Tuesday, 30 August 2011


I'm delighted to be taking part in the "Justin Thyme" Bookmark Competition. My two bookmarks arrived yesterday, (along with three deliciously ripe bananas). If you'd like one (a bookmark, that is, not a banana ... they're all mine, mine, MINE), simply leave a comment answering this question: What kind of animal am I? (Hint: anyone who says I'm a monkey will be sent a bucket of sour grapes, rotten tomatoes and bitter lemons!)

Now, the real competition ... (you can win signed/doodled copies of "Justin Thyme" and "Thyme Running Out"). Here's how; it's quite simple, even for a human ...

It's like a sort of "Scavenger Hunt" where you collect clues at different book-blogs. The clues you need are the numbers and letters on the bookmarks (click the photo above to enlarge it, the numbers and letters are in the little clan badge). Once you've found them all (there are links to the participating blogs at the Tartan of Thyme Blog), you simply rearrange the letters in numerical order ... and the message you get is the answer to the competition. Email your answer to panamaoxridge (at) btinternet (dot) com.

The competition closes on September 7th, so you've got all week to find the letters/numbers and then decode the message. Have fun ... and if you get hungry, remember to eat a banana!


There's not a word of truth in it ... honestly!

When I saw the title of chapter 9 in "Thyme Running Out" I was downright discombobulated. Clearly, there has been a terrible mistake at the printers. I'm certain it should read: "Eliza EATS Bananas".

Thursday, 25 August 2011

When is a Bunch not a Bunch?

When did you last buy a bunch of bananas?
Answer: probably never! Why?

Ten or more connected bananas are known as a HAND - whereas the typical little "bunch" you might buy in a supermarket is actually called a CLUSTER.

A BUNCH of bananas is, in fact, the correct term for the entire crop of a single banana plant. Each BUNCH may contain as many as fifteen hands (between 150 - 300 bananas), and weigh more than your average teenager!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Famous Bananaphile #1 - Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker was born in St Louis Missouri on June 3rd 1906. From humble beginnings she rocketed to stardom during the mid 1920’s when she captivated all Paris by dancing the Charleston dressed in nothing but a skirt made of bananas!

Clearly a bananaphile, she had a pet chimpanzee called Ethel, and a pet leopard called Chiquita! With the fortune she earned by dancing, she later bought a chateau in Dordogne where she adopted twelve children of different races and creeds.

Rumour has it that during the height of her fame, she received close to 1,500 marriage proposals! So, if you want to attract the gentlemen, a banana-skirt might be a worthwhile addition to your wardrobe … just don’t wear it near any gorillas!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Banana shoe-shine!
The inside of a banana peel contains the finest lubricant known to man ... and it’s excellent for polishing leather shoes! Not only will it give them a superior shine, but its natural oils treat the leather, so your shoes will last longer too

Next time you have a banana for breakfast, don’t just throw the skin away. Wipe it over your shoes and then buff them with a soft cloth. It’s environmentally friendly, saves money, and your shoes will look great!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The Stringy bits ... why, why, why?
Have you ever wondered what those annoying little stringy bits on a banana are called? Okay, probably not ... but I bet you’ve often wondered what they’re for!

Well, here’s the answer: the strings are called “phloem bundles” (it’s pronounced flom). They are an essential part of the system that carries nutrition to every part of the banana. Think of that next time you pick them off and lay them on the side of your plate!

Fascinating, or what? Now go forth and share a banana with a friend – and stun them with your in-depth bananaphile wisdom!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Bananaphile or Bananaphobe - Which?
I’ve heard it said that humans can be divided into two groups: those that love bananas, (known as bananaphiles) and those that hate them, (bananaphobes).

Actually this isn’t strictly true. A true Bananaphile, (someone who eats several bunches of bananas daily, collects banana-related memorabilia, dreams about bananas, and even dresses in delicious-looking banana-yellow clothing), is probably quite rare.
(A group of Victorian bananaphiles eating their bananas!) *
A Bananaphobe, (someone with a strong dislike of bananas, or a morbid fear of being attack by an angry banana wielding a rusty spoon) is, quite possibly, rarer still.

(A still from the film "Bananaphobia")

Most people are bananambivalents ... they don’t really care one way or the other. Gorillas aren’t like that. Gorillas can be divided into one group only: those that love bananas, and ... well, that’s it!

As for you humans – you CAN be divided into two groups: those that think people can be divided into two groups, and those that don't!

*Top photo Courtesy of the Washington Banana Museum.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

How to Flambé a Banana!

1) Melt 25g of butter in a large frying pan on a medium heat.
2) Add 2 bananas, (thickly sliced) and cook for about two minutes, turning the slices occasionally.
3) Add 25g of muscavado sugar and stir until lightly caramelised. Then add 2 tbsp of dark rum and allow to bubble.
4) Carefully ignite mixture with burning taper or match. Once the flames have subsided, serve bananas with ice cream.

How NOT to Flambé a Banana

1) Hold banana.
2) Drink large quantity of rum.
3) Ignite self … (very, VERY bad idea!)

Photo courtesy of the International Banana Club.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Bananas - Delicious but Deadly!

Delicious but deadly! That’s bananas for you. Statistics prove it: More people are killed each year by slipping on a banana skin than from shark attacks and ingrown toenails combined!

Here are the top ten places you should absolutely NEVER drop your banana skin!

1) At the top of a flight of stairs.
2) Outside a store selling crystal goblets.
3) At the exit of a maternity ward.
4) On the rim of an active volcano.
5) Ahead of two men carrying a piano.
6) Beside an open sewer in a heat wave.
7) In front of a pyramid of monkeys on a unicycle.
8) Two steps ahead of an enormously fat woman walking a very tiny poodle.
9) Near to an open grave.
10) Behind someone who has just built a model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa entirely out of matchsticks.

Okay, I know they’re biodegradable, but remember ... a good gorilla always disposes of their banana skins safely.

*Picture courtesy of the Washington Banana Museum.