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Saturday, 9 June 2018

Coventry Canal

The wives of my wife's brothers walking along the towpath of the Coventry Canal a few days ago.

Lichfield

My brother-in-law lives in Lichfield north of Birmingham. The walk into Lichfield along the side of Stowe Pool is delightful.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Home

It seems hard to believe we have lived in our current home for almost 5 years. We lived in our previous home for 37.5 years. At first, we thought we'd be very homesick and miss the "old place". Actually we haven't. I guess we still have the familiar things all around us like furniture and photos. Our bungalow has our stamp on it.

Where I came from in Devon

This photo appeared as one of my FaceBook memories earlier. We have lived hereabouts for a very long time.

We had a part share in some land near here in the early 1400s.

It is entirely possible one (or several) of my ancestors manned the promontory fort at Bolt Tail in the distance thousands of years ago.

Painted rocks

This seems to be a nationwide craze, especially with young people. Yesterday we were visiting friends with young children and they had loads to re-hide. I saw one in Devon a few weeks ago. You find yourself looking all the time!

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Storm Gazing

Our grandchildren were interested to see if a storm was coming over their house on the day they went home.

See https://www.lightningmaps.org/blitzortung/europe/index.php?lang=en

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Abortion in Eire

The people of Eire have voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to overturn the law so abortion in the early weeks of pregnancy will become legal. To me this seems sensible and returns the rights to the mother. The people voted almost 2 to 1 in favour of the change. It is likely to become law later this year.


Lupins

We planted some lupins a few years ago. Last year they got nibbled by muntjac deer. They have just come out. I hope we have better luck this year!

GDPR Rubbish

It seems that every other email is about GDPR and even some of these are "dodgy". Yes, we all know data privacy is important, but this is taking political correctness to new heights, or is it depths?

Surely we want just a simple rule that says each person has to give express, clear, permission for any data held about them to be passed on. If data is currently held people cannot pass it on. Simple. No doubt some Brussels bureaucrats have to translate this into 27 languages at our expense too. Jobs for the boys.

GDPR = Great Deal of PRoper crap!

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Begonias


In the warm May sunshine, we planted begonias this afternoon. These last all summer and need very little attention. They give lots of colour.

There are a few more to do tomorrow.

Last year my wife bought busy lizzies by mistake. They also looked good.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Local museum

Our granddaughter earlier today at our local museum playing with a hoola hoop. Years ago, these were all the rage.

We are blessed with having probably the best local UK museum (complete with windmill) just over the garden wall.


Friday, 18 May 2018

Cheese

As we were going to a funeral in Nottingham we stayed in Southwell (just to the east) at the "Saracen's Head". Everyone we met in Southwell was kind, helpful and welcoming. The photo shows my cheese course on Wednesday evening.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Dandelions

These are considered weeds, but the flowers (yellow) and dandelion clocks (seeds) are actually quite beautiful.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Bowcombe Creek

We did a short walk here last week. It is in S.Devon, not far from Kingsbridge. Even with the tide out and the mud showing it is a beautiful area. As we walked, the tide started to come in.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Little Egrets

Until the late 1980s little egrets were rare in England. With climate change (please tell Mr Chump) their range has extended further north and they are now quite common here.

My guess is cattle egrets will be next.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Devon Sunset

Tonight it was wet and windy. Last night it was sunny when the sun set in the west.

Hand Feeding


Pheasants feeding from my hand a few nights ago. Magical.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Bots?

Suddenly this blog is of great interest to Russia. Now, I very much doubt they are suddenly interested in what I have to share. The more probable explanation is bots looking for vulnerabilities.

A Grave Error?

The photo show my wife taking a picture last night. I have no idea what she had seen. This is Thurlestone, Devon.

Yellowhammers

"Little bit of bread and no "cheeeese". These birds are quite common in the right spots in the UK, but they are on the RSPB's red list.

See https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/yellowhammer

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Swan

This swan was enjoying a bit of quiet time at Anglesey Abbey earlier. There is a nest there and I think the pair of swans are taking turns on it.

UK Identity Card?

In the UK we seem to have a problem with illegal immigrants. One solution proposed is an ID card for each legal person living here. You would need this to obtain benefits. I think this would help, but I am not 100% sure.

In the light of the debacle over "the Windrush generation" in which people who were legally here but denied rights and deported (can you believe this?), it might help. This action is wholly inexcusable!!
As for the government I simply do not care whether it is Labour, Conservative or Monster Raving Loony.  This a total balls up.

As a legally here person, I have no problems with such a card, although I have not been through all the arguments.


Sunday, 29 April 2018

"Our" Windmill

We live right next door to a 200 year old, restored windmill. Our garden is just visible in the lower left.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Bluebells

Earlier this week we went to see the bluebells in Waresley Woods to the west of Cambridge. The paths were much wetter than we expected after the hot weather last week.

Tree Roots

I think this tree was blown over in a recent gale. The roots exposed clearly show the sandy soil in which it grew. Brandon Country Park.

Tree Rings

This tree looks like it was about 35 years old when it either blew down in a gale or was deliberately felled. It was in Brandon Country Park yesterday.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Dead Bodies

On two occasions I have seen dead bodies.

The first time was when I was an engineering student at university. I was "smuggled in" to the room in the medical school where they dissected corpses. I wore my white lab coat. This was the first time I had ever seen a dead human body. Reaction? The corpses looked like meat. It was hard to believe these were once real people with emotions, happiness, sadness, good times and bad times.

The other time was in 1987 when my dad died. I saw his body in the mortuary. He was cold and lifeless. My overriding memory was that the essential "him" was no longer there. It was like a chrysalis shell. Now, those who have a faith will say he lives on in another form. I just do not know. I wish this was true.

Death remains a mystery to us. It is a taboo subject.

Lunch Out

We ate a 3 course lunch today at Cote Brasserie in Bridge Street, Cambridge. £13.50 each, and they add the gratuity to the bill (much better than tipping in my view). If the service was poor you can remove this gratuity. Service and food were very good. We will go there again.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Wild Flowers

This collage (done by my wife) shows some of the spring flowers seen on recent walks. Although today is quite dull, you do feel winter has moved on into spring at last. The fields are bright yellow with rape and I have (at last) seen a swallow.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

South Hams

Until I went to university, I lived in the South Hams of Devon. This picture was taken 8 years ago, but it probably hasn't changed much in 1000 years. We know my ancestors owned a piece of land near here in 1428. I can trace the family tree right back to the mid-1500s with no breaks. Our family has probably been hereabouts for thousands of years.  BTW, Thurlestone (this place) means "rock with a hole" so Thurlestone Rock has been there a long time!

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Spring at last

At last, after a long dull winter, with no real spring, the weather has changed and yesterday was sunny and warm. At long last it actually feels like spring! The next few days are promising too.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Mental Health

This came in from Molly earlier. The links may be helpful.

"Hi,

Having had personal experience with addiction, I’ve seen how important it is to address mental health issues before they take control. I truly believe it’s lifesaving to nurture our innermost selves before mental health conditions become debilitating, whether it’s something as common as stress and anger or something as complex as depression or suicidal thoughts.

As part of my work with Recovery Hope, I’m sending you some articles that offer insight and support for those who may be struggling. I hope you’ll consider adding these to your site on this page or one like it (http://g3xbm-qrp.blogspot.com/2010_05_01_archive.html). Based on the information you have there, it seems you’re just as aware of how important it is for people to care for their emotional wellbeing.










I truly thank you in advance for your support! If you’re open to working with me so that I can write an article for you that further explores the importance of mental health on our overall wellness, please let me know. Since this is a subject so close to me, there is no charge. (If you don’t want me to contact you again, please let me know that as well.)

Thanks,
Molly

Molly Anderson


Saturday, 14 April 2018

Red-legged Partridge

After several months without seeing any, these handsome birds have returned to our Close. Earlier this week one nearly fed from my hand, coming abuot 25cms (1 foot) from my hand, curious.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Spring?

My son planted these daffodils last autumn. They are now well out. We have had a very long winter and, only today, with a clear blue sky, has it felt like spring.

With a bit of luck, the grass will be cut later. This is only the second time this year. It has been too cold and wet to cut!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Ideas Website

This website was found by accident. It has some interesting videos. It is worth checking out.


Sunday, 1 April 2018

Lack of faith?

Our local church is now very "happy clappy". My wife got me to go today as it is Easter Sunday.  

Although I used to be a regular worshipper at our church, these days I hardly ever go. In some ways I feel more spiritual, but I now feel no religion "cuts it".

This last 12 months has seen the death of two young sons of friends in very sad circumstances. Life seems cruel and no religion adequately explains how a "good" God can be so cruel. To me it seems like randomness. A good God surely could not be this unkind?

In many ways I envy the simple faith of many, but I am finding it harder and harder to feel that I fit in. To me, all religions fail to provide answers.

As I have said many times before, I feel all religions hint at a deeper truth and are, maybe, attempts to come to terms with our finality.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Hackers

For a while now, my own blogs appear to have not been the targets of hackers.

Meanwhile, far more important systems are vulnerable to cyber attacks such as the NHS, banks and our fuel infrastructure. No doubt our "back room boys" in MI5 and GCHQ and the like are keeping a more watchful eye after the nerve gas attacks in Salisbury on an ex Russian spy and his daughter.

There is little doubt that cyber warfare is a real danger to any nation these days.

Monday, 19 March 2018

King's College

Living near Cambridge, we see many famous places that people travel the world to see. We can get in free too. One such is the world famous King's College Chapel shown here.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Village Exhibition

This weekend we have our "Burwell at Large" exhibition where village groups have a chance to showcase themselves.

Burwell is a thriving village with plenty to interest people. One example was the local tower bell ringers who brought along a "mobile belfry".

There are groups in our village covering a very wide range of interests.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Red Legged Partridge

For years we have seen these attractive birds around our Close. Then, a couple of months ago, they disappeared.

Today, a couple were outside our home again, probably after food or a nest site. Anyway, it was good to see them around.

See https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/red-legged-partridge

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Cambridge Posters

These posters were on Bene't Street in Cambridge. In the background is Old School Lane where the Cavendish Laboratories were located. Several Nobel Prizes were won here.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Orchids

For several weeks the Cambridge University Botanic Garden has hosted an orchid festival in its hot houses. We went last year and this. The display was splendid. 

We have had some success in growing these at home. The secret is just a thimbleful of water a week.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Best bus ride in England?

With the closure of the A379 along Slapton Line in Devon we lose one of the very best, if not the best, bus rides in England. I hope they repair it after the storm damage, but I have my doubts.

If you have a bus pass, this is free!

More about storm damage in South Devon

Where I come from in South Devon has been badly hit by recent severe weather and high tides. The road from Dartmouth to Torcross is badly damaged. It is quite likely the road along Slapton Ley will never be rebuilt.

See https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/gallery/damage-a379-torcross-1295121

Apparently the government will contribute £2.5M to get the A379 rebuilt.

Head for heights?

Good job I've not got a big tower in my garden!  I get ill just watching this. Imagine working this high!

Caution: if you have a poor head for heights this video is not for you!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Snow

Most winters these days are mild. This has been the exception with quite a few frosts. Today we have about 3 inches of snow (6-8cms). It has been snowing on and off much of the day. At the moment it looks nice.