Monday, September 30, 2019


If you use the method engineers use - root cause analysis - to ask why three systemic disruptions are happening at once (financial, climatic and demographic), you would quickly trace them to their cause; an economic system in disequilibrium with its environment and insufficient to satisfy the needs of a rapidly changing humanity.   Mason in Post Capitalism

Has it ever occurred to anyone that Brexit is not the beginning and end of our fate?  Reading Paul Mason and the problems that lie ahead are more vital.  For instance I am a problem, getting old, will I in the future demand a care package from the state? Have I enough money to live off? am I part of the demographics of the older population creating a burden on state care?  Or on the other hand would I contribute to the earnings of a workforce by needing help.  Because we are so good at treating illness in people more of us live to grand old ages, but we become a burden on the young...

Then there is the Climate Emergency, how do we tackle that? all the figures don't actually add up as far as the government is concerned.  To keep within the figure we are expected to will cost money, but also it will create jobs in making sustainable energy.  What we need is not the so called key economic movers in society calling the odds but a more rounded approach where people  through such things as co-operatives and groups run their areas.  Top-down government is becoming a bit of a liability, in fact it is not working.

I started thinking about Brexit, but to be quite honest Europe might fall apart when we leave, that is why we are having such a hard time with them at the moment.  What we are living through now is transitory, the Common Market  or the EU may be a failed experiment already tumbling down through space. We have to devise another way of living.

Technology advances at a steady rate, the need to work in the future will become less, we will have access to an internet that will fulfill every need.  Phone the supermarket for food, bank online, work online and then those trade people we need for services will also be there.   We need energy to run all these things, and there are areas such as transport where we need to catch up.  Even medical stuff to some degree can be done through the computer.  Of course we are already starting to lose the 'human touch' and that maybe would lay us open to more evil forces.  But faith in humanity has to stand.

The thing is we measure the future through our eyes, but we are 'past', old ideas, old ways and old thinking govern our thoughts.  There is a lot of talk about 'old white men' and the way they think, see how they jump to the fore in America when it comes to being president.  Is it because they are wiser? mmmm.  

At the moment we are seeing a younger version of the OWM in our prime minister, unfortunately he is being called out by women for un-gallant handling of them, though I must admit twenty year old offences are a bit difficult to get one's head around.  But he belongs to a class of male to whom privilege is seen as a right, but one has to admit that women are slowly dismantling the male power over them - and not before time. 

Monday and Sonrel

Elisabeth Sonrel (French painter) 1874 - 1953
Our Lady of the Cow Parsley, s.d

I came across this painter in a 'female artists' thread.  At first I dismissed it as too pretty by far, a french artist in Arts and Craft Design.  Then I noticed how she had painted the cow parsley.  When I see cow parsley it is delicately fingered into many tiny flowers, she had 'blobbed' it for convenience sake probably and it did not look like the wild flower.
Then my second reaction to myself was choosy bitch, I could no more put paint to paper as she had done.  The thing that stands out though is the commercialism of the art and the painter's effort to sell a pretty picture.
It does seem from the Pre-raphaelites, that it was the male artist who sold an idea of beauty in women, with flaming, plentiful hair , garlanded with flowers a muse arising from the past.
Sonrel has been compared or at least 'in the style' of Botticelli, and it brought back the memory of 'The Birth of Venus'.  Now before I get shot for sheer pig ignorance, I hate this painting, it is so foolish in its conception.  The figures are like posed dolls, the faces painted on.  It is artificial.

The Birth of Venus by Botticelli
I fell out of love with a lot of paintings through my life, the Pre-Raphaelites just one school, and if I had to choose what I truly liked it would be an illustrator in black and white.  A calm picture capturing what you want to see.

Too fussy this Sonrel one and artless in its depiction of sex.


Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sunday thoughts

Wandering around this morning with aching ribs, as I fed the birds and the bantams, suddenly noticed that Lucy had eaten two shaggy  cap mushrooms in the grass.  Panic.  Had she poisoned herself? vaguely knew they were not poisonous but checked online, not for humans but not much info on dogs.  Decided to phone vets and the emergency vet, on his way to treat a cow, said if it wasn't poisonous to humans would not be to dogs.  So we will wait and see.  She is sweet but greedy and will eat anything, especially vegetables which she adores......

But to insects that stand between ourselves and starvation we give little thought, picked this up on the net below, our bees are clinging on through a barrage of problems.  All we as individuals can do is plant flowers and trees for their survival.  When will we learn that our human interference with the natural world does so much damage.  Bumble bees are my favorites, to see them 'bumbling' in the heart of a flower is to know peace.

The Earthwatch Institute concluded in the last debate of the Royal Geographical Society of London, that bees are the most important living being on the planet, however, scientists have also made an announcement: Bees have already entered into extinction risk.
Bees around the world have disappeared up to 90% according to recent studies, the reasons are different depending on the region, but among the main reasons are massive deforestation, lack of safe places for nests, lack of flowers, use uncontrolled pesticides, changes in soil, among others.

My thoughts are often negative and yet I refuse to capitulate before the growing problems.  We need to fight back, be optimistic, swan by the endless debate of leaving Europe, after all they also may collapse so 'leaving' could be a good thing in disguise.  What we need to do though is concentrate on the future.  Find answers in our own intelligent people, for they are out there.  The energy of the human mind is quite extraordinary, take faith in our young, not always see the negative.
Reading Matter for the next few weeks Paul Mason - Post Capitalism and that Greek person Yanis Varoufakis (because they have already been there!)

Adults In The Room: My Battle With Europe’s Deep 

Establishment Paperback – 3 May 2018

Friday, September 27, 2019

Friday 27th September

A couple of days ago I had a particularly vivid nightmare causing me to get up from my bed half-asleep.  It resulted in a fall against a chair and some stunning bruises. Scary at the time it requires some thinking.  Such events have happened before, often Paul with second sight would grab me, but that has gone.

Nightmares that make you physically move are a bit worrying, my worst nightmare is someone standing in the corner of the room, a malign influence that lurks. Japanese art depicts ghastly gods, and there is also  evil type demons which are called 'hungry ghosts'.  Illustrations are particularly foul.

But I shall talk about a living nightmare that we are all going through at the moment.  I read this morning that Boris Johnson's sister has already criticised him for his badly worded speech in the House of Common when he came back from abroad.  I don't know what to make of it all, a constant tirade of vehemence from the parliamentarians is not likely to inspire confidence.  All this nit-picking does not help us towards an answer.  I am probably one of the people, a remainer, who will adjust to being a leaver, accepting the vote for what it is.  I do not see any point with second referendums.

Castle Combe, Wiltshire

What worries me is the small-mindedness of those who want to leave living in a fantasy land of 'Olde England'.  It just will not happen like that, we love our history, (for that is what it is) we play with old cars, steam engines, fabulous large estate that unfortunately underlined a wicked system of poverty on the many and riches for the few.  In the real world it is our young who will inherit this world, they are already on the streets campaigning for  an actual world to live in, without it being destroyed by all the outward show of capitalism and consumerism, both words which could be neatly tied together as one.

Above I have found a photo of the pretty touristic joys of England.  Castle Combe, not too far away is Lacock Abbey also in Wiltshire.  In the village you will find the museum for Henry Fox Talbot, who  pioneered the first processes of photography.  A clever man in his time, multi-talented Victorian you might say.

 Do we still have the drive and fervour of the Victorian Age I wonder?

Lacock Abbey

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Earth Has the Lord Builders

Yesterday the heavens opened and tried to drown parts of England, the roads were flooded and sent up great sprays of water as we went to the funeral service.
But people turned up from the village, though it is a long and difficult drive to the place, with tales of a sink hole en route.  It was a good and simple non-religious service.  But the family were happy to see so many people from the village and it would have made Paul happy as well.

So what comes to mind today, is the fact that Paul loved the Anglo-Saxon history and especially the poetry of that time.  It is complex, but you can see its method below.  I suppose you would call it a declamatory style.  Spoken obviously in the gloomy, smoky atmosphere of the great mead halls, (pubs to you and me? ;) It captures the sad fate of humanity, and yet Saxon law has been the basis of our more modern laws.  And as we see Johnson today defeated by eleven law lords, we can be grateful for laws that allow us justice and a step back from dictatorship.

Always thought to be written about Bath,  the Anglo-Saxon poem 'The Ruin' captures an essence of what it must have been like to walk amongst the ruined buildings and streets of Bath, the great head of the Roman God Minerva severed from her body by angry Romano-British people in a century or so before.   The poem was published in The Book of Exeter in the 10th Century, but had probably been written a couple of centuries before.

 Curious is this stonework! The Fates destroyed it;
 The torn buildings falter; moulder the works of giants.                        
The roofs are tipped down, the turrets turn over,                        
The barred gate is broken, white lies on mortar                        
The frost, and open stands the arching, cumber of lumber                       
Eaten under with age. Earth has the Lord-Builders.

Wikipeda gives a full version with translation  and the Saxon language is what we would have both used for passwords!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

A short break on Climate Change.

Apologies;  I can see some people getting their knickers in a twist about Thunberg and Monbiot appearing here.  But I would rather hear an optimistic note then a pessimistic note.  As humans we are good at fighting sadly, but surely the cause is big enough for a different type of fight.  
Selfishness is not a human right, we should be thinking about those who will take on this Earth after us.  We cannot have all the goodies in the jar it is now time to share with the rest of the world and do something EVEN if it means taking up a much leaner lifestyle.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


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


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


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


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.