Thursday, May 30, 2019

there is no 'Away'

I wonder who  thought up that slogan about rubbish, every day we are expected to be guilty about something, yesterday rubbish, today eating rubbish food, eg heavily industrialised food with more artificial ingredients than fresh.  O well..

Western world has been discreetly sending their rubbish to Asian countries.  Well they have had enough - good for them - and now are threatening to send it back to the countries it came from.
We talk of recycling plastic but it is almost impossible to recycle all of the plastic, so we should perhaps be hitting on the producers of plastic and telling them to stop.  Okay impossible but solutions need to be found.
How come governments haven't done something about it? Stupid question, we all know the answer to that.  We have 'recycling' schemes, today is our recycling day, newspapers and cardboard in one box, aluminum cans and plastic in the other.  The garden waste, (very heavy with grass cuttings at the moment) is collected by another vehicle. 
Garden waste gets recycled and I buy some each year (it comes in plastic bags though), the rest goes elsewhere.  No matter how much I scan my shopping and try not to buy goods in plasticky things, you have to.  Lucy's chicken, ice cream, fish, etc the list goes on. I suspect that biological wrapping stuff, such as potato starch would get impregnated by the liquid content of the stuff bought. Though I notice some of my magazines and even the Guardian uses potato starch as a covering.. Perhaps there is an answer here, grit one's teeth buy expensive butcher's meat wrapped in paper, and green grocery free of plastic, which I do already and ditch the ice cream, Lucy would be so disappointed if I did that!

Sweden though is managing to control their recycling by burning it as fuel...

Well that is a start, which I follow, our pretty little market town has several shops that cater for our needs.  There is a small shop, bring your own bags for flour, etc and they have vegetables, fruit, local mayonnaise, jams and pickles.  But then think of the log jam if everybody shopped there.

Another thought, Daisys, our local garden centre, why can't they use those brown cardboard pots for plants they are selling, instead of the plastic pots? Slight adjustments and we could be there... Have you hear about 'Who Gives a Crap' toilet paper,   a delicate subject but worth thinking about, they don't use trees in the making of their wares but I am not sure what they do use, its not what you think..

Serious concentration called for here... We cannot live upon this Earth without producing some rubbish, our guilty secret, and here I include Paul, is that we have things delivered to the house and they come in a variety of wrappings including plastic.  Maybe a note to them all, will not accept plastic would do the trick but somehow think they would refuse to send the goods out.  Amazon stands out as a cardboard user, so some good comes out of behemoths even if they are trying to takeover the world.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Wednesday 29th May

Rain has fallen, the plants are grateful. Yesterday Rod and his wife, gardeners who cut the grass in the church yard, came and did ours.  Yes in the rain, they used a thin wand like heater, about five foot across before the mower, and the lawn is cut.  Except when you examine it, the creeping buttercups lie flat and uncut, their strong stems refusing to yield to the cutter.  That is what comes of a house built on a field, we have inherited good and bad weeds.
I hate the word weed, it demotes so many pretty wild flowers, in the lawn there are 'good' weeds but the bullying habit of the buttercup is a problem.
Yesterday I listened to podcasts whilst I wove, firstly on America, very downbeat, and then something on Charles Jenck and architecture.  His garden in Scotland,  Cosmic Speculation one is a revelation in green lawns.  Do I like it? no is the response.  It looks as if he has taken prehistory by the throat, and formed Iron Age forts and round barrows.  Philistine that I am, the question springs unbidden to the mind - Why mess with the natural world? - it can create beauty on its own just look at the trees in the background.

Charles Jencke and Christopher Alexander also an architect (American), create buildings, they are both philosophers at heart. The picture is soothing enough, there are traces of the Glastonbury path there as well, symbols of a new pagan cult.  But Glastonbury rests on age and that ruined church tower at the top. On a more practical level, fancy mowing those curves.  Two thousand years hence will those curves still be as jagged?  As an aside Charles Jencke's wife, Maggie, who sadly died of cancer, also wrote a book, but on Chinese Gardens and the symbolic use of how they were created.  Expensive to buy unfortunately. But something did come out of her death,  these were the Maggie centres.

We are going through a wretched time of austerity, whilst those in office argue interminably about leaving Europe, there are those in the community who live on the edge. Part of the thoughts on Jencke come from an article in the Newstateman, about how as we get older what type of end house and care do we require.  Given good health many are fortunate enough to stay in their own homes, but state funded care, comes out at about £600 per week in a care home, £800 per week in a nursing home and probably £2000 a week in hospital.
Someone talks of compulsory extra money taken from everyone to help towards this crisis, but then you look at the other problems - disabled, living homeless on the streets, young children turning feral in bad social conditions - who do you spend the money on?

And who would have thought that Magid Magid, the now ex-mayor of Sheffield has managed to win a green seat in the European elections.  Hurrah for the greens!  Yes I know it is only for a short time, or maybe not, who knows?  But he doesn't half give a kick in the ribs to the question of immigrants and immigration.  That sense of humour rubs off on everyone :)

Monday, May 27, 2019

Bank Holidays with miserable weather

Forgetting all outside news, I shall concentrate today on flowers.  A walk down the roses by the wall shows each bush brimming over with buds, a sheer show of delight to come, even the foxgloves are producing buds.  On the other side of the garden the colour blue has arrived. knapweed, veronica and Jacob's ladder not forgetting irises.

Jacob's Ladder has always intrigued me, you can see its leaf, bottom left of the photo, structured like a ladder.  It was first discovered in this country at Malham Cove in the West Riding in 1666 under a great wall of limestone.  A gentle non-assuming flower but a native.  Of course it takes its name from the biblical story that Jacob 'slept with a stone for a pillow' and dreamt that he saw a ladder reaching to heaven with angels ascending and descending on it.  The plant reminds me of the front of Bath Abbey which has this  story depicted in stone, the angels climbing to heaven.
Paul continues to slowly improve, soon it will be a rigmarole of doctors and outpatients but for now home is a safe refuge.  Jev (his old car) is attached like a patient to a battery charger in the garage, and I am grateful that I bought a car a couple of years ago, my 'hairdressers car' as my daughter calls it.  Not sure why, its red and small and is a Kia from the local showrooms in Kirkbymoorside.  I would have preferred a blue one but it was the only secondhand car with low mileage and it has done me proud.  Though sadly I scrapped its shiny paintwork at the doctors the other day trying to back out of a narrow space.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Saturday ramblings

I have been listening to Fergal Sharkey, taking Claire Balding for a walk,  they have just found the place where Millais painted the picture of Ophelia.  I suppose you would call it over romanticised and an elegant depiction of a pretty English scene, unfortunately Elizabeth Siddal, the model, caught a bad cold from lying in a cold bath. 
Gosh Sharkey sounds old but such an expert on the natural world, and I have just learnt that there are two hundred chalk rivers in England, a chalk river is one of nature's delight.  Apparently the band of chalk starts in East Yorkshire sweeps down to the South and is responsible for the white cliffs of Dover.

Ophelia by Millais
My header photo has some of the elements to be found in the painting, the white water flowers and drifting green plants.  My picture should have had the dozens of demoiselle damselflies that were dancing over the water, unfortunately I only managed to capture one low down in the r/h corner. 
Where is it? Wellow Brook, out in the countryside of Wiltshire not far from Bath. 
A place often visited to see  Stoney Littleton long barrow, here I would traipse with  Moss up the hill past the sheep, to brood and meditate.
If you went into the village of Wellow, you would see a place where other artists had once lived, The Brotherhood of Ruralists, of which I have written plenty, just type in search box if you are interested.  They lived in the old railway station, if you are an artist you just have to be 'with it' ;) bet it was all wicked and communal! 
Only of course that was not important, as is the kerfuffle we find ourselves in at the moment, don't weep for Mrs May, it had to happen, as does a different political system.  We will get to a point of reconcilation sometime just enjoy the pantomime at the moment and reflect on the awful truth. The Human Race is not as clever as it thinks itself.  We are floundering in a mess of our own making.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Friday and back

Well back on my old blog, what scared me? the number of people coming to read a slightly dramatic title I wrote.  I live a quiet life, am happy with it and also chattering on my blog.  Maybe in a nonsensical way and also in an angry mood when I contemplate the mess this country is in.
Well my love is back home from the hospital, don't ask me to write too much when I am worried, really truly worried, my thoughts would be all over the place.
Yesterday he phoned late in the morning that he had been transferred to another ward from the assessment ward, then at lunchtime he phoned to say he was in the discharge lounge.
So I leapt in the car and drove through the country lanes.  It takes a good hour to the hospital, but the countryside is beautiful.  If I go the Terrington way past the gorgeous country estate of Castle Howard, this is Christina's way, but Irene goes the Hovingham way, through Sheriff Hutton past its magnificent ruined castle on the hill and then Strensall.  Both my friends had accompanied me on previous visits.
Then you hit the ring road round York, something I dread, but my confidence has returned with driving and now the ring road and its three traffic islands no longer seem the worst thing to tackle.

Sheriff Hutton Castle.  a wiki photo - By Shaunconway - Own work, 

Back to Paul,  glad to be home, shocked by what had happened, a bag full of protein drinks and pills.
Full marks to the NHS for the wonderful care and attention says he, York Hospital is a very busy district hospital, but runs with a calm efficiency that is marvellous to behold.  God help us though if the computer system broke down.
The only complaint he had was of the wretched behaviour of two badly behaved male patients, one of whom spent the night shouting at the nurses.
Now I have to feed him up, a diet sheet lies on my desk, not too difficult, small meals but plenty of carbohydrates and protein.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Tuesday 7th May

The Celtic deity that resided over the entrance to the Roman Temple at Bath.  I have loved him since first setting eyes on him, he needs to be above all entrances quantifying due respect and reverence on how we view our natural world.  You may ask whether there are wings artfully concealed in his hair or perhaps snakes,  similar to a female Gorgon.  He is the Guardian of Minerva the Roman Goddess of Bath, Minerva is also seemingly implicit in a British role as the Celtic goddess Sulis, so that we have the symbolic imagery of two gods rolled into one, in this instance Minerva/Sulis.  You can find more information here.  Already my senses become overwhelmed by the information to be found 'The Ruin' an old Anglo-Saxon poem written a couple of centuries later when Bath had fallen into ruin and decay after the Roman departure.
Actually what I was going to write, and it is still in drafts was about my daughter's father family, who she still keeps in close touch but it hardly seemed interesting as a write up, so I shall print it and keep it safe.  She was down over the weekend and we talked for a long time about family, one interesting fact emerged which I did not know, was that when her cousin Marc at age 6 was brought back by my ex-sister-in-law from Persia/Iran to Switzerland, my daughter's (and his) grandfather took Marc straight round to the police station and registered him.  
In this time of Brexit, the Opper family who worked in different parts of the world, though all the children were educated in Britain, stand for old England and the comparative ease of moving round the world.  We face a very different scenario at the present time, all my grandchildren though are staunch Remainers.

Good things the song thrushes are back, the three goldfinches hop around the garden and blackbirds busily scoop up worms for their young.
And as for pretty pictures, on this damp drizzly day, at this time of the year, the fennel, lavender, rosemary the artemisia 'Powis Castle' and Ladies Mantle leaves are fresh and unfurling and fill the other long bed with a discreet amount of colour, I had been thinking 'Sissinghurst rooms' here, small blocks of plants.

To be recorded; First two swallows sighted at Gospel's Cottage.  Hurrah!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Friday 3rd May

Chosen at random, he is rather cute.
Nelson lost one of his goats yesterday, poor man he was really worried. He stopped me as I walked Lucy then stopped the postman by stopping his car halfway across the road.  He was worried that it would get into gardens and eat people's flowers.  Well I think it may have come home for Paul saw one on the bank of the river.  I have never owned one, not exactly a practical animal to own, Nigel has a couple as well, the white Saanen ones, everyday he goes for a walk and collects them fodder.
Our chairman of the Parish council, elected last week, has been making waves with the local council, not very successfully.  I suspect we will appoint all our councillors by today, of all colours, including green. Then they will sit round and refuse to answer our queries or do anything we need doing.  But I am so glad that our antiquated government system is really beginning to feel the strain and they all running round like headless chickens - it's the 'London' effect.
Talking of chickens, Nelson's fowls are often out on the verge, playing around the great stump of the horse chestnut tree, which was cut down a few days ago, presumably by the council.  This verge goes back about 20 feet, and someone said Nelson had claimed the land, but then our historian sent in the Land Registry plan which shows our small village green and this verge belong to the council.  The horse chestnut was planted at the time of Queen Victoria's Jubilee, no one said it was to be cut down, in Bath there would have some rumblings about that.
I am wittering and there are holes to be dug for plants....and just as I type this there are handsome ponies and traps trotting by, with people piled into the carts.