Daily Archives: 9 September 2015

Panda Update

It takes a while for baby pandas to reach that point at which they become irresistibly cute, and make even the grumpiest people smile and go “aaawwwhhh” at the sight of them.  The  panda cub at the National Zoo, born a little more than two weeks ago, is starting to look more like a panda and less like a little pink mole.  His coloring is coming in.  His eyes aren’t yet open, and won’t be, until he’s six to eight weeks old.


When Panda mother Mei Xiang left her den on Saturday, veterinarians and keepers gave the cub another quick checkup.  Everything seems fine so far.  Here’s the Zoo’s  video of part of the examination:

The cub has not yet been named—at the Zoo, pandas are given names when the reach 100 days old.


The International Agatha Christie Festival

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

Queen Elizabeth isn’t the only British grande dame to reach a milestone in September.  If Dame Agatha Christie were still alive, she’d be able to celebrate the 125th anniversary of her birth next week.  Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie was born on 15 September 1890.

Guinness calls her the best-selling novelist of all time.

An International Agatha Christie Festival takes place each year in the fashionable seaside resort town of Torquay, where she was born.  Torquay, sometimes called “the English Riviera,” was also the birthplace of Richard Burton (the explorer, not the actor), writer and Dudley Moore collaborator Peter Cook, and actress and comedienne Miranda Hart.  Its second most famous resident, after Christie, is probably one Basil Fawlty, innkeeper and bon vivant.

The 2015 Festival opens on 11 September and runs for nine days.  Each day has a theme.  Here’s a sample:

You can view the full program at the link.  The schedule is a rich mix of film screenings, literary talks from best-selling crime writers, theatre performances, museum exhibitions, writers’ workshops, and cookery demonstrations.  There will also be a birthday garden party, a tea dance, and a glamorous ball.

Although it’s not listed in the program, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if at least one murder will take place, and visitors will be invited to solve it.