Friday, August 18, 2017

Going Camping - a young tourist!

Just had to post this.  My youngest grand daughter going camping last week.  Looking very overloaded but she just loves camping.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday 16th August

Cruise ship in the Scottish Isles

Have just read two of Peter May's book, The Lewis Man, and The 

Black House, which was the first of the trilogy.  I found the motive for the murder in B/H rather poor, but both stories are excellent, especially in their descriptive words about the islands.  The bleakness of these Scottish islands is fascinating.  Island life so hard over the centuries, yet people made a living in these harsh environments.  I am not sure I could have lived in a place with no trees, but the ever changing skies would have me rooted to the spot in contemplation.  Anyway thanks to those who recommended the books, think it was Jennie.
I somehow feel that these islands will be destroyed over the years by the coming threat of tourism, watching that six storey cruise ship in harbour on television the other night and the tourists pouring off, the same happening of course in Venice.  Wealth brings the ability to travel of course, should we who have already travelled already be so ready to condemn?  People make their way to the furtherest corner of the world devoid of other humans, but by the very act of doing so clutter and destroy what they set out to seek.
Luckily as I get very seasick, won't be crossing the Minch to Stornaway and must live through the experience of these islands by the written word or the box.
Yesterday with my trusty moonboot steadying me, I  clipped the dead racemes of the buddleia, saying goodbye to those pretty butterflies that had graced the bush feeding on the nectar.  They had warmed themselves on the church wall and gravestones, wings wide open on the East facing graves.  
Yesterday I had been reading a book on local history, the names of local people are part of the gravestones, the Bells and Foxton, the farms seeming to slip from one family to another and then back again, how times have changed now though.

Well here is the island of Skye mentioned below

Monday, August 14, 2017

William Wordsworth - Yew Trees

This is a photo of an old yew at Alton Prior,  I see this blog   has been in draft since 2015, so perhaps it might see the light of day, now that we live next door to so many yews. The Lorton yew is in Cumbria and is much reduced now, the photos of the following old yew is in Wiltshire set in the Vale of Pewsey.

The Yew Tree
by William Wordsworth

There is a Yew-tree, pride of Lorton Vale,
Which to this day stands single, in the midst
Of its own darkness, as it stood of yore:
Not loathe to furnish weapons for the Bands
Of Umfraville or Percy ere they marched
To Scotland's heaths; or those that crossed the sea
And drew their sounding bows at Azincour,
Perhaps at earlier Crecy, or Poictiers.
Of vast circumference and gloom profound
This solitary Tree! -a living thing
Produced too slowly ever to decay;
Of form and aspect too magnificent
To be destroyed. But worthier still of note
Are those fraternal Four of Borrowdale,
Joined in one solemn and capacious grove;
Huge trunks! -and each particular trunk a growth
Of intertwisted fibres serpentine
Up-coiling, and inveteratley convolved, -
Nor uninformed with Fantasy, and looks
That threaten the profane; -a pillared shade,
Upon whose grassless floor of red-brown hue,
By sheddings from the pining umbrage tinged
Perennially -beneath whose sable roof
Of boughs, as if for festal purpose decked
With unrejoicing berries -ghostly Shapes
May meet at noontide: Fear and trembling Hope,
Silence and Foresight, Death the Skeleton
And Time the Shadow; there to celebrate,
As in a natural temple scattered o'er
With altars undisturbed of mossy stone,
United worship; or in mute repose
To lie, and listen to the mountain flood
Murmuring from Glaramara's inmost caves.

I had found reference to Lorton Yews in Thomas Pakenham's Meeting With Remarkable Trees sometime ago, his photos of old trees are wondrous and one can almost believe that spirits and ghosts haunts some of their weird and gigantic shapes.

The yew tree in the photos is the one next to Alton Prior's church in Pewsey valley, the little church having large stones beneath its foundation, which could have been a stone circle.

There are two churches at this site, the other Alton Barnes, with a small stone pathway between them. A stream runs through the field in which they are found, and in the distance Adam's Grave long barrow broods on its hill. Pewsey Valley is a very special place, its history stretches through a Saxon past to prehistory with Wansdyke running along the top of the downs past Adam's Grave and the causewayed enclosure at Knap Hill.

The grain of the yew

Same again

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Rambling as usual

Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber, was the only thing that made me laugh yesterday.  We all know to whom it is aimed at, and as we teeter on the edge of something that may develop into something really frightening, I can only ask  why do we allow idiots into leading roles.  
Interesting long article in the Guardian on 'clean eating'.  Gluten free diet seems to be the current fad at the moment, it suddenly appears on the shelves as some miracle cure.  I have nothing against eating loads of vegetables and fruit, love vegetables but would not drink juiced raw vegetables, especially as I read in the article that you can turn orange from carrots or sweet potatoes from over consumption.  Yet to counteract this, television news was about children not eating properly through the long summer holiday, did they eat any better in school time?.  
Poverty today, as we had been discussing with friends, is different to the poverty of the 1950s, though I am sure the same set of difficulties were faced.  It is extraordinary in a rich country with supermarket shelves packed with stuff, that families find it difficult to budget their income but it is a fact.  Rent, rates and energy take up a lot of the money, scarce money for food is what is leftover. We now have foodbanks to fill a gap, some schools do breakfast for the children during the holiday, but  three good meals a day are somewhat lacking in some children's lives.  That is shocking. Especially as we can follow quite freely all these people who advocate healthy eating on social media when poor children do not have access to the carbohydrates and protein these people are dismissing with such scorn.
Enough.  Paul and two others cleared the green bridle path yesterday but the public footpath is under debate, someone did raise an objection to people going past their house, but general consensus says, okay we will not put back the signage on this but it should be cleared and local people allowed to walk the circular path.
I noticed out in the car yesterday that though the meadowsweet is dying off, there are still traces of the blue of cranesbill in the verges and of course Himalayan balsam lines the banks with its showy flowers.  But Autumn is creeping in, mornings and evenings are colder, and even the weather forecaster said yesterday, he didn't know where our summer had gone.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

9th August

A small video caught my eye this morning, it is a rather beautiful film of Whitby in 1975, and though it is little changed in the streets and houses.  It is the people who tell the tale.  For a start NO holiday cottages, the houses were lived in by locals, pottering round their yards, milkman knocking on the door, and best of all the famous smoked kipper place, (still the same today), the cliffs at the end of this side of Whitby are still intact, (they slipped a couple of years ago) with a little bridge joining them to the footpath.

Apart from the colour of the film dissolving, it made me realise how things change,  especially the emergence of holiday cottages and the social change it has brought about.   It was a brief mention on the radio this morning that it was the ten year anniversary when the economics went belly-up in 2008 and banks were forced to close, and we are still economically in a mess...

Perhaps the question is bringing these two things together, ecocomic doldrums and an economy that relies, quite heavily, on people selling houses at inflated prices and profiteering by buying second homes either to rent out on the market as holiday homes or 'to let' places.  Those rather quaint flashbacks back to 1975 may have been the better way, though I can already feel the backlash as to how terrible it was in 1970s.  But if young people can't get into the property market, and if they do as we all have done profiteering by the selling of our homes, where does it stop?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday 7th August

Well this is an update for Weaver of Grass on how my ankle is progressing.  The plaster got taken off last Thursday, and I was issued with an enormous grey boot, could come in useful when I am plodding around outside a  spaceship! But over time will find myself a stick, can't be doing with a crutch, to take the weight of that side.  It is a problem though  especially if you are trying to cook something, not only are you one legged but also one armed but slowly things are getting better.  My Strider can zip along on the surface of the kitchen, but will hardly tackle the lawn or gravel,  it is really meant for urban living.  Also, tend to run over my own toes when reversing.

Lucy though well meaning often gets in the way, especially with her litter of toy, trailing my slip this morning downstairs, Paul says she is only getting things for you, unfortunately she never gives them!
Paul has just been to the top of the village, and stood in a terrible rainstorm with someone discussing the cleaning up of one of our green lanes and public footpaths which they are going to tackle next friday.  There has been meetings about drawing the village into a discussion group, either via the internet or leaflet, not sure how it is going to work out.  They may find some opposition to clearing the public footpath as it goes between two houses and we suspect they would rather see the footpath forgotten.  Wiki entry on rights of public footpaths/green lanes.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


Elisabeth Moss, probably one of the best actresses around at the moment

Guardian Review

I never watched the Handmaiden's Tale, too sad and misogynistic I think though of course not watching gives me no clue.  But I have watched the 6 episodes of  the second Top of the Lake - China Girl with Elizabeth Moss and Nicole Kidman.  Both series have an otherworldly feel to them, Top of the Lake the first drama in 2013 its landscape was visually beautiful in New Zealand.  The second story by Jane Campion, China Girl,  was an extraordinary portrayal of the people involved.  Slightly over the top on sex (but that might be my age) and the morality of the bad guy, Puss - or was he good?   Dysfunctional of course, given to violence and why did he send poor Mary, daughter of Robin (Moss) on to the street with her 'sisters'.  This was a clever drama, humilitating the Western values against the Thai girls sad life of prostitution.  And yes it was funny in a way, though the portrayal of the computer sex mad young male students was perhaps really over the top.  
The last scene was definitely the eye-opener, there is a twist, another thread of story running parellel to the brothel life in which the Thai girls lived. There was another group, carrying surrogate babies for western parents.. The bad guy Puss makes a video mocking the parents with 'white' babies being cuddled by the girls.  And then, well last clip shows all the pregnant Thai girls flying back to Thailand, to sell their babies elsewhere? to keep them, who knows.  But the morality of the story stood loud and clear, and for me, never, ever, be judgemental.......... although the very act of writing makes me so ;)
Why have I written about this drama, well it came from reading another article this morning from Prof. Mary Beard, she had written that a few of the Romans in Britain were ethnically different, in other words there were black people in Britain (shock, horror for all those white supremacists) during Roman times and even occupying powerful places.  She had the usual obnoxious tweets, calling her everything under the sun, but luckily she chooses to turn and face her bullies.  We can take it that it is mostly male creatures who attack her, but the equalising of the female in society still has a lot to overcome, let alone the rest of the world.  Guardian article
And perhaps importantly why does the internet often fall into such infantile behaviour, is it that the written word   gives the offender a greater distance in not having to face the persecuted - the arena of the bully...

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thursday, 3rd August

Just a short note, hospital visit soon in which I hope this plaster will be taken off.  The windows are rain spattered but the sun is coming through.  My daughter in Switzerland, complained of 33 degrees heat and no water at their flat.  They have been sightseeing on trains and went to Gruyere yesterday, taking a similar photo of all my grandchildren posed against a fountain.  It is the same one I took 40 odd years ago of myself, my daughter as a child, and her grandfather, must find it too compare!

My photo records that moment in history as a young widow, struggling to come to terms with the future and my in-laws turning into my own family and helping through this difficult time.  My daughters memories all come through long holidays in Switzerland.