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Do something different – Make origami

I always thought that origami is immensely fiddly. With my patience scale on the lower end of the scale, I couldn’t think of anything worse than trying to fiddle with bits of folding paper to make something that faintly resembles something that looks familiar (the only thing worse on my patience scale is perhaps a round of golf).

So in an effort to try something different and in the spirit of this blog, I had a go at doing some origami.  I had visions of screwing up or tearing up paper in a tantrum on step 139 when the elephant started to resemble a non-rising yorkshire pudding.

I did a quick Google (is Google anything but quick?) and found this site, which looked to make origami simple by having step-by-step instructions. OK, I’ll give the cat a go, it looks quite cute.

Right. Set myself up on the table, got the instructions, lets go. “Origami Cat step 1. Start with a 6 inch x 6 inch square origami paper color side down.” Er, origami paper? What is that? You have to have special paper for origami? Wont printer paper do? Damn it! I imagine it is slightly thicker paper than printer paper. Yikes, need to raid the 5 year old’s arts and crafts drawer. Hold a minute – color side down? Oh jeez. Looking through every single one of his messy drawers, there was not one bit of paper that had different colour paper on either side – except a bit of crumpled wrapping paper and I’m pretty sure the Origami police will crack down on me for using that.

So I looked around the house and managed to find some of my wife’s advertising leaflets. Pink on one side, white on the other. These would have to do. OK, 6 inches by 6 inches. Oh bloody hell. A5 is a few millimeters shy of 6 inches. Have to go metric on this one and go with centimeters – it’ll have to do.

Right, so I was off. Steps 1-7 were easy-peasy. At the end of step 7 I had a good looking cat’s head. The body was slightly trickier, with the instructions not being entirely clear on step 13 and took a few goes at getting it right (looking down at the comments I wasn’t the only one getting stuck on step 13). And voila. A small and perfectly formed cat!

An origami cat with a Facebook logo beauty spot

An origami cat with a Facebook logo beauty spot

It took me 9 minutes to make the cat. It actually took me longer to find the piece of paper than it did to fold the damn thing! The instructions were pretty good, and I actually found it quite therapeutic. Seeing the paper coming together to make a recognisable shape was really satisfying, and I felt quite child-like putting the head on to the body for the finished article. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I made another one!

My origami cat has a multi-cultural friend

My origami cat has a multi-cultural friend

If you have any ideas for me to try something different, tweet me @jelly_wobbler or visit the Facebook page.

Categories: Art, origami | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Memorise the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World

When this one was suggested to me by a friend, I thought that this wasn’t really on brief. It wasn’t until I thought about it that I realised that I could only name 3 from memory, and that it would be good for my neurological skills to remember the most important man-made monuments in ancient history – rather than Google or Wikipedia it to commit to short-term memory.

The three that I knew were:

  1. Obviously the Pyramids at Giza
  2. The Lighthouse at Alexandra
  3. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (and only through Fawlty Towers)

The other 4 are:

  1. Statue of Zeus
  2. Temple of Artemis
  3. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  4. Colossus of Rhodes

I’m not very good at remembering things. In fact I am worst at names and faces (so glad men have the catch-all “mate”). There are various techniques at remembering things. At school I used mnemonics a lot in the run up to exams. So here goes, in the above order:

P – Please
L – Let
H – Harry
S – Scare
T – The
M – Massive
C – Cat

I like that. It works for me. Mnemonics work differently for different people. Difficult to show on a blog but I have repeated that several times and I think I’ve got it. I’ve also spent a bit of time reading into each one. I won’t put in links as there are hundreds of sites you can research. Here are three interesting things I didn’t know relating to the wonders before I started this task:

  • The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was built for a King called Mausolus. It is because of this wonder that we name any grand tomb a mausoleum.
  • The Hanging Gardens of Babylon have never been found, and it is doubted that they even existed.
  • No-one really knows who decided on the final list, although Greek historian Herodotus started it

Here’s an interesting map of where the 7 wonders were located (courtesy of

“7 Wonders of the Ancient World map | (Michael Kline)”

Map of where the 7 wonders of the ancient World were located

Categories: history, Mnemonic, wonders of the world | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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