Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

Yep the stadiums with rows of empty seats at events because well; we couldn’t possibly give them to the ordinary citizens, an opening ceremony that even we British couldn’t fathom out. It was kind of working till we got to the weird NHS and typical British family and music bit. The Industrial revolution and the forging of the ring and the Queen and James Bond sketch was inspired, as was the torch...now that was a work of art. Someone called it a typically British opening ceremony and well; I think we’ll leave it there. Still you’ve got to admire the Indian student in red who sneaked in with the Indian team during the opening ceremony. Well it’s a bit worrying given the security arrangements that are supposed to be in place. Still no gold medal for Team GB in sight yet...but plenty of time to get one in the Coca-Cola (sorry London) Olympics. Bring on the fries and big Mac.

Of walls and skies and plants and water at Entwistle reservoir yesterday

Friday, July 27, 2012

Grumpy dog viewed through a window

Sage Flowers

Heron in the Beech tree

Waterlily in the pond

But the heart you must leave intact
Let it beat out its uncertain rhythms
In the slow, inglorious time of desire
It will not forgive, forget nor forswear
Not when there is ever hope to dream
That rain shall weep across arid pasture
Watering dry furrows with late summer joy

Well I won’t be watching the opening ceremony tonight. I am going to tape it though and skim through tomorrow. In some ways I cannot now wait for this to be all over. The BBC has gone absolutely mad dropping almost every other topic of news in favour of the Olympics and it is beginning to switch me off. It seems that the Olympics have already been here forever. So far just about every man and his dog in the country have carried the Olympic torch. Luckily they haven’t knocked on my door yet...so I think I shall escape. However if they come for me I shall have to go as I think they used some emergency parliamentary powers to now make it a hate crime to not love the Olympics...

I actually thought at the beginning of this that the games were going to be for all the country but silly me, no......it’s again all about London. Let spend billions in London and just sod the rest of the country. Now that’s a recurring theme.

Five ring to rule them all, five rings to find them
Five rings to bring them all and with the BBC bind them
In the land of London 2012 where the shadows lie

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

13 trillion pounds in offshore tax havens:

A new report by tax researchers estimates the amount of money deposited by a 'global super-rich elite' in offshore accounts is trillion of pounds - equivalent of the combined GDP of the US and Japan.
In an appendix, the report says that "(it) first became evident in the late 1980s that a vast amount of capital was pouring out of the developing world". The report suggests that for many developing countries the cumulative value of the capital that has flowed out of their economies since the 1970s would be more than enough to pay off their debts to the rest of the world.

In the report, James Henry, former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey and an expert on tax havens, shows that at least 13 trillion pounds - perhaps up to 20 trillion pounds - has leaked out of scores of countries into secretive jurisdictions such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands with the help of private banks.

 They must have dug a bloody big hole

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Grape and Gooseberry Jelly

1kg red grapes
6 dessert apples
1.5kg garden fruits (mine were gooseberry, redcurrants and loganberries)

Chop each apple into 8 pieces and place grapes and in a large pan garden fruits. Add enough water to cover fruit leaving 1 inch headspace at the top of the pan. Bring to boil and simmer gently for 2-3 hours. Gently mash fruit after the first hour. Because we are making a jelly we need to ensure we have all the flavour and pectin out of the fruit.

Strain mixture through fine muslin or screen overnight. This should make around 2.5 litres of juice to which we need to add 2.5 kg of sugar. When making jelly the sugar is always equal to the amount of juice. Place in a large Maslin pan and bring to a rolling boil stirring regularly; it may take some time...you cannot leave it unattended. Set a rolling boil (see pic below) and after around 10 minutes check the temperature is at 105 Celsius / 240 Fahrenheit. Test a small amount on a refrigerated plate. Blow to cool and push your finger nail into it. If it wrinkles on the surface you have the set. Switch off the heat; do not be tempted to over boil just to be sure. Decant into clean, heated jars, place waxed paper on the top and seal. Label jars when cool.

TIP - You’ll notice a lot of foam during boiling (see pic below.) Remove this before bottling. I wait until I take it off the heat and the mixture stops bubbling. Try not to lose too much of the jam during this process. Hot jam is hotter than water...be very careful when handling during bottling.

There is an invisible wall we all head toward
It is the siren call of long aeons, sung by titans
Its placement obscure, its distance unknown
It touches us all at different times in our lives
And afterwards naught can be the same again

Friday, July 20, 2012

So many winters already counted and yet I stand facing another bitter harvest from the cold months to come. The world for me does not wait for spring born health and vigour to rescue as it once did. We perforce must decay and nature merely postpones its settling of scores till it surely enfeebles us entirely into its arms. Yet even so I would gladly sail across the wide sea unto home if the clouds could doth part and bestow upon me the advantage of the day. These doldrums are honourless and as I look across the azure expanse soft draws closer a chill. When the night to come is so unadorned in enchantment any dream taken as a sign of hope will surely disintegrate in the day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Someone posted a comment with this the other day - who says any of the financial scams are new. Just the same old tricks with shiny, new guises. What would Shakespeare make of it all now?

This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself
William Shakespeare - Richard II
The complete works are here - well worth a nosey to appreciate the genius of Shakespeare.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A night time wanderer - wow a really warty specimen too

The all seeing eye (it better not blink)

The greenhouse needed a trim Sunday - i'ts all foliage and no grape this year

The first crop of Charlotte's are ready - delicious they were too!

Monday, July 16, 2012

From on high comes the call to now set sail on the warmth of irrevocable chance. What can there be for us; if not the eternal search for tenderness and sated appetites. Uncertain and withal innocent and enquiring we step lightly into this world and its wonder assails our senses like a mighty roaring beast. Red in design and intent is the monster and yet disguised sweetly green in calming negation are its songs. How can I be irrevocable and steadfast when the world places such tender scenes for the senses to enjoy?
© Edetric Vistal
I was going to post something over the wekeend but I had another tooth pulled last week and have been in pain ever since. (This to add to the pain I was in before I went.) It’s not good; soon I shall be sucking food through a straw. Don’t know what is wrong but the dentists only seem to want to pull one tooth at a time so I forever seem to be on a six monthly revolve of pain. I blame the solitary magpie which flew into my office and hovered around my desk the other week ( this is true)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Heavenward we watch without remorse; for nothing shall fall out of the sky today. All the dreams of yesterday are gone and the morrow hangs bleak and silent before us.  I curse this wretched skyline for it mocks me in its grey rainment and I should not care; only I shall not see another this year. Wherefore then did you go summer of dreams? Lost to this land is light, crops fail in the field and nothing worthwhile prospers. Already set in motion is the decline of days that herald the winter and perforce we may gain a small, sweet reward at the end before the storms come. Yet it shall be no more than a trifle compared with the bounty lost. Summer is past so we must devolve unto winter.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Well I think I say it every year but honestly this the coolest and wettest summer ever. The trees are growing thick and fast. I don’t think the garden has ever been so well screened. The vegetables and fruit are in a sorry state so not expecting very much at all there. If this were 300 years ago we would be looking at a famine I guess. Well here in the north at any rate.
We currently have an amber flood alert if force for the weekend. This is the third in as many weeks. My office at work is lower than the road level and it got flooded a couple of weeks ago and has just dried out. I suspect it is about to get wet again. They’ve announced at work that we shall be leaving a month earlier at the end of September so there is some good news around. I haven’t made any plans yet. I think I’ll just see what happens. Change comes and it weaves its effect whether we like it or not. It’s a strategy that works for me. Wonder what I’ll be doing this time next year?  Don’t care really, so long as the weather and my health is good.

There is no good news about. Just the usual economic madness and forecasts of doom; I’m a pessimist anyway, so I can cope with that. Not looking good though I have to say, (well unless you’re a banker or politician.)  Someone wrote that we need to adopt the mentality of burrowing creatures. Pay of all debts, stock up with provisions and hunker down till it all blows over. All the indicators however suggest that may be some time. At least a decade away and likely longer. This is no simple economic recession now but a global reset of the elite power base.

It all sounds like a Tolkien novel. The west fades while the east ascends. Perhaps Tolkien was much more prescient than they all reckoned. I have always thought so. Perhaps we elves need to now sail across the sea to the undying lands, as we do not have the one ring to cast into the pit of fire...oh well.

I’d like to say I’ve been doing all sorts of great things, but truth is with the rotten weather it has been very quiet. Damp, dismal evenings with the lamps on – how’s that for July? I’m off to Knebworth with Nick this weekend for the annual barbecue with Noreen and Jane. The forecast isn’t good so I suspect it will be indoors. But it will be nice to see them both before we all go to Scotland in September. The holiday is the third week in September so I may not go back to work ever again after that all – well if I’m lucky.

Have a good weekend.
I took a modern day equivalent of the old picture

Well it was fun for 5 minutes

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The world is politicising once again as economic and cultural mismanagement of the world nations brings back an age of barbarism that rolls back the tide of gain humanity has made over the fantastical rhetoric from ancient times. This came to pass because we were constrained by convention, comfort and greed.
In the long game of ascendancy we must now play over this current misfortune, we shall not forget those who have brought us here and they will be accounted for their deeds. That bookkeeping shall be harsh indeed for in destroying their own houses by unbridled avarice now comes a churlish revenge to deny us ours.  

They have no allegiance except to the betterment of their own material wealth. It has failed and like some crouching dog caught with the family meat it cowers, waiting for the inevitable punishment. As ever we have been too long in its deliverment and seeing its chance it bolts from the house and into the field. We shall not see it again, but ever doth its malice rent a gloating revenge. For see; it has poisoned the meat and we shall all now grown ill upon its rotten gains.

© Edetric Vistal

Monday, July 02, 2012

I sit and watch and I wait; for my asset of patient thought within this world is wealthier than yours. I was here when the mountains were hewed from the sea by titanic, cosmic, forces slamming into the planet from beyond the sky. I saw the water they released fill the hollows with microbes from across the galaxy. And then after billennia came you and now I must weave a web across the earth that you cannot navigate. I shall sit and watch you all fall within my trap. For is it not sweet; to savour the fury, that perforce comes; when the rival is caught unawares, far from safety.

A firework erupts like a fountain in the heavens above. In the blackness of the night it weaves its incandescent rage against the world below. Its arching trails grasp the cold night air and yet hold onto nothing. Floundering in the void they dim and fall to earth; no more now than rubble of the illumination.

 © Edetric Vistal
Robbie looking studious

The summer continues to disappoint so I am sitting in my summerhouse anyway