Not all gardening jobs are glamorous

This is probably one of the least exciting pictures I have published. The customer was a widow, living with her son, who wants to sell her house which is right in the middle of Midsomer Norton and move to Wells where she and her husband lived for many years.  The only problem is that her front garden, pictured, is a complete tip and anyone coming in wanting to buy the house will be severely put off.

It took us two sessions. The first one was a brutal clearing during which we got rid of the the bulk of the weeds and filled up my voluminous Volvo V70 with spoil. The second session, today, consisted of Françoise and myself digging out each individual weed. Sometimes jobs are boring, but challenging, so we do them. This was made more difficult by the fact that the ground was a virtual mat of roots from adjacent trees, past and present. The  docks entangled themselves up with the mat so it was virtually impossible to pick them without breaking the root at some point. The area concerned was about 7 m x 4 m and took us a total of 12 hours to clear.

The customer was a bit strange. There was a corrugated iron brazier in the middle of the area, which she said would need to be used for burning important papers of her husband.  I offered to be with her because I said it was a ceremonial fire for closure and moving on and that is best done with other people. She declined, and said she would do with her son. During our work today she went off to the dentist to have a molar removed and we think she went to sleep are a couple of hours. She said she was happy with what we did and what a difference there was but we didn’t get anything from her at all emotionally. She seemed to be in a bubble. Anyway, be that as it may, it’s none of our business. She engaged us to do a garden job, we did it, she paid us, and we went on our way.

I do find these snapshots of people quite fascinating.

We have two more jobs to do this week; those will pay the expenses of the month. The weather was good today, but more rain is prophesied for tomorrow. I’m using the excellent weather forecaster which is miles better than the BBC version. Tomorrow, Wednesday, it looks like we are going to spend the day indoors. I feel for people who are ‘en vacance’.

Weston Super Mare on a windswept day

There is something about wind that always excites me. Man vs. nature and all that – so off  to fill up with petrol (gas) and off we go into the unknown.

These images are not in chronological order.

A late lunch at Papas, reputed to serve the best fish and chips in the area. Evidently the owner also runs a fishing boat, so all is fresh as can be. I found the batter thin and crisp, the fish cooked to perfection and a very nice cup of tea and a brown roll which comprised the senior citizens special at £9.95. The chips were fresh, between crisp and soggy as I like them, and I finished the whole plate with gusto.

Free sandblasting of your legs, face, and anything else that is exposed in a 30 miles an hour wind on a Sand Beach.

The Grand Pier is basically one huge amusement arcade. It was doing good business. What better conditions than a rainy Saturday in holiday season? Below a four-minute video and more views on the pier.

The tide is rising. The birds are waiting for the next meal standing directly into the wind.

Below, some examples from the Weston flower and vegetable Show which was held at the Winter Gardens.

Created by a group of school children aged 11

To Weston Museum. An amazing exhibition of ‘microsculpture‘. many close-up photographs by Levon Biss taken at distances as small as 10µ to capture every detail  of the body of an insect. The exhibition was created through a collaboration between the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the British portrait photographer. See the video for high fidelity views.

This does not do justice to the detail.

To the rest of the museum, just one or two glimpses.

Notable people of the 17th and 18th-century. Below – people who help in the running of the town. In this day and age.

This is a truly lovely museum  A very high quality exhibition very well curated. There is a modest coffee bar where you can get tea and cakes. NB The microscopic exhibit is on until 15 September 2019

We were on our way home when just before we arrived on scene a large tree fell across the main road. Everyone was turning their car round. Had I been on my own, I would have called the police and given an exact location and been a temporary Director of traffic.

I could show you many more pictures but I think that’s enough to give you an idea of what turned out to be a very nice day.

More than what it says on the tin

I was shopping in my favourite local store Lidl when I spied some rather delicious looking blackcurrant cheesecakes. Three of them in a pack cost just over one pound so I thought why not. My wife and I had one each but we found them to put it politely a little bit difficult to digest.

I decided to look on the label, I’m not talking about the nutrition information but talking about the ingredients which consisted of the following, and I have to wear that this is a short list compared with some other lists I have seen printed in minute type.

49% cheesecake (51% full fat soft cheese)
tapioca starch
palm kernel oil
Mono and DiGlycerides of Fatty Acids
carbomoxmethyl cellulose
Wheat fibre
Acidity regulator:Lactic acid
30% blackcurrant topping
Modified maize starch
Acidity regular – acetic acid
Colour – anthocyanins
Biscuit base:
What flour, sugar, palm oil, invert sugar syrup, Demarara sugar, Whey powder
Raising agent – sodium carbonates

I ask myself, are all these ingredients absolutely necessary? My bread consists of flour, yeast, salt, butter, water.  It is lovely. I don’t want to make a fake taste or preserve its life or save a few pennies or make it superficially more attractive.


And off to see two people who want their gardens cleared. The first lady is going to sell her house, sounds a bit distant on the phone but actually warmed up when she met me, speaks mysteriously about a bonfire of personal papers that must happen resulting from the passing away of her husband, had two dogs that were supposed to be friendly but I found a bit intimidating.  She wants the front garden changed to make a favourable first impression on visitors.

The second person was an eccentric lady who was a hoarder. I have seen worse but not much worse. There was a little path to walk through the living room which was otherwise cluttered with papers and objects. She has two sons, both serving in the Army. One is married and was told that he is moving from Scotland to somewhere  in Europe leaving his wife behind in a desolate place where there’s only houses and sea. She tells us that the Army doesn’t care about people.

The garden is such a mess that I can hardly get into it. She says she would do the work yourself but the spark plug on her Mountfield petrol mower has broken otherwise she would do it herself. I feel that is impossible but that’s what she wants to believe. She thinks it will take a couple of days to clear the back garden. The question is as she says, ‘how long will it take and how much will it cost?’.

I find gardening fascinating because you get a temporary look into people’s lives. No two people’s life are ever the same, although they may appear to be at first glance.

The weather this weekend is going to be pretty horrible, what with wind and rain. I was going to take my son to a local folk and blues Festival, but I don’t think there’s much point in paying 30 quid a head when you’re mainly sheltering from the rain. We may go to the movies, but we could as well sit at home and read and watch TV.

I have had a bad experience with my stomach where if I ingest any alcohol or have any sweet material particularly artificial sweeteners, I can keep no food down. It’s a real bore but I have to stick to vegetables, fish, soup, bread, biscuits, tea and fruit. I think I can just about manage. Gone are the days when I could eat anything and not suffer.

Francoise’s Birthday

We decided to go to Freshford, which is a small historical village that used to produce wool and beer. It is close to the River Frome and close to the Bath and Kennett canal. It is very much sought-after due to the proximity of a train station which serves Bath.

The Freshford Inn has an excellent atmosphere and is presided over by two Italians. I found Italians have a natural talent for service which is more than can be said for the two lady bartenders whose attitude I will describe as a little bit snobby and distant and lacking in detail. For example, when you serve and bring coffee you ask if the customer wants sugar not wait if they ask. I found the young ladies very self absorbed; the body language does show and I think people need to realise it more.

After the meal we decided to wander around the village; if anyone wants to see a place stuck in the past this is the place to go. It is about 6 miles from Bath if that so worth a trip. I don’t know how people who live there manage to park because there is virtually no parking space and the roads are narrow.

This was indeed a wool village.

A vegetable and flower garden directly abutting on to the road.

As you see, visitors to the local church come from all over the place.

I love this sign. Was it a house where older doctors used to go? Was it the same meaning as ‘the old vicarage’.  We shall never know. I can say that the locals are friendly but when speaking with them don’t waste their time.

House prices? Don’t expect much change out of £1 million.

Free Therapy

I’m a very bad meditator because as soon as I start, I think about all the things that I need to be doing and try to shut them out of my mind, normally unsuccessfully. I give up after about 5 There is one form of therapy that really induces the alpha state in me without any problem and that is a fire.

All Saints Paulton is experiencing an interregnum period. I was told the policy of the Church Times is to charge £1000 per entry advertising for a new priest. I don’t know how they justify this. It sounds like pure and simple greed to me. Anyway, I digress. It has been my pleasure to severely trim a laurel hedge in the churchyard. Laurel wood is very soft and easy to cut so the job looks difficult but actually is very easy. The wood contains oils so as you will see in the pictures below,  combustion is hot and thorough. I hesitated to start the fire as the weather forecast was not good, but decided that as the whole process would be quite quick, as it proved to be, I could beat the rain.

Air, earth, fire, and water are the main elements  and these are combined eloquently in a natural fire, not a fire in a grate at home but a fire in the wild.This was the fire at an early stage where I was introducing a combination of dried branches and fresh branches both of which are equally well. The fresh branches had more water in them but they also have more oil. So when they were thrown on the fire they exploded in a machine gun like fashion. At the rear you will see the stone wall that was originally completely covered.

This is the fire a couple of hours on when everything had been reduced to white ash.  The trick is to rake all around the area and place the unburnt wood in the middle where it will revert either to charcoal in the case of incomplete burning or white ash. The reduction in volume is about 95%.

What I like about this whole process is that you corporate with a natural phenomenon. You encourage it to burn to the best of your ability. Most of the time is spent standing staring at the fire and enjoying the heat and the sound of crackling flames. I find that I’m inevitably ‘in the zone’ and at the end of such events have attained a more peaceful cast of mind. If I had spent the same amount of time trying to meditate, I would not have got such a good result.

Françoise came along with me to the coffee morning today at the church. She told me that the lady sitting next to her was fed up with her husband because although he had money he didn’t want to spend any of it and particularly resented her being on the telephone. According to him, the telephone must be used for emergency only. The poor woman could not even talk to her friends, such friends as she had left, without having the baleful stare of the husband looking at his watch.

I read that the number of divorces among older people are increasing these days, and I think more and more women are not putting up with boorish behavior of their husbands.

The government article said that  in England and Wales, divorce is in decline – our most recent 10 years of data show a 28% fall in the number of divorces between 2005 and 2015. But older people are bucking the trend. In the same period, the number of men divorcing age 65 and over went up by 23% and the number of women of the same age divorcing increased by 38%.

I have always said that the most important thing is to be married to yourself. This implies if you want in a relationship or on your own. If you love and accept yourself. The rest is easy or easier.


Wetherspoons in the morning + is going to bed the cure?

I have just returned from my ritual breakfast at the above establishment. I have reduced my order to a minimum. Table 37, traditional breakfast, coffee. It arrived 5 min later alas on a cold plate so I had to eat it quite quickly because there’s nothing worse than a cold fried egg or cold anything come to that.

On weekday mornings the scene is more or less the same. You might as well call it a single mans club in fact I don’t think it would take much to get everyone together for a chat. There is a man who comes in every morning with two newspapers and after his breakfast he orders a 1 pint of beer. The single men of which I am one of course sit at various tables giving each other a nod but that’s about it. It is one of the few times when Wetherspoon’s is quiet. One of the things they did not plan on was noise and when there are more than two screaming children and half dozen families, it does become pretty over-bearing on the eardrums.

I was minding my own business eating when suddenly there was what appeared to be like a claxton ringing out which I quickly realised was a mobile phone. The owner, a middle-aged man of portly disposition, headset is switched to speaking mode so we could hear everything he said with his deep booming voice and also the recipient’s. I imitated the caller to try and get into shut up, but he didn’t get the message because he was so obsessed with the call. I realised it was a lost cause talking to him and as my eating had finished anyway I decided to leave. I think some people need to be told but I didn’t have the energy this early in the morning to complain to him.

A friend of mine, Gregory, was laid low with some sort of virus whilst on a holiday in Spain. On his return, he refused to take any form of medication or even see the doctor. Although he was so weak he could scarcely go up more than one step at a time without breathing difficulties. The remedy? He decided to go to bed and basically stayed there for two weeks. The result? His own immune system was able to do its stuff and heal him. I feel sorry for children, particularly in America who are in receipt of so many vaccines just as soon as they are born before their immune system has had time to kick in. It’s all done from greed of the pharmaceutical companies.

Yesterday, I myself felt a little bit down and was suffering from a sprained muscle at the base of my spine so I decided…. To go to bed. This seems strange thing to do on a sunny Sunday afternoon but I drew the curtains and finished a book then had a sleep. Result? I feel much better.

Reading the papers this morning was depressing. Evidently the latest two shootings in the USA, which anyone knows are instigated by the FBI,  blamed on Trump. Increased rainfall is blamed on carbon dioxide. Any form of meddling is blamed on Putin. Basically, three whacking great lies and I wonder how people get away with it. Newspaper readership has decreased, and I’m not surprised.

Here are my, writing my diary at 9.48 in the morning and the day has not even started. I wonder what it will bring.

Have we lost the ability to write?

I was on my way to church this morning, to a small but very informal communion service presided over by one Katherine who gave a sermon on today’s gospel about the man who had more grain than he could store so he wanted to pull down his barns and build greater.  More of that anon.

On my return from church. I stopped off to look at who had passed away. Obviously, this was a popular person and it must have happened very recently because of the number of fresh flowers. I think there were about 60. However, as I looked, I could not see one single one with a label on. Normally you get something like ” with very best wishes from X” ” love you and miss you”. Eventually I found one. The person’s name was Jenny. It occurred to me with horror that these people had no inclination to write a personal note. All I saw were receipts from Tesco for the flowers. Typically £3.95. They were just dumped because people were not used to actually writing.   Where were the feelings of these people? Maybe they don’t have any feelings. This is a sign of the times. It was a drunk driver evidently.

Back in church, Katherine went on to tell the story about the man, we wanted to have security in his property so he could eat, drink and make merry. God called him a fool because he said that “this very night, your soul will be required of you.”. This may sound a bit killjoy but God was trying to tell him that we don’t possess anything. Money is not real as in ‘reality’. Money and any possession is given to us as custodians.

The preacher also reflected on the situation with her neighbour who has been next door to her for the last 6 years who only talks about herself and has never once asked the preacher at about anything to do with her life. In other words she was self obsessed like the man wanted built his barn. She remarked on the number of times the first person singular was referred to in the parable; I will pull down, I will store my grain, I will tell my soul.

I learnt a lot from that.

I can say I’m guilty of the same.  A certain self-centredness. The sermon caused me to reconsider my attitude towards ‘my’ money such as it is.

20th Anniversary of our local Farmers Market

This is the 20th anniversary of the local farmers market here in Midsomer Norton. Farmers markets dates all the way back to Egypt over 5000 years ago. Farmers along the Nile came together to sell their fresh produce. The first farmers markets in the United States opened in 1634 in Boston. The biggest farmers market in the world is in Tokyo, and has over 1700 stalls. In the United Kingdom, there has been a market in Ashton Under Lyme, Lancashire, since 1284.

Markets bring the producers in direct contact with the consumers or customers. Different sorts of conversations happen. The price bracket is different but the quality is much better and you can almost guarantee fewer chemicals, though even with so-called organic food, chemicals may have been used at some point typically in the form of sprays.

As most of you know, I’m interested in campaigning against 5G, smart meters and anything else that is designed to be part of the control grid which will surround us and influence us on 24/7 basis. It is a lonely job to try and rouse your friends and colleagues with some awareness of what is going to hit us all. I am no stranger to networking; my first attempt at networking happened in 1970 when I formed an organisation called London Village designed for people to meet others, people new to London. You could say networking is in my blood.

‘5G Worker Bees’ is my latest project. I shall be inviting people who are already doing something towards campaigning and who could probably use some support, advice, hints and tips, the opportunity to share, the problems with dealing with a very brainwashed society. I shall not be using Facebook. You might as well share your feelings directly with the CIA.

Freedom from thought and excessive thinking. I’m as guilty as anyone of jumping whenever my mobile phone rings or bleeps telling me there is a text message. Anyone else similarly addicted is invited to watch this video. It is about 14 min in length

A twinned toilet – Celebrating ‘fruition’ at Glastonbury

So here we are, back in Chalice Well, Glastonbury, for a celebration of one of the pagan festivals of the year, ‘fruition’ I find an unfailing and consistent atmosphere of Fellowship and openness, giving an example to the world how we should live all the time.

I had some interesting meetings here.  I observed a man doing yoga exercises on the lawn above the well. I spoke to him saying that maybe not doing yoga exercises was an abuse of ourselves and showing a lack of respect to our body. He pondered a bit and thought that this was being a little bit negative and said that all he does when he performs yoga is to think of ‘me and God’. No one else. I commented that from his example I learnt a lot and was encouraged to consider my own attitude towards these practices. I can’t say he was scornful but my left brain motivated words didn’t mean much to him. He was totally in the zone and I saw him greeting other people and holding hands with them.

I left the area and went down to sit by the log fire, yes we always have a fire at the celebrations. Never mind what time of year it is. I sat down at a bench and a lady next to him said ‘hello.’  It appears that she was an energy healer  and since I am a chakra reader we have plenty to talk about. We discussed whether or not we should charge and I told her that in cases of my feeling that the person who asks has given a lot to other people, I would recompense them on the half of the universe and give a free reading . I said that no two cases are the same and that I’d charge £40 or £100 for a reading and it’s more a question of being sensitive to someone’s environment.

One thing led to another and I offered her a reading which consisted of looking at the male and female balance in her aura as it was at the moment compared with the male and female balance when she was born. It was quite clear that she had tried to make herself androgynous and reduce the male and female elements in her self to a very low-level, 10% and 11% respectively. It was revealed that she had an assault by a family member from which she had obviously not recovered. This is a good lesson to show that everything we do say and think is lodged in the energy field and that if it is negative in nature will cause trouble until we get rid of it. It is not true that time heals. What is true is that understanding and acceptance heals. This event encouraged me further to offer these sort of services on a more full-time level. The problem is, how to advertise it.

if you cannot read it, it says that the exchange toilet is in Burundi.

On the way out while visiting the loo I noticed this amazing twinning. Who has heard of twinned  toilets. I mentioned this in my diary of September 19, 2017. I notice the image has changed. That time it was exchanging with a toilet in Uganda. Dynamic twinning eh! Wonders never cease.

To Glastonbury high Street which is always packed with tourists at this time of year. On to our regular feeding trough ‘Burns The Bread’ for our favourite confectionery both sweet and savoury.

On the way back we noticed someone has bordered their lawn with lettuce. I can say this is the first time I’ve ever seen this.


South Africa in chaos -The benefits of reading – being without a mobile

Today turned out to be a very much a ‘stay at home’ day during which I reflected on the value of reading. This morning, I decided that I wanted peaceful background music. So I switched on my Internet radio and found a channel called ‘ABC Piano‘ which is continually broadcasting pleasant piano music of the classical variety. I find it less disruptive than having the television on. On TV I find  the commercial breaks especially jarring, which is why I record a program on commercial television and then watch afterwards, flicking through the advertisements at 30x the speed of a normal programme.


I do miss South Africa, and particularly my friend Alida whom I have known for nearly 20 years. She is now suffering from an aggressive form of cancer. She gave great hospitality to us on the numerous occasions that we been out there. Now, I’m not sure whether I could cope with a 12 1/2 hour journey , but conditions have changed alas. I was listening to Cape Talk at lunchtime today. Blatant corruption continues in South Africa and has to be seen to be believed. The electricity company Eskom bought out a report yesterday and report waste of millions of Rand of income. In Soweto only 12 1/2% of people actually pay their electricity bills.

This means that the rest of the country has to fork out and subsidise a very inefficient company. I also heard that there is a political movement specifically for black people who want to take over the land of white farmers. This is a disaster because the land goes to rack and ruin because they don’t have enough expertise or the will to manage the land properly.

Bootlegged electricity – informal wiring
Creative wiring

I heard back from my friend who lives in Cape Town. She says in response to my query about the country “NO the country is not coping. Even the Directors at the Post Office have day time jobs. They just claim salaries – and I can guarantee you – its not peanuts. That is why we are heading to junk status. It is very sad. Our electricity bills are so high for the people who actually pay and the rest are just not paying or stealing electricity and shocking themselves to death, and their children. The employment figure is 29% which is 6.7 mil and that brings break ins into our houses etc..


My partner Francoise is particularly interested in HeartMath, which aims to restore the natural rhythms of the mind brain complex. She has commented to me that cumulative media exposure is considered a source of trauma, so-called secondary traumatisation, especially for children, because it excites the nervous system. Children and indeed adults do not have the ability to deal with the implications. You could say over excitation of the nervous system is incompatible with thinking.


Incidentally, a couple of days ago I changed my mobile telephone service provider from O2 to Sky TV. Prior to the move I was paying £16.20 per month including that for the service. that I am now going to be paying £4.50 a month, plus VAT.  Unfortunately, I mistakenly believed that my original phone was unblocked. Unfortunately, it is linked to the service provider so I have to wait to get a code. Funnily enough, I don’t miss the mobile phone which by the way, was originally created from technology designed to serve the military in the USA.  In a way I realise that I was tethered to it because of useful information it might give.

I shall try to use it from now on as an ’emergency only’ system. The problem is that my Sky landline phone service charges ridiculous amounts, I think it’s £.22 a minute even for local calls plus connection charge so that is the downside of getting a bargain on landline and Internet services. I cannot use a land line during the day without paying extra charges so I am encouraged to use Sky.


So all that is just a prelude to the main topic which  is about reading. I’m currently going through Frank Furedi’s book “where have all the intellectuals gone?”. I admire him like I admire Jordan Peterson. He gets to the root of problems, fearlessly and honestly. I’m just getting into Frank’s book but he claims that the role of the intellectual is not what it was, the role is less respected, and now with the absence of absolute moral standards the greater interest is in comparing thinking patterns. In my view this as a very short half life compared with sticking to an agreed code of behaviour, a moral code.

People are sniffy and dismissive of the term ‘moral code’ but this is what has kept this country of the United Kingdom going and over the last few decades under the influence of agnosticism and atheism and I must say the influence of the USA with its dumbed down culture, the intellectual capital is participating and disintegrating.  I suppose I am an intellectual in that I enjoy ideas for their own sake as a form of food and I enjoy imagining how society could be if different standards pertained.

Intellectual discussion, as opposed to recycling prejudices, requires effort and the realisation that we are more than physical bodies trying to survive. This in turn requires a certain faith in something greater than ourselves which considering the state of the world as it is in the moment should not be too difficult. Such discussion I find for the most part is impossible with people who have not reached a certain standard of education. As soon as you mention the point of view that is countervailing to their own. They shut up like a clam. I’m not even talking about such subjects as smart meters, 5G, aliens, 911, but subjects challenging the way we live. If that is the word. the physical survival level is only one of many. So what is to be frightened of with looking at other levels? Is it some sort of threat?

Disagreeing on something while respecting the view of the other person is something that I enjoy, but for some reason this is considered impolite or out of order and people who express contrary views are regarded as odd. . Don’t even think of going to America, where Christianity is equivalent in some people’s minds to terrorism. What is so harmful about thinking? Most of us have read or at least know about, 1984 when thought crimes prevail, where books no longer exist, where pre-crime patterns are detected and dealt with as if they were actual crimes. I feel we’re getting to this dystopian situation slowly but surely and 5G and its resultant ability to control everybody’s minds individually – yes, literally – will be the nail in the coffin.

I feel a duty to fly the flag for the human being and for free will and for the thinking process itself, which I regard as sacred.

Without it, I would feel just like a drone or a part of the machine. One of the reasons for writing this diary is the fact that you either “use it or lose it” with your brain which does need exercise on a daily and I would say hourly basis.

How to deal with feeling a failure


Success is not final, failure is not fatal:
it is the courage to continue that counts.
Winston Churchill


The topic of failure and what it means has exercised my mind today. I have a feeling I’m going to offer more questions than answers.
We are all unique and is means we have a unique set of capacities and abilities. These are developed to varying degrees. Some of our abilities may take time to emerge. Sometimes we are only at our best in conducive circumstances. Some of us may be waiting for a catalyst and may not even know that we are even waiting for something, we just know that everything is not running as smoothly as it could be.

Yesterday, I mentioned the Church of England publication specialising in the theme of failure. Here is a comment by a worker. If one person says “I feel really sick,”  I notice the tears in her eyes, almost panic, when she recounts how she is struggling with her work, how far behind she is, how she is avoiding going to lessons – “I’ve let everyone down, I’m afraid.” She says. This is out of the mouth of a beautiful bright young woman who had been a high achiever in school and was now struggling at the end of her A levels.

There are no secrets to success.
It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
Colin Powell

I wonder if the problem is that we are setting goals which are unrealistically high. Are we trying to compete with other people and if so why?
My mentor and preacher, Dr Martin Israel, said that the most important thing you could ever do in this world was to be your true self. I heard that advice about 30 years ago but I still have to remind myself of it. We are all unique. A rose is not supposed to be a potato. If it tries, it will fail. Let us assume for one moment that we are all in this world for different reasons and also assume that we cannot expect to achieve everything you want in one lifetime. I find it much more comfortable to think in terms of many lives. Some lives are lived within  a human body and some lived without. In other words, what is the hurry?

A feeling of failure might arise because we did not pay attention to the circumstances surrounding our efforts. For example, we may have underestimated the cost of doing something or the amount of time and energy this would take. It may have been that we fell into the very common trap of trying to do everything on our own, without having a friend, colleague, or confidante to discuss ideas with. To do so is not a symptom of weakness or indeed failure but an acknowledgement that we do not know everything about every subject and therefore to get a sounding board from someone seems to me  to be likely to save a lot of time and heartache.

You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone.
Close the door on the past.
You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it.
You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time,
or any of your space.

Johnny Cash

A feeling of failure might also occur because we ignored our inner voice that is always trying to do the best for us. This is particularly true in relationships. The number of times I heard people say to me “if only I had followed my intuition I would not have got into this mess”.

it may be that we have to fail or shall we say, not succeed in order to learn certain other lessons, for example the value of consistency or discipline. There are always positives to draw.

Referring to the magazine mentioned above, there is a quote “we are not called to be successful – that is out of control – but we are called to be faithful”. I don’t quite agree with that but it shows the value of consistency and objectivity. Another article makes the point that there are always positives to draw no matter how dire the situation. It’s quite a good therapy to sit down with pen and paper and say “what did I learn from this that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.”

“Fear of failure can be restricting, a bit like a prison, but one person I met described the feeling of freedom. They felt as they learned to embody their perceived failure and used the experience to grow to understand themselves further. They saw themselves as a child who was learning to walk, and fell over. They were learning to get up again and not letting it faze them too much.

When all said and done, I think it’s strength of character and vision that will determine what we succeed in. It may be that there is something more of the ego than there should be in our self evaluation when contemplating our success and failure in life. If we want to encourage ourselves, think of the number of traps that we did not fall in to.

For example, we did not become violent and hit someone. We did not invest foolishly and lose all our money. We have not lost our health and strength. We have not damaged our mind with dangerous drugs.

It might be a good to write down all the things you can be thankful for, all the things you’ve learnt, and I suspect that this will be a long and interesting exercise.

Afternoon tea and cake – Acker Bilk’s resting place

the one and only Acker Bilk, clarinetist and performer 1929-2014. Born and bred in Pensford, Somerset. See below.

I noticed that St Mary’s church in Compton Dando was offering tea and cake of a Sunday afternoon in summer between 2 PM and 5 PM. As so often happens, the advertisement jumped out of the page at me so without knowing anything of what would happen, off we went. Compton Dando is a niche village, very friendly with a wonderful pub, and one of those whose property values reflect the fact that it is in the depths of the country, but close to Bath and Bristol.

All trips in the countryside are pleasant, especially at weekends when you do not get the normal commercial traffic. The first picture is of the front drive to the Old Rectory, palatial places as they were in the old days.

In the church, we were offered a choice of six home-made cakes for the princely price of two pounds each and a coffee or tea for one pound. The idea of having an event on Sunday afternoon is brilliant. Many people are at a loose end at weekends. The original plan was to cater for people on their own but now the idea seems to have spread to everyone.

On the church display board. A part of the collection of ‘old Compton Dando’.

We met a lady outside the church who had been a reader in the church for several years. She lived alone and was going to the coffee and cakes event. She told us that the locals tend to come between 4 PM and 5 PM.

She makes it a practice to eat out once-a-day whether it be at a down-to-earth cafe or a garden centre. This was her way of avoiding isolation. She told us without any prompting of the previous vicar of this church. He was both a builder and priest. He used to carry his clerical garb around in his van and when he was called to see someone would quickly change. I commented. “They don’t make them like that any more” and she agreed. The current priest is an American lady. She commented that some people find the priest a bit unapproachable.

I’m continually amazed by people’s willingness to share their personal lives with complete strangers. Having said that, I know that Françoise and I together are quite approachable. We seem to balance each other.

When I was a college student, I used to hitch up and down the A1 motorway. Again, people used to share their innermost secrets and I felt like I was part of a confessional. We were both anonymous people and there was no chance that we would meet again, so why not?

Whilst in the church, I picked up a magazine called ‘manna’ published on a quarterly basis by the Church of England Diocese of Bath and Wells.  The theme was “failure”. I found that a very interesting read and will reflect on it in tomorrow’s edition of the diary.

This is not the centre of the world. There is one bus service to Keynsham each week on a Friday.

We went on a miniature stroll. There is no question that the countryside is a delight. I call this a ‘rolling’ landscape. I love it when you cannot see round the corner. Who knows what lies there?

We decided to visit another out of the way place called Publow where we were told lies the grave of Acker Bilk and his wife, who died this year in 2019. Sure enough, there it was.There was also a poem which you can probably just about read. There is nothing I could do about the shadow.

In common with many old churches, this one being 900 years old, there was a lovely atmosphere. it wasn’t just quiet, it was peaceful. I would say anyone in a state of depression could come here. Who needs an antidepressant? The problem with this medication is that it has side effects and is also addictive. I was reading about people who had terrible symptoms of depression getting off bills that are supposed to stop you being depressed in the first place.
It’s a bit sad.

While exiting the church, we were aware of the sound of laughter. We went over the small bridge to see a group of people swimming and playing around.  How nice to see a group of people just relaxing, with no mobile phone in sight, having fun, splashing water. It takes me back to a time when the family group meant something.

Don’t throw it away – bring it to the Repair Cafe

The Methodists are always very good at community work. This is the second time this event has been held in the Methodist Church at Peasedown St John; the local population seem to be getting the idea. If you have an item that is not working, don’t throw it away, but let someone with the necessary expertise, fix it for you.
We were a bit outside the system, as we had rescued a very large sunshade, but there was no string to enable us to pull it up and down. They did not have the spare parts so off we went, but I love the idea of recycling.

The following images should give some idea of what they do and how they work.. Anyone who is thinking of attempting a ‘Man Shed’ idea might want to read the terms and conditions.

You wait until your turn is called and you will be directed to the most appropriate person to service your needs.

I feel that this service could help someone who has to watch every penny of whom there are more and more these days.


To the allotment. My unofficial job is to stop seeding weeds from spreading onto other plots so I regularly go round with a strimmer making sure that the seas are prevented from doing what they do naturally.

This is Françoise’s plot by the way.

My elder sister in Perth, Australia has had a stroke. She has recovered from it and wants to go home but they will not let her because her husband is deemed incapable of picking her up should she fall. She is in a rehabilitation centre at the moment.

Emerging from the dead-end – Ventusky

This has been a day of thunderstorms, travel delays, buckling rail track, air traffic control failures, and motorway jams. Thank goodness I don’t have to go anywhere or be anywhere. My son’s friend is going to get married tomorrow and unfortunately rain is due for the very day of the marriage over where they are in Nottinghamshire. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Let’s hope they have a marquee under which to shelter.

I came across a very interesting weather forecasting map system. I’m rather sick of the rather pedantic BBC weather forecasts so have a look at this bang up-to-date one. It is super fast and very information rich and has many alternative scenarios for reporting .


I follow many regular columns on the Internet and one of them is written by John Rappaport who has been writing reams of material for absolutely ages. He is a little bit like David Icke or perhaps a more withdrawn version. Occasionally, I read something is absolutely spot-on and in the case below very much confirms my own feeling on the state of Homo sapiens. I have reported it verbatim.

Human psychodrama on the world stage: Power Outside the Matrix

As the drama called Human Life on Planet Earth advances in the 21st century, we are seeing an escalation of lower-brain emotional responses to events. And this is according to plan.

I want to emphasize the underlying propaganda message. It’s very important to understand that message:”As more and more people are unable and unwilling to employ logic and rationality, those qualities diminish in importance, and you should abandon them because…they don’t serve you. They aren’t useful.”
You can see where this would lead. More and more people would surrender to their own stimulus-response mechanisms, and the overall level of chaos would increase and expand.There is no situation in which you should abandon your own ability to employ reason and rationality, no matter what other people are doing. Their surrender should not become an excuse for you deserting your own power on any level.

The two most formidable individual powers are logic and imagination.

Logic is essentially grounding and stabilizing. It allows you to analyze any situation or cluster of information and see through to its validity or invalidity, beyond deception.  Imagination takes you soaring. It allows you to see your greatest vision for your life—and therefore act toward its fulfillment.

John Rappoport

I find that increasing numbers of people are too afraid even to think, let alone question. I’m not talking about whingeing about politicians, for example with regard to Brexit. It is a general disinclination to engage in discussion. That is what I enjoyed most about my visit to London. I met more sophisticated people who were prepared to question things. But even then, the vast majority simply do not want to think that things might be not as is represented by the mainstream media.

closing the door after the horse has bolted – a cautionary tale

I was contacted by phone this morning by a 50-year-old lady ‘Anne’ who was in a considerable amount of difficulty, a crisis as she described it. She had seen my advertisement in Facebook and ‘knew that I did some psychic work’.

Anne suffers from electro-sensitivity which means that she cannot bear any Wi-Fi or routers. She did sofa surfing with a number of people but was thrown out ‘in an unpleasant way’ by all of them except one because of this requirement. She is currently living in rented accommodation in Reading. Her boyfriend of 75 lives 100 miles away from her and he sees her every weekend or so. Anne’s half sister captivated her late father who had a degenerative brain disease, persuaded him to part with money and buy her a car and allowances for everything except food, and is currently occupying his property prior to the house being sold as part of probate. Anne has difficulty in standing up for herself and does not want to ‘hurt anybody’. The partner mentioned above believes in peace and does not want to rock the boat. She does not drive. She has a brother with special needs who is obviously vulnerable. She has little savings.

You get the idea I’m sure. She wanted me to do a psychic reading. I declined. I told her that “I’m very cautious about taking work but I cannot complete satisfactorily. To many practitioners jumping, make a comment which may or may not be right and then disappear. Your prime need is for continuity. if you live close to Somerset I will be glad to see you”.

It is clear that we cannot assist everyone who seeks our help. In this case the only support I could give would be to attempt to put sticking plaster on a situation which clearly is irreversible and which would require large amounts of money to pursue any possible course of legal action assuming there was the energy to do so.

However, most of the problem was because Anne has not learnt to stand up for herself and had got used to letting people ride roughshod over her – not just for years but for decades.   In this case, the kindest thing is to say that you cannot help them but at the same time encourage them to seek local advice. In this age of the Internet we think that everything can be done remotely but actually you cannot beat face-to-face communication especially for deeply inbred emotional problems.


This evening, off to a local gardening group meeting in South Stoke, Bath. This is an extraordinary anomaly of a place which is close to Bath and yet it could be in the country.  A local pub,  the Packhorse Inn, had been brought and restored by the community and is now flourishing.

The couple who lived at the house, John and Ursula, have been in residence for 35 years. John was 90 years of age and extraordinarily spritely and bright if a little deaf. The House was an ex-brewery.

the White Horse of Wiltshire can be seen from a certain part of this garden and that’s 22 miles away
the house itself. Actually two houses combined into one.
I love garden layouts when you cannot see the end and you are seduced or invited to look further. Formal gardens in general do not attract me
why the plastic bags? Evidently, according to the owner, they scare away the herons that like to feast on the fish in the pond which was by the way at one point a swimming pool
an informal kitchen garden

topiary. Not quite sure whether this is a bear but it was a little bit overgrown in any event. Difficult to maintain for a 90 year old, (seen in the picture).
ducks having the time of their life. They were about six weeks old

I must admit I got a spontaneous burst of envy, dreaming that I would love to live here but on second thoughts, would I? The house is probably not in the best condition and would cost a lot to maintain. The nearest shops are 2 miles away but there is an excellent pub where we went to for a drink. You would be hard put to find any decent property for less than half a million… but just such a lovely view, and so near Bath city.

Dream on, Brian

Time with the doctor – hernia and Lyme disease

After last night’s investigation of the tick bite, by coincidence I was booked in to see a doctor about hernia. It is a linguinial hernia (look it up). Although hernias can be self managed I have chosen to ask for an operation. It is necessary to fulfill certain criteria on the NHS such as the fact that your job will be adversely affected, that there is a risk of strangulation, that the level of pain and discomfort is above a certain threshold. The doctor who saw me was a student, clearly a ‘natural’ for the job. It made me feel at ease.

an indicator of the disease is the red ring round the actual spot. This could develop in days or weeks

We discussed the possibility of lyme disease and he said that  it would only happen if the tick had been infected. Evidently, the signs are a separate ring about 3 cm around the bite in addition to the normal signs of redness. If I do have the disease, I will need a course of antibiotics at an early stage. It is currently too early to test because the antibodies will not yet have become activated so I would have got a false-negative. In any event, it is necessary to build myself up so I need good supplies of vitamin C, magnesium,and other things to bolster my immune system.

Chris, the doctor, printed out a 10 page report from the Internet, written in very readable language and I was able to grasp pretty much everything that I needed to know. Because he was still a student, the team leader of the doctors was called in to re-examine me and agree to make an application to see the surgeon at the local hospital. It was all quite jolly and positive.

It always takes me a couple of days to settle in after being in another place so I guess that by tomorrow I will have truly arrived home. The weather is going to be very hot tomorrow so I am quite glad that I have no gardening jobs on the go and quite happy to sit at home and read.

Homeward bound – attacked by a tick

For once I was glad to get on the coach at Victoria station. I noticed in the queue a young mother with three young children, one a babe in arms, and I knew that we were in for a test of tolerance. Sure enough, the youngster screeched at irregular intervals – and loudly. I’m so glad that I was at the opposite end of the coach. It turned out that they were going to Frome for four days camping. I do admire someone like that who can function so well, or attempt to do so, as a family activity.

The day was hot. When we left Victoria it was about 29°C. Thank goodness for the air conditioning without which we would have been in a complete mess.

I arrived in Bath in time to have my monthly eye checkup at the RUH. Since lunch is served in the hospital restaurant until 2:30 PM, I was able to arrive in time to have my favourite apple pie and custard and then on to the ward.   I was given a new doctor, a young chap who had zero rapport. He was thorough in his inspection of both my left and my right eye, the problem is that macular degeneration can spread from one eye to another. He found no adverse change and said that I was free to go. Normally, the other people show me the quick scan of the eyes so I can see for myself that it does not need a further injection. At least I was in and out quickly.

On my way to getting the bus I saw an interesting variation of a recognisable picture, ‘Nighthawk‘  by Edward Hopper.  The original is shown first. The one below is called ‘The Corridor‘ by Nick Cudworth and is part of the ever-changing art exhibition to be seen along the corridors of the hospital.


Home, to discover I had a large adult  tick hanging onto my skin above the right nipple of my breast. I may have caught it when I was on Hampstead Heath yesterday.  We tried to take it off by twisting it and pulling it but some of it was left in the wound and there was an area of dark red infection. Mild panic.

So off to the local hospital where they dug out the rest and dressed it with a substance, you will never guess, famed for its drawing power, and that is …. . honey.


Borough Market – Women Only Bathing on Hampstead Heath –

Off to meet my sister and brother-in-law for lunch in the cloisters of Southwark Cathedral. This building is situated only a few yards from London Bridge station and has a railway running within yards of the edifice.  In one of the side streets we saw a notice which gives some indication of the vibrant social and cultural life that can be sustained by an articulate, multicultural population.

As we had some time to kill before the meeting, we decided to go round Borough Market. This establishment is very popular with tourists and locals alike and features some of the very best quality niche food producers in London. Warning – you could easily spend £100 without blinking.

Hampstead Heath is an extraordinary historical anomaly. It is a 790 acre area of woodland the midst of a densely populated city which contains a surprising number of ponds and lakes – 30 in number – some which are used for swimming. Many of the Heath’s springs and ponds were created in the 1500s on the back of the London Conduit Act.  One of these, the most low-profile, is the ladies only pond which is open from 7 AM to 8:30 PM daylight hours permitting.

It has a large clientele for women who apparently feel safer and more comfortable swimming without the attentions of men. Francoise went along and had a lovely swim  in the surprisingly warm water. It is not a swimming bath or pool in the normal sense of the word – it has a mud bottom and is probably more suitable for those who are good swimmers.

On our way back to our base we visited the well-known observation point where busy London can clearly be seen. The picture above is taken looking south. I do recommend that all visitors to London take a few hours from their schedule, and have a look at the ‘country within a city’. London is very lucky to have a good proportion of greenery and like Paris for example when it is very difficult to find enough green space to go for a decent walk.


To an old friend of Francoise. She lives in a small second-floor flat adjacent to a railway line and about 50 m from Camden high Street. A number of years ago she had the foresight to buy a small secret garden which is a safe paradise for a child – actually her grandchild – that she has adopted because the mother and father were both incompetent. She has a heart of gold, huge empathy, and delight to be with.

Tate Britain – The day of the commitment of ashes of our friend

Work by Frank Bowling

We are only in London for a few days so we have to fit in as we can so off to Tate Britain to sample the latest exhibitions and take advantage of our £120 annual membership. There is a ‘Van Gough in England’ exhibition which even at an early hour was showing signs of being overfull. There was another exhibition by Frank Bowling, an impressionist painter whom we are told went through various stages. We were told that ‘by the end of the 1970s, bowling was fully in control of the painting techniques he had spent the last years fine tuning. He had a deep understanding of the dynamics of the flow of paint and the drama of colour combination’. I am very happy for him but frankly his painting work said absolutely nothing to me so I was in and out in 10 minutes.

I took the chance while Francoise was ensconced to pop up to the members restaurant and see the promised new coffee bar extension. Interestingly, it was not there and I was told that the facility was not used enough to justify its existence. The original idea was to save the time of people queuing just for a coffee when others were queuing for a hot meal.

In the main hall was another exhibition which I found more diverting. (above and below). Don’t ask me why.


Off to our home base in Haverstock Hill and then to the ceremony. We were supposed to meet at a certain place at 3 PM but things did not go to plan so we all hung around for half an hour while people gathered, mainly eccentric friends of Mike, the departed one. We left for the Heath car park and strode off in a North easterly direction trying to find a secluded area which would be a suitable repository for the ashes.
I carried a box of the ashes for a portion of the journey and they are heavier than you might think, about 3 kg I would say.  We found a place with no paths and a fallen tree and with  minimum formality each person scattered a portion of the ashes as they felt moved. Mike was no doubt looking down on us in his nonjudgemental way and smiling to himself.

the ashes consist partly of fine dust so what you are seeing is not a break in the trees but the cloud made by the ashes being thrown

It took about 20 min to find the right spot and to finish throwing the ash. We then wandered back to the car park and to home where guests had been kind enough to bring along a selection of food. I bought some chicken legs and Francoise made a yoghurt and cucumber dip. There were a couple of bottles of champagne and I used these to break my drinking fast of about five weeks. I think I can do without alcohol if I want to, so my decision in future is to not to rely upon alcohol for a daily libation but to reserve it for special occasions.

To Richmond Park

I was severely whacked and fatigued yesterday by the high amounts of electromagnetic fields blasting out from everybody’s mobile phones so the ideal time had come to take a train to Richmond, that most affluent town. Of greater interest to me was however the Park. Like Hamstead Heath, it’s a little bit of the country in the 900 mi.² that make up the greater London area. Richmond Park is the largest Royal Park in London covering an area of 2,500 acres.

We walked to the restaurant first of all. A wedding party was convening and people were turning up in their finery. We had a lovely coffee and cake on the terrace with a splendid view of the surrounding countryside.

As you can see, deer roam freely around and as you can no doubt see from the images, they seem to have lost their fear of humans.

Francoise in the foreground. Unnamed person amongst them, arms akimbo.

To the Riverside. Being a hot day that it was, the place was absolutely full of people and the pubs were heaving with customers. It is a sport to watch people park their cars and have them flooded by the incoming tide. However this particular tide was neap so we had no particular schadenfreude on this occasion.

Meanwhile, the Pool of London authorities had discovered a tree branch that had broken off and to avoid it getting stuck in a lock or fouling the propellers of ships it was towed to the side and anchored until it could be disposed of.

We ended our afternoon by the River at the official high tide which was 5:58 PM and went into the town and had a lovely meal at the Whole foods, part of an international chain. There was a lovely self service buffet both hot and cold and I would thoroughly recommend it.

And so, back home via the train. I think I got the stickiness of yesterday Friday out of my system. The problem is that electromagnetic waves are invisible but they affect your body on so many levels it is insidious.

A trip down Camden High Street – Tate Modern

Camden Market is one of the most famous markets in the UK; hordes of Japanese and Chinese tourists can be seen walking up and down taking advantage of the good exchange rates and making selfies like there was no tomorrow. I’m just walking from top to bottom taking photographs. By “top” I mean Chalk Farm tube station  and by “bottom” I mean Camden Town tube station. Most of the pictures speak for themselves.

I believe that everyone should visit this area just once because it has a unique buzz, the food stalls are very good value ( they have to be) and there’s every type of footwear and clothes and gimmicks that you could possibly want. Incidentally, I also believe that everyone should go to Las Vegas at least once to understand the meaning of the phrase “over the top”

To the South Bank to visit the Tate Modern, and particularly the current exhibition by Olafur Eliasson ‘In Real Life’. This goes on until 5 January 2020 so readers of this diary have plenty of time to get involved. The emphasis is on touching, sight and sound of an involving nature. People were queuing up to see multiple reflections of themselves, to experience the sight of their friends through a misty spray and to see a collection of weird and wonderful retro objects. I stayed there for about 15 minutes and was far more interested in the ever moving fan installation outside the exhibition. It slows down, almost stops, then kick-starts itself as infinitum. It interacts with the natural drafts in such a big building.

you cannot hope to visit the Tate Modern on one occasion. It is rather like trying to eat every dish on the menu in a restaurant. I would say four hours at a stretch is enough for the average person

On to the South Bank Centre itself which consists of the Royal Festival Hall, the Hayward Gallery, the National Film Theatre and the National Theatre. with regard to the poster below, and many other publicity efforts,  I believe there is a deliberate policy of introducing sexual confusion among people. The whole thing was planned decades ago.  If you really want to know more then Dr Richard Day spelt it out in 1969 visit this site.

Look at this huge advertisement. What is so glorious about not knowing whether you are a man or a woman. We are born the way we are for reason, a cumulative reason you could say resulting from our previous existences.

What does “gender fluid” actually mean? Come to think of it what is the beauty of the picture above. In classical times, it is meaningless, maybe not so for the Greek civilisation.

Further  on to the South bank where they have this wonderful ever-changing Fountain. You will see what happened when I tried to film it.

Upstairs in the National Theatre there was an exhibition by some artist or other. The images were remarkable – saying practically nothing about anything and I don’t know why they bothered. It looks like empty retro culture to me.  Attempting to dominate but for why? Where are the smiles?

Four hours is enough so back we go to Haverstock Hill. I must make sure to click in and out on the same card otherwise I get charged a lot extra. You used to need Oyster cards but now that is no longer necessary. Anyone with a debit or credit card can use the system.

Off to London we go (again)

From just around the corner from our humble abode, we take the 9:37 AM bus to Bath. We take this bus for all our journeys whether it be to South Africa, Singapore, or just down the road to London. Traditionally, we stop off at the Methodist Centre in Manvers Street in Bath to have a coffee and a roll.  Every time I leave home I worry whether I have actually closed the front door and each time I have to go back and check but having said I have always done so.  I’m just engaging in last minute worry and fuss.

The drivers on National Express are always good. We had a Sikh person this time who said he has been ‘everywhere’ but now normally works just two days a week. He was persuaded to help out this time. (inserted later) On the return journey, we had a very efficient business-like lady who was a brilliant driver and anticipated the actions of other road users to a T. (insert off)   So, for five pounds each way per person we put up with three hours plus as opposed to half the time by train.

The trick is to time your coach journeys so that they fall outside rush hours. Rush hours coming towards London are between 6.30 and 9 AM. The return will be from 4.30 to 7.30.

Victoria Coach Station is not the most beautiful in the whole world but it does the job and is very convenient for central London. People arrive there from all over Europe.  I hear they are going to have to move when the lease expires but let’s hope something can be worked out. Something to do with the Grosvenor Estate.

Off to where we are staying, Haverstock Hill, which is between Hampstead and Camden. We are staying at the flat of an old friend of Francoise, who is as Bohemian as you like and who lets us just get on with it, buy our own food, look after ourselves, and come and go as we please with the provision of a set of keys.

The weather is already getting warm in anticipation of the hot spell which is due to take place this week with possibly record temperatures.

preparation for going away – a telling cartoon

It’s not like I’m going to the other end of the world but I know I’m going to be hammered by EMF. The problem is it’s not only 5G but it’s a lot of people using 3G and 4G phones that has a cumulative effect on the disposition of the human nervous system mine included.  We even have to suffer it on the coach going up to London.

Extinction Rebellion are in my view making fools of themselves. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is .04 of a percent and is an essential growth agent for trees and plants. 97% of the carbon dioxide created in the world is produced naturally with humankind having nothing to do with it. Mankind produces the other 3% of which the UK produces a minute fraction. China produces far more CO2 than we do and yet Extinction Rebellion insist on blocking the streets in Bristol and other places making their uninformed point. There is no question that they are very well funded I suspect to distract people from the real issues going on for example the installation of 5G and the launch of all the lovely satellites to control us.

The weather forecast is mixed for the coming few days and once again I’ll probably end up taking  far more clothes than I need and not using them.  On the garden front, the ground is rockhard so it’s very difficult to do a gardening job which involves weeding which we don’t enjoy at the best of times. Our friend is the hoe which will at least prevent the plants seeding and hold them back until more detailed digging can happen in the autumn.

Last night, I watched a programme about Facebook. They employ 50 new people a week and that is at only one of their many centres around the world. They were quite happy to tell us that they profile everything we do so the marriage between Facebook and Google would seem logical from the control and informational point of view. Basically we are seen as sales targets and the idea is to refine the adverts to get maximum return on us consumers.

I have discovered a lovely video which I’d like to close this blog on. It’s about the effect that mobile phones have on people. It only lasts a couple of minutes and it really is worth watching. They say one picture is worth 1000 words. Enjoy.

Reflections on death

I have been reading a book called “Life and teachings of Masters of the Far East”. I have had this a five volume book for about 30 years now and have finally reached the end of the fifth volume.

The end piece included a poem by John Gillespie Magee, Jr, a Royal Canadian air force pilot who was shot down over England on December 11, 1941, at the age of 19.

Shortly before his death, John Magee sent his mother the poem, High Flight, which was soon to become known the world over and still considered the greatest poem to come out of World War Two. I wouldn’t know about that, because I have not seen other war poems but nevertheless I find it very moving so here it is:


Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
and danced the skies on laughter – silvered wings.
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of Sun– split clouds, – and done a hundred things
You  have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along,  and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind–swept heights with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle flew –
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high, untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

I think there is an enormous amount of unwrapping to do. The liberated person finds himself enough free space where he can move with easy grace. I find it very comforting to know that there is a continuity of consciousness. In my time, I have read about 40 books on life after death, reincarnation, and indeed life between lives. I’m fully prepared to move on and know that what I do now and the difference I make to other people will affect my ability to fly.

I do quite a lot of work, believe it or not, talking to people who have so-called ‘died’ and I find the people who were – for example – stubborn in life are stubborn in death and the people who were happy in life are happy in death. I regard death as the casting off of a body vehicle or if you like changing clothes to move on to a less dense or more dense environment depending on the cumulative effect of our actions in our lifetime. It seems very fair.

If I identified myself with my own mortal body I think it I would be in a permanent state of insecurity, maybe almost panic. I am a divine being having a human experience as David Icke would say.


Off to London on Thursday. We are having a Sunday ceremony to celebrate the life of Mike, a long-time friend of my wife. I shall be catching up on the Tate Galleries and looking forward to seeing friends.

A truly remarkable day of sport – a tired Cheddar Car boot fair

I don’t think we shall ever see the like of today, Sunday 14th of July, again. We had the epic men’s singles final at Wimbledon, success in ladies netball, Lewis Hamilton winning the UK Formula One event and most of all the crazy thrill a minute 20-20 championship game of cricket between England and New Zealand which went beyond the last ball.  I was trying to do other things but kept on being drawn back to the TV, Formula One, then the tennis, then the crazy cricket.

Roger Federer, as ever, gracious in defeat. He lost two match points. Both his sets of twins were there and he told the interviewer after the match that he wanted to forget this occasion and go back to being a father and husband. His wife seems to suffer during matches more than he does, almost biting her nails. She wore a dress that I suspect was not off-the-shelf, and a marriage ring which said to other men, “keep off, I am spoken for”. Each player was very gracious and respectful about the other.

I love this about tennis. Everyone loves the game.


This morning, we went to the famous Cheddar car boot sale about which I have written many times. However, on this occasion, there were very few people around. When you have 160 tables you do need a fair amount of people to make it worthwhile for sellers to sell their wares effectively even though the average price of an item is about a pound or two.

I get the impression that a lot of people want to clean out their houses of unnecessary objects and offer pre-loved children’s clothes to the next generation. In order to get a good position you have to arrive about six o’clock in the morning so by the time we arrived, about 10 o’clock, they had been standing around for four hours.  On our arrival we witnessed more than one seller giving up for the day. I can understand because it was hot and sunny. Even our amazing meat stand had a desolate look as there were only two or three people standing around aimlessly.

I did see one very tired stand run by a chap who sells bedding plants but on this occasion they too were tired what with heat and so on. I can’t imagine anyone would buy the plants exhibited below

On our way back we had a look at the garden centre and my attention was drawn to original ways of using pallets.


A local Fayre, tennis and more tennis

What a lovely unspoiled young lady from Romania, Simona Halep. She won the French Open and now she wins at Wimbledon. After the French Open she was received rapturously in her home country and she hopes the welcome this time will be as good as last time. Her mother said to her when she was very young, ‘I would be impressed with you if you played in the final at Wimbledon’. The mother did not actually say that she should win but the daughter has proved her point.

We then had one of the most exciting men’s doubles finals going to the fifth set and on a knife edge. It is a mystery why they closed the roof of the court when there was at least one hour of daylight to go.  I’m so glad for Columbia who have won their first tennis medal of any colour. It will make such a difference to the country and a necessary rise in morale where the Americans are knocking on their doors in the way only Americans can.


To our local annual fair at Midsomer Norton. The layout and the events were pretty much like last time. A brass band, young gymnasts, play areas for the children, various local and worthy causes, vegetable judging, plants sale. I was actually feeling very tired so I left after about an hour.

A good day out for the locals but I was not in a space to enjoy it.

A product is only as good as the service

From my local garden equipment and tool suppliers I know I pay a little bit more but I know I can go back to them and they will be there to fix the problem for me normally without charge if it is in the guarantee period. The same cannot be said of bargain items which you buy on the Internet. I’m sure they have some sort of arrangement but it’s not personal and may well involve sending the product back with all that entails.

I’m starting to believe now that energy medicine and frequency medicine is the answer to many of the body’s needs especially with regard to pain. Everything is frequency. A countervailing frequency will enable the body to correct itself. Those of you of a certain age will be aware of radionics, and those younger people may know of the spooky-2 which like all energy machines of any merit was developed in Russia.

It is difficult to know in advance what you will require but very often an instruction book sold with the item is not adequate. If the sales literature is in English Chinese it is not difficult to tell, it may be that support is lacking. Whatever you are going to buy, look on YouTube for someone explaining how to use it. Youtube is so vast that almost anything that is made will have video support of some sort, if not the manufacturer then a user will have posted something.

I ordered a Chinese made telephone which arrived today. I could barely understand the instructions and why do they make the type so small. Anyway I have done my due diligence. The phone works, remembers numbers, has a little socket enabling me to record conversations, remembers the last 10 numbers I dialed, has noise cancelling headphones and cost me about £25. It runs off the power of the telephone systems. I don’t need batteries which is rather nice. It’s the old story, buyer beware. Oh I forgot there was no invoice or return address so that’s why it’s good to pay with PayPal because they give a guarantee of looking after you in case anything goes wrong

I’m looking out for some software preferably free software to make a clickable map for my 5G website so people can see what is going on in a particular country. I’m not going to invest the time unless I read positive reviews, unless I found a video that explains how to do it, and unless the creator’s website is informative.

Back to tennis. So Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal. It was a cracking good match with Pedro returning impossible balls.

This weekend, every little village on earth is having a fair, but here in Midsomer Norton we are having a day with bands and performances and competitions and so on.

Good news, the weather is fine.

It’s garden time

Painting inspiration this morning at Pengover Green wildflower meadow! 🌸🌼🌻

Well, that’s an lovely way to start the garden theme by giving you a link to click on. What comes to my mind is the glories of nature. It only lasts about 30 seconds.

The National Garden Scheme, a charitable project where people open their own private gardens for a few days per year. People come along and pay four pounds or five pounds and in return can wander around for an hour or so and be treated tea and cakes. This time we went to a place called Wellfield Barn which was one of these places that is so close and so far from civilisation in this case Wells.  Virginia’s husband had departed this planet a few years ago but she gamely continues to do charitable events, show people round, tells the story how the house went from nothing 22 years ago to a lovely garden.  Until recently when she was unfortunate enough to break her leg she presided over concerts in the living room.

The atmosphere of this place was so convivial that you could take a group of complete strangers and in 15 minutes they would be talking like old friends. An enormous amount of love and caring went into the walls and you can tell it.

One of the other visitors had just returned from the Shetland Islands where he had spent two weeks with his wife. He decided the best way was to drive up to Aberdeen and take a 12 hour ferry. They visited in early June. I asked about the mosquitoes and they said there were none probably due to the relatively inclement weather with associated wind.

Anyway, here are a few pictures to give some idea of what it was like with commentary where necessary. These are in no particular order.

A sunset view. In the middle of the picture you can just about see Glastonbury Tor
The lady of the house, with whom you do not trifle, holding forth about the history of the house
a lovely little bubbly pool powered by an electric pump. Very discreet.

two people deep in conversation
the main house, with skyscape


If music be the food of love + Useless UK Home Office + Evangelism done right

If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.

I know the first line but I haven’t a clue why Duke Orsino should ask for an excess of it. (guess) Of course if you have too much the appetite will sicken and die. Maybe this is is attempt to deal with unrequited love, his aim being to stuff himself sick with his own passion. I’m not really into William Shakespeare.

However, back to the current world, to this date and time.

Shame on me, or should I say lack of discipline, I don’t listen to as much good classical music as I should do. I read somewhere about the pianist – Eric Lu– who won the Leeds piano competition. I find the quality of his playing quite stunning and this is what I used to start my day.

I find it interesting that music therapy has been examines for use in dealing with numerous medical conditions. All forms of music may have therapeutic effects, although music from our own culture may be most effective though not necessarily in my case. I love Indian music for example. This is a lightweight but interesting article.

Enjoy this Beethoven video.

Today, I met a new plot holder that I mentioned yesterday, Neil. He turned out to be a widower of about 65 years of age accompanied by two dogs, Polly and Mary Kate. His wife died a couple of years ago and he thought he had overcome his loss but suddenly, strong emotions came back to him unexpectedly and he found the episode difficult to deal with. He decided to be proactive and go to a local college to attend a so-called “mindfulness day”. I have no idea what the detail was but his plan gave him the courage and the means to move on. I commented that emotions come when you’re ready to handle them and he agreed with that.

He says that having an allotment plot would enable a change in his life because he could get out more. His home is about 100 m away from the allotments themselves so this is absolutely ideal. I got a good feeling from him when I spoke to him on the phone. As my South African friend would say “he’s got something to bring to the party”.  He starts working the plot on Saturday. Job done.


The UK Home Office are completely and utterly useless. My wife who has a French passport applied for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and today she received the reply.

This is the PDF version of the letter. The only problem is that there is no visible text. Fortunately I immediately recognised the problem – that some incompetent had set the text colour to white. I did Ctrl + C, and copy and pasted the invisible text, chose black and we could then read it. Francoise has received permission. I guess hundreds of applicants must have received this and have been utterly confused.  Surprise surprise there is no phone number to find out since it all has to be done by e-mail. As we say, the Home Office couldn’t even organise a piss up in a brewery. Thank goodness I don’t have much to do with them. I guess that the average pay there is quite low so as they say ‘if you pay peanuts you get monkeys’. I’m sure there is some political incorrectness in that statement but quite frankly I don’t care.


In last Sunday’s diary I wrote about my  visit to an exhibition tent run by a group of churches in Keynsham at the culmination of the local music week. I was invited to come to a talk aided “Free barbecue life story” at the Crown Inn. Someone called Tim was going to speak. He was brought up an atheist. Since I was so impressed by the atmosphere of the tent I thought I would come along and give it a go. I turned up and somehow found my way into a garden behind The Crown Inn and saw a group of people milling around and chatting away. A cold barbecue was set out. I didn’t know a soul but I felt at home so that didn’t really matter. In my experience it’s only a matter of time before you start chatting to someone and on this occasion this proved to be the case.

I went back into the main bar to get myself a coffee. I got the impression that the lady behind the bar, one and a certain age, was not quite with it. I stood for a couple of minutes waiting to be served. She looked around from what she was doing and jumped as if I was an intruder. I asked for a coffee and asked what type. She said “what do you mean?”. I said filter. She replied ” it has gone cold”. The conversation stalled at that point. She said brightly as an afterthought “I could make you another”. She put some copy in the filter and poured a full measure of water into the machine. I guess it would take some time. It did indeed. She said “would you like some milk?”. I replied in the affirmative. She shuffled off down a long passage and reappeared 2 min later with a 2L bottle of milk which she gave to me. “You can help yourself” she said.  As a bonus, I got two packets of brown sugar.

Meanwhile, the manager placed a cup and saucer on the bar with a little packet of three biscuits. I declined the biscuits. She noticed and said “you don’t want them then”. I wanted to explain that biscuits didn’t quite go with a barbecue but felt that I would be wasting my breath. Keynsham is a funny ‘in between place’ it’s not city, it’s not town, it’s not a village. I don’t know what it is really.  In a way, the fact  the staff have not been trained reflects this. There was a feeling of “make it up as you go along”. It was not unpleasant, just a bit chaotic.

But anyway, back to the main part of my story.

I met two bikers. The first one was named K.J. who was much adorned with silver rings on all his fingers, who said fairly early on in the conversation that he had Asperger’s syndrome and OCD. Asperger’s is characterised by significant difficulties in social interaction and non-verbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour and interests. He said more than once that he could not understand sarcastic humour. I in my turn did not understand why he did not.

OCD is obsessive/compulsive disorder.    I admitted that I had OCD in a very minor form and we were amazed to find what we had in common. We both hated being late for something and feel that if someone has agreed to turn up on time they should do so. His flat was a model of tidiness, and had 250 model cars on display, all arranged in a tidy configuration plus  models including boats but I forgot the details of. His kitchen at home is immaculate. Every morning he gets up at about 3 AM. Quite what he does at those times we did not establish but it matters not.

He and I both have a habit of sitting at the back of church at services normally in the same place because we want to feel there is an escape route if things go wrong. Interestingly, he has done a lot of good deeds for a lot of people for which it requires no thanks and effect is embarrassed to be thanked. He told me he had done this since the age of 14. I admitted that I liked things to be orderly and when I crossed the street, I had to walk across in even numbers of steps. I could not say what happened if that did not happen because I never let it happen. We both agreed that is very nice to meet a fellow OCD person because you don’t have to explain. I said that if you accept the impediment that say it turns into a characteristic or a feature and is not a problem.

Amazingly, to my left, sat a chap called Richard, also 75, also with wet macular disease. Who says like doesn’t attract like. These two ‘speople have been bikers all their lives and could talk indefinitely about bikes so I had to struggle to getting the word edgeways. I did not mind this at all.

I then saw what I consider to be the ideal style of evangelism which is not evangelism but a personal testimony. Tim was an atheist with atheist parents one of whom was a scientist and the other I can’t remember but  they most definitely did not believe in God and nor did he for the first 24 years of his life. He then met a group of people who were ‘different’ and eventually found himself speaking to God in his head, how ironic for someone who does not believe in God at all. Here is a flavour of part of his talk. You may have to turn your speakers up because the sound level is a bit low.

I was attracted to him because he started by saying that he didn’t want to give an evangelical talk, but just wanted to chat about his experience. In other words he was giving a testimony. I love testimonies because they don’t put any pressure on you at all, take it or leave it, relate to it or not.

He is an IT consultant. He told me afterwards that his boss calls him in once a week for a chat which can often last one and a half hours. He told me that for the first two or 3 minutes they talk about work and then he spends the rest of the time answering questions from his boss about God. That is most impressive if you’re the sort of person that people can open up to especially your superiors at work. The boss must have a tremendous respect for Tim to do this.

I remember, when I was but a teenager my job was to clean the brass in the church of which my father was a vicar. There was a small plaque in the pulpit which said “Sir, we would see Jesus”. To be an effective testimony giver you have to keep yourself out of the way and just be a vehicle, unspoken if you will, of another level of existence – that level is one of faith and belief. Too many preachers are full of themselves and their own ego I’m sorry to say and when people lose their ordinariness I lose interest in them.

I have a chat with Tim after his talk wondering if he could help with one of my websites. I will only work on a project with people who are on my wavelength. Tim recommended a friend who was a street pastor working in Bristol’s I shall give him a call and see what happens. If you try and work with someone who doesn’t know what you are doing and why you are doing it, it is so much more difficult and time-consuming as I have learned to my cost but hey that’s the normal way of learning.

I chatted to KJ and Richard after the talk and said that you never know when an opportunity for sharing your beliefs is going to come up. One of the reasons I do not listen to music on headphones when I walk along the street is that it makes me less aware of what is going on and you never know, a brief “good morning” maybe the very thing that will make a difference to somebody’s day. To me that is worth a lot. I enjoy putting myself second and others more in focus.

Car crashes, Why? – trees talking to trees – Wimbledon

Today is one of those days when I have a great list of things to do. At nine o’clock this morning someone rang me asking if they could have a plot on my allotments or should I say the allotments which I run. The plot in question is notoriously wild but the chap who wanted it was quite happy to take on something wild and tame it. How often in life have I found that a problem which has been bothering me for ages just suddenly solves itself. This was one of those cases. I wrote to him welcoming him and telling him that for the rest of this season he would not have to pay rent. I subsequently went along to the plot concerned and tidied it as much as I could

I went to have breakfast at The Hub, which is a restaurant come library in Paulton. On the way in I noticed the following

I had a good look inside the car and it seemed that the accident looked worse than it actually was, but of course it will be a write-off because the chassis will probably have been bent. I was just reflecting on accidents and why there are so many of them. I can see how easily they can be caused by lack of control and lack of attention. I can imagine someone being impatient and purposely switching off their brain – or switching to the reptile brain –  so that they can overtake another car which is going too slowly in their opinion anyway. A few days ago I was stuck behind a car on a single file winding lane and there was no way I could overtake without exposing myself to danger. I decided therefore to decrease my speed, enjoy the countryside, and forget about the extra minutes I might be losing. What would I do with the time I had saved?

In the country in general I drive like I am in a funeral cortege because the very time you go fast round the corner will be the time you come up against a car was a tractor or other agricultural machine. There would only be one loser, and that would be the machine.

In 2017 170,993 people were injured in the UK. That is 168 people each day I wonder how many people woke up in the morning and said to themselves ” I have a premonition I I’m going to have an accident, I must drive carefully”. I believe that the vast majority if not all were completely unaware of any possibility. There is a countervailing hypothesis.

I believe that we are all telepathic and I believe that events can send shock waves forward and backwards in so called time. I believe that you can prevent something happening in the future when there is a distinct possibility of it happening. When I drive, I pay complete attention to what I call pressure waves and if I sense that something is about to go wrong I will drive accordingly. Defensive driving, I think it is called.

I have not had an accident now for many years. The last one was with a concrete column in a car park. In short, I believe that if you are focused with all your skills and abilities at your command the risk of being involved in an accident will go down to almost nothing. In other words, if someone is about to pop out from a side road, I will be able to sense it. I hope that these are not famous last words but I do practice what I preach and it seems to be successful.


To the chemist to get a prescription. I saw the most ghastly horrible advert for children’s dental health. I can see what they were getting at but this is just a plain and simple bad piece of design. It demonises the child and demonises the condition. What encouragement is there for the mother to look at this aberration of a picture and bring her child in for care and attention.I have a joke with the receptionist at the counter. I told her that I’d only coming to benefit from the air conditioning system. She looked me straight as anything and nodded but then she suddenly realised I was joking, smiled, and said that it yes it was particularly warm outside. I specialise in making small talk with people and particularly I like telling jokes because I think it lightens the atmosphere and anyway, it’s fun. I recommend it for breaking the ice in any company.


There are times when I simply can’t concentrate due to distractions – this time with tennis. I have decided to make a loaf of bread which I have to say this time is a brilliant example, perfectly baked and a meal in itself.

From the next room comes the sounds of tennis and it is Serena Williams and Andy Murray battling it out with another mixed pair. Serena has the most sublime and accurate almost theatrical playing style. I am transfixed. Andy’s game is definitely improved with Serena at his side.

Will this young man be a player of the future? He seems to be taking everything in 100%.

Good to see Judy Murray (Andy’s mum) without her dark glasses. She looks quite attractive without them . Maybe she has an eye problem and needs to avoid the sun. Who knows.

Anyway they won and here they are walking towards the referee in order to shake hands. It was an amazing match with quite brilliant moves which had the effect of making sure that I did no work whatsoever.

I do not know what goes on in the minds of the spectators. Are they there to see tennis or to be seen. The body language between them is not so great. Maybe they don’t know each other and just happened to be sitting together. Meanwhile at home….a slightly out of focus bowl of apples which my wife bought for our health and delectation today.

Meanwhile, the goldfish in our pond swim around completely oblivious of anything else that’s going on. Maybe they are the lucky ones.

Below you will see a video, not too long this time, about the way that trees communicate with each other which is by a vast underground network of nematodes. They supply each other with nutrition and make up for each others’ defects.

It is time to turn off the computer and prepare an evening meal.