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Sunday, 31 August 2014


Our next door neighbours held a BBQ today starting at 12.30pm. We stayed until about 3pm. It was a lovely event and we got shown around their recently renovated, and greatly extended, bungalow. They have a huge garden which includes an orchard with plums and apples.

Iceland volcanoes

See .

It is now 3 years ago that we visited Iceland. It was a very lovely country and much greener than we expected with lupins in bloom all over the place. Volcanic activity is a constant threat and nearly wiped out the country a few centuries back. Today the threat is just as great, but now the implications for air travel could be substantial right across Europe. A big eruption could also result in severe winters and summers in Europe.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Grandchildren - all four

Last Tuesday we had all the grandchildren together and I took this photo of them all outside our local windmill.

It is incredibly hard to get them to sit still for a photo and this was about the best I could manage! Little Lucinda was just about to run out of shot!

They range in age from 2 to nearly 7 years old (left to right) .

Listening to the church bells

Since he was very little, our elder grandson (now 6.75yrs) has been fascinated by church bells.   Last Sunday morning he and his little sister (3.5yrs) were staying with us on their own. We discovered them next to the open garden door sitting on a couple of chairs listening to the church bells.

Cambridge United and Plymouth Argyle football teams

Although not a great football (soccer) fan, I  watch the League Division 2 tables avidly to see how these two teams are doing.  Plymouth Argyle had a decent season last year and Cambridge United have just been promoted back into the league after being out for several years. One is a Devon team and Cambridge is our local team.

Stroke frustration

By now, I was expecting to be just about back to the state I was in before my brain bleed. Instead, I am still far from right. Walking is OK, but I get very giddy when on my feet and moving, and drinks are still problematic.

On the positive side, food is generally going down well (by mouth) and I am NOT giddy seated. I feel that driving the car should be fine. I still feel slightly sick all the time and I tire very very quickly doing the least physical thing. Today I cleaned the car externally, checked tyre pressures, oil and window wash. I was very tired at the end, but I guess several months ago this would have been totally impossible.

People tell me the fatigue will eventually get better. Let's hope all the other negative things improve in the coming months. I just want to be fit again. At one time I was 13st 3lb. Currently I am 10st 11lb, but was just 10st 7lb in hospital. I'd like to get back over 11st soon.

Brain tumour boy

See .

As someone with experience of brain injury, I do hope they find this little boy very soon before his feed batteries run out.  He is probably being fed by liquid feed into his tummy and the pump, if similar to the one I had, is usually mains powered but it has batteries that last maybe 24 hours.

UPDATE 1334z: It may be the family is in Marbella, Spain.  I also read that they expect the tumour to regrow and it may then be inoperable. He may only have a few months to live. What a tragedy for all involved.

UPDATE 2125z:   The little boy has been found in Spain.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Terrorist threat level raised a notch

See . The terrorist threat from those returning from fighting in Syria and Iraq has been raised today.

I hope that those radicalised realise that most UK people want a just peace in the Middle East so people of all faiths can live peaceably in mutual respect of each other.

Stroke update

This morning I managed a walk to the local Budgens and the chemists. Round trip is about 1.5km. The last time I did this walk was back in June. It was good to bump into a few people I knew but I was disappointed to still feel so giddy.  By now I was hoping the giddiness would have gone. It seems to be related to how tired and exhausted I feel.  The giddiness must look as if I am drunk. Solid foods generally go down well.  Drinks and speaking are still problematic. Overall, progress is very slow now.

UPDATE 1415z:  Just cut the front lawn again, without a break, in less than 30 minutes. At the end I was well and truly EXHAUSTED. Recovery progress is exceedingly slow. I get SO frustrated that this simple task leaves me so tired. I want to be interested in the world around me, but it feels almost like a parallel universe. I seem to need all my strength to get through each and every day and the world around carries on. I do hope next year will be better. Certainly things must be better than they were, but by now I was expecting to be back to as I was before. I still get totally exhausted and feel so useless. I am more aware that I am living on borrowed time.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Migration into the UK

See .  One of the "benefits" of being a member of the EC is free movement of people across borders.  In the case of the UK, already a small and overcrowded little island, we now have far more people coming than going, so there is a large net inwards migration. We should be able to control this but we seem powerless to do so.  Our PM has promised to get inwards migration down to 100000 by next year - fat chance I'd say unless we leave the EC.

Both my sons married girls from overseas: one a French girl (the family lives in London) and the other an Australian (family live in Kent).

We should be able to say who comes and goes.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Massive wasp nest on bed

See .
A woman in Hampshire and a pest controller had a shock when they discovered a huge wasp nest in a spare bedroom. The wasp nest was covering a spare bed and was 3 feet across. It was the pest controller's most diifcult job in 45 years.


Collecting lots of conkers
One of our "Kent" grandchildren has just got back from the churchyard with a bag of 112 conkers from the horse chestnut trees. My wife has been busy extracting some of these from their green, spiky casings.

It is nice to think that the conkers from these very same trees brought pleasure many years ago to our own sons.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


Unlike the UK, Norway decided to keep its oil wealth so it could invest it for the future.  By contrast, here in the UK we continue to live beyond our means and we have huge debts. See . Norway seems to be an example of how we should have behaved. Now it is too late.

See also  for a touch of sour grapes.

Gaza Truce

See .

Today it is announced that Egypt has brokered a long-term truce between Gaza and Israel. I hope this one holds and that Israel starts to treat the people of Gaza as real human beings for once. Of course, Hamas has to stop firing missiles into Israel. Is it too much to hope that Israel and the Palestinians to forge a real peace deal that would really last?

Family day

Today, the "London" grandchildren went home and the "Kent" grandchildren and their mum and dad arrived. In the changeover we had a house full and a good opportunity for the grandchildren to play together and for us to take some family photos.

This is all the family today:

Monday, 25 August 2014

Sepura Shares

The value of shares in my old company seem to have settled down at a little more than their original offer price back when first floated. At the moment they are valued at 145.38p. At one point a few years ago they were down to as little as 30p.

Darling and Salmon go head-to-head on TV

See .

I have no strong opinions on an independent Scotland: it is up to the Scottish people to decide, although I think an independent nation will present all sorts of challenges in the years ahead. They would have the benefit of low energy costs (mainly hydro when the oil runs out) but they will face currency difficulties and their wealth creation sector is small. Tonight's debate could be crucial to sway voters still undecided. An independent Scotland would not be a disaster for England, although such an outcome is likely to leave Scotland much weaker in the end.

Wet day

As it has been raining most of the day, today was an "indoor play" day for the grandchildren, although the 6yr old visited the local museum yet again. The museum is just over our garden wall. This evening we had to go to the local church yard to collect conkers and hear the church clock strike six. They love going into the church too.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Fenland Country Fair 2014

This morning, we went to the Fenland Country Fair at Stow-cum-Quy and the grandchildren from London enjoyed driving around in the small Land Rovers. These are electric and the 6yr old was able to drive his sister (3yrs) twice around the course.  They also enjoyed the other traditional things like the coconut shy and the helter-skelter.

I just wish I didn't feel so exhausted so much of the time!

You can see me in the background making a video.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Anglesey Abbey with grandchildren

This morning we took the "London" grandchildren to Anglesey Abbey,  National Trust . We've been there loads of times, but the children enjoy having races and playing "hide and seek". At the moment, the dahlias are fantastic. This photo is  of the children in the dahlia garden.

This afternoon we went to Moon's toyshop in Newmarket.

Afterwards I was totally exhausted because of my stroke. I get fatigued very quickly right now.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Burwell bike

Our elder grandson on the bike outside our windmill next door
We have got a second-hand bike for our grandsons to use in Burwell. At the moment with the handlebars and seat at their lowest positions our elder grandson can just ride it. I suspect it will be too big for our other grandson this year.

Visits - a puzzle!

This blog has already had more visitors by mid-afternoon than in the whole of yesterday. I have no idea why this should be the case: it seems to defy all logic!

Not a good year so far

Some years are good and others not. So far, this has been a bad year, with lots of friends losing partners or relatives to cancer and other conditions. By now, I was expecting to be fully fit from my brain bleed again, but recovery is taking far longer than I expected.

Let us hope the rest of the year sees an improvement in fortunes. Things can hardly get worse. With luck, I should be allowed to drive again soon. My U3A courses start in October. Slowly, things are getting back to normal.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Stroke update

This is the latest update on my condition:
  • Food is all by mouth now and I can eat most foods.Taste seems to be returning to normal.
  • Drinks are still problematic.
  • I still feel giddy walking, but this is getting better slowly.
  • Speaking is monotonic and effortful.
  • The MRI scan gave me the all-clear by the neurosurgeon - no more brain ops.
  • My stomach is still slightly upset. I suspect this is because of the PEG.
  • I feel OK to drive (neurosurgeon thinks I'm OK to drive) but am awaiting response from DVLA.
  • I get fatigued very easily.
  • All physical work is hard.
  • ENT throat exam early Sept  to see why speaking is so hard.
  • Physio/gym at Newmarket Leasure Centre continues until Oct 2nd.
Overall, I am still not right, but think driving again will help, as will PEG removal (no date yet for this). Improvements are slow. By now I was hoping to be fully fit.

Surviving Ebola

It appears that the 2 US aid workers who contracted Ebola in West Africa have recovered following experimental treatment in the USA called ZMapp. It West Africa without experimental treatment, nearly half of those infected are likely to die, which is why we all hope it can be contained and beaten.

See .

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Preserving the Kingsbridge Estuary

The petition to NOT allow water skiing in the Kingsbridge Estuary is gathering momentum. The last time I looked there were 851 supporters of the "no" vote. If you want to support the campaign, then go to the link and vote. The more people who support the "no" campaign, the better chances we have of preventing this precious habitat and SSSI being ruined forever.
The beautiful Kingsbridge Estuary
This is where I was raised as a child. I have seen much of the world but this unassuming part of the world beats the lot in my view. OK, I am biased. This vote is aiming to prevent water skiing in the estuary, so helping to maintain this very special place. At present it is an unspoilt place. Let us keep it that way for future generations.

UPDATE 2100z:  862 votes now.  Keep voting! Every vote helps.

Anglesey Abbey Dahlias

The dahlia border at National Trust property Anglesey Abbey is in full bloom, at least 4 weeks ahead of this time last year. This is always a splendid sight. This year is no exception.  Apparently, they put them in the ground in pots then just lift them when they have finished flowering.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014


After putting the grass cuttings in the compost heap this afternoon, we spotted this fellow on the path. Think he must live somewhere in the garden.

See .

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

Autumn (at the moment) seems to have arrived early this year. We have had a lovely sunny summer but all the fruits and berries are early by 1-2 months. Our tomato plants are ripening and next doors' fruit trees are laden with apples and plums. Our sweet peas are being cut every day. In the house they smell wonderful, but these are ephemeral and last only a few days.
Sweet peas with the orchard next door behind.
This afternoon I managed to cut the front lawn in less than 30 minutes, which is a "post stroke" record, and without breaks. The previous time was 35 minutes and before that 45 minutes and several stops for rests.

John Keats was right in his famous poem, To Autumn.

Gaza ceasefire

At this time (and indeed at ANY time) I fail to understand why Hamas fires rockets into Israel .Although the ceasefire is supposed to be extended by another 24 hours, the Israelis are likely to retaliate against Gaza and more  innocents are likely to die. Far better to keep peace hopes alive and keep talking in Cairo.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Stowaways entering Britain

The situation of people trying to enter the UK illegally is chronic. I feel sorry for the genuine people who are trying to reach Britain because the conditions in their home countries are so dreadful. I don't agree with people just wanting to come here because we are a "soft touch". Personally, I would filter genuine needy immigrants (true refugees) and turn away all others unless they are people we need because of skills shortages.

See .

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Family day

With grandson Edward.
Today we went to Canterbury (and back) on the train by day return from Cambridge. Using our railcards, it is not expensive and parking is also good value at the station on Sundays. We are now back home after having a good 4 hours with them all.
From behind, the two grandchildren

Saturday, 16 August 2014

UK growth

See .

UK.growth puzzles me. Apparently the economy has now passed the re-recession peak and the economy is growing nicely/faster compared with other economies. Is this true? Are we really better than all those other economies that are so much more efficient?

What about our deficit? We still seem to be borrowing astronomic amounts and, as a nation, living well beyond our means.Surely,  in the end, we have to be living as a nation and as individual citizens within our means? This is clearly not the case at present.

Emotional pain

For reasons I don't want to discuss here, I am reminded that we simply cannot know the inner emotional pain that others are suffering at any time. In the same way, others have no idea what we might be suffering quietly. We should always be kind to others as inside they may have all sorts of issues to deal with. They are reflections of us.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Gettting Ebola under control

See .

See álso: .

The medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) which is working in West Africa believes the deadly Ebola virus will take 6 months to bring under control.  I hope it can be quicker as drugs to treat the condition seem a long way off still and this is a condition that could spread world-wide with modern transport means like planes and ships. Transmission between humans depends on a mingling of bodily fluids and this may help us. Infected people can be isolated to stop the disease spreading. West Africa is a place best avoided for now.

Where have our red-legged partridges gone?,326,936,694)
Until about a week ago, for at least a year, there was a pair of red-legged partridges always to be seen in our Close and in the garden. Then a third bird appeared - maybe a rival male?  Since then, all have disappeared. It is a total mystery. Birds have bird minds and bird brains, but I for one miss their presence.

See .

Sex trials and anonymity

Yet again, we hear in the news that a high profile singer is "in the frame" for possible child abuse. Yet again, this person is named and shamed well before any legal action is taken, or even considered. The person named says he is totally innocent. To my mind this is wrong, both for the accused and the victim(s).

Anonymity should be given too ALL involved until anyone is found guilty. If found guilty, the law of the land is quite able to deal with it. It is WRONG that people who may well be innocent are still treated as guilty even before a case is heard. In this country, it is the law that a person is innocent until the prosecution proves beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty.

In recent months, some high profile cases have been heard. Some have received long custodial sentences. Some were innocent. Let us not be too keen to judge without having heard the evidence.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Widegates, Kingsbridge Estuary, S. Devon

This is a matter dear to my heart. I come from this area and love it dearly.  Because of  my poor health, I have been unable to get to Devon at all this year.  

There is a proposal to allow water skiing in part of the Widegates area of the Kingsbridge Estuary.  This is an area of special scientific interest and at low tide a place where waders congregate. It is an area that is peaceful and quiet and of international importance.

If you know the area and want to comment, write to the Salcombe Harbour Master

Personally, I am against the proposal. I fear the area will be adversely changed for ever. 

Water-skiers are pulled by fast boats which create lots of wake and lots of noise. I may be wrong, but I fear the area will never be quite the same again if the plans are approved. The "for it" campaign people have got lots of  publicity on the TV and in the press. There is a need to counter this. For democracy to work, the voices of both sides need to be heard.


Thanks to the help of twice weekly physio at Newmarket, and my slow recovery following my brain bleed last September, my stamina is gradually getting better. I still feel giddy walking, but this is slowly improving. Inside I still feel slightly sick but hope this will improve when my stomach PEG is taken out.


We have just had a near miss with a thunder storm. According to the lightning map, the nearest it got was about 5 miles but by ear it seemed far closer. We were going for a walk at Anglesey Abbey, but perhaps we are better staying at home?

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Hamas must be MAD

Just heard that Hamas has fired a rocket into Israel near the end of the 3 day ceasefire. Whatever ones view on how Israel treats the people of Gaza, their best interests are in a long-term peace, not more Israeli retaliation.

See .

Personally, I think Hamas is mad to do this now. What possible good is done?

Yazidi sect

My heart bleeds for the Yazidi people trapped on bare mountains in northern Iraq. As ever, it is the innocents that suffer most - the little children, the women, the old and the sick. Why can't these people be allowed the freedom to express themselves however they wish as long as they harm no-one? Surely this is a basic human right?

I have grave doubts about the West's original intervention in Iraq, but fear we have no choice now but to help these poor people. One has only to imagine the total outcry were this to have happened in the UK.

See .


Since my brain bleed nearly a year ago, I lost lots of weight. In hospital I lost nearly 1.5 stone. I have put weight back on and am currently around 11 stone and have been this weight now, give or take 1lb, for about 4 months  despite stopping my liquid feed via my stomach PEG. I have been told to maintain this healthy weight, which I am doing. It probably helps that I am not allowed to touch alcohol at all and haven't done for almost a year.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


Although I still feel far from well, tomorrow, if it is dry, I shall attempt cutting the back lawn. This is quite large and my wife will certainly help me if needed. Our son, who normally come and helps on Wednesdays is in France with his family.

People who see me say how well I walk and look. If they only knew how I feel inside they might be very shocked: I still feel very poorly inside.

Wicken Fen walk 1.74km

Highland cow at Wicken Fen
This afternoon, my wife and I walked around the boardwalk at Wicken Fen. I took my Samsung smart phone with GPS so I was able to measure how far we walked - 1.74km, which, for me in my present state, was good. There were several swallows about as well as dragon and damsel flies, and butterflies.
Butterfly on the boardwalk
Lis on a bench at Wicken Fen
Me by the small windmill at Wicken Fen

Monday, 11 August 2014

Anglesey Abbey walk this morning

This morning, we did a 1.62km walk around Anglesey Abbey. Weather was good but blustery. Dahlias are already in bloom, about 4 weeks early. We are so lucky having this NT property on our doorstep.
Anglesey Abbey walk - tracked with Samsung S4 mini using "My tracks" GPS app

Sunday, 10 August 2014



Amazon is an organsation you probably either love or hate.  Currently I am reading "The Everything Store - Jeff Bazos and the age of Amazon" by Brad Stone, lent to me be a neighbour/friend.  A fascinating read about the history of Amazon and the man behind it all.

Bazos sounds like the boss you would NOT want - a real taskmaster - a very "driven" man with real conviction. Right from the early days he believed in what he was doing. He is clearly a very clever man with a high IQ.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

UK football (soccer) season again

It seems only a few weeks since the last season ended, but here we are at the start of a new football season already. Newly promoted Cambridge United (the "U's") played Plymouth Argyle (the Pilgrims) at home. They won 1:0 too. 

I "sort of" support Plymouth (Devon team) but also want Cambridge United to do well.  It was the first game, so a lot can change. I hope Plymouth manage to pick themselves up from their away defeat and do well for the rest of the season.

Newly relegated Torquay (also a Devon team) managed to lose their first game in the Football Conference.

Eating more solid food

Since coming off the liquid feeds I am now able to eat most sorts of foods without problems. This lunchtime I prepared Welsh rarebit (egg with cheese on toast) with potato salad and this was OK apart from a little bit of the toast.

In the last week I have enjoyed cheddar cheese, cooked salmon, runner beans, courgettes,  and a wide variety of other solid foods.

Although not yet back to a full, normal diet, it is so much better than it was and infinitely better than I feared last year when I expected to be on liquid feeds for ever. Now most foods are enjoyed.

Ickworth walk

This morning, in the glorious sunshine at Ickworth, we walked down through the
meadow in the old walled garden to the lake at the bottom of the hill past the little church, which is now restored and open.

The round trip is about 1.7km measured with my Samsung phone's GPS (see map on LHS). This far from my farthermost walk since my brain bleed, but it was very pleasant nonetheless.

The forecast for tomorrow is bad with lots of rain and winds - a day to stay at home.
The meadow at Ickworth in the old walled garden

Friday, 8 August 2014

World War One

Arguably, the most futile waste of lives ever, we are, this week, celebrating 100 years since we went to war.  I fail to agree with any arguments that it was a "just war"  or that it was necessary.  With the wisdom of hindsight, it is easy for us to look back at WW1 and be wise after the event I know.
I am sure that, at the time, the masses were stirred by patriotic fever and I am also sure that Kaiser Bill was a war monger. Still, millions of innocents were killed and with what result?  Just 21 years later we were at war with Germany again!

To my mind, "ordinary" men were coerced into battle on all sides. I think that first Christmas truce tells us a great deal.

The image is located on another website. If the link and image need to be removed for copyright reasons please let me know.

Storms coming?

See .

On my other blog I may have been premature saying that the storms had missed us for today. There was a lightning strike about 5km east of Newmarket just now and over lunch it rained very heavily here, albeit briefly. Maybe we'll catch it later? Thunder (for now) has passed.

The White Pheasant - Fordham, Cambs, UK

See .

In recent years this restaurant has changed hands and now serves excellent meals. Last night, my son and my wife went there and thoroughly enjoyed their taster menu.

My son, from London, says the food was at least as good as anywhere in London.

The restaurant was very busy (fully booked) which is always a good sign.  When I am fit again, I suspect we'll be going there!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Wiltshire Farm Foods

See  .
Some months ago I was told that I might never, ever, be able to eat solid foods ever again. This news was devastating to the whole family. Thankfully, some 7 months later I am eating solid foods by mouth, mostly the same as those enjoyed by the rest of the family and no liquid feeds at all. The change is staggering. I still have problems with some drinks.

In those dark early days I discovered puree meals from Wiltshire Farm Foods - they were OK. They actually do a wide range of foods that are quick and easy to prepare, making them ideal if you are infirm or old. The full menu looks very good and reasonably priced. Most meals can be microwaved in a few minutes.

Lightning tomorrow?

Today, the evening looks fine, but tomorrow and Sunday the remains of Hurricane Bertha are due to hit us, so we may get strong winds and lots of rain, possibly some storms too. See . Athough no longer a hurricane, now a tropical storm, what is left of Hurricane Bertha could still land a nasty punch here in East Anglia. We'll have to see what comes our way.

Boris - London Mayor and soon to be MP?

Boris Johnson comes across as a bumbling buffoon, but actually he is a very bright and intelligent man, probably with a high IQ.  I hope he makes it back to the House of Commons as an MP next year. He would be an asset.

Some are even suggesting that he could become the next leader of the Conservative Party and even the next Prime Minister. His public persona does him little credit. The fact he was re-elected as Mayor of London says a lot.

The last time I voted Conservative was in a local election in 1971. At the moment I am open minded on the 2015 General Election. I shall wait until all parties have stated their aims. Being unlike the recent Euro election, I may need to consider tactical voting. It is a simple vote: whoever gets the most votes in each constituency wins, so small parties like the Greens tend to lose out.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Grandchildren gone home

We love them dearly, and love them coming to stay, but with my current level of fatigue, I find having our youngest grandchildren very hard work. The house is both quiet and tidy again. We miss them and their little ways.
Lucinda with the sweet peas.
Edward with a neighbour's cat.

Approaching storm?

According to the lightning map, there is a storm moving down in our direction from The Wash area. It will be while before we'll know the exact path, but currently it is heading our way.

UPDATE 1555z:   Seems the storm is currently tracking SE towards north Norfolk. We may miss it. Time will tell.

Rosetta probe to a comet

Fascinating stuff. Comet now orbited by European probe after 10 years.

See .

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Profound fatigue

This is bad this week (stroke). Not sure if it is the extra burden of having the little grandchildren here or whether it is just a bad week but I feel profoundly tired most of the time.

Today was doubly bad as I had physio this morning. It is getting my wife and I down, and irritable. The little ones are only doing what very little ones do and I get frustrated not being able to do all that I'd like with them.

I am just so exhausted. I wish the fatigue would end.

Monday, 4 August 2014


Grandchildren enjoying the picnic todayWe had a BBQ.
This teatime, as the weather was so nice, we decided on a BBQ in the garden. The grandchildren had a picnic on a rug on the grass. I was able to eat a wide variety of foods: barbequed chicken, beef burger, potato salad, marinated mushrooms, sweetcorn and half a bread roll. It was a nice BBQ and I enjoyed it, especially after the good news this morning.

MRI scan results

A week ago I had another MRI to see how my brain bleed is repairing.  Today I had to go back to get the results. I was extremely relieved to hear all is repaired, my boys will not inherit the problem and all is well.

My relief was visible. This had been a real worry to my wife and I.  I dreaded further brain surgery, fearing some long-term damage. I have now been "signed off" by the neurosurgeons and should not need to see them in their clinic again.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Approaching storms?
There are storms currently over southern Belgium. These are moving NNE at present. If they reach the UK, I suspect they will not reach us here in Burwell. It will be several hours before I can be sure though.

Kent grandchildren

For the next few days we have our "Kent" grandchildren staying here with their mum and dad. They are very little.

The elder one (now 5) is being sat upon by his 2 year old sister. He enjoyed picking a pile of blackberries with granny from a local hedge.

Here they are sitting on the garden bench enjoying grapes. Our granddaughter loves grapes!

Saturday, 2 August 2014


It looks like the storms that were threatening us have now moved away.  Although there was a lightning flash at Earith, west of Haddenhan, the main centre of storms is now tracking north up the North Sea past Yorkshire. May be we'll be spared today. There is another down near Cheltenham which may be moving this way.

See .#

At the moment, it is raining very heavily.

UPDATE 1945z:  Storms that were threatening us have died out, for now.

UPDATE 2012z:  Main storms are in the northern North Sea and in the Heligoland area.

Gaza - more dead

"Some 1,655 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 63 Israelis, mainly soldiers, have died in the conflict."
See .  The needless bloodshedding goes on. When will it end?

I read yesterday that the real motive for the fighting is the Leviathan natural gas fields off Gaza that Israel has its eyes on. Israel does not like to think revenues from this going to Hamas to fund terrorism. This I can understand. The answers must surely be a just peace, an end to Hamas leading Gaza and some sort of sharing in the gas field? Whatever, I hope the Palestinians are treated fairly and justly. They have suffered more than enough from Israel backed by the west.

Ebola - spreading?

WHO officials are worried that the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa may not be contained and may spread further. Ebola kills more than half the people who develop it.

See .

Friday, 1 August 2014

Post brain bleed walk today

Today we walked to a friends' house, a 2.62km round trip. This equals my longest walk to date (since the stroke) but this was without holding on to anyone and without any walking aids. Walking is getting better.  I still feel giddy when walking, but even this must be improving oh so slowly.

Distance was measured using the GPS app (My Tracks) on my Android Samsung S4 mini smartphone. The GPS seems to work impressively well when out in a top shirt pocket.

Sweet peas
For the first time in many years, my wife decided to grow some sweet peas. These smell beautifully and make excellent, if short-lived, cut flowers. This year, because of my poor health, most of the flower beds have been done and maintained by my wife Lis. She has done a great job.

Her cosmos have also been excellent. We probably have the most colourful garden in the street.

Both images above are located on other sites. The links to them are shown below each image. If this is a problem (copyright etc) please let me know. 

Our sweet peas