TWO BITES OF THE CHERRY

Two bites of exercise today, Yay!

Our Pilates class arrived at home for the first time courtesy of a Zoom video link.  It looks like it will become a weekly event.

Me and hubs went out for a forty minutes daily exercise walk.  I watched a lone Shag in the river diving near the shoreline catching food. It’s a speedy  bird on or under water. (Not this bird)

We saw a white cat with a smudge on its ear in a wall crevice. Whatever reason took it there, it couldn’t have been too important because it it looked very nonchalantly at us when we called it.

A single surfer was out in the bay. No police officer was likely to wade in to have a chat about what she/he was doing, or where she/he was going.

Whose Arrogance Do You Prefer?

Whose Arrogance Do You Prefer?

 

There are devious political machinations at play here. The BBC was the first to develop anything like the iPlayer, It would have been the first to develop other forms of streaming household entertainments a decade ago, such as those coming on line now offered by many other big players in the media field, for payment. The BBC was stopped by the regulators; the reasoning was that it would give one institution a great advantage over others who would be deterred from developing in the market place! (Political and associate power may well come into the arguments too).

 

So having emasculated The BBC ten years ago, the same old puff is being pushed out now. I question how much independence The BBC truly has, pressurised with active threats. That said, it speaks volumes that Westminster is trying to heavily clip its wings.

 

I am very glad to see that The Corporation has had to start valuing its female talent in all departments, but not before they took a major public stand and involved the Courts. Internship abuses- other companies still take advantage of young people-  have been under scrutiny too. As we have seen, well known and respected radio media performers, news and continuity staff, programme producers, could be easily be poached for high rates of pay once salaries were publicised, by the “poor under dog” alternative media companies.

All media moguls are very arrogant, The BBC is no angel in that regard. The politicians and major financiers of this world we live in behave likewise. They are the unelected power brokers. We should be asking who supports who and why?  We, who use the services of The BBC have to decide whose arrogance and services we would prefer.

 

On balance, I value the World Service, I fondly remember Listen with Mother in my early formative years. I enjoy so much pick and mix with the channels and their quality output. I am grateful for the very good quality children’s programming there was when sprog was still at nursery stage and the very clever eclectic Sesame Street, which we watched together. None of the programmes were, nor are today, fractured with blasted periods of ever-extended advertising as with the other providers. I greatly value uninterrupted viewing. For goodness sake, how many toilet breaks do we all need to pay for!

 

Commercial break revenue streams would never contract. If you want to know where the real power lies, follow the money.

EUREKA MOMENT IN THE MEADOW

For the last three years I have been attempting to cultivate a difficult corner in our ‘meadow’.  It is a very uncultivated  area of grassland, apart from mowing, which is a slalom that hubs undertakes, not me. I cannot handle the petrol mower. He’s glad of it I believe, as it’s a task that is uniquely his own. I don’t mind at all!

Why is grass-cutting a slalom? About the time of year when you have to decide to do a cut, our wild orchids burst forth and flower. They are prettily  multiplying. Last year we discovered amongst the ‘crop’ of Orchids one that was a bit different. To my surprise, research threw up that it is known as the Common Spotted Orchid.  The spots are on the leaves. These Orchids are becoming hard to find.  Anyway, hubs carefully mows around all of the Orchids. How he manages to control that heavy bit of machinery to such a fine art, I do not know.  It’s paying off though, as this year I saw that we had increased our Common Spotted Orchids by 100%: we now have two!  One is at the front of the house and the other one is near the whirly washing line at the back of the house.

Common spotted Orchid-a rarity

The difficult corner is a nice sunny corner where I have seen plants thriving then suddenly horribly wilt and die.  Hubs was creating a bund there between us, the chain link fence and our neighbouring farm. When the sheep are milling around behind the fence, there is likely to be all sorts of temporary run off courtesy of them. In addition, to keeping unwanted nettles and other grassy weeds under control there is the occasional farm spraying just in that location, usually broadened out by the prevailing winds.  My Lamium and other hardy plants couldn’t cope with it. Yesterday, with some difficulty, I pulled out the Lamium. Talk about networks of roots.  They would have been ideal to hold the soil in position, if the circumstances had been right.  Meantime, I put on my thinking cap. Question; what grows easily and well forward of that corner? Looking around me I had a eureka moment. Of course, grass grows no problem.  So, I have planted a small cluster of evergreen ornamental grasses and for good measure, I have put a fascinating evergreen Curry Plant in the mix.

This was the only plant that thrived in ‘the corner’ patch last year. It came from a seed dropped courtesy of birds I suppose.  At its peak, supported by a pair of my tights, which were tied to the fence,  it stood at approximately  5ft.7″ high. We let it seed, sadly, there is no sign of it this year.

DO NOT TOUCH

DO NOT TOUCH

Out on recent walks I came across some of nature’s curiosities. My DSLR camera has been busy. Me, well, I just edited in photos and edited out what I thought didn’t work. What was left seemed quite interesting. See what you think.

Frost And Wind Burnt Leaves May 2019
More Frost And Wind Burnt leaves May 2019

These trees were in a sheltered setting. In February this year we had an unexpected spell of very mild weather, plant life was confused. The trees leaved early, only to be caught out by a sudden dip in temperatures, frost, gales, and wintry weather. The trees will shed their leaves just like they should do in Autumn, and at a time when they should be bursting forth with the new spring growth.

Wild Life?

Sauntering down another path, we came across an interesting creature in the lee of a Gorse bush. If you peer into the bush you will see another.

Gorse Spikes

Do not touch! Nature has her own way of warning off marauders. Those Gorse spikes are nasty. You really would not want to be caught up in them. They flower all year round. At this time of year (spring/summer) Gorse puts on a good show, the flowers are abundantly at their best, as you will see in the photos above and below.

Pussy Willow Buds

We passed on by the Willow, the only one we saw.

Elegant Nettles

Nettles vigorously grew, as they do; these were in the early stages of growing and filling out, elegant and beautifully formed. Another one of Nature’s stings, best avoided. There were no Dock Leaves in sight with which to offer temporary nettle sting relief (first aid).

Silvery

These twigs were glittering like rods of shiny silver in the sunlight. The stunning effect, I knew, would be hard to capture. I guess the camera did its best.

We ambled on and near the end of our walk this tranquil scene came into view.

WALKING MY EDINBURGH SOCKS OFF

When I change my browser page to call up my blog when I am already on the correct page, it’s time to admit that I am not firing on all cylinders.

It’s Edinburgh Festivals time and I trudged miles up and down the hills of the city exploring venues yesterday.  Yesterday I walked my toes off and I have a blister on the pad of my right big toe to prove it!  Luckily, I found I had a lovely gel toe protector sleeve in my luggage – the right size too-  which has worked just great today.

IMG_E3618

A Refreshing Drink Of Scottish Bubbly Water

Edinburgh is like a huge flower bud opening at Festivals time.  Events managements have developed a range of venues in nooks and crannies all around the city.  Whereas in the past, ‘Assembly’, for example, meant wandering up to, at most, two large locations, now, you will find “Assembly” mini hubs all about the city.   The other major venues  also seem to have spread their wings like this.  I gave up on confusion,  it made me footsore and it took up too much valuable festive time!

WHEN YOU GO DOWN TO THE WOODS…

…Surprising what you find:

Pretty Frilly Blue

 

Grounded in nature

 

Placed by nature -irresistible

If you peer in you may see the blue frilly butterfly on the right.

 

Crafted from  nature.

Nature blooming

 

 

Carved out woodland life

 

Dumbledore, or, could it be Gandulf…

The woods are different every visit, be it nature’s own changes with the seasons, or, things we have not yet found, all waiting for the next time we go exploring the woods.

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This post, I uploaded for the first time, pictures taken with my phone camera. I don’t think I have mastered the art of uploading phone photos. All tips gratefully received.  🙂

WARNING -TRAFFIC LIGHTS

I was nearly at the end of a  plod through an academic course, one which I really enjoyed, when I got an unexpected delivery of  mail containing three coloured sheets, yellow, orange and green, (traffic lights) on which were printed:

Coping With Exams -Examination Technique; it was helpful. 

 Preparing For the Exam – Revision Technique; it was useful.

HOW TO FAIL YOUR EXAMS.   R e a l l y!!

“BEWARE before you read this guide. Failing may sound easy, but in reality may take far more time and effort than passing with honours”.

“To fail properly you will need to know that you are writing things that are incorrect.” The candidate is advised that it’s no good to find out afterwards that you’ve ‘accidentally’, written down “due to complete lack of knowledge, Grade A stuff”.  Appealing afterwards to the exam board stating your true intentions, is not going to work.

The guide also says you should not answer all the questions, you should spend more time on bits of the question than the time allocated for it.  It’s a sure way to fail.  Altogether, there are eighteen ‘fail’ suggestions, including, “Don’t be succinct“.   There is a money back guarantee on the price of the guide if you pass your exams, even after meticulously following all the guidance on how to fail.

2009-8-14th-P1010591 copy 3

 

P.S. I haven’t the heart to bin it.

 

 

 

SCRAMBLING

The ‘Scrambled egg’, of Royal Navy chiefs, (those that sport gold braid for those of you not in the know) is currently made up of admirals, vice-admirals and rear-admirals, in total,  forty-one top banded naval chiefs. 

P1030154 2010 July 27th An Elegant Ship

With constant cuts ‘efficiency savings’ the number of naval fighting ships stands at …..FORTYYou would, and rightly so, consider there is one admiral spare .

 Kayaks On The Thames

 

Well, I’ve got news for you. In the last week, I have received several letters which clearly show my elevated status, I am now addressed as Admiral M.  So, here I am chummy,  we can join forces!

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TALKING WITH STRANGERS IN THE CITY

Talking with strangers in the city is always interesting.  A man I sat next to on a bus told me he had accompanied his very elderly neighbour, when she had been admitted to hospital the day before.  She’s 93 years old, compos mentis, he said  She hadn’t seen the inside of a hospital since she resigned as a senior nurse in the 1940’s. (Probably  had to leave her post upon marriage).  The modern, 2017, hospital environment was, no doubt, a bit of a shock to the lady.

Pointing out a young girl working in the ward wearing a light blue dress the elderly lady observed, with some disdain, that  the hospital management had left the housemaid to look after the ward!  The man explained the ‘housemaid’ was wearing a staff nurse’s uniform.

Staff Nurse 3

Late 1950’s Staff Nurse

Why is she not wearing her [starched] hat?” … And   “Why aren’t doctors wearing their white coats,” and so on.

More explanations were required.

On the other hand, the senior nurse, (equivalent of a ward sister) who arrived at the bedside in her dark blue dress and her I.D. badge pinned to it, no frilly starched hat though, was received without query.

Marian Chaikin 3rd wife

1960’s Nursing Sister

WRESTLING …NO POINT

How are you finding the book?”  I was sitting quietly on my own in the bar eatery, reading.  I was interrupted, gladly, with that question. I briefly studied my questioner, a lady with two boisterous children in tow.  I tried not to screw up my face, I don’t think I was very successful…….”I’m having problems with it

her – “So did I….it was a bit Hickory, it went on a bit“. ……..

IMG_0685

Zzzzzz

Me -“I think I understand what you mean; It’s hard work, I am skimming more than reading“,  adding that the book had been a gift about three years ago and I had just got round to reading it, (well, trying to).

We enlightened each other about what other books we had read by the same author, none so tedious as this one.  “BUT!” she said with a great flourish and a big smile, “I did read to the end …I finished it!”

Today, after another couple of attempts, I firmly decided I was not going to continue to wrestle with the book….there was  no point.

IMG.0683 Tia 1

I might come out to play now.