Most of my photos look better enlarged - just click on the photo to do this

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Badgers' Revenge?

We hadn't seen any signs of the badgers for months - the cull wasn't meant to have taken place in our area but perhaps it did or maybe the bedgers got wind of it and laid low.

However this is the scene which greets us every morning lately - what a good job we are not lovers of striped lawns eh?!

 As you can see the wood adjoing our garden is "designated as a quiet area for wildlife" but...

 .... when I went through the wood to the Post Office recently I noticed this notice attached to the board.  I haven't seen nor heard any signs of badger baiting thank goodness but I wonder if the badgers can read and decided to take their revenge on the nearest garden!  You might have to enlarge this photo by clicking on it in order to be able to read it.

I must admit that I cannot imagine taking an injured badger to the nearest vet's they must be very heavy and would I imagine be somewhat agressive if injured so it's lucky I haven't come across one!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Not Forgetting The Whale

A news item on the web this morning:

 Stock markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt have fallen sharply as fears of a Chinese economic slowdown continue to haunt investors.  

London's FTSE 100 index was down by 2.6% in morning trade, while major markets in France and Germany lost nearly 3%.

Shares in Asia were hit overnight, with the Shanghai Composite in China closing down 8.5%, its worst close since 2007.

The Chinese authorities tried in vain to reassure investors.

In addition, oil prices have plunged to six-year lows, as traders worry about slowing growth in the world's second-largest economy.

Why might I be telling you about this you ask - well because it relates to the subject of a book which I have just finished reading.

I picked up Not Forgetting the Whale at the library at the end of last week and once I started reading I was hooked and couldn't put it down.  No I don't have the foggiest about stocks and shares nor do I understand economics but this book is about a City analyst who invents a computer programme (you all know that I don't know anything about computers either of course!) which can predict how the stock markets will go and who flees the City fearing a worldwide collapse of civilisation as predicted by the computer programme he invented. 

The book can be read simply as a straightforward novel but having finished it I see that it would make a great book for discussion as it incorporates Biblical texts (from Job 41 and the story of Jonah and the Whale which apparently also appears in the Qur'an/Koran), writings by Hobbes in his Leviathan (no I haven't read it and had to check it out on the internet) which is about his ideas of political science back in the 1600's, and speculation about social collapse as in this article from the New Scientist about whether a pandemic might bring down civilisation.

In spite of all this it is at heart an optimistic easy to read book in which society  turns out to be much nicer than anyone foretold.  To listen to an opening extract of the novel click here  And for lots of reviews justGoogle the title.  I am going to reread it before I have to take it back and I'd be interested to hear what you think of it should you decide to read it for yourselves.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Me again!

Can it really be 5 months since my last post?  Several of my followers and some of my non blogging family and friends have said that they missed me which was most gratifying - thank you all.

Where have I been?  Well my laptop threw a wobbly and had to go back to the shop still under guarantee.  When I got it back I had lost all my photos (yes I know I probably should have put them on a stick or disk) and everything had been set up quite differently to how it had been before so I was back to square one as I was here.  So as you can imagine I was pretty fed up with the whole idea of computers and blogging and the laptop spend a further few weeks in the cupboard!.  Then by the time I had got it working again I discovered I couldn't access my blog dashboard on the laptop only on Mr M's desktop computer.  Again I thought blow this for a game of soldiers I shan't bother!  But today I finally discovered how to get into my blog on the laptop and here I am turning up like the proverbial bad penny.

During all these months my blogging mojo seemed to disappear and I felt I had nothing new to say anyway so gave it all a bit of a miss.  I did write the occasional blog post in my head but it never actually got onto the blog!  Whilst I wasn't using the computer I didn't take many photos either as had nothing to download them onto.  It's been quite relaxing actually but maybe the time is ripe for me to return to the fold?

So what has happened during my time in the wilderness?  Well Mr M and I went to London for a few days back at the beginning of May and had a lovely time visiting some of the many gardens to be found in London either on foot or travelling by bus - sadly no photos of this trip since they were loaded onto the computer when it all went pear-shaped.

Then later that month I did another bus Pass, Boots and Backpack trip this time staying 4 nights in Totness and going out by bus and on foot each day.  I do have the pics from that trip, some of which I have used to illustrate this post, and will post about it later perhaps along with some other ideas which have been floating round in my brain.. Otherwise it has been life as usual with days here and there and getting together with friends and so on.  We don't seem to have done much proper walking this summer for some reason - must try harder especially with autumn just around the corner.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Was that it?

How was it for you?  These pics were taken from the back door this morning - eclipse?  What eclipse?!!  No need for special glasses here we couldn't see across town it was so misty so no sun in view!  No birds going to roost, no odd silence, no nothing really here!! 

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Daffodils - Wordsworth eat your heart out!

 Like London buses first no posts and then three come along all at once!

Beside the lake beneath the trees.....

  Fluttering and dancing in the breeze....

 Well actually no - these were alongside a busy main road!

As was this carpet of beautiful crocus/es (what is the plural of crocus?)

Traffic rushing by just a few yards away.

And even in the town centre at the bus stop the daffodils were blooming!  No need to travel to the Lake District to see flowers in bloom eh?!!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

What a difference a day makes!

Another day another walk this time with our neighbours.  We couldn't have picked a better day weatherwise and such a contrast to yesterday's walk.

We left home at 2.00 and our walk took us to East Coker - where we stopped at the cafe for tea and cake and a sit down.  East Coker is the resting place of T S Eliot and is immortalised in his Four Quartets poems.

Having enjoyed our sit down, conversation and refreshments we set off for home by now it was almost 4.00 pm - I love the longer days and the fact that you can go for a walk after lunch now unlike in the winter months when it gets dark so early.  I am not sure what these trees are but they turn golden in the sunlight - beautiful eh?

 On the home straight now - that's Mr M and the neighbour with the dog.  Mrs Neighbour and I are trailing behind busy gossiping!

We got back at 5.45 - sun sinking in the west but we'd enjoyed our lovely walk and unlike yesterday we'd stayed dry and enjoyed the sunshine!

I mentioned how important I feel it is for me to be in contact with Nature and came across this lovely poem recently which sums up why I love to walk in the countryside:

The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry

Monday, 9 March 2015

Walking in the rain!

After several days of bright spring weather today dawned dull and dismal.  I was to meet up with a friend and we hoped to do a walk weather permitting.  Sadly it was raining when we met up at the Broadwindsor Craft Centre at mid-day so we decided to have some lunch and see if the weather improved at all.

After a bowl of carrot and parsnip soup with the biggest chunk of fresh bread I have ever seen, a sit together and a good catch up chat we noticed that it seemed to have stopped raining so we set off  for our walk.  There were snowdrops on the banks along the lane...

... the ones on one side of the lane were all but over whilst the other side they were still fresh  - more shelter on one side I suppose.

 Primroses looked lovely here and there - always fresh looking they looked especially beautiful in the dampness of the hedgerows after the rain.

As you can see there would have been little point in hoping for distant views but the misty effect was beautiful nonetheless.

We had been walking for about half an hour when the rain came down again and after a while we decided to call it a day and make our way back to the village for tea and cake rather than get even wetter than we already were! 

Not far now....

Christmas roses and primroses back in the village...

... a quick look round the church and before long we were back at the cafe and divested of our wet jackets and with hair looking as if we'd been through the hedges backwards - having had our hoods up and down - we happily sat over our hot drinks and cake before wending our separate ways home through the fog and wet.

I enjoyed the walk and as long as I don't have to stay wet I like walking in the rain even if the views are veiled in dampness and as I said in my previous post to be in touch with Nature fills a need in me and to judge by many of your comments I am not the only one.

I have the maps and booklets etc out planning this year's Bus Pass Trip.  I am thinking of staying in one place this time and going out from there rather than constantly moving on.  We'll see what transpires!