Tuesday 19 April 2022


Some quotes from books i have read recently. 

Stafford, David.  "Skelton's guide to domestic poisons."  (For my friends from my days in Leeds) :-

When God wanted you to enter the ministry, he eased the way by making sure you were no good for anything else and blessed you with a mediocre singing voice.

When they'd first started holding hands and kissing, he was aware that a man of the world might have said, "No, my affections will not become your playthings," but he was not a man of the world, he was a man of Leeds  Central Library who'd rather have his affections used as playthings than have them ignored.

I don't think they could have had sapphism in Leeds when I was growing up.  If Leeds women had known it as an option, I can't see they'd have bothered with men at all.

At the City Palace of Varieties, they threw sharpened pennies at comics who told jokes like that...  Most people in The Pack Horse on Briggate could be funnier on a wet Sunday morning when there'd just been a death in the family.

Raybourn, Deanna. "The dark Road to Darjeeling." :-
 Dedication : this book is dedicated to my daughter.  All the best of what I am is because I am your mother.

Mark Twain :-
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sailaway from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Alan Bradley. 
"Thrice the branded cat hath mew'd" :-
Monosyllabic...  Why does a word meaning "a single syllable" require a five-syllable word to describe it ?

Alan Bradley.  "Golden tresses of the dead." :-
O-A-T-S. Oats.  Means 'obfuscation and torrents of ' well I mustn't say, must I.

Something that I will never forget until my dying day - if I live that long.

Alan Bradley. "The grave's a fine and private place." :-
The spell for finding books.."Abracadabra, Alakazam, Angela Thirkell and Omar Khayyam."

Alan Bradley  "Speaking from among the bones." :-
I was the eighth dwarf. Sneaky.

Tuesday 29 March 2022

Hippo- thingy

 Today’s fun fact:  the word for the irrational fear of long words is ironically: 


It is also one of the longest words in the dictionary.  You need a big mouth to get your tongue round that.. 

Sunday 6 March 2022


Thanks to Postcrossing and blogging I have made acquaintances and friends in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia over the last fifteen years or so.  It is horrifying and sickening to think of the violent invasion of Ukraine by Russia, supported by Belarus.

I made the acquaintance of one Ukranian family in 2012 and even then there was part of their country that the Russians controlled and fears that Russia would extend that area.  That is the stage at which countries like the UK should have been imposing sanctions on Russia and making it clear that its behaviour was not acceptable. Now, as rockets are landing, houses  being bombed, nuclear plants attacked by tanks and people dying and displaced, is far too late. 

If a country decided to invade the UK we tend to assume that the USA or some neighbours of ours would come to our aid.  Obviously nowadays such an expectation is naïve.  (Especially since, by a tiny majority, the UK made it plain it didn't want to be part of Europe).

Meanwhile, what about my Russian friends.  Should I be blaming them for the actions of their government?  Surely not.  

My Friend-über-special in the USA didn't vote for Donald Trump or support his policies. Nor did most of my other American friends.  Similarly, I didn't vote for Brexit.   I don't believe my Russian friends in St Petersburg endorse the idea of their government going to war and violently invading Ukraine.  Nor does my good friend in Belarus support her government's home or foreign policies.

It is all such a mess. 

Friday 18 February 2022

The Rollright Stones

 This week a magazine in the States asked to use a couple of photos they had seen on one of my blogs.  I happily agreed and offered to send them higher resolution versions. All I had to do then was find them.  I knew they were taken somewhere between 2007 and 2017 and were digital so that meant I only had about 25,000 photos to go through. Many of my natural history photos for that period are labelled. The rest are not. It proved quite a task to find the ones that were wanted but it was successful and most enjoyable to be reminded of places and things I had totally forgotten. In future I shall try to label my photos better.

I am currently reading Elly Griffiths's excellent "The Lantern Men", the 12th Dr Ruth Galloway story about crime and forensic archaeology. In it the hero mentions the first time she visited the stone circle at Stanton Drew - a 'strange, sullen place, not welcoming to outsiders'.  

That reminded me of my first visit to the Rollright Stones in Oxfordshire. So far as I am concerned the jury is still out on most things religious and esoteric. But that site literally gave me goosebumps.  As I walked around the circle of stones my arms were suddenly covered in huge goosebumps and I felt anxious and panicky.

There were two older women also circumnavigating the circle and we met up at the entrance.  "Well," said one of them, "That was the strangest experience I've ever had."  I asked in what way.  She said she couldn't explain but it was as though the stones wanted her to go away.  Her companion looked quite shaken and agreed so I showed them my goosebumps and explained how I had felt.  We all agreed that we would never want to visit there again.  Years later Jo and I went there but I stayed well away from the circle while Jo walked around it. So far as I can recall Jo was not affected but there were a lot more people there that day and that may have made the atmosphere different.

The only other place I had a strange inexplicable experience,  similar to that - but not the same, was in the Old House in Bakewell.

Have you ever had an experience like that?

Saturday 12 February 2022

I am back

 Hello Folk,

How are you all?

So much has happened in the last twelve months that I would not know where to start filling in the gaps since I last blogged.  So I shall settle for letting you know what has gone on this year.

Son-who-cooks and his girlfriend both caught Covid-19 but fortunately not seriously though it was unpleasant for a few days.  Our boiler died as a result of which we have no central heating or hot water and are awaiting quotes for a replacement which will cost about the same as my first house cost.  So at present I am spending a lot of time curled up snugly in my bed with my phone and my books.  Around the same time the washing machine also rumbled to a halt.  We decided adding dirty clothes to our cold and grubby bodies was probably unacceptable so we lashed out on a new machine.

I've been out for a coffee a couple of times but otherwise we have had few adventures though  last month we did have a pleasant wander around the lanes near Pentre Halkyn in North Wales.  A couple of times we have sat looking out over the River Dee and on one of those occasions were delighted to watch an Egret.

This photo of a Little Egret is of one in captivity that I took in 2006.  My attempts with the camera on my phone this month simply show a white blob!

I continue to write letters and swap postcards with friends but have not done any Postcrossing for twelve months or more.  

Last week an embroiderer in the USA asked to use some of my photos with an article he/she is writing.  I happily agreed and offered to find some of a larger resolution.  Silly me.  One of the things I haven't done for many years is label my photos properly.  So although I have access to every photo I've taken finding them is not easy.  I'm quite enjoying the search but it is frightening me to discover how many photos and experiences I have forgotten.  For example, I can recall photographing Golden-ringed Dragonflies in various places but some that I had photographed in Exeter I had completely forgotten despite them being among the best I have taken.  

I was also fascinated to read my blogs and there were dozens of articles I had totally forgotten.  Given time and energy I would love to read them all from the beginning again but time and energy are things of which I never seem to have enough

I am not sure when my next blog post will be but I shall try not to leave it for a year..

Stay safe everyone.


Blog Archive