Climate

"The priority for our communities, movements, and decision-makers must now be to end the era of fossil fuels and transform our societies and economies towards sustainable systems designed to address peoples’ needs, safety and wellbeing, not profit and greed."

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sunday 31st March, or the day before April Fool!!



Just to record;  I saw two peacock butterflies on Saturday, one feeding on aubretia and the other in the garden, and as I walked Lucy back up the road, saw a friend in the distance.  We met up at our gate, she had come to tell me some sad news.  There had been a retired couple recently moved into the village about three months ago, and the wife had collapsed two days ago and later died. We talked about what could be done, as they are hardly part of village happenings.  I thought to write to our vicar, as surely he has some duty to care for people as well, so at sometime I shall write to him.  Ire** had also some peacock butterflies in her garden and we were off about plants......
They are playing the 'bird' Sunday music on Radio 3, today it is my favourite soundscape of the curlew, and have just played a sombre piece of music by I think Benjamin Britten - Curlew River, not my favourite. 
The curlew is the sound of the moor, the dried heathers its home for a time and as this noisy raucous springtime breaks out into bird song and spring blossoms,  the blackthorns showing their finery and the promise of a summer filled with flowers, we should rejoice.  Not be tied up in negativity.  
I can remember the tiny flow of ten little fluffy grouse wandering across the lane on Wheeldale moor with their anxious mother.  There is something so outrageous that these tiny vulnerable creatures would grow up to be the target of shooters on the moor, hiding in their fortress like grouse butts










Ted Hughes poem comes to mind; and a favourite flower comes to mind, the harebell that nods in the wind over the moor, must look up its story in Grigson.



Grouse-Butts by Ted Hughes

Where all the lines embrace and lie down,
Roofless hovels of turf, tapped by harebells,
Weather humbler.

In a world bare of men
They are soothing as ruins
Where the stones roam again free.

But inside each one, under sods, nests
Of spent cartridge-cases
Are acrid with life.
Those dead-looking fumaroles are forts.

Monkish cells, communal, strung-out, solitary,
The front line emplacements of a war nearly religious--
Dedicated to the worship 
Of costly, beautiful guns.

A religion too arcane
For the grouse who grew up to trust their kingdom
And its practical landmarks.



Just to fill in space

As I was throwing a box of assorted miniature bits and pieces away, three things caught my eye, one had a story to tell.  There was a time when I created miniature boxes, one of Farley Hungerford Castle in Wiltshire. 


with thanks to  Rodw - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35062641


 There had been a dig there, not one I was involved in but I had spent sometime there with my ex who directed it..  I remember the custodian telling me the tale of strange goings on in the crypt when she had spent the night there.  No not that, but the vision of a little girl who was laid to rest there and who was too cold, so she covered the coffin with her coat.  Now being of a realistic bent I did not believe her, but still, there was plenty of murder and mayhem here, just read the history...
Well it was the little candle holder my friend in Wales at the time had made, you can see it here on the left......

that brass kettle needs a good clean but then so does my silver...

I  had visited her at Carew, which has a famous castle and tidal water mill, and spent an afternoon with her looking at her miniatures.  She had made them out of empty clocks, and as you opened each door a scene would greet you.


Carew is such a romantic Welsh castle


Carew tidal mill



Well all historic things disappeared with time, but I enjoyed both the mental and physical act of making things.  And whenever I go through my photos they pop up.
Here it is the Prittlewell Anglo-Saxon royal burial.....




Prittlewell Anglo-Saxon grave




Friday, March 29, 2019

29th March 2019

A book; Before the Poison by Peter RobinsonIt was lent by a friend, and is by a Canadian author about the Yorkshire Dales, he also wrote the successful DCI Banks series.  Crime thriller, his knowledge of Yorkshire comes from the fact that he owns a holiday cottage somewhere near Richmond and I believe he was actually born in Yorkshire.  The plot winds several strands through the story, the most interesting is the tale of Grace Elizabeth Fox who was hung for the murder of her husband in 1953.  
Another thread shows Grace's diary during World War 2, as a professional nurse she saw some terrible injuries and on fleeing the war from the Japanese army her boat was bombed and she swum ashore to a small island.  
The narrator is almost like the author, and there is criticism about the love affair  with the female estate agent, an aging male's concept of a beautiful romance, rather dated idea of course but time moves on.
Anyway the book was thoroughly enjoyable, so much so, that I sat and read it all day to get to the end!.


The day opened misty but the sun is now mistress in the sky, my potatoes are planted, and yesterday tragedy turned to hopefulness.  A bang against the kitchen window, and on the ground a beautiful young blue tit on its back,  I picked it up, its heart beating in my hands, and carried it to the churchyard where I placed it.  Coming back it had vanished, hopefully to live.


“Laugh now, but one day no-one will be in charge.”

Catching a Historical Day


All I can say, its cruel to monkeys.  But Banksy as always captures the mood.


The Monkey Parliament by Banksy


Created 10 years ago,  the gallery in Bristol pulled it out today to mark this day 29th March 2019.  Behind me the radio is splurging more useless jargon from a politician, what did our very secretive Banksy say ....  Devolved Parliament.  I made this ten years ago. Bristol museum have just put it back on display to mark Brexit day.

The long read from the News Statesman - The Humbling of Britain


Thursday, March 28, 2019

Thursday 28th March

I could not dig; I dared not rob: 
Therefore I lied to please the mob. 
Now all my lies are proved untrue 
And I must face the men I slew. 
What tale shall serve me here among 
Mine angry and defrauded young?

From Kipling, addressed by an Observer article to Gove and Johnson, have you read the letter one of Johnson's tutors wrote about him?  I am not going to reprint though it is on Twitter, but heaven forbid that he should be vying for  prime minister leadership!
That is all the magpie has to say at the moment on what is happening the country.
In the garden, flowers are making their appearance, especially the primroses and primulas, and a pretty narcissus.  But first lets list the dark side of flowers, the following picture shows Helleborus Foetidus, poisonous in all parts of the plant.  It seeds itself quite prolifically around, especially round our village and is probably wild.  Pretty pale green flowers appearing early in March, a winter flower.
Helleborus Foetidus with a cowslip peeping out underneath.



Cowslips are a favourite flower, not seen in Yorkshire yet but I bought a couple to remind me of Bath.

No name, but pretty pink blushed primrose

Does anyone know the name of this gold laced primrose?





These are two primroses, that produce well, so I have plenty of both, one of the things I do not like about primroses is the tendency of the wild pale lemon primrose will often be fertilised by commercial primroses, giving us those sad pink primroses that dot the verges.

pale lemon with darker pollen stamens

The bantams are prolific


As I write this I am listening to the radio about the Danelaw, fascinating part of the Viking history round here.  They mention the battle of Chippenham in Wilshire, and the hunting lodge there.  Well i remember years ago digging for this hall, a great post hole which took all afternoon to dig only to be greeted by a small piece of flint.  

"There is some documentation of the early history. The Villa Regea (king's country house) of the Saxon kings is first mentioned in 853, and in 878 the Danes attacked the Saxons here. The Anglo Saxon Chronicles say, 'The force stole in midwinter, after Twelfthnight, to Chippenham. They rode over Wessex and occupied it, and drove many of the people over the sea; the other, greater part they overcame'. It is believed that King Alfred escaped from Chippenham and made his way to Athelney in Somerset while the Danes fortified the site at Chippenham. Later that year Alfred had his great victory over the Danes at Ethandune (Edington) and pursued the remnant to Chippenham where he besieged them for 14 days before a treaty was made and they withdrew from Wessex.












https://northstoke.blogspot.com/2008/04/etymology.html

Monday, March 25, 2019

Photos for Monday 25th March

Such gloomy news, the world and its wife are slowly going down the plug hole.  Well ten years from now and it will all be different.....




Just looking from the bedroom window this morning, and the little wren scurried out of the yew, ever busy.


The jackdaws are busy in those holes in the tree, eggs have been laid and a new brood to follow soon.
Down the flowerbed the thrush hopped along looking for tasty nibbles, the world still goes on.




Violets are popping up everywhere, the Euphorbias are raising their golden heads to the sun, and beneath, the first lungwort I planted has attracted its own special singleton bee.  The Pulmonaria bee, or the hairy footed one ;) see the long proboscis

taken from this blogspot which will explain more.....
http://urbanpollinators.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-hairy-footed-flower-bee-anthophora.html


Friday, March 22, 2019

Friday - 7 days to go or not


Too frail to soar -- a feeble thing -- 

It fell to earth with fluttering wing; 

But God, who watches over all
Beheld that little sparrow's fall. 

'Twas not a bird with plumage gay, 
Filling the air with its morning lay; 
'Twas not an eagle bold and strong, 
Borne on the tempest's wing along. 

Only a brown and weesome thing, 
With drooping head and listless wing; 
It could not drift beyond His sight 
Who marshals the splendid stars of night

Then and Now by Francis Ellen Hopkins Warner.  A random poem picked for this piece of news, and by the way the poem has several more verses.

Image result for Darlington activists tear down developers̢۪ netting after trapped bird dies

Caught in developer's netting it died, the result of its death ended in the pulling off the net of this tree in Darlington.  If you can get it The Times tells the story
,

It is the smallness of the life of the sparrow that takes my notice, elsewhere in  the rest of the world Mozambique and Zimbawbe people are clinging to trees as the flood water washes over their land.  Climate change? Or the difference between two worlds?

So what else is happening in the news, thought to bring you a painting of 'hell' but they are too graphic and not empty for goodness sake, and so what about the friction between Bercow the Speaker of the House of Commons and Andrea Leadsom the leader.  The thing is, has it been reported accurately, was he talking to Leadsom or to other members of parliament?  Bercow is a hero of mine by the way.


On completely local news, whilst taking Lucy for a walk yesterday, she did the necessary function, I cleaned up and put the offending black bag next to the telegraph pole for picking up on the way back. But............. it had disappeared on the return journey, had someone picked it up. On going out a second time to check, I told the tale to J who was in the middle of tidying her very tidy garden, she pealed with laughter, it is very musical her laughter, and I was glad to bring her some cheer, as she is newly widowed.  Being 'guilty' is one of my unfortunate traits, the black bag mystery rests on another story. Going to visit another neighbour I had deliberately put the bag outside her garden gate, then forgot to pick it up on the way out!  A few days later talking to her and she was so indignant about the person who had left the offending bag outside her gate, I dissolved into giggles and confessed.... Sorry about the images this might bring to the mind, but the parochial nature of life in our village is sometimes all I have to offer ;)

Definition of parochial;

If you describe someone as parochial, you are critical of them because you think they are too concerned with their own affairs and should be thinking about more important things.
which could also be applied to blogging of course.






Thursday, March 21, 2019

Thursday 21st March

Another lovely sunny day, the 'green man' turned up, Simon is his name, with 15 foxglove plants, slightly the bit worse for wear (the foxgloves that is) so I have spent an hour or so putting them in, hope they flower this year.  Then Nigel turned up bearing a book which his wife thought I might like to read which was kind.  Vicky had read all my Rickman books, and I am giving them away to the church for their booksale, though I notice Boveybelle is keeping hers...

I meant to plant potatoes  but with all the interruptions decided I was too tired to dig trenches, at least I managed to get rid of my last bag of potatoes to Nigel, three bags I had bought of earlies but not enough space to plant them in.

Putting the foxgloves in the yellow brimstone went back and forth over the wall and there were bees in the tiny violets in the church yard.  Gardening is such a delight but like many people at this time of year, I think of spring cleaning.

First up, the dolls house I never completed should really go to a new home but I am not sure where to advertise it, and then there is of course the Georgian house, should I keep it for great grandchildren, Lilly is growing up fast or should that go as well.

photos to follow eventually.... 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Let Spring begin

Happy Equinox everyone



Landscape of the Vernal Equinox by Paul Nash

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Fracking up date

Keeping up to date with fracking:


  • The Settrington estate have been approached and refused to allow to carry out seismic testing for shale gas on this estate
  • Refusing access does not protect land owners from companies fracking on their land, as the Section 43 of the Infrastructure Act 2015 provides that there is now a right to drill for oil or gas at a depth of at least 300m below the surface. This effectively removes the need to gain consent from the landowner to access land at a depth below 300 metres. The requirement to acquire the consent of the landowner to access land at the surface and down to a depth of 300 metres remains and the landowner would require due compensation.


Local news is not good;  Jim Ratcliffe, Britain's richest billionaire has declared war on his own Northern county.  Head of Ineos they/he plan 2000 fracking wells in North Yorks, it would rip the beautiful countryside apart, fortunately he will not have to see it because he lives in Switzerland, unless of course he has moved elsewhere.
It means another continuous battle, to quote just some of the words that are coming from the meeting at Castle Howard........


  • For Fracking to be financially viable if this industry was to be allowed to happen;
It would require 2000 wells across North Yorkshire, each  4 wells would cover an area of  7 hectares  [ approx. 20 acres ]  in concrete and industrial type towers.
  • Approximately 40.000 acres of this region will become industrialised
  • The industry would generate 50,000 plus lorry trips to bring in chemicals and take away contaminated water, can our roads cope with this ?
  • The negative  effect on agriculture and the tourist industry will  far out weigh any employment  benefits from fracking.
  • The law as it stands states that a well must  be a mile from any place of  residence, however the industry is lobbying Government to change this law  to allow a well to be sunk just 500 METERS from residential dwelling.   


Remember the move towards renewable energy, well throw that out of the window, you cannot make enough money out of it to line the many bank balances that hover like mosquitos to suck the blood out of this country.

A Ratcliffe quote also is ominous, we only own  the surface ground of our properties, the rest belongs to our government, mining rights can be given out without the due process of law, though I am sure it will all be challenged in court.  What the various estates round here are worried about, is the fact of the long term issue of pollution and that they will be liable to pay out for this.

Jim Ratcliffe;  “However,” he adds. “In the UK you only own what’s on the surface and the government owns what’s below........


The last something from the FT in November of last year I think, again quoted by one of the people who attended the Castle Howard meet...


On an edge of the Yorkshire Wolds in northern England, Kenelm Storey gazes out over the rolling hills of his family’s Settrington estate. Its history weighs heavy on his shoulders but it is the long term future that concerns him now as he vows to stop fracking on the land. Ineos, the petrochemicals company and biggest owner of shale licences in Britain, has applied to carry out seismic testing for gas on the estate. This could lead to the company asking to carry out fracking, or hydraulic fracturing — the injection of water, sand and chemicals at high-pressure to open cracks in the rock to extract oil or natural gas.
Mr Storey, president of his local Thirsk and Malton Conservative association, told the Financial Times he was “desperately worried” about allowing fracking on his land because of the residual liability for any environmental damage that emerges in an abandoned shale gas well in the years after Ineos’ licence expires.
Ineos threatens National Trust with court action But he might not have a choice. Ineos, owned by the UK’s richest man Jim Ratcliffe, has argued it had a “legal obligation to investigate shale gas deposits in areas around the country”. For while individuals own land, underground natural resources belong to the Crown. Earlier this year Ineos said it would take the National Trust to the court over its refusal to grant access to land in Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire.
Mr Storey is concerned that by taking on this public body in such a high profile manner, the company was demonstrating its readiness to take legal action should landowners deny access. Ineos has said it will take the National Trust to court over its refusal to grant access to Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire .
Alamy Geological surveys have indicated the presence of significant untapped gas across the Midlands and north of England. The industry and ministers have argued that shale gas will open a crucial new domestic energy source. The UK’s first shale gas started to flow earlier this month, at Cuadrilla’s fracking operation in Lancashire. But its operations, and others’, have been long-delayed by environmental concerns and political opposition.
Fracking companies can also use the Mines Act 1966 to seek ancillary access rights to land. Operators would need to prove that land access is “expedient in the national interest” and that the landowner is “unreasonably refusing” to allow access. I think it’s important to note that this will affect anyone on whose land it happens, so the smaller the landholding, the more disproportionate and potentially ruinous it would be Nick Howard, owner of the Castle Howard estate.
Even if Mr Storey wins a legal battle he cannot stop horizontal fracking under his land — with the same risk of subsequent water pollution from an abandoned well — if a neighbour strikes a deal. “All landowners of all types and sizes would be well advised to resist the blandishments of those wanting to frack — not least as such resistance would strengthen their case for human rights’ infringement,” he said.
Ineos did not respond to requests for comment. But Ken Cronin, chief executive of UKOOG, the trade group for UK onshore oil and gas producers, tried to dispel landowners’ concerns. “If the geology is suitable and a landowner chooses to lease us their land for the purpose of an exploration site, as part of our licensing conditions — regulated by the Oil and Gas Authority — each operator has to ensure that they are adequately insured,” he said. “This needs to cover third party liabilities, loss of well control and environmental liabilities. From the commissioning of a well to its retirement, it is the responsibility of the operator.” Mr Storey remains unconvinced. “[UKOOG] still haven’t been able to assuage our perfectly reasonable concern about residual liability for any well on our land once the licence has expired and the well is no longer in use,” he said.
Should government be insurer of last resort? In March, he wrote to ministers inviting the government to stand as insurer of last resort. “If the government is so convinced that they have gold standard regulations and this is a safe process, then why is it the government is not standing in as the insurer of last resort in perpetuity?” The business department said the government had “always been clear it expects licence holders to cover any residual liabilities from sites”. Christopher Price, director of policy at CLA, which represents owners of rural property and businesses, said: “If fracking is to go ahead, between them government and the fracking industry need to find a way to make it complete. It is simply wrong that landowners should be expected to deal with the residual liability.”
Ministers are currently consulting on whether exploratory work such as seismic surveys and test drilling for fracking, should be treated as “permitted development” in England, removing the need for planning approval. Tory MPs consider rebelling Conservative MPs have told the Financial Times that “at least 20” party backbenchers are willing “to destroy the government’s majority” if the government seeks to push the proposal through parliament because they fear the move could cost votes.
INEOS also holds the licence under the Castle Howard estate, the well-known stately home in Yorkshire owned by Nick Howard. He has inquired about insurance products that cover residual liability. Recommended Nick Butler : The UK shale revolution that never was Lycetts, a rural insurance broker, told him: “Caution should be exercised into allowing fracking operations to take place until a government or industry backstop is in place. As matters presently stand, there is no safety net for landowners.” Ineos has made no formal proposals to Mr Howard but from an insurance perspective it seems to be “a non-starter”, Mr Howard said. “I think it’s important to note that this will affect anyone on whose land it happens, so the smaller the landholding, the more disproportionate and potentially ruinous it would be.”


https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/20/judge-halts-drilling-climate-change-trump-administration


Tuesday 19th March

Tired of the fracking saga, I shall dwell on more local activities.  Went yesterday and bought 6 (rather expensive Munstead) lavenders, they sit awaiting transplantation.
Yesterday also saw 6 of the village men tidy up the pavement, ie getting rid of the turf that had spread haphazardly in front of the church.  It was lovely to see Nigel, come across the road and join in, though he knew nothing about it. I talked to him this morning, his wife is ill with the terrible illness that stalks the land, though chemo is keeping her stable.  He needs someone to talk to about her illness but I am not sure how to help except listen, it will need some thinking.
My book arrived yesterday, for the price of postage, and I spent a happy afternoon reading it and touching the simple naive but rather lovely watercolour paintings, reflecting on a simpler time, which wasn't crowded out with terrible news


Notice the handwritten text.


Some things cheer me up, for instance, Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel.... and I am once more walking up that steep hill to the top, checking the wildflowers in the verges and thinking about the Iron Age people who lived up here.


Solsbury Hill

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A mixed bag of news

Study of Rocks and Fern by John Ruskin. Crosmount, Perthshire



Starting with a sketch by John Ruskin, there is to be an exibition of his works at the Art Gallery in York, also his relationship with J.W.M. Turner.  It starts on the 29th March and goes through to June - a must see, though to be honest they will be examining his mental history as well.  Genius has to be questioned apparently, though what if his madness drove his genius and we should be grateful for his extensive writings, whether on painting, environmentalism or social causes.


Turner's Fountain Abbey

It reminded me that Greta Thunberg - the 16 year old climate activist has Asperger disease, and also may have suffered from mutism - an inability to speak.  Well that has certainly been overcome now as she faces the mighty and powerful.  Her sweet rather plain face, stares out at us, calmly telling us the real cost of climate change.  And her one person protest has now gone worldwide - all to the good of course, but will vested interests listen?
Checking the news here on whether schools had protested, I came across two big citys, York and Leeds.

York protest

Leeds protest

The winds have died down but rain is falling here, I think rain is preferable to that cold wind that greeted us every time we went out the side door but gardening is still put on hold.  The little violets are flowering in the church yard you can hardly see them but they are there.  I am relearning to weave, very soothing now that I have broken the back of warping, and realise I need to dye more colours.

https://esoterx.com/2015/10/13/john-ruskin-and-chamounix-the-convenient-teleolgy-of-insanity/

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Thursday 14th March

Yesterday was a busy day.  In the morning we had a meeting to see whether we wanted to get the Parish Meeting going, so 8 sat round the dining table and discussed the ins and outs and it seems the newcomer to the village is raring to go as a chairman  You cannot call a proper meeting without several officers (that is stretching it a bit but you know what I mean).  So things such as accounts, signing off accounts, precepts and a secretary have to be arrived at.

We discussed the laying of a membrane as a footpath along the road from the pub to the bridge, and interestingly it turned out that Nelson (our hobo who lives in a caravan with his animals on a smallholding) says that a large chunk of the verge belongs to him.  I would question this as a boundary ditch between his land (if it is) separates him from this bit of land. A couple at the meeting had walked the parish boundaries, such an old time  medieval action.... Jo still wants a defibrillator, an expensive addition to most villages around here, but it will take up a lot of money in the bank account, and our local nurse says that it is not needed.

"The Strode House, built in 1674, seen from the Lily Garden at Barrington Court, Somerset. Gertrude Jekyll's influence can be seen in the planting here."

In the afternoon we went to the gardening club, after the AGM, I am beginning to feel that officialdom is a 'bad thing', especially as no one wants to take on roles on committees, we had a talk on 'Cutting gardens'.  The rather luxurious thought of devoting part of your garden for cutting flowers for the house.

Now there is good reason to do this, because we only raise 10% of our own cut flowers, the rest come from places like Holland and Africa, and according to the speaker we are depriving people of water on the African continent.  The female who gave the lecture was a very enthusiastic gardener, and as well as her own garden, had acquired parts of other people's garden in the village. But this was not enough, so she now travels down to the road to the manor house and has acquired the long walled border, so beloved of Gertrude Jekyll, to also raise cutting flowers.  At this stage, she is selling flowers for weddings.  Her domain now includes part of the local garden centre as well.

And perhaps the true worth of gardening, the boots of Gertrud Jekyll, which adorns my book of the subject...


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Miscellaneous

Over sentimalised, pale like a washed out blonde, but those bee skeps remind you of a simpler time.


Heywood Sumner:  Years ago I fell in love with this artist's work, he is not particularly good but I remember borrowing a book from the library, which he had handwritten and illustrated on his home on Cuckoo Hill at Gorley in the New Forest.  He had also illustrated a book by Barry Cunliffe (exceptionally well known archaeologist;) on Cranborne Chase in Wiltshire, which is far too expensive to buy.  He also appears in the book of Arts and Crafts mentioned below, though he doesn't seem to have got on too well.  But these artists and craftsmen created on the backs of the Pre-raphaelites  a standard of creative genius in house, furniture and assorted bric brac that has become lost in machine made stuff we find today.


previous blogs...

https://northstoke.blogspot.com/2014/08/sumner-and-hambledon-hill.html

https://northstoke.blogspot.com/2010/11/heywood-sumner.html

https://northstoke.blogspot.com/2014/11/hunting-miscellaneous.html


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I bought a book recently - Arts and Craft Movement in Britain, full of interesting photos but what I noticed is that the fire dogs and silver dish made recently on the Arts and Crafts programme, were on opposite pages in the book. Now was that laziness on the part of the researchers or just coincidence?  The firedogs are made of brass and steel and are rather beautiful

























Firedogs made by Alfred Bucknell and designed by Ernest Gimson




Image result for silver dish designed by C.R.Ashbee

Silver Dish, designed by C.R.Ashbee and made by the Guild of Handicraft

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Tuesday 12th March


Happy Birthday World Wide Web, you've got problems, did any of us realise how nasty some of the human race can be, but generally in blog land we get along nicely.  Tim Berners-Lee brought it all together 30 years ago, he is British, something to be proud of! But on this day, 12th March, when our parliament cannot get its act together I somehow how feel that the euphoric mood of a global network is somewhat lacking, as we watch our politicians argue and fall apart over the enormously difficult act of leaving the European Union.
Even if by some miracle a 'deal' is agreed I cannot but feel sad, that we are falling out with our neighbours, that the country is in a 'state of uncertainity', the 'leavers' stand forlorn and shouty about what they want.  Could almost say 'as the walls of Jericho fall around them' businesses start to flee, political rats and billionaires already fled.  it will probably be rough.....
I have been following the antics of the 'preppers', people who are quite sanely I think, putting by reserve food, scared of empty supermarket shelves. Well though I have no faith in a government that hires a ferry company without any ships with a three month slot to get its act together,  I think we should leave it to the medical and food companies to sort it out and just keep our fingers crossed.
Even now on this miserably dank, wet and windy day, a box of tea is winging its way across the Irish sea from Twinings because I can live without a lot of things but English Breakfast tea is what wakes me up each morning ;)


And of course, the calming effect of sewing................ Mogg please note!














Sunday, March 10, 2019

This patch of Earth is waking up

A nuthatch has been visiting the fatball feeder recently such a medley of beautiful colours but I cannot capture it on camera, so here is one from a Welsh site...




Sometimes when I look at the exquisite digital photography that brings up every detail I wonder if we need artists to capture such things - heresy!  What I do see though is a complete natural phenomenona, a perfect blend of colour, shape and size.  Something crafted for its environment in a trembling delicate feathered way.
Even now, early morning, I can hear the jackdaws chattering away, sorting nesting places, a couple will nest in the small round holes of the church, others in the old holes of the large tree that graces the churchyard.  The sparrows are already looking at the nests of the swallows under the church roof eaves. Lazy creatures, as we look forward to the swallow's return.
The domestic fowl also greet early morning, we have geese, ducks and hens in Nelson's patch and Nigel 's old hens are still running around along with his 'escapee' duck.
The collared doves always fly down  in the morning for seed, as of course the large lazy wood pigeons who lurk ever intent on free food.  In the copse, crows caw noisily, sex is happening, nests are being refurbished.
Blackbirds have returned, the robin still gets stuck in the bantam's run and the natural world settles down.
Some one I have forgotten,  Jack the jackdaw still hobbles around the place using his broken wing as a crutch.  Steely determination has given him life these few months and I try to throw food wherever he is, the strange thing is that he is often outside the hen's run, probably he would be safer inside.  But then who wants to live with mad Lady Jane the bantam?