Sunday, May 28, 2023

28th May 2023

 This is truly going to be the last house.  It arrived from my daughter yesterday.  She is off with Andrew down to his parent's house in Surrey, or it might be Sussex, always get them mixed up.  On the way down they had stopped off in Frimley to see the house  we had lived in when  she was very young.  I presume we have google to thank in finding it.

The house Nick, her father, and I had bought when she was about two years old.  We were the usual poor newly weds, and my father in law had given us the deposit to buy a house.  It was here one terrible evening two policemen stood at the door and told me that Nick had been involved in a bad accident.  I still worry about anyone in the family travelling now. His accident was caused by a woman pulling out in front of his car without checking there was anyone coming. 

It was a friendly neighbourhood and they pulled together to support me, someone looked after my daughter and someone else my dogs as the accident had happened in Northampton and he was in the hospital there.  Nick had been to visit his best friend in Oxford.

Well life took its course and a few days later Nick died of head injuries and I was left to pick up the pieces, it took me many years to get over this sudden death. It was a shame that his ashes were buried in a church at Frimley, they should have been taken back to lie beside his parent's grave at the church in Territet in Switzerland, where his father helped out. We always called it Grandpa's church. 

To return to happier things.  Yesterday was the carnival in Tod, and all the young girls of Tod marched past swinging their batons into the air and splendiferous in their bright sparkly uniforms.  There were hundreds, even a rather thin Chinese dragon snaked its way down the road as well.  All traffic was stopped down the main streets, and in the afternoon Lillie headed the Scouts march in memory of a much loved scout leader who had died a couple of weeks ago.

Edit: Eve, Leave your prejudice behind, Tinker's Bubble Community still going strong.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Cottage and complacency

 I know what to talk about this morning but before we get round to complacency, a memory that went through my F/B account yesterday.  It belongs to the tale of trying to buy a house in Yorkshire.  This was a cottage up on the moor near Egton Bridge.  It was low and beautiful from the outside but the inside had been dressed in frills and furbelows by a beloved late wife.  We followed the sad owner from one room to the next as he explained the layout.  There was one obvious disadvantage in the cottage, the water supply.  It was from a stream and the water was also shared between the other three houses in this hamlet. It was remote a drive up to the moors but again good walking country and a small but perfect garden with a wall at the end, from which you could peer down into a well treed gorge. So here are the three photos I captured.

It also had another glaring fault for Paul, no garage for Jev his car

A way marker up on the moors

You see this sort of sign around, it is supposed to be funny.

Well to return to 'complacency, Monty Don sparked me here.  In an article in the Telegraph (which I can't read because I have used up my free articles this month) He said, that Chelsea Flower Show was "too white and Middle Class"   Well that will go down like a bag of hot bricks thought I, fancy biting the rump of the middle classes who pay your way in life.  I like Monty Don, love his garden and his dogs, he pops up regularly in my feed and I love his work ethic.

But another piece of news popped up about the show, apparently according to the Halifax Courier, a middle-aged woman from Hebden Bridge, had, along with others from the Extinction Rebellion group, sprayed one of the gardens with orange dust in protest mode.  When interviewed she said her town - Hebden Bridge had been flooded out in five years out of eight.

So like the incident in The Trevi fountain in Italy an act of destruction had taken place in the name of Climate Change.  There we have it, moral indignation, self righteous anger is born from the act.  It did wake people up though didn't it?

Funnily enough, and don't coincidences always arrive.  A letter arrived from the water board yesterday, saying that they were going to install flood detectors in all the houses here in Todmorden, not sure it will do this house any good, as it floods upwards through the basement below.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

25th May 2023 - memories

Wow! This new computer is a hybrid of both television and computer. It has a 27 inch screen and I can watch programmes in full unadulterated colour.  Now the big question is should I join Netflix.  Watching the family flick through the films to find one to suit everyone takes ages, then it is almost time for bed when agreement is reached.
I always choose Dell, easy to set up and straightforward, as long as my eyesight holds out set up for the next few years.
What I love about computer land is there is so much on offer.  Yesterday I listened to a local Land Trust organisation talk on retrofitting houses.  People stood up in the audience and told their stories (and problems) with underground heat pumps.  For instance, what happens when the top layers of earth get frozen solid and there is no heat in the ground?
The organisation is a small one here only a few houses on their books, people complained you could neither find the information nor the builders to carry out the work.  It will be interesting to see how the rows and rows of terraced houses are worked upon over the years.
Also, an invigorating talk by Dr. Mike Galsworthy on(new chair of the European movement UK) reaching out to the EU and getting back into Europe, the talk, which you can find on Facebook strikes hope for my grandchildren.
There is a funny story to tell of heat pumps.  When Paul and I were looking for a house in North Yorkshire we found a cottage in a small village it faced out on the road, and had a slightly difficult layout, one enormous bedroom and two very small bedrooms and a small  back garden.  Now this back garden had a small gate into a large converted barn at the back which belonged to the owners of the cottage. 
Let us say that the lady of the house only had eyes for Paul, and wined and dined us to get us  to buy.  Their barn conversion was in a terrible mess and so was the ground round the barn, underground heating was the cause of this.  No we did not buy, with the perils of madam dropping in for coffee all the time and the awkwardness of a shared drive. 
Alexander Pope as I went on a rummage through my blogs and found that I had written a lot about the village of Newton-Under-Rawcliffe.

Consult the genius of the place in all;
That tells the waters or to rise, or fall;
Or helps th' ambitious hill the heav'ns to scale,
Or scoops in circling theatres the vale;
Calls in the country, catches opening glades,
Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades,

Edit:  Did I ever say that I can sometimes see, or at least experience things before they happen, into the future?  Well as I spooned my lunchtime soup today, there was a radio programme on talking about the Salford Energy Houses and the Land Trust was in the conversation as well.  There are problems with air and ground heating, the largest problem for me is lukewarm showers and bath.  I think that well known builder of houses (Barrett) was somewhat lurking in the background though the funding came from Europe.
As an aside, the Aga was switched off yesterday, so it is now different cooking in the household.  Adjustment made but we all miss its friendly warmth and it will take sometime to remember not to put the plates in the bottom oven for warming up!

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

23rd May 2023

 Trivial is the default mode of British politics, so says Simon Jenkin this morning.  Yes it is that darned speeding ticket that Suella Braverman has picked up some time ago.  I got one years ago, doing something like 34 mph down a hill with a conveniently placed camera at the bottom.  It's the way councils make money, I just took the three points and paid up, refusing to be told how to drive;) Couldn't she have done the same?

I try to keep off politics, but when Farage and Mogg turn tail on Brexit, then blame others for the mess we are in now, red flashes across the sky and I question 'why' do we elect idiots to be our political spokespeople. 

There is no answer to that question the human race never learns and only votes for its own salvation.  

What makes me so cross is that Farage sat in the European Parliament took his not inconsiderable salary and helped take us out of one our most profitable markets all in the name of nationalism and now we struggle to sell ourselves in any market. He is an ingrate, well deserving of a second rate job in Radio GB.

Waiting for the new computer to arrive, it will be with me by the end of the day - brilliant timing, hope it doesn't mean staying awake till midnight.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

21st May 2023

 The small things that happen over the week.  I decided I wanted a quiche, Lidl does a good one but when I got there "the cupboard was bare" as I wandered the aisles.  Well I would have to make one, though not the pastry, I have got tired of flour everywhere, that was bought.  What to put in it, (confession time from a predominately vegetarian person) I bought bacon and also some asparagus tips. 

got home, fried the bacon, and then half an onion diced in the bacon fat.  Gave the asparagus a few minutes in boiling water and then assembled with egg mix, cheese and cream, and herbs from my little patch.  It was delicious.  So somewhat late my 'coronation quiche' has been made.  Yesterday contemplating the bag of courgettes in the fridge, I sliced one thinly, also a carrot, and then fried them at high heat, adding at the last moment a teaspoonful of cashew butter slaked down with water and some soy sauce, a sort of quick satay sauce, it was good as well.

There is a thread of guilt running through this, the bacon of course but my biggest guilt this weekend is the ordering of an expensive computer. 

It is a Dell 'all in one', large screen, good for the videos I watch.  My daughter's partner had been consulted and we sat there and he just put it in the basket and there I am with a new computer coming next week.

Could I justify such a spend? well my daughter said one of the children can have it if you just pop off. I have bought a new one before my old one breaks down, being without internet connection for banks is a bit of a bummer. I hate spending money but computers are essential and as we go into this new AI world we need to keep up.

This is a time of changeover, when that hand held phone rules your life, you can flash it at ticket collectors, Uber drivers who belong to a computer programme that maps their progress to you and then transfers the right money from your account into theirs.  All scary of course but time marches on.  As so do the scammers, but with Andrew fighting in the security corner we do have some soldiers in the battle.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Rambling to myself

Today it is another visit to the hospital, this time in Halifax.  Fear swills around in my stomach, I would have been much happier to have any other part of my body under the microscope, but not my eyes! It is so tiresome to get there, my poor daughter has to accompany me through the rigmaroles of train and taxis.  Lillie has just marched in and read this first paragraph, and asks if she can come to the hospital as well, apparently it is a 'reading day' at college!

To change the subject entirely, I have been reading round one of the worthies of this town, who is heading the committee on the great Town Plan for Tormorden.  I have probably mentioned it before, 17 million pounds is coming this way to improve the lot of the town.  

You may know the large voluntary movements that seem to run this town, Incredible, Edible Todmorden, a large array of voluntary sub divisions that keep the town spruce and flower beds planted.  We also have a college which has been given over to the people to run, under what committee I have yet to find out.  But it sports  'Permaculture' lessons, and has other facilities like rooms for tools that you can borrow and various craft work.  In all a very democratic system.

But then............... you read the forum on all this and you come up against a 'seething' mass of controversy ;) Getting rid of cars and creating bicycle lanes - yikes.  Also and this is where my interest lies, is giving the indoor market a face lift and the outdoor market a different direction, it is a bit miserable in its present state I must admit.  But the powers that be, want to build a three storey 'enterprise' building right on the small grassy area that sits at the centre of all this.  It has been planted up with fruit trees and flowers, benches dotted around, children play, old people sit and workers come and enjoy their sandwiches at lunch time.  In other words a social space which perhaps doesn't need getting rid of just to justify the spending of money.  Improvement yes, but covered atriums? give me strength.

They are going to halve the small car park there as well.  We have too many car parks, the four supermarkets have giant car parks, never full, and I would be so pleased to see people just walk that bit further from their cars, instead of expecting there to be a car parking space immediately where they want it.

It seems to me that car parking allocation in towns causes a lot of controversy, that is why systems of trams, trains and buses should be improved.  Manchester of course is going down this track under the leadership of Andy Burnham.

Pollination Street - the crux of the argument

Interesting - Simon Jenkins

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Creating cheeses

 Sue in Suffolk is on a cheese mission, to taste those 'Artisan' cheeses beloved of farm markets.  So I decided to get down one of my favourite books -  Dorothy Hartley's Food In England, written in the 1950s.

Hartley wrote a book of such depth on how food was prepared that perhaps we should return to it.  Yesterday there was a meeting to talk about the shortages of certain food in Britain and of course how to handle the shortage because of Brexit (I will not go down that path), we seem to produce about 60% of our food, the rest imported.

And I see another book recommended is Henry Dimbleby's book 'Ravenous' on the horrors of all our over manufactured food which is slowly poisoning us apparently, with the chemical use of additives, etc.

Hartley talks in that romantic voice of a past era when where you pastured your cows would flavour the different cheese.  A geographical flavour.  It reminds me in 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' when the cows must have eaten the garlic flower and tarnished their milk. the plant shows at this time of the year, though garlic butter would have been quite delicious. 

Transport of course killed off all the small cheesemakers, home made cheese slowly became a thing of the past, as the farmers poured their milk into churns and left it at the bottom of the farm for it to go off to the larger cheese centres. Also given the event of the Milk Marketing Board (does that still exist) local cheese became a rarity.

It is interesting to read that cheese making relied on the seasonal time of the year, here I quote "moorland cheese was only made in spring, hay-fed cattle went out and grazed the scented alder and new grass on the mountains.  'Hay cheese' was never the same as 'Dale' or 'moorland' cheese.

Hartley goes on to say that factory made cheese became rubbery, the cream content lower, the summer cheese was the only decent cheese.

Of course, and don't tell my granddaughter this, is the whole flavouring of cheese not only came from the bacillus but in the olden days from the spores floating around which was also deeply ingrained in the wood and part of the individual farmhouse offerings.

Stilton cheese was first made in 1600, and found originally at a manor house in Quenby, Leicestershire and it was known as Quenby cheese, though before it had been known as Lady Beaumont cheese, made by Elizabeth Scarbrow.  Her two daughters grew up, got married and took the recipe with them, one in marriage to the Landlord of the Bell Inn at Stilton, where it later took its name we know it as now.  Somerset cheese was the best, those rich meadows produced good milk.  Apparently you can make potato cheese .

5lbs of potatoes boiled and pulped, 1lb of solid sour milk.  Knead together and press into small square rush baskets.  It apparently produces a soft white cheese but does depend on what 'the old cheese kit' is infected with!

I went to the Mighty Tod organic shop today, and they have great selection of vegan cheeses, none of which I have tried yet, but guess it must be flavoured from the nutritional yeast I sprinkle over my soup.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

16th May 2023

Goats wandering the empty streets of Llandudno during the Covid crisis.  If I was to read the look on their faces it would be saying "where have those bloody humans gone"?

Reading the runes wrong, how can this man be a member of our government? Jacob Rees-Mogg

A history of gender, something I haven't read much about.  The labelling (a bit like blog labelling) of one's sexual orientation is complicated, I go round the house and ask younger members what does cisgender mean for instance.  You use the pronoun 'they' Granny.  So do I look at the world, or at least the people who inhabit that world in a different manner - life gets complicated.  But Kathleen Stock, philosopher, explains it more to my liking, sadly she is persecuted for her views.  

I actually agree with her that it is 'social contagion' that triggers the need to be different in young people, a 'non biological' stance is fine when you are young, but what happens when you change your mind later on?

What I gather from all this is the ability to name call the person who may, just may have a different opinion from you, is to call them out as sexist, racist, etc, etc.  So democracy falls short in this age of internet, when you can just bad mouth so easily and not have a civilised discussion. 

So thank god for philosophers and historians who try to make sense of all this.  Yesterday came across a new book by Simon Scharma called 'Foreign Bodies' and the photo above pinched from the Guardian article here.  Animals are always so photogenic. The book is definitely on my radar to read or listen to.

Apart from all this, keeping my mind moving, life has been quiet, apart from being vaccinated on Saturday.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Do you remember her?

When I was a child, so many years ago, I went to kindergarten.  And I am sure Joyce Grenville was one of my teachers.  Putting one's head on ones arms and having a nap in the afternoon.  You never did of course, stayed awake quietly waiting to be told to wake up.  The little bottles of milk warming on the radiator! Yuk, I have hated warmed milk ever since.  Her voice is comforting and yet has that beautiful edge of steel only a teacher can have.  Below is a poem she wrote, I wonder if her ashes were allowed to blow in the wind and she has no burial spot. Her recordings live on, that crisp middle class enunciation she mocked ever so gently.

 If I should go before the rest of you

Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone
Nor when I’m gone speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual selves that I have known
Weep if you must
Parting is Hell
But life goes on
So sing as well

Joyce Grenfell

Friday, May 12, 2023

12th May 2023

 See you later;  a modern day remark you hear as you leave the till as you take your shopping away.  How many times have I wanted to turn and say, how do you know you will see me later?  Such a boring thought am I being pedantic at this silly expression - heaven knows.

We had a Morrison's delivery yesterday, a couple of hours late in the evening.  The lad brought in the wrong shopping, and it was only Lillie spying white wine in the bags, who then had to run down the road to get him to come back and swap our shopping.  He used the term 'love' to my daughter and she was slightly indignant about it. It is weird what makes us take offense at the  familiar use of words.

I have just invested in a couple of knitting books, one definitely Australian, which means all the wool skeins are from that country, a long way to go for different makes.  Another exercise to add to my repertoire, as I got the books to learn how to make difficult things!

My small courtyard of herb plants is now on its way to growing, I shall miss my roses this summer.  By the side of my bed I have a photo of old Lucy, she is sitting with her eyes closed absorbing the sun.  Complete contentment, she is or was my little Buddha.  Well most of the time, when she was not being on the 'spectrum' and raising hell occasionally at night crashing around to get attention.

Why did she do it? we could only think that from her last home where she was locked up in a shed with two other male spaniels.  The horror of being confined turned her a bit nuts.  She loved her home and nothing pleased her more than when we turned round and took the path home. A hop, skip and a jump for joy was her expressive way of saying 'yay'.

Sun worshipping

She was a plump old thing.  Often carried her own lead, because she never ever contemplated running away

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

10th May 2023

 đŸ¦‹ Butterflies:  There have been three I let out, this last one does not look like it is going to make it, though I have given it some liquid honey.

Matilda said the other day it is only a butterfly, how many miles are between us in thinking and why it is right to save any creature. I  look on my two grand daughters as butterflies, they preen in front of the mirror, discussing clothes and I am bored by narcissism.  The female of the species must look, you choose the words you want - tidy, neat, beautiful, pretty.  It is not to catch someone from the male side of life by the way but to do with pleasing yourself.

I think it is because there are too many people on the planet, we have to make statements when young, except the statements is exactly the same as many, you can't win.  

Yesterday I watched a film, luckily in English, though Spanish translation.  It was about the 'Rochdale Pioneers', it won a prize in 2012. A romanticised version somewhat, of one of the start-ups of the Co-operative movements.  I have a feeling it was made in Heptonstall, which has the right cobbled streets and weavers cottage to invoke the feeling of misery and poverty, which of course existed through the nineteenth century.

There was a whole movement towards co-operatives around this time, and a group of 28 men decided to open a shop and sell goods along Toad Lane in Rochdale.  Raising subscriptions from the locals, they found the 'middle men' would not sell them goods, so three of the men, took a sturdy wooden barrow and went over the moors, 18 miles to Manchester market.  There they brought sacks of flour and sugar and other things. You can read their history on this Wiki.

The 'Divi', which we still get from the Co-op, which went to the members of the Co-op Society, was of course soon seen as a way of making an easy living on share dividends (just like they do today) but the Co-op movement was a very large movement all over the world.

It is a part of history I haven't studied, perhaps it wasn't taught because a) it was from Up North, and b) because it is socialist.  The books on the subject, are on the whole fairly dull, there is the massed ranks  of many people both women and men who participated in the movement for it went through violent times as well, machine wrecking, Chartists until there was a recognition that people were entitled to a decent standard of living.

Alfred Walter Bayes - A Chartist Meeting at Basin Rocks

Monday, May 8, 2023

Lay Down, Lay Down

There are times when music floats down from the past, Melanie has just floated down!  I have never been quite sure that she can sing, but her mournful sound is an emotional pointer of the time.  She must be old by now, but then aren't most of us.

My grandchild Matilda is down for the weekend, it is cheaper to have her hair done here at £30 then in London at £200.   The only drawback is that C who does hair in her own house, will take up to 6 hours to complete the operation.  Matilda was a bit miffed when she arrived, her mother was at Andrews and her sister on a Scout's do looking after the little Beavers somewhere outside Wigan for the weekend.  But it was peaceful without them squabbling.

There seems to be a volunteering scheme taking place from today, we must all do our bit of 'service to the community''  Here in Tod, people work over the weekend gardening round the town and then having a community lunch over at the church. And the ethnic community are always ready to supply food in times of need.

Taken from here
We have  a college, rather than bulldoze it to the ground, has been given to the community and now goes under the name Tod College, specialising in green matters and there are little offshoots of growing vegetables up in the hills.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

The Day went beautifully

 I watched the Coronation last night via my computer and can only say it was a splendid show.  Beautiful music, beautiful voices and a building resplendent in its architectural and religious significance.

It was a family affair was my first impression, the grandfather, King Charles, rather solemn and humble, his Queen rather nervous. I will draw a veil of discretion over the bishops and their religious foolishness, red and cream robes - wow you could play chess with them.

The family pulled together Andrew escorted by his daughters and their husbands in protective mode.  Prince Harry having the dignity to be at his father's Coronation, having played 'will he, won't he' be at the ceremony game.  Everything went smoothly.

Plenty of people, heads of states with pretty wives that tottered down the aisle in foolish high heels.  Pretty pink dresses offset by flying saucer hats.  It was a visual banquet of haute couture.  Queen Camilla, I have really grown to like her, played her part beautifully, and there was a lot of mumbo-jumbo swords, rods, rings and of course crowns to be seen.

Can I find fault? I am not even going down that road for the time being, only to say, that if I ruled the world,  I would cut the royal stipulation by half (£80 million annually) and a decent firm of accountants in to see that everyone paid their taxes.

Sad that the rain decided to come out and play, but the horses, soldiers and police kept everything in order.  One thought, if you abolished the Royal family, where would be all the jobs for those  soldiers and royal retainers?

Sir Bryn Terfel, you cannot beat a Welsh singer.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

6th May 2023

I found this poem yesterday, it should be framed for my grand daughters to remind them that killing innocent creatures is rather cruel.

I was reminded this morning with a butterfly beating its wings against the window in the bathroom behind the net curtains. I didn't even notice what type it was, the beat of frantic wings conveyed its message.  How many times at this time of the year do they come out of hiding in wardrobes, cupboards and slipped easily into the space behind the curtains and demand freedom into the world.

I can't go away and not remember the big foot from Monty Python coming down and squishing whatever, mostly the foolishness of humanity. 

Thursday, May 4, 2023

4th May 2023

 In answer  to the last comments about that word.  There is a simple explanation, I just happen to fall in love with words.  I saw it as something to describe my tomato plants at this time of year.  But I often think of it when we describe some tall gangling youth and I worry that the spine will not be able to hold the body up.  Exploring my thoughts is not somewhere you need to go down by the way.

Today is the day of small town election, on the whole a boring exercise but where would we be if we did not have these loyal souls to go  and govern us - so go forth and vote!

There is the bang of rubbish carts outside, soon the steady noise of the council men mowing the public spaces.  They are the base of our society, rubbish would pile in the streets, rat infestations would take place, all this has to be seen to by these unsung heroes. But still the inhabitants of this small town will  bitch about everything.  

Winning is not the name of the game it is perseverance in the face of hostility.  Actually my recommendations would be for an animal pound in the centre of town.  All lost and straying cats, dogs, sheep and their little ones, plus cows could be found in one place. It is extraordinary how many animals go on walkabout!  

Wednesday, May 3, 2023


 Ellen and Sue.  Cannot answer your comments for some reason.  Sorry.

3rd May 2023

1)  When we first started using "etiolate" in the late 1700s (borrowed from the French verb Ă©tioler), it was in reference to purposely 1) depriving growing celery of light. The word traces back to an Old French word for "straw" and is related to the Latin word for "straw" or "stalk," which is "stipula." Nowadays the term for growing veggies as pale as straw is now more likely to be "blanch," which can mean "to bleach (the leaves or stalks of plants) by earthing, boarding, or wrapping," among other things. "Etiolate" is more apt to refer to depriving plants in general of light; when "etiolated," they are sickly, pale, and spindly. The figurative sense of "etiolate" ("to make pallid or feeble") first appeared in the 1800s as a natural outgrowth of the original sense.

2) having lost vigour or substance; feeble  "a tone of etiolated nostalgia"

Is that how I feel this morning I wonder etiolated, pale and spindly and a few degree under?

Etiolate always comes to mind this time of the year, it is a word I love. Yes my tomato plants are drawing up pale and spindly to the light.  They need 14 hours of light and it this time of the year they get it.  I cosset the three plants with love but keep my fingers crossed as well. It is a herb year, parsley and chives are doing well, but now thyme, oregano, summer savoury and mint are sown.  

The smells of a garden are subtle there is nothing quite like walking round and brushing your fingers against mint or lavender.  Chewing a feathery frond of fennel, the garden is a delight of small perfumery, something I miss.

I realise I have not seen the white Belgian chicory around either, something that is blanched under the earth and yields the bitter crispy taste in a salad, or, as I do, cooked, wrapped in ham, cheese sauce over it and then baked in the oven.

My postal vote has been despatched and not being shy of who I vote for it is Liberal, yes I know I support the Green Party but that is because they are like a rescue dog demanding attention from me.

Our Conservative MP has given notice to quit when we next get round to voting for the government, I can understand why of course.  Somewhere in my guts something is saying that Labour may get to form the next government but it will be the Liberal Democrats who will gain seats.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

the second day of May - how time flies

 I have been listening to Kate Atkinson's Behind the Scenes at the Museum debut book. A good read for all you that chase your ancestry through the archives by the way.  It is a long journey from a great, great grandmother who ran off with a French photographer through the lives of her four children and then their stories culminating in the 20th century stories.  Just imagine one of those ancestry trees with all the branches going everywhere, which always confuse me.  The narrator Ruby Lennox, starts from inside her mother's womb. - original.

It is beginning to feel that this is happening in my life as well.  I seem to have acquired several half brothers and sisters along the way, and my daughter corresponds with one of her 'cousins'.  I had come to the conclusion that I was too old to start  new family arrangements, though I have a feeling it would make a good story for someone ......

The world, or at least United Kingdom, is seeing cowslips everywhere they have blossomed because of a rotten winter, that makes me giggle - bad winters equal abundance of cowslips.  Did you know they can become promiscuous and mate with the gentle primrose and produce the oxlip (Primula Veris).  Grigson would say, "lacks the charm of either parent", reflected in the naming of the plant, Bedlam Cowslip or Bullslop.

Grigson's book on plants gives the colloquial names of the wild plants for the different areas of the countryside.  It is something we have lost, as was pointed out in a webinar on Curlews the other night.  In the olden days people walked everywhere and took note of the wayside wild flowers and gave them distinctive names.  Nowadays we zoom past in our cars, or speed walking up a mountain and miss these little plants.  

I came across a good name for dandelions the other day 'Golden Misfits' describes them beautifully as they are hunted out of the lawns.  Well maybe you will need them one day in these Brexit poor days, to grind your coffee from the roots, or eat the flowers and leaves in a salad!