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Following on from “angel gear” (C8) we have another divine contribution. Jan Kent of Farmborough Heights writes: “Continuing the angel theme, what about “The Angels’ Share”? This is the amount of whiskey (or cognac or brandy) lost to evaporation while these libations are ageing in their (porous) barrels. I’ve found it a useful phrase to use when levels of any beverage in our house mysteriously decrease for no apparent reason. It was also the name of an excellent Ken Loach film (which, by the way, introduced me to the Proclaimers’ hit I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) which I somehow missed first time around.)”

“The 2020 lunar new year (the year of the Rat) is supposed to usher in flexibility and open-mindedness. I guess that’s why the papers are reporting five of the 12 main mask-producing companies in China’s Guangdong province have stopped production of the protective masks in lieu of the holidays,” writes Jack Dikian of Mosman.

“I noticed that the word ‘coronavirus’ consists of alternating consonants and vowels,” says the observant Brian Keast of Minnamurra. “Thought it might be the longest one like that, but Mr Shakespeare used ‘honorificabilitudinitatibus’ In Love’s Labour’s Lost. Don’t hear it used today very often, though.”

Over to Graham Russell of Clovelly with the weather: “When publishing the forecast temperature, the Bureau of Meteorology also states ‘but feels like’, a slightly different temperature. How does the BOM calculate the ‘feels like’ factor?” By stepping outside?

The retort discussion (C8) heads in a stately direction. This offering comes from Lance Rainey of Lanitza: “One of the most comprehensive historical putdowns was King Charles II’s verdict on his sister Anne’s new Danish husband: ‘I have tried him drunk and I have tried him sober. There is nothing in him’.”