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The world is a fascinating place.

This week alone I have learnt that:

  • Romanov is actually pronounced ‘Ro-mah-noff’ rather than ‘Roman-ov’. I’ve been saying it incorrectly for years
  • On New Year’s Day Domino’s Pizza experiences 92% increase in sales compared to a normal day
  • The Italian dish Bresaola is named after a Renaissance painter
  • And… most thrillingly of all… I have no idea how to use my Rayburn.

I’ve been a keen filler in of the Saturday Telegraph crossword for years. I’ve always known that my General Knowledge was somewhat lacking; so to try and fill the gap (in my current affairs know how at least) I asked for, and received, a year’s subscription to The Week.

Gosh, it’s compelling reading. All sorts of facts and figures are now at my fingertips. I just hope they don’t dribble out through my ears too quickly. In my head I’ll now be able to go to a dinner party and be an interesting guest. The reality is I’ve forgotten half the things I read about between putting the magazine down and typing this blog post. I should listen to more Radio Four and hope that, like osmosis, information will go in. By rights, calories should leak out. I’ll keep you updated.

Yet I am trying to read, and watch, more interesting and informative programmes. Twitter alerted me to the new Lucy Worsley series, Empire of the Tsars. It’s fascinating. I urge you to watch it before the second episode. I’ve been a fan of hers since watching her deliver the keynote speech at last year’s WI AGM – she’s a wonderful speaker and this certainly comes across in her televisual delivery.

There’s no hope for the Rayburn, by the way. It’s waging a war of contempt upon me. It’s the same age as I am, and in spite of the engineer proclaiming it’s meant to go on forever, I fear that if it plays one more trick on me then it’ll be for the high jump. Or, given that it’s a solid mass of iron, it’s for the scrapheap.

Enough. It’s time for me to order a Dominos and eat some bresaola whilst I wait for my double pepperoni to arrive.

I’ll leave you to decide which are facts and which are mere wishfulness…