Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hope you like the phots of the garden jungle. grapes in the glasshouse (about the size of large peas,)a purple Angelica and a variegated lichen and the Yucca that keeps on trying.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fri 27th Aug 2010

The weather whilst not on the scale of the extreme weather we have seen around the globe lately is still pretty depressing. The wet, cool days continue apace and there is no immediate respite on the horizon. It has definitely been a summer of two halves. 2010 has been the most extreme year I can remember. Scandinavian wintry start, Mediterranean spring and a rainforest summer (without the heat.) What next – a New England autumn would be nice or an Indian summer (can I say that?)

The poor weather just adds to the dismay that once again the days are waning and each day end sooner into the embrace of night than I would wish it.

Mike’s mum passed away Thursday at 12.30pm – she was 87 and though last month was difficult for her, she had lived a long, healthy life. ‘God Bless Her,’ she was a remarkable woman; but so are all mothers I guess. She will be missed tremendously by everyone but especially Mike as they had a very close bond. She was a matriarch in all the best ways possible. The biggest smiles were always reserved for her family.

I’ve been taking some photos of mushrooms this week...both around and in the garden. It is a good year for funghi. Don’t remember them in such abundance or variety before. As far as I can tell none are edible although the deer seem to be eating quite a few...I love the picture of the mushrooms on a small hillock of moss.
Hope the weekend is good for you and for those lucky people who have been on holiday (you know who you are,) hope it was great.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Children of a different age were they all
Scions of greater trees that no longer grow
But it made them no less daughters of today.
Tending fragile blooms in oft stony ground
By force of will was each flower made to grow
When your work was completed, you knew
That you had left nothing for yourself
And when we looked away, you left
Like you lived all your life...for others
So now lie at peace weightless as a cloud
No burden now for the angels to carry
And they come today and gather you up
To take you into your tomorrow
Where a thousand comforting hands
Reach out to your reborn, perfect form
Be at peace mothers, be always loved and wait
Among all the mothers transmuted now to angels
They all sit down together and watch us weeping
But they know this to will pass till at last we shall
Meet again in a summer meadow warmed by memory
And the love you tenderly grew shall be repaid in full

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

‘And he painted matchstick men and matchstick cats and dogs’

– like with what his feet?

Even though Lowry painted industrial scenes it has never quite worked for me. I can see the depth in some of the paintings; but I don’t know, think it’s the simplistic people...and as we all know Lancashire people are anthing but.

See the top picture - like looking out the window now!

What do you think? Is it art or is it not?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday 16th Aug 2010
Sunday morning took Robbie out for a quick walk before going to see Mike’s mum (she’s very poorly at present.) It was a fantastic morning full of dappled sunshine and buzzing insects gleaming on sunbeams. No matter how much I see it I can never fail to be entranced by the beautiful simplicity of nature. Despite this very sad time it did help unwind me a little. Hard; not to feel a little selfish though. I have thought about my mother an awful lot lately.

Bought a new lead and harness for the dog and now walks are an absolute pleasure...no pulling or choking and because the lead extend he can wander off a little and doesn’t feel so constrained. On the way home I could smell wood smoke and something cooking and it was the most welcoming aroma although unusual so early in the morning.

Today has carried on in the same weather pattern but then we have rain till at least the weekend. I think by Saturday we shall have had the storm and no one is looking forward to that.

Selfless, almost ageless are they
Yet nothing may endure forever
Save in the hearts and minds of those
Touched by such a purity of spirit
Perhaps angels really do walk among us
Nurture, protect and guide us well
For by a soft hand, gentle words and small steps
Do we become better
Better than we really are, or could ever be;
And yet we learnt the lesson
We must always try...
...and if those angels have a name
It must be mother

Friday, August 13, 2010

Be careful for today it is the 13th or “black Friday” so no dangerous stunts.

Well it is a little bit brighter today and I emphasise the little. But at least it is mostly dry although it has been raining. July and so far into August the weather has been ghastly. Last night as I got home the heavens opened and sang with lightning. I have just been looking at the weather for the next 5 days and it appears to be much of the same.

I have managed to sit outside when i got home and despite the cool (no, cold) weather the birdsong does not diminish.

It has rolled around to Friday ever so quickly this week. I think the highlight of the week so far was taking Robbie out at 5am one morning and watching the bats come home to roost in aneighbouring roof...i wonder if they know. I shall keep watching as they are highly protected here.

Have a great weekend and hope its warmer where you are.
Some general pictures from the last few weeks

Robbie 8 months now and loves balls, dirt and looking at things

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Monday, August 09, 2010

This much I know now

1. Spiders can’t get out of baths and sinks –help them
2. Dogs are good for the soul and the heart
3. Hifi is a crazy obsession but I love it
4. Money’s a river (the more flow), the more loss
5. Eating healthily ultimately guarantees you nothing
6. Deer will eat just about anything (and so will the dog)
7. Tintern cheddar with chives and shallots is excellent
8. Pizza and wine always makes me feel better
9. Smoking is bad but I don’t regret doing it – I will!
10.Life is short, enjoy the journey – destination won’t change
Strange but true - and what next? Taking them to McDonalds and letting them eat French fries or using butter. I think it is probably a good point but made very badly. Will these healthy role models be good and kind human beings and be content ? Will they live to be 100 free of pain and pass peacefully in their sleep sound of mind and surrounded by loved ones.

No mention I see of the huge quantities of drugs doled out by them. I think GP's need to have some sense of perspective, but this is what happens when they're salaries are bankrolled by the state. Don't they understand we are paying their wages. A car mechanic doesn't ask how you drive he just fixes the thing because we pay him to and lets face it there are some pretty unhealthy GP's around - some one should check their BMI. I'm pretty sure there wasn't a Y in the Hippocratic oath.

Professor Steve Field a leading British GP has said "Parents who smoke in cars in front of small children are committing a form of child abuse", The chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, has condemned society's attitudes to food, alcohol and cigarettes.

In a letter to the Observer newspaper, he said parents had to take more responsibility for their children's health - and set a good example.He said irresponsible behaviour led to high levels of disease and early death. He called on parents, mothers-to-be, the obese, smokers and drinkers to turn into healthy role models for their children.

You need to face facts and take responsibility”- Professor Steve Field, Royal College of GPs who represents 42,000 GPs across the UK, added: "I suppose the same people also smoke at home in front of their children. Evidence from the US indicates that more young children are killed by parental smoking than by all other unintentional injuries combined."

Other health experts have previously called for smoking to be banned in cars when children are present, but the government's recent decision not to review existing smoking legislation means that move is unlikely.

In his letter, Professor Field says adults need to take responsibility for their own health too. He added: "The truth, which may be unpalatable to some, is that too many of us, too often, neglect too many aspects of our own personal health behaviour, and this is leading to increasing levels of ill-health and early death.

"Public health is a sensitive subject.It's not easy to strike the right balance between protecting people's sensibilities and delivering the hard facts about their personal behaviours that are ultimately shortening their lives. Too many people do not face up to the hard facts, as they perceive them to be an attack aimed, in particular, at the poorer members of our society, when it is impossible to argue on medical or ethical grounds, that such behaviour is acceptable."

And he said they should ensure they were "healthy role models" so that children learnt to eat well, exercise and look after their own health. He said GPs based the advice they gave on hard evidence."We genuinely want people to be able to live healthy, fulfilling and productive lives for as long as possible. But every day we are confronted with the sharp end of harm caused by smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and the tsunami of obesity."

The government is due to set out its view of how to tackle public health in a white paper this autumn - cant wait!
A Glass of Wine

To my friends who enjoy a glass of wine...and those who don't and are always seen with a bottle of water in their hand.

As Benjamin Franklin said:
In wine there is wisdom,
In beer there is freedom,
In water there is bacteria.

In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 litre of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. Coli) - bacteria which are found in faeces.
In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop...

However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum, whiskey or other spirit) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.

Water = Poop,
Wine = Health.
Therefore, it's better to drink wine and talk stupid,
Than to drink water and be full of crap.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Dust mite: Feeding on human skin and crumbs of food, up to 10 million can live in one mattress. The females live up to 70 days and lay up to 100 eggs. A single mite produces around 2,000 droppings and can trigger allergic reactions

Silverfish: The primitive silverfish has remained unchanged for millions of years, making it a "living fossil". They eat almost anything including book glue, paper, photos, sugar, coffee, hair, carpets and dandruff and can live for a year between meals.

Bedbug: Not just the subject of a children's rhyme, the nocturnal bedbug really does bite. Its mouthpiece is used to suck blood from warm-blood animals - including humans. Though they do not transmit disease, their saliva can cause itchy swellings on the skin.

Flour mite: A pest in flour mills and grain stores, these mites sometimes find their way into homes where they live in flour, grains or cheese and need humid conditions to survive. A single female lays 500 eggs or more - sometimes as many as 25 a day. Infected food and dry food close by should be destroyed.

Cat flea: One of the world's most common fleas, they bite and feed on people, but can only breed on cats. They have a life cycle of just 30 days.

Bluebottle maggot: The larvae of this bug hatch from eggs laid on dead animals and humans. They are used in medicine to clean wounds. Once placed in a wound, the 1cm-long maggots feed on dead tissue. Their saliva contains anti-bacterial chemicals which keep injuries sterile

Common housefly: The housefly has one pair of wings, six legs and two eyes each composed of 4,000 image-forming facets.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Scientists involved in the Census of Marine Life (CoML), a 10-year project to find out what lives in the world's oceans, have published some of their data. This dragonfish, which is found in waters around Australia, is one of the more unusual species. Ahead of the release of the full CoML report in October, the team has published 12 papers listing an inventory and distribution of species found in 25 hotspots - including this deep water octopus that lives at depths of about 2,700m in the Gulf of Mexico.

A MASSIVE wasp nest found in the loft of a Southampton pub has caused a real buzz of excitement after experts confirmed it is the biggest ever found in Britain.
The six-foot by five-foot home of up to half a million wasps could now be entered into the Guinness World Records.
Pest controller Sean Whelan, who successfully tackled the monster nest, said he was proud to have dealt with an historic infestation.
He said: “It was scary as hell, but that’s what we’re trained for – I just pulled the iPod on and listened to Bat Out Of Hell.
“We killed all the wasps, but the nest is still in the attic because we can’t get it out. The wasps will never go back in it, so we will just leave it to disintegrate.
“A couple of experts from Oxford University verified it is the biggest seen in this country, and the biggest anywhere in the last 50 years.”