Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I made a couple of panoramas yesterday and to be honest with the way the weather has been there has been little else to do. It has been cold, wet and grey, although I realise that Hurricane Irene has been far worse. I also found an old picture from around 20 years ago showing the garden prior to the trees. i think you had to be there really but it looks nothing like this now. I'm trying to get a today picture from the same angle but it is hard.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I love this joke - Why I'm Divorced

Last week was my birthday and I didn't feel very well waking up on that morning. I went downstairs for breakfast hoping my husband would be pleasant and say, 'Happy Birthday!', and possibly have a small present for me. As it turned out, he barely said good morning, let alone ' Happy Birthday.'

 I thought....well, that's marriage for you, but the kids.... they will remember. My kids came bouncing down stairs to breakfast and didn't say a word. So when I left for the office I felt pretty low and somewhat despondent.

 As I walked into my office, my handsome boss Rick, said, 'Good morning, lady, and by the way Happy Birthday!' It felt a little better that at least someone had remembered.

 I worked until one o'clock, when Rick knocked on my door and said, 'You know, It's such a beautiful day outside, and it is your birthday, what do you say we go out to lunch, just you and me.'

I said, 'Thanks, Rick, that's the greatest thing I've heard all day. Let's go!'

We went to lunch. But we didn't go where we normally would go. He chose instead a quiet bistro with a private table. We had two martinis each and I enjoyed the meal tremendously.

On the way back to the office, Rick said, 'you know, It's such a beautiful day...we don't need to go straight back to the office, do we?' I responded, 'I guess not. What do you have in mind?'

He said, 'Let's drop by my place; it's just around the corner.'

After arriving at his house, Rick turned to me and said, 'If you don't mind, I'm going to step into the bedroom for just a moment. I'll be right back.'

'Ok.' I nervously replied.

He went into the bedroom and, after a couple of minutes, he came out carrying a huge birthday cake, followed by my husband , my kids, and dozens of my friends and co-workers, all singing 'Happy Birthday'.

And I just sat there.... on the couch.... naked.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wed 24th Aug 2011

Well how fast has August flown by; just like a leaf blown in a gale. The nights have drawn in once more till I find myself in a dark room now at 9pm and 5am with the entire world outside stilled save for the solitary owl.  To slumber and to rise in the darkness for the next 6 months. the weather was supposed to be quite poor this week but has in reality been good. Getting cold though.

 If you’re on the east coast of the US better batten down the hatches now - Hurricane Irene has strengthened to category 2 force after churning over the Turks and Caicos Islands and is now heading towards the Bahamas. US meteorologists warn the weather system could strengthen further and hit the US east coast over the weekend.
Lucky I live on a hill - Animals and plants are shifting their natural home ranges towards the cooler poles three times faster than scientists previously thought. In the largest study of its kind to date, researchers looked at the effects of temperature on over 2,000 species.

They report in the journal Science that species experiencing the greatest warming have moved furthest. The results helped to "cement" the link between climate change and shifts in species' global ranges, said the team. Scientists have consistently told us that as the climate warms we should expect animals to head polewards in search of cooler temperatures. Animals like the British comma butterfly, for example, has moved 220km northward from central England to southern Scotland in the last two decades.

And we 50 year olds aren’t much better off  - The proportion of 18-24-year-olds in England not in employment, education or training (Neet) has risen to 18.4%, official figures suggest. The figure from the Department for Education is the highest for the second quarter since 2006, and is up from 16.3% last year.

I’m sure he was in Sainsbury’s last night - After Libyan rebel fighters stormed the Bab al-Aziziya compound in the capital Tripoli - and crowds were seen celebrating the end of the old regime - one question remains: Where is Col Muammar Gaddafi? The country's leader for 42 years has apparently responded with his customary defiance. In an audio message broadcast on a local TV station, he pledged "martyrdom or victory".

I thought it seemed a little more crowded - Net migration rose by 21% last year, with 239,000 more people arriving in the UK than those leaving, the Office for National Statistics has revealed.

Back to the Top - Amy Winehouse's Back to Black album has become the biggest-selling album in the UK in the 21st Century, the Official Charts Company (OCC) has revealed. It said her 2006 second album had this week overtaken sales of James Blunt's 2005 work Back to Bedlam. It had sold 3.26 million copies compared with Blunt's 3.25 million, the OCC said on Thursday

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

There is an old Hotel/Pub in Marble Arch, London which used to have gallows adjacent. Prisoners were taken to the gallows to be hung (after a fair trial of course). The horse drawn dray, carting the prisoner was accompanied by an armed guard, who would stop the dray outside the pub and ask the prisoner if he would like ''ONE LAST DRINK''.
If he said YES it was referred to as “ONE FOR THE ROAD”
If he declined, that prisoner was “ON THE WAGON”

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor". But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot they "Didn'’t have a pot to Piss in" & were the lowest of the low.

next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married. Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs, thick straw piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the
bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt
Poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh-hold.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.
Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: ''Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old''. Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "Bring home the Bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around talking and ''Chew the fat''.
Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning & death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or ''The Upper Crust''. Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of ''Holding a Wake''.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, ''Saved by the Bell '' or was considered a ''Dead Ringer''

Now, whoever said History was boring ! ! !

Morris returns from the doctor and tells his wife that the doctor has told him that he has only 24 hours to live. Given the prognosis, Morris asks his wife for sex. Naturally, she agrees, so they make love. About 6 hours later, the husband goes to his wife and says, 'Honey, you know I now have only 18 hours to live. Could we please do it one more time?'
Of course, the wife agrees, and they do it again.

Later, as the man gets into bed, he looks at his watch and realizes that he now has only 8 hours left. He touches his wife's shoulder and asks, 'Honey, please.... just one more time before I die.' She says, 'Of course, Dear,' and they make love for the third time.

After this session, the wife rolls over and falls to sleep. Morris, however, worried about his impending death, tosses and turns, until he's down to 4 more hours. He taps his wife, who rouses. 'Honey, I have only 4 more hours. Do you think we could... ?’ At this point the wife sits up and says, 'Listen Morris, enough is enough. I have to get up in the morning... you don't.

Robbie spent ages playing with a grasshopper the other day. He was fascinated by its jump I think and kept picking it up in his mouth). He even brought him into the house and so I ended up chasing around the room till I finally caught it. Grasshopper was perfectly alright though and I took a picture of him after I placed him on the clematis.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The setting sun filters through the rock crevice and shafts of amber radiate through the crystal formations that line its sides. Soft and redolent of summer the company is enlivened by the potency of the light as it touches upon their body. Soon though the crevice begins to descend steeply downwards and the passageway grows dim as the rock sides close in above their head till all they can see is a hairline fracture of sky. Now the company take out their staffs and uttering the silent words over them cause them to glow and thus light the way ahead. Each staff is adorned with the jewel calaxal (translated into men’s speech as the stone of days.) The light from each staff is the condensation of moonlight seen when the satellite is in decline after it has shone full and bright. It is soft enough to let them remain hidden from enemy’s eyes yet bright enough to light the way without fear of falter.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

At last the kitchen is finished - or should that really be an archaeological dig into the past that revealed more problems the deeper one went. I'm glad its over. Who would have thought such a small space could prove to be such hard work?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Time though constant; is abstract, fluid, fleeting.

It builds the world and tears down all memories

Carves valleys to create voids within consciousness

Takes us all, whittles away the essence of pride

It is our doom made manifest in the setting sun

Yet our hope that always another tomorrow awaits

Lest the twilight take our soul and mould it anew

Scatter it across the aeons and still our inquisition

Of all that we have become, or all we could ever be

Time is ever alone for it stalks eternity without us

We come and go and rise and fall within moments

We expect so much and reap so little we humans

Blunt instruments of change that beckon renewal

Time sees all, is all, yet without is expressionless

Hating the concept of its gift of the hours to us now

Will take back every second and live vicarious moments

Within my lifetime and yours and see that although

Time withers and wounds it can never exist alone

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

A summer day brings a long, balmy night

Just perfect for idiots to set Britain alight

They wait till its dark to head outdoors

To take a shopping trip looting the stores

No list is needed, just get what you grab

Laptop, TV, phone, or a shiny new I-Pad

It spreading nationwide the UK riot sale

So send in the soldiers before the police fail

Human rights are over rated I have found

Scatter the vermin with a real live round

Wow no need to worry about some clandestine enemy seeking to destroy the country we are quite capable of doing it ourselves from within. What a disgrace to the nation the last few nights have been and the whole rioting thing now appears to have gone viral across the country. Some of the pictures of people being stripped in the street for their clothing are unbelievable. Welcome to the future I suppose. Anarchy – it’s coming to a UK town near to you soon. Won’t fix all this with a few harsh words; that’s for sure.

If that wasn’t enough the financial double dip has arrived – no more AAA for some countries and I don’t expect we here in Britain are far behind. However once we are all in the same leaking AA+ boat we will be back to a level playing field again. In any case I don’t know about a double dip. It seems more like a trough followed by a yawning chasm. See you at the bottom.

If that wasn’t enough the weather despite a slight respite today is mostly wet and cool with no improvement soon. I’m missing sitting outdoors in the evening.

If that wasn’t enough the kitchen is still ongoing; but there is now a light at the end of that tunnel and it should be done by tomorrow. I can’t wait.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Fri 5th Aug 2011

Well the kitchen is going at a snails pace – it’s been a very steep learning curve and one of the downsides of not getting to grips with things earlier. Tradesmen are a strange bunch.

 In all the world to be deadpan

There is nothing like an artisan

He takes the task and all its worth

Smashes up home with gleeful mirth

He takes no timetable, takes no joke

And bloody hell he gone left me broke

Hopefully this time next week I shall have fully functioning appliances and surfaces. Still one upside has been the plasterer telling me all about Planet X and the Anunnaki. Apparently there’s a planet (Planet X or Planet Nibiru) orbiting the sun in a large elliptical orbit and every 3600 years it passes close to earth.  This is inhabited by a race called the Anunnaki who are apparently not very nice and have visited the earth leaving behind descendants. These are called the Anunnaki remnants and are responsible for the chaos we see all around the world today.  Why I wouldn’t be surprised…in fact the older I get the less surprised I am. Which probably then makes me the perfect conspiracy theorist initiate. Have a good weekend

Thursday, August 04, 2011

How shall you mend the plough with no iron, no fire and no skill?

Or sail across the known world to a new life without any boat?

How will young become that which they aspire? Everything is fading

Lost is such a long word for what was given away without a care

That cannot now be taken back, for the future favours the multitudes

Not the honest, not the just, not the brave, for only fruitfulness survives

Or shall we indeed call this revolution the new evolution of man; in part;

Or in full; for this world perhaps creates intelligent design from chaos

Our acts of chance and joy written in lighting speed called lifetimes

Yet nothing seen may move me toward some charitable end

For the world is dimming and as it decays so must I and song stops

The world will endure but never how I would have wished

And my genes shall fall in the dust and return to whence they came.

Until a trillion, trillion years have passed by and I am again renewed

I shall look for you then and perhaps next time we can do it better

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


A gentle stirring comes later to this sleepyhead as the days run down and now the light retreats like spring snow warmed by the sun. It is a gentle melting away of the life and heart of summer. Yet what a joyous retreat it is along a purple tidal crest of flowering thyme that runs fragrant across meadows and sings to us in the melody of bees. Raindrops fall from high clouds to wash away long forsaken pollen dropped from spendthrift trees and nectar flows like wine out of the foaming flowers. All take the morning joy in one way or another but then afternoon call us to rest and wonder. It is a time to enjoy the heat and lie in the long grass hidden from view and look up at the sky into the never ending sheets of blue interspersed with high flying birds. To lie motionless there and snooze while the blue sky deepens and bruises into a heady scented dusk. To see stars appear one by one across the vast cosmos that is stretched above like the underbelly of a black whale. To hear owls, see the silhouette of bats; sense the rustle of deer on the dried Beech leaves of last autumn. To feel the itchy, persistence of midges and to see a million ants take to the air on a quest for new kingdoms to discover. To remain, to stay if it were possible in this idyll of nowness and drift asleep while the moon warded me from harm until again I arose in a daemon clear dawn 3 minutes later than yesterday. I love summer

Monday, August 01, 2011

Smart Ass

Two businessmen in Sydney were sitting down for a break in their soon-to-be new shop... As yet, the shop wasn't ready, with only a few shelves set up.

One said to the other, "I bet any minute now some pensioner is going to walk by, put his face to the window, and ask what we're selling."

No sooner were the words out of his mouth when, sure enough, a curious old man walked to the window, had a peek, and in a soft voice asked, "What are you selling here?"

One of the men replied sarcastically, "We're selling assholes."

Without skipping a beat, the old timer said, “Must be doing well... Only two left."

Pensioners -- don't mess with them!

A selection of pictures taken by Nick in the Isle of Wight last week when he went to visit his brothers. The pigs are great.