and a half billion years. Which is quite a long time.

And how about the stars? The Milky Way star HE 1523-0901 is believed to be thirteen point two billion years old, and it's about the oldest thing you can see from Earth. You can get a good view if you're in the Southern Hemisphere and have a small telescope, but you can see it right up to Central European latitudes.

I don't know about you, but I'm suddenly feeling quite the spring chicken.

Spot the Frippet: something old. The word old comes from the Old English eald, and is related to the Latin word altus which means high.

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