Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Tuesday



Nothing has changed.  Each morning one wakes up to the same truth but things must be done.  This time yesterday going to the funeral place in Malton.  Unfortunately when I arrived she had gone to the doctor's, an hour later she appeared, must have done a bit of shopping on the way.
I choose the Jam and Jerusalem rose for its second coming, each flower so beautiful.  I wandered out with bare feet, the grass was cold, Lucy followed behind with my slipper, I never have slippers on in the house because she has always got one! I rescued a tattered, struggling butterfly from a spider's web and remembered all the butterflies who seek shelter in the warmth of our houses at this time of year and hibernate until the first strong sun of spring lures them out, nature is always vital.



Another picture shows the state of the beds as the Bodhisattva peers out, a nettle rears its stinging head. Wild vetch also grew here alongside the peony planted.  I am a gardener who always questions 'weeds' and their place in our lives.  Nettles get dug up because they are cruel, but never forget if you are out in the countryside, nettles are a sign of former habitation, the rich earth disturbed.

News. well I am not giving up on it.  Johnson, with egg on his face figuratively speaking in Luxembourg.  Michael Morpurgo on being spat at, and Owen Jones who has also had some aggro over his views.  Owen Jones is in his way also an extremist, he has the innocent face of a young boy, but is full of anger as to how everything is happening.

This anger, with extremist right wing activists talking of hanging people from the nearest lamp post, should be seen as puffed up rhetoric, and perhaps what we should all be aiming for is a middle balance.  Definitely we should keep the calm and not come to blows over this issue.  But we need fairness in all this and a strict adherence to the laws of this country to see our way through.  I very much doubt that the present government have much time left to govern, and however you read the runes, it will all be different in a few years;) 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sunday Service

The service by the way is lighting incense in the house on Sunday and the bell like sound of the little bronze dish struck three times on this bureau.... I do not like the Japanese hanging,  Japanese religion and symbolism has a lot of darkness hidden in it.





Sunday;  Just looked out of the window and two female pheasants are walking across the lawn.  Beautifully feathered, but light-brained of course. Last night we watched a programme about Top of the Pops in the 1970s.  Lots of hair, where did it all go? outrageous clothes, and songs which brought back John Peel and his favourite song, Teenage Kicks, I will put the video below.  There was Rasputin's song by Boney M.(original version)  The whole programme was full of the naivety and vitality of that time.  My daughter remembered me buying the record of Matchwork people and Matchwork  Cats and Dogs for her, sung in pure Northern accents ;) For those who don't know what I'm talking about it is about the painter Lowry, think Rachel went to see a film about him not so long ago.

The songs clattered through our brains rousing memories, and then................... a large spider ran across the carpet and all hell broke loose as Lillie who can't stand spiders fled across the room to her mother.  Poor spider, I caught it in the traditional way, glass and cardboard, and left it outside to a cold night.  Each night this week it has emerged around 9 to make its way across the room.  Luckily there are always enough spiders in the world to renew their 8 legged energy on us.

Well my other granddaughter, Matilda went out last night in Todmorden to listen to music DG'd by Ian Dury's son, and my daughter did that which all mothers do is to stay awake until their children are home safe at the required time.  Nowadays of course you can follow their journeys through GPS on your phone.




Saturday, September 14, 2019

bodhisattva

That is what she is called I will take a photograph of her.  No comments because after taking the comments off it refuses to come back, why I don't know.  But it is a minor fault for the moment. Thinking things out, what music, I will show you one I might choose at the bottom, one other will be Mozart's Clarinet music light enough for a beginning.
Yesterday, after going to the hospital I walked down to the Registry Office and met Paul's son, a lovely lad and we chatted for sometime over a coffee.  But as I had arrived earlier beforehand  I went for a walk down to St.Olave's church a Norwegian patron saint and king, known better as St.Olaf.  It is within the precincts of the city walls, and if you went through a door you came to the Museum gardens, small but beautiful.  
Butterflies and bees fed on the allium flowers in front of me, around on the path large patches of sage, yellow marjoram and rosemary.  It was very peaceful and tranquil and much easier to go into the Registry office.  Yes, bureaucracy rules again but there are also civil wedding and the registering of births, so not all is sad.


So to the music, why?  It is a favourite for me, Paul laughed when I played it, and I like the lyrics they represent our times,  a historical record, I will find my Way Home... though I like to call it My Sun will rise in the east, it speaks of affirmation.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Hugs

I have to write even though the world seems a dark place but it isn't.  Friends and neighbours have come to the house to talk and give me hugs.  Even the doctors and nurses at the hospital were generous in their kindness and concern.
My daughter and granddaughter come down for the weekend.  I meet Paul's son
in York today as we do the final round of papers at the registration offices.  Somewhat marred by the fact that Paul has hidden the key to the 'safe box'.  Japanese of course, perhaps I am not even recognising the key for goodness sake.  The box holds his passport and driving licence I think.  Every cupboard in this house, every drawer are filled with meticulously packed stuff, beautifully folded in paper or cloth.  I am lost in a cloud of memories, tears starting all the time.
Writing the passage of the day can seem boring but it captures the essence of the time, and when you look back from the future it shows the way.  An email about 'Sols Rock' on the Lansdown in Bath greets me this morning, someone writing an article on the 'moon temple' by the Blaythwaite Chapel and for a moment I am up on the downs looking at old barrows and stones, and trying to work out what John Wood meant, when he created the circular terraced houses of Bath.  His love of the prehistoric history round this part of the country captured in dreams and ideas.
I have chosen a heart shaped bouquet of pale roses for the decoration to the coffin, everything will start from York, the only thing is bringing the ashes back to this garden, where Paul wanted them placed under the goddess figure that sits beneath the church wall. The plants will have to be cut back, the peony has grown with such exuberance.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Paul



He was gentle, loving and kind.  Today he died peacefully,  Wednesday 11th September 2019, the light of my life I would have wished for many more years with him.  Sadly I could not bring him home to die in the house he loved so much.
The nurses in the last few days have done all they could to make him comfortable, there was no more dangling bits of tubing feeding him food or medicine, no catheter.  Yesterday his son came to see him, I had asked him to come perhaps something was telling me that the end was near.
I feel calm at the moment, I was holding his hand when he slipped away, and that is the right expression.  I stayed with him for two hours until he grew cold and I knew the spirit had gone.
He was and is and always will be the love of my life, without him my world has gone. Since May when his illness started I have willed him back to health but it wasn't to be.
I shall take comfort from the happy times we had together, the nurses and doctors said he was the gentlest person and I have experienced his loving kindness all the time we have been together.
May his spirit fly to a realm where happiness resides. 

And as an afterthought, Kagyu Samye Linge Buddhist monastery thoughts on death;

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sunday 8th September

David Inshaw - Silbury Hill on a Starry Night


It is Sunday, and even though things are not good I will write at least something.  There are three things that have reminded me of the past this morning.
Firstly a comment from Tabor on my other blog came through, it mentioned the date of the first hospital visit in May, somehow at the time I had just put that blog elsewhere.
Secondly, a message on F/B from an old friend of my son had got in touch trying to find his email.  Tien is Chinese, he lived with his family by the Costume Museum in Bath.  A bright and intelligent lad, he had come up to Mark on his first visit to Beechen Cliff School, and chatted away and they had become firm friends, so many years ago.  It brought back memories of him coming through the front door, dashing up to the kitchen for hot water for his noodles and then down into Mark's bedroom where they became engrossed on the computers.
I led a busy life, two dogs, two cats, Mark and his friends and language students from Bell School down Weston Lane.  The front door was always open, and I was always answering the phone (no mobiles for me) for a strange assortment of people overseas.  I enjoyed having young people around though they would also exhaust me.  They came from Brazil, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, even the outer edges of Russia. (You can see why I am a Remainer)  I was a good host as far as the language school was concerned. Those from Arab countries had money to blow in Bath and the one from Switzerland will live in my memory forever, but that is another story.
The third happening was on Tom Stevenson's blog about the Brotherhood of Ruralists, a group of artists who had at first lived in the old railway station at Wellow,



 I had written in rather a perfunctory way on my other blog site.  What caught my attention was Tom had headed it Ophelia, well if you walked down the lane, just outside Wellow, to the Stoney Littleton barrow, one of my escapes when life got too hectic.  You would have to cross the bridge over Wellow Brook which would have the ideal place to paint the famous painting by Millais 'Ophelia'.




Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Apologies - before the fury runs its course

I went round the garden this morning to gather calming photographs, but Blogger is saying there is no internet on my photo link. But an hour later there is; there are gods around if you look for them!


The bird dog who helps

Second coming

In the yellow corner



Morning sun on the East Wall

God forbid, that this wretch, Jacob Rees Mogg, (where is Hogarth when you need him?) sitting next to Johnson, will have any hand in the government of this country in the future.  His arrogance goes beyond redemption.  But then he was made to sit bolt upright when the vote declared that the Tories had lost.  

Reading Yorkshire Pudding's hideout up in the hills, okay dramatic licence and all that, when Civil War breaks out between us Remoaners and the Brexiteers..  It does unfortunately remind us that we have been there before between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians. 

Brings to mind The Lansdown Battle, just outside Bath when friend fought friend and died for their beliefs.  And where I am so much happier digging out history of events that have happened hundreds of years ago, and not living through a maelstrom of immediate calamities.


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Tuesday 3rd September

Well shuffling through the news at the moment; they mentioned on the Farming programme that a large estate of farms in East Anglia had been sold in East Anglia for £200,000,000 million to a group of European investors.  Read here.

And then I read  that a Yorkshire business man has given his Harris Tweed firm somewhere in the Western Islands to the manager of the firm for free so that the business could go on without losing jobs ,  to quote,

"He said he had given ownership of the mill to local manager Alex Lockerby as a gift to prevent it from being bought by "financial vultures".

Well yes there is a difference but is it not wonderful that finance doesn't always call the tune, and of course he comes from Yorkshire.....

What else, Alistair Campbell, remember him? another who doesn't watch the news anymore taking down Johnson and Trump as the liars they are, and the fact that the media seems in cohorts with the right wing faction that is running the country at the moment.  (Sorry Pat but news can be interesting). Article here in the Free European.

But here is a story told by Graham who so generously helped me make that bed up on the weekend, though he did the majority of work.  It is the tale of buying a new electric car and the fibs that go round on sales pitch.

He had been told (no exact figures here) that the car would run about 250 miles, so on his trip to Scotland from Yorkshire it would get him there, well it showed 200 miles and it was running out.  So he started the game of trying to find a charger, simples if you are on a motorway.  But came upon the sad fact that there are different chargers which did not necessarily fit his car.  Long waits, 24 hours to be precise before he got home.  The car went back to the dealer and the old car retrieved, the rest to go through the courts. I presume technology has got ahead of itself, and the one hand has not figured out the other need for chargers....


Sunday, September 1, 2019

A thought on Trolls

John Bauer illustrator 1915 - Look at my beautiful sons


We think of them today as people who come to our blogs or forums and trash what we say, though of course legitimate argument should be seen for what it is.  They belong to a Scandinavian folklore/mythical creature that usually live in caves or on mountains.  The Tolkien films show terrifying creatures, working below underground.
Like most things calling somebody a troll and it will invoke a feeling of aggression on both sides, the argument will suddenly skid sideways and become personal.  Actually I think trolls should stay in the mythical realms, and I remembered the troll dolls of the 1960s, brightly coloured hair, they sat on desks a gentle poking of fun.




It reminds me that I have always loved all things mythical, the so-called Celtic age of spirits, fairies, goblins and dwarfs.  The need to create another world, not necessarily fairy tale like but peopled with imaginative creatures that represent our own personalities, or at least our emotions.
Tolkien, who after all created the biggest mythical fantasy and who wrote poetry with such ease, wrote a long poem The Stone Troll, though I am not really enamoured of his poetry....

Troll sat alone on his seat of stone,
And munched and mumbled a bare old bone

No, when we call someone a troll we not only bring down the provocateur but the mythological creature that haunts the cave as well.  Which brings me to another thought, in Bath's hot springs during the time of the Roman invasion, curse tablets were thrown into the waters indicting the felon who had stolen.  The same emotions work their way down through time.

"Whether pagan or Christian, whether man or woman, whether boy or girl, whether slave or free whoever has stolen from me, Annianus [son of] Matutina , six silver coins from my purse, you, Lady Goddess, are to exact [them] from him. If through some deceit he has given me...and do not give thus to him but reckon as  the blood of him who has invoked his upon me.



Saturday, August 31, 2019

Saturday 31st August - Almost September

So yesterday passed well in the things I had to do.  The desk was collected and mother and son were well pleased with it.  It had scratch marks on the inside of it from Lucy, when, having shut herself in this room had gone mad in destructive mode on two plants and the room in general. 
I had the bright idea of looking for advice in the village on a handyman.  So I pulled up Paul's internet site for anyone to have their say on 'Village Matters', and put the fact I wanted a bed put together with financial remuneration.  It worked, all of a sudden there was a flurry of emails, and now Graham, who looks after the church got in touch and offered to do it for free this morning.  Jill offered David her husband as well.  So I shall give Graham money to take his partner out next door in the pub for dinner.
One of the problems with village life is that there isn't a 'gossip corner' no shops and yet it is important for all of us to keep an eye out for each other, and this was the point of Paul's website, so I am very glad that it has turned up to help him.
In the garden, a stray couple of seeds have produced sunflowers, and their perfect form brings to mind the fact that we live on a small planet whizzing round and round in space.  And even this flower came from star dust, it stars in the 'Fibonaccio sequence' proving that maths and nature are linked together in a wonderful spiral.  So whenever you feed the birds sunflower seeds remember the intimacy of our world with science.




Friday, August 30, 2019

Dogs and Handyman

Someone said your life is like a roller coaster at the moment and that is the truth of it. Optimism and pessimism flow past.  There are jobs to be done, firstly getting someone to make up the bed that arrived a couple of days ago, I need a handyman but where do you find them? ;).

The dose of pneumonia that was so serious for Paul, disappeared after a 24 hour treatment and he is back talking to me hesitantly.  Yesterday the physiotherapist helped him walk to the window in the ward, and inwardly I remember the birth of my two children, one with a fortnight stay in hospital, the other with a day  in the ward and wonder at how life has changed.  We discussed care at home, I told her of my plans, she pointed out things I need to do.

Paul, my fastidious love asked for nail clippers, his will to succeed is so strong it leaves me slightly worried but his brother said that his family were fairly unbeatable and I have to believe in that.

I notice on other blogs that people are having trouble with rescue dogs.  I giggled slightly, my rescue dog Lucy at 12 years old can still lead me a merry dance.  Pretty as she is I look into her unfathomable eyes (mostly when she is begging for food) and realise I can never work out how she thinks.  As she has been with us for three years insecurity issues are not part of the problem, or the fact that previous owners locked her in a shed at 6 in the evening.  She stays in the home happy when I go away, my friend will pop in to see how she is now and then.

Her mad walking to and fro, knocking things over deliberately to provoke attention will drive you mad after a couple of hours, but I think I have found a solution and it isn't the Seren-um pills; I just bodily pick her up in a fury and put her in her chair, and she goes off to sleep without a murmur - firm handling?

Weather is windy, the world stage a disaster, as for the latest British kerfuffle, lots of hot air everywhere, historical precedence called for and I still ask, are we actually making something in this country?

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Narrating Tuesday

So what happens today?  Just been to the small Co-Op at 8.30 and the shelves are bare, will it be like this after Brexit?  Actually when they come to fill the shelves it is chaos as one has to move great trolleys to get at what you want.

Brexit sits like a malevolent bird on our shoulder, my daughter phones to tell me of her weekend in Bath.  She has stayed with her friend who is an estate agent and who says Bath house prices are off the scale, and so are the tourists. The  17 year old daughter of the friend is type 1 diabetic, just like my son Mark. He is trying to get enough insulin to see him over this period.  The worry of no medicines to be had is frightening for many people, one is not quite sure if there is scaremongering all that we should be genuinely concerned of the talk of interrupted supplies of medicine, food etc, or even petrol for our cars. Johnson ponces around in Paris with his best mate Trump and our hearts groan inwardly.

My daughter is on HT, but apparently her chemist has given her almost a year's supply, so different happenings in different parts of the country. She has 'checked' on Mark to give me a reassuring update on how he is coping, but apparently doing well.  Cooking from scratch, walking a couple of miles to work and he has even got a 'patch' on his arm, which he only has to wave his phone over and it gives his glucose levels.

At lunch time I will drive to the hospital, it is still hot, and the tractors, cycles and motorbikes are very much in evidence.  Not that I have much quarrel with farming processes, no it is the cyclists wandering from left to right on the road as they drink from their flasks or even talk on their phones.  These people are seriously vulnerable, their confidence leaves me reeling!  And then there are the posses of motorbikes, often older men who stream by.  Why have they taken up this hobby at this age, then the answer comes in open top sports cars, men of 60 plus living their 'lost' years?

Is this fun?? Can't see many smiles

There are definitely too many people on this planet, and all the green warnings to no avail.  Siberia, Alaska and the Amazon may blaze, but who cares?

No more doom and gloom, there are blackberries to be picked, a large settee to be moved and a bed to make up tomorrow arriving from Argos, Ikea days are here again ;)

Monday, August 26, 2019

Narrating the day

In the spirit of trying to write something daily, I take some photos and write about them.
The first is Lucy playing her favourite game which is to place her feet on the skirting board and roll from one side to the other.  She does this most evenings. She had one of her 'hysterical' days before this so it was a relief to see her return to normal.


The second is the decision to get rid of the Georgian dolls house and downsize some of my stuff.  I think I will give it to the teacher who took the unmade one.

not for sale!

At the moment I am faced with moving furniture out of the downstair's room which we call a library, this to make into a bedroom for Paul, it will become dangerous for him to walk up and down the stairs.  His illness is permanent and there will be a lot of changes in our lives but he was cheerful at the hospital yesterday.
I find the 'marketplace' on Facebook very good for getting rid of stuff, the desk will go on Friday to someone who lives in Saltburn, price it right (eg hardly any money) and the goods fly off the shelf!

The families on both sides have pulled round, on Paul's side they hardly communicated but now keep in touch by email.  On my side, well my two, are there for me always for which I am permanently grateful.

So as a last photo I shall show four donkeys in Cornwall in a rather muddy cold field but obviously ready for a carrot or two.  And the sad tale of the little sparrow who hurt his wing but managed to fly up to the bird feeder, where he would sit for several minutes meditating on life.  Foolish creature has now disappeared and the moral of the story is meditating can be dangerous when you are a sparrow.


Saturday, August 24, 2019

You may disagree

I am returning to politics, so you can look away for the moment.  It was this Chris Patton article that triggered the thought ..... Is Britain Becoming a Failed State, well the old guard are definitely stepping up to the mark and starting to defend our country from the idiots who run it. Sadly it will not be enough.
Last night I watched back to back episodes of the BBC programme 'Broke'.  It outlined the calamitous lives of people who live on the edge of their money and have no fall back.

There was the sad case of a father and son, who lived for a time in tents on the beach, until the winter gales forced them to move.  Surprisingly cheerful to the camera, what hurt  the father was going to a food bank and not being able to buy his own food for both of them, the son was 22 years old, and in a job that only offered temporary hours during the week.

Another case, a business man driving his Mercedes round London for Uber.  Now it seems to me that Uber is a parasite who lives on the backs of people taxi-ing people in their own car, taking a quarter of what they earn. This man rented with his partner in London, no money to buy a house, no pension to talk off, and at 60 years old starting to suffer from medical conditions.

There was the incredible sight of the Ferrari (cheap at £300,000) garage employing cleaners and f******  (there is no other word) arguing about the paltry sum they paid their cleaners, luckily demonstrations outside the showrooms changed the minds of their employer.

All this happens over every part of the country, the middle classes sitting sleekly in their expensive housing snug as a bug but many of the fellow countrymen (and immigrants) falter on the outside.  Was it ever thus? Housing is desperately needed, strict renting laws to protect the vulnerable, and such statements from Rees-Mogg on food banks, need to be understood that Victorian values do not run this country..

“And to have charitable support given by people voluntarily to support their fellow citizens, I think is rather uplifting and shows what a good, compassionate country we are.”

I do not see poverty in the towns round here but I have hardly looked, and in many ways poverty exists in the large towns, which draw people to them for employment.  The problem is of course that the price of everything is high, no more is it a right to have a home over your head, you have to pay the price landlords want with a flimsy contract that could see you out on the streets in a month.

I cannot see an answer, hardly have faith in the Labour Party, so socialism seems to have failed, yet the heart weeps for all those people who have not made the grade, in a country where social justice has been left to voluntary services.  As Patton says we have failed,   the Conservatives have done a bad job.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Updating

Courtesy of 'Evening Press'


Well when you watch 'Countryfile at Castle Howard' on Sunday, remember amongst all the smiles and false bonhomie of the presenters, that is was hell for the people to get there and hell to get out of the car park! I have been warned by several people don't go anywhere near to Castle Howard this weekend, or York, do not travel on the A64.  I actually don't like Countryfile, it has a fairy tale image of the countryside that is not true.  Though I expect the programme is in the corner for the farmers, who are now beginning to wake up to the fact that 'No deal' B........ is not in their best interest.  As someone said, the farmers should not have been so ready to plaster their fields with signs for 'leave'.  A simplistic idea (with no forethought) or information that now ploughs steadily on.
Well enough of that.  Yesterday I got rid of my unfinished kit dolls house to a teacher, who arrived in her people's carrier which had 3 of her 4 children.  She is going to make the dolls house up for a Xmas pressie for her mum, gosh it must be wonderful being young and able to do so much
Why italicised people carrier, they drive me nuts in car parks, always taller that my Picanto Kio, you edge carefully out because they are so tall and long, and immediately have to stop because someone else is coming.  Since taking up driving my ability to put my car straight in car parks always seem to leave the car on the slant.  Our small Co-op has a small difficult car park, and people often get cross in it as they get stuck, occasionally driving into each other bumpers or one of the corners of buildings that it is blessed with.  York Hospital car pack with which I have a close relationship with of late, has what I call the 'round and round' entrance, meaning when I come back to the car I can never find it, and trudge piteously around the levels marking out all the red cars - and there is plenty  of them!  In the naming of cars, mine is called Ogy, which is rather clumsy.
A pretty little white kitten with black markings has appeared in the garden, my first thoughts were that it is feral.  Jo brought the sheep's fleece round yesterday afternoon, and she says the mother with four young had been in her barn as well and definitely feral.  She says we should feed them and then catch them!! Apparently there are feral centres which neutralise their fecundity;) ie. castrate and then you can release them as feral, and feed if you want.  Jennie of Codlins and Cream is probably the expert on that....

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Bollocks, can't keep up with the news

My mind goes scudding back to education and wishing this morning that I had taken the O level in Constitutional Law as I listen once more to the debate as to whether they are able to defeat a 'no deal' B*****.   I make no apology for returning to this subject, it plagues us every single minute of news.  There is an American on the radio this morning, saying that all the high hopes Johnson has with making a deal with America, it is unimportant to the American government as a whole, and we are just pissing in the wind.
Further Education; remembered days of going out in the dark and cold to the college at Chippenham.  I did archaeology, sociology and English Lit. at A level, shows how many years ago that was. Passed all three with good grades, even went on to do a teacher training course in Bath, but from which I pulled out as I was expecting Mark.  All education has done for me is widen the world into a rather depressing place.* The ability to read, and understand?  But I must admit along the way that I have enjoyed studying.
Archaeology took me along an interesting path of exploration, from that first moment as a widow looking for somewhere to live, I spied Silbury Hill and then Avebury and so decided at the throw of a coin to settle in Calne, 6 miles from Chippenham.
*That of course is complete nonsense, I have enjoyed the opening of knowledge along the way!
                         -----------------------

This blueness is not deliberate  just won't change to normal colour!

Catching up with this blog a few days later, life is not particularly easy at the moment, and now I see that America is promising all the trade that they have to offer?  That poor  teenager girl lost on holiday has been found dead, and there is trouble in Kashmir.  Always 'down' news.  But Rod and his wife cut the lawn yesterday leaving it neat and tidy and my border of white flowers are set off beautifully.

Golden fields everywhere with great bales of straw, cows out with their young, soon to be taken from them, and the weather 'settled' to one day sunny the next rain.  The refuse dustbin sits on the front for emptying today, and Rod pulled the garden refuse bin out for me as well as it is rather heavy with the wet grass, though it won't be picked up to the following week.

Strange how Autumn has appeared over the horizon, I expect it is to do with the Climate Emergency, that is what the Guardian calls it and it reminds me that I have Monbiot latest missive to read.  Funnily enough I thought I heard him on the radio yesterday, but it was Jack Straw called back from the dead to vent his opinion on the latest news.  Funny isn't it how the old guard are being called on to get us out of this mess, they seem so harmless compared to the new boys on the block.  That Dominic Cummings looks evil (I know he can't help it ;) must read up about him..... and reading in the News Statesman, Stephen Bush who sends daily breakdowns of what is happening to my email box - What Dominic Cummings gets wrong about history.... outlining the fact that the course of history is taken by our emotional response to it.  Whatever variables you lay on the table another set of variables will upset the arrived answer to the future...

It would be perfectly cogent bollocks, is all. There may well be a universe in which a proton breaks down into a positron rather than a neutron: but in both universes, the 311 Conservative MPs would always opt to choose “Boris the winner” over “Johnson the discredited Foreign Secretary” because as with Comey and Osborne, that decision was intimately linked with who they were, their motives, and their desires.


Friday, August 9, 2019

Friday 9th August

Well not much to write about.  It is raining, I should think solidly today.  Drove to Pickering to the organic shop for my wholemeal flour and various nuts, seeds and dried fruit.  Buying organic is expensive but I like the Yorkshire bread flour.  Then on to Lidl, hardly bought anything there except smoked cheese and grapes for Paul.
When I drove down the back lane to Pickering there were great puddles or flooding on the road.  A great farm machine sat forlornly like a beached whale in the field, a round bale of straw, half eaten, still to be regurgitated.  The rest of the bales scattered around the field.  This farmer has been late, our farms have baled their straw and bringing out newfangled machinery onto the fields.  Tractors you can probably walk under if you are like me small.
Yesterday I caught up with Jo over the church wall.  Haven't spoken to her for ages.  She has promised me a fleece from her one remaining blind sheep.  Apparently the farmer who cuts the fleeces of her now long lost sheep, turned up, and now I will have another job to do!
We discussed the weather for tomorrow's barbecue, not looking good, if it had been my choice I would have cancelled.  Another house in the village is going on the market, it will probably be nudging a million, large type manor house with fields for the horses.
The cottage next door to Jo, after being fairly empty for 19 years, has at last acquired a new owner.  Setting up their garden with fancy gates, and lots of workmen to do jobs like a new kitchen.  Think it has been a shock for Jo and her husband, they share a driveway but I am sure all will settle down.
It is surprising how much property has been sold in the village, everyone cashing in on property prices.  Now not being negative, but isn't Britain just running on selling houses, doing them up and antique shows? is anyone making anything in this country of ours?
Another Beatrix Potter painting, you can almost feel her sense of fun.  Big brown slugs are the only creatures I see in the garden.




Monday, August 5, 2019

Monday 5th August



 Reeth, North Yorkshire - Aug 4th 2019 - Volunteer's from local Young Farmers Clubs in North Yorkshire descended on Reeth to restore some of the iconic drystone walls destroyed by flash floods last Tuesday. 

Something to be glad about, young farmers and others be they young or old rebuilding the old stone walls that were hit by the flash floods in the Yorkshire Dales over the weekend.  What do you gather from the photo?  Listen to the news on BBC finding the more terrible aspects of the dam above Whaley Bridge and then look at the practical side as people come out to rebuild the walls. There are also sad photos of a farmer moving his remaining sheep out of the water drenched field and leaving behind the dead drowned sheep.

Beatrix Potter (British author & illustrator) 1866 - 1943
Mouse with Spinning Wheel, 1890
ink and watercolour drawing, mounted on card
12.0 x 7.6 cm. (4.72 x 2.99 in.)

What else caught my eye, well it was this dear little mouse that Beatrix Potter painted spinning away at some flax.. It reminds me that I have not spun for a long time,  recently I have been caught up with my small loom, weaving cotton tea cloths and my knitting of a jumper in Shetland wool.
Yesterday I watched a video of Kaffe Fassett, his colours always seem too bright but as he sat amongst the materials of his craft, he was happy and fulfilled.



Sunday, August 4, 2019

Sunday 4th August

I have trouble naming butterflies, but red admirals, tortoiseshells, peacocks, whites and even a little blue ivy butterfly were dancing merrily away in the garden, around the large buddleia.

Creating a garden is the first step in understanding how this old Earth works.  The complexity of chains of relationships binding insects to flowers and bacterias to the soil creating webs of alliance in the dark substrata.  We have upset the balance, by introducing herbicides and pesticides in our gardens and farms and  we now bemoan the shrinking of the insect life, that feeds on and pollinates our food.  Our scientists try to keep ahead of bacterias that change as soon as we produce another so called revolutionary cure for whatever.  We see this in antibiotics as they become useless as our bodies build up a resistance against them.  All I can say is that we learn slowly how to put things back to right.

So a garden is a living being able to respond to the light, air, rain and the mulch of dead matter that covers it in winter.  This Earth has created a myriad creatures, I don't believe in the Gaian theory but I do understand the interrelationship of everything.  We are slowly watching our large mammals disappear, elephants due to poaching, rhinos as well. Also the giraffe is on the danger list, the list goes on.

But on this sunny morning as we wait for the rain and storms to come, and the weatherman colours our area of Yorkshire and Derbyshire with yellow, and the people wait at Whalley Bridge to see if the dam will break, a warning that all is not well with the weather system in this world.

So a few garden photos will have to do, for I cannot create in the written word what is happening so different has it become through the decades I have lived.

Two bantams patrolling the lawn.  They beat up a sparrow that could not fly yesterday - brutes.

Shasta daisies and cosmos. The reason my subconscious mind planted white flower has to do with the white flowered buddleia planted in the middle of this bed.  Weird how ones mind works...

There was even a moth, not sure if it wasn't the hummingbird hawkmoth. But the speed of its wings said yes

Painted lady...

It is like eating little sweets



The last two photos grew quite unexpectedly in empty pots the above looks like some sort of squash, the other two plants look like sunflowers.



Friday, August 2, 2019

Friday 2nd August



Can it get more depressing?  Well my heart goes out to the people of Whaley Bridge as the dam threatens their small town.  The infrastructure of the dam is 19th century, so perhaps was not unexpected given that nature has become more fierce.  As the Yorkshire Dales will no doubt recover, perhaps Yorkshire Day was an unfortunate time to be held.  But no troubles, the tourists are flocking to Britain, Chinese especially, and Japanese, though getting no further than the city of York.  There is a new word 'staycation' which means people who stay in their own country for holidays.  A friend came the other day who is doing three home holidays this year, she takes the train to Glasgow today, then up to Oban to catch the boat that will travel round the Scottish Islands.

Well less depressing, the conservatives have only one majority in government, 'luckily' they are all going off on holiday for I believe 6 weeks, so will not have to worry.  Oops perhaps they should we leave Europe on October 31st!  Especially as there has also been a Liberal win in Wales....

Well the garden bed of roses has gone white, snapdragons, cosmos and the shasta daisies give that effect, but I have no planting for autumn, which must be addressed.  Next year it will be a wild display of dahlias, perhaps the cactus type.  

Butterflies of the coloured types have decorated the buddleia shrubs, a frog sitting quietly under the milk basket on the front doorstep and a little mouse in the recycling box.  Also last night the sound of an owl, and I hoped that my mouse was not its dinner.  Insects galore in the garden, the hover wasp is grateful for the two plantings of fennel.




Thursday, August 1, 2019

Yorkshire Day

Rather late in the day but to celebrate Yorkshire Day on August 1st, this arrived in my inbox from Historic England.

https://heritagecalling.com/2019/08/01/conserving-yorkshires-castles/

There are a few castles around here, Helmsley immediately comes to mind and of course Pickering.
  By MortimerCat - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1876940
Pickering Castle
                                                  Barkmatter - Own work  -  Helmsley Castle

Friday, July 26, 2019

Things Happen

Things Happen: A favourite saying of mine as the news pours through in a torrent of uselessness and we are unable to  make the world behave as we would see fit.  But not writing has more to do with the fact that Paul is back in hospital after a relapse.

We talk on the phone several times a day, I go to visit, they are 'feeding him up', which means a nutritional tube down his throat, though he can also eat proper food as well.  This illness hangs like a curtain, twitching to be put aside, and the doctors are all optimistic of course, as is Paul - but it drags down your soul with the worry and the wait.

At home, Lucy went into a three day panic mode, exhausting creature that she is but I have pottered in this hot weather, picking loads of beans, tiny sweet tomatoes, handfuls of sweet peas and not so good potatoes.
Paul has been so sweet, knowing how I also go into panic and worrying mode, the bond is strong, he may come home after the weekend, maybe even the weekend.

He recounted an incident in his ward yesterday, and this will give you some idea of what occasionally can happen in hospitals.  A man was brought in with a wheelchair, he also had three burly security men with him.  He lashed around, foul mouthed and then tried to throw his wheelchair out of the three storey window, luckily they took him away, do they have padded rooms in hospital?

But dwelling too much on ourselves is not good, 'Crossing Continents' yesterday featured a young man from Ghana, Azeteg, he went on a long journey across the Sahara as a migrant with just a hidden camera in his special glasses.  He documented the absolute hell and nightmare of these poor people trying to escape poverty.  It was a harrowing story

Not all doom and gloom I hope,  typically Paul wants the family to arrange the transfer of some of his stuff (see YP shaking his head over that word) so, his valuable papers, silks, books and trays of insect/precious stones handed over to the British Museum.  I had been nagging him to do it for months but still.....