Month: January 2019

Basic Geography – Countries in Alphabetical Order

Clever Clogs Family History

I come from a family of clever quizzers. My parents and my brother are pretty good at general knowledge questions. They can watch a quiz show and answer most of the questions. My grandfather won Mastermind and Brain of Britain. He also featured on a panel quiz called Ask Me Another in the 1950’s. This was a general knowledge quiz with a similar theme to Egg Heads. He was one of the ‘Egg Head’ clever people. Unfortunately, I am not in any way gifted in this field. Despite being proud of my grandfather, I don’t like to mention my family history. People naturally expect me to have inherited some skill for knowledge. My general knowledge is weak and embarrassing at times.

General Knowledge Failing

I have recently started going to a monthly pub quiz with my friend. This has highlighted my total lack of awareness of general knowledge. I have tried to read facts and remember them, but they just don’t go in. Sometimes I try to blame my kids as I think my head is so full of their routines and requirements on a weekly basis. Pre-school and after school clubs are a big part of our lives, along with the outfits, accessories and dates to remember that go along with them. I sometimes wonder if my head is full of these daily chores.

I seem to have a problem remembering basic facts. Names, dates and places simply will not stick. If I have a specific topic to learn, I can revise and remember it for a given test, however once the event has past, all that knowledge is gone.

New Year’s Resolution – Improve General Knowledge

Normally I don’t bother with New Year’s resolutions. However this year I decided I need to improve my general knowledge. I have started with a key weakness of mine – Geography. I simply don’t know where places are. We played Articulate over Christmas and I froze each time we landed on the Geography topic. I get totally confused between South American and African nations like Guyana (South America) and Guinea (Africa). I couldn’t remember whether Capon was a country or a kind of chicken.

GABON is a country along the Atlantic coast of central Africa. Interesting!

A CAPON is a cockerel that has been castrated to improve the quality of its flesh for food and in some countries fattened by force feeding. Yuck!

So, I have started making my way through countries alphabetically and finding them on the globe (or Google, which is quicker). I have decided to share some of my research here to help me remember it.

Countries Alphabetically

I know there are debates over what is classed as a country or a state. Also names of countries change from time to time. For my purposes, this is my list of 196 countries based on top hits on Google in January 2019.

Countries Starting with A

Afghanistan

Albania

Algeria

Andorra

Angola

Antigua and Barbuda

Argentina

Armenia

Australia

Austria

Azerbaijan

 

Countries Starting with B

The Bahamas

Bahrain

Bangladesh

Barbados

Belarus

Belgium

Belize

Benin

Bhutan

Bolivia

Bosnia and Hertzegovina

Botswana

Brazil

Brunei

Bulgaria

Burkina Faso

Burundi

 

Countries Starting with C

Cabo Verde

Cambodia

Cameroon

Canada

Central African Republic

Chad

Chile

China

Colombia

Comoros

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

Congo, Republic of the

Costa Rica

Cote d’Ivoire

Croatia

Cuba

Cyprus

Czech Republic

 

Countries Starting with D

Denmark

Djibouti

Dominica

Dominican Republic

 

Countries Starting with E

East Timor

Ecuador

Egypt

El Salvador

Equatorial Guinea

Eritrea

Estonia

Ethiopia

 

Countries Starting with F

Fiji

Finland

France

 

Countries Starting with G

Gabon

The Gambia

Georgia

Germany

Ghana

Greece

Grenada

Guatemala

Guinea

Guinea-Bissau

Guyana

 

Countries Starting with H

Haiti

Honduras

Hungary

 

Countries Starting with I

Iceland

India

Indonesia

Iran

Iraq

Ireland

Israel

Italy

 

Countries Starting with J

Jamaica

Japan

Jordan

 

Countries Starting with K

Kazakhstan

Kenya

Kiribati

Korea, North

Korea, South

Kosovo

Kuwait

Kyrgyzstan

 

Countries Starting with L

Laos

Latvia

Lebanon

Lesotho

Liberia

Libya

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

 

Countries Starting with M

Macedonia

Madagascar

Malawi

Malaysia

Maldives

Mali

Malta

Marshall Islands

Mauritania

Mauritius

Mexico

Micronesia, Federal States of

Moldova

Monaco

Mongolia

Montenegro

Morocco

Mozambique

Myanmar (Burma)

 

Countries Starting with N

Namibia

Nauru

Nepal

Netherlands

New Zealand

Nicaragua

Niger

Nigeria

Norway

 

Countries Starting with O

Oman

 

Countries Starting with P

Pakistan

Palau

Panama

Papua New Guinea

Paraguay

Peru

Philippines

Poland

Portugal

 

Countries Starting with Q

Qatar

 

Countries Starting with R

Romania

Russia

Rwanda

 

Countries Starting with S

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Lucia

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Samoa

San Marino

Sao Tome and Principe

Saudi Arabia

Senegal

Serbia

Seychelles

Sierra Leone

Singapore

Slovakia

Slovenia

Soloman Islands

Somalia

South Africa

Spain

Sri Lanka

Sudan

Sudan, South

Suriname

Swaziland

Sweden

Switzerland

Syria

 

Countries Starting with T

Taiwan

Tajikistan

Tanzania

Thailand

Togo

Trinidad and Tobago

Tunisia

Turkey

Turkmenistan

Tuvalu

 

Countries Starting with U

Uganda

Ukraine

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

United States

Uruguay

Uzbekistan

 

Countries Starting with V

Vanuatu

Vatican City

Venezuela

Vietnam

 

Countries Starting with Y

Yemen

 

Countries Starting with Z

Zambia

Zimbabwe

Wow, that is quite a list. Of course I could have copied and pasted the lot, but I thought typing them might help me remember them. Thanks to the Britanica.com site for that list. I will write a bit about each location in my next post in my own personal style. Now it’s time for a cuppa for me.¬†

Family Day Out in Portmeirion in North Wales

Why Visit Portmeirion?

Having visited Portmeirion when I was younger, I was keen to return with my own family. So whilst in North Wales last Autumn with my kids and extended family we made a day of it.

We all had our reasons to visit the intriguing village of Portmeirion. I wanted to bring back nice memories from my childhood. My sister in law is a photographer so wanted to capture the beautiful scenery. My parents love to see wildlife and attractive buildings and gardens. The kids are always easily sold on the promise of an ice cream parlour.

Things to do at Portmeirion

Portmeirion is a beautiful village created by an architect called Clough Williams-Ellis (1883-1978). This visitor site is a collection of striking buildings in a beautiful setting. The area appears to be a microclimate as Portmeirion hosts a wide variety of flowers, trees and wildlife. We were lucky to visit on a dry day and enjoyed the sights.

There are lovely little cafes and shops with quality items. We enjoyed browsing the children’s toys and the local Portmeirion crockery.

There is a little road train that takes visitors on a short trip around the forest. We were lucky to see the gorgeous colours of many autumnal leaves and some pretty evergreens. I loved the views of vibrant red leaves of Japanese Maple trees across the lily pond.

Overall Thoughts on Portmeirion

We all had a lovely day out here. There was limited entertainment for children during our visit, but we had three young kids that played well together. Kids could be bored wandering round if they like to be entertained. If they’re happy with a game of hide and seek then they may be happy. The coffee in the cafe/restaurant was lovely with a small selection of cakes.

One big disappointment was that the ice cream parlours ran out of many flavours of ice cream. My promise was somewhat unfulfilled when we could only get a whipped style ice cream in a basic cafe bar.