Just For Fun

Did you know ... ?

... that Leonardo da Vinci spent 12 years painting Mona Lisa's lips?

... that in 1961, Henri Matisse's painting Le Bateau hung upsidedown in Museum of Modern Art in New York for 46 days before anyone (including the 116,000 visitors) noticed the error?

Le Bateau

... that the French artist Paul Gaugin held down jobs as an investment banker and a labourer on the Panama Canal before trying his hand at painting?

Gaugin Self Portrait

... that Vincent Van Gogh sold only one painting, Red Vineyard at Arles, during his lifetime?  He died by his own hand, a pauper and quite mad.

Red Vineyard at Arles

... that Leonardo da Vinci invented the scissors?

... that Degas was so fascinated by ballerinas that he produced over 1,500 paintings and drawings of ballet dancers during his career?

Degas's Ballerinas

... that the Statue of Liberty is the world's largest hammered copper statue?

... that Pablo Picasso was drawing before he could talk?  When he did utter his first word, it was the Spanish word for pencil

Pablo Picasso Self Portrait

The Palindrome Game!
"What is a palindrome?", I hear you ask.

No, it does not refer to the conundrum that is Sarah Palin; a palindrome is, in fact, a word, phrase or sentence which reads the same forwards or backwords. Some obvious examples include pup, level and refer.

So, let's see if you can guess the palindromic words from the clues provided below:

1. A Swedish pop group who’s songs have been immortalised by the musical “Mamma Mia”

2. To sound one’s horn

3. A vehicle used in Formula 1

4. A system that uses radio waves to detect objects far away

5. A word used to formally address a woman (especially a woman of superior rank or social class).

6. A long canoe, traditional used by the Inuit natives of northern Canada, Greenland and Alaska.

(Scroll down for answers!)


1. Abba
2. Toot
3. Racecar
4. Radar
5. Madam or Ma’am
6. Kayak



I was born Ilyena Lydia Vasilievna Mironov in London in 1945.

I am the grand-daughter of a Tzarist aristocrat who became stranded in Britain when the Russian Revolution broke out in 1917.

I am an actress, and have worked extensively on stage and screen.

I have portrayed both Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II on screen, to great acclaim.

During my career, I have won an Academy Award, four BAFTAs, four SAG awards, three Golden Globes, four Emmys and two Cannes Film Festival awards

I was awarded a DBE (Dame Commander of the British Empire) in 2003.

(Scroll down for answer)


I am ....Dame Helen Mirren!