Flood of biblical proportions averted

But first, a thought for the day. On my favourite radio religious programme TWR an Irish pastor was speaking about his work and told us of one of the most effective prayers he had ever heard ‘Lord, make me a link in the chain of thy purpose’.  In other words we should not see ourselves as needing to be in the public eye or loved or be a key part of anything but as part of a chain where we are influenced by and influence others. When I think of the huge challenge of the damage and potential harm wrought by Smart Meters never mind the forthcoming 5G there is no way I can do it by myself but I can spread the word, encourage others, be there for people, be a reliable reference point and other 24/7 things which will never make the local media never mind the National press or TV.

Another phrase which struck me this morning was the advice to ‘run away from evil’. The speaker was saying that this is not about cowardliness but about the fact that you should not consult with or argue with the devil and if someone is showing signs of malevolence or even the best thing may be to withdraw. It is unlikely that such a person will listen to you and it is very unwise to get drawn into a whirlpool of anger and hatred and ignorance.


Sometimes I can have too much imagination for my own good. It started with a slight dribble of water down the side of the wash basin in the bathroom and then increased to a fine spray.We placed a large dishcloth over the spray to create a miniature waterfall which we diverted into a bucket. We called our ever-reliable plumber Robert but he was not available until the next day.

I would like to record what went on in my mind. It I followed the chain of activities to make sure as far as possible that whatever happened would not result in an expensive and inconvenient flood i.e. have plan B and then plan C. The stopcock to the bungalow is in a bedroom surrounded by clothes and papers. I tried to turn it off with no success. It was well and truly stuck. So I decided to visit the stopcock in the road and figure out how to turn off the supply. In so doing I found as ever YouTube to be of incredible value. There was a video entitled “how to turn off your stopcock in the street”. Unfortunately the stopcock is about the length of my arm down from the street so I opened up the small manhole cover and had to reach down through muddy water to try and find it.

I’m glad I don’t have nosy neighbors because they would’ve seen me lying on my front of the street at 10:30 at night. Anyway I realized that as the whole area was full of water I would have to bail it out; finally I found the little tab which you’re supposed to turn 45% to the right. Again I did not have the right tools so that drew a blank as well. I was therefore vulnerable to an escalation of the situation.

I then decided that the only alternative was to stop an escalation of the leak and I cut a piece of garden hose to fit it over the spray. This appeared to succeed, the noise stopped, and I was able to go to bed in a reasonable state of quietude.

We went next morning to find the noise a bit louder; Robert was due to come only at 3 PM. so we had to stay ‘on duty’ so to speak watching for every sound. I decided if the leak became worse I would turn on other taps to minimize the pressure.

Robert turned up in the afternoon and diagnosed the problem which was a wearing out of a part (illustrated above). He said that cheap materials of which this was an example were often used and said that he would have paid three times as much as this Chinese product knowing that it would last indefinitely or at least many times longer.

He managed to open stopcock in the house, and had the tool to close the stopcock in the street altogether. I have decided to order a ‘turner-offer’ which by the way is due to arrive as I write from B and Q so that if this happens in the future, I will know what to do. He advised us to turn the internal stopcock on and off once a month to prevent seizing up.

Robert told me about a situation of someone to whom a leak happened when they were on holiday and on returning they found that the bath had overflowed, the water had taken down the ceiling of the kitchen downstairs and caused about 10,000 pounds worth of damage.

I’m quite pleased with myself that I was able to avoid panic, to plan ahead and make the most of the learning situation so that if it happens again I will know what to do. I don’t know what I would’ve done if water had been gushing out but then that is what house insurance is for.

List of groups that are a casualty of Facebook

No, this is not diary material but it’s something that everyone should be aware of. Its not a question of conspiracy theory but conspiracy fact. Ed.

FB is less and less likely to be a source of impartial information. I was shocked to read in a blog the list of casualties. Read the full article here.

A List of Facebook Casualties

The following list is a work in progress—and these are just the pages we know about. Make a note of the deletion dates and the page themes.

  • Collectively Conscious (915K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Natural Cures Not Medicine (2.3M followers) – Deleted on June 11th, 2018.
  • I Want to Be 100% Organic (700K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Viral Alternative News (500K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Organic Health (230K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Natural Cures From Food (120K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Heart Centered Rebalancing (3.9M followers) – Deleted a few years ago.
  • Awareness Act (1.1M followers) – Deleted in mid-2017.
  • Conscious Life News (1.1M follower) – Deleted on June 5th, 2018.
  • Wake The Fuck Up (550K followers) – Deleted about a year ago.
  • Living Traditionally (570K followers) – Unpublished on June 5th, 2018.
  • Organic Wellness (600K followers) – Unpublished on June 5th, 2018.
  • Chocolate Socrates (608K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Earth We Are One (1.7M followers) – Deleted on June 5th, 2018.
  • Meditation Masters (2.3M followers) – Unpublished on June 5th, 2018.
  • People’s Awakening (3.6M followers) – Deleted on June 5th, 2018.
  • Nikola Tesla (1.7M followers) – Deleted on June 5th, 2018.
  • Interesting Stories (1.5M followers) – Deleted on June 5th, 2018.
  • The Warrior (1.7M followers) – Unpublished on June 5th, 2018.
  • Natural Health Warriors (140K followers) – Unpublished on June 5th, 2018.
  • Tech Explorers (270K followers) – Unpublished on June 5th, 2018.
  • Universe Explorers (1.5M followers) – Unpublished on June 5th, 2018.
  • Area 51 (1.5M followers) – Unpublished on June 5th, 2018.
  • The Global Meditation (70K followers) – Unpublished on June 5th, 2018.
  • Video Explorers (780K followers) – Unpublished on June 5th, 2018.
  • Spiritualer. Com (80K followers) – Unpublished on June 5th, 2018.
  • Flower of Life (670K followers) – Unpublished on June 5th, 2018.
  • EWAO (30K followers) – Unpublished on June 5th, 2018.
  • Global Freedom Movement (27K followers) – Deleted on June 19th, 2018.
  • Health & Alternative Medicine (550K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Pure Nature (1.7M followers) – Deleted on June 3rd, 2018.
  • Nature Gallery (654K followers) – Deleted on June 3rd, 2018.
  • Mesmerizing Nature (912K followers) – Deleted on June 3rd, 2018.
  • Nature’s Touch (150K followers) – Deleted on June 3rd, 2018.
  • We Really Like Animals (544K) – Deleted on June 20th, 2018.
  • Nature’s Majesty (191K followers) – Deleted on June 20th, 2018.
  • Nature Magic (33K followers) – Deleted on June 20th, 2018.
  • Floral Photobook (160K followers) – Deleted on June 20th, 2018.
  • My Own Little World (1.5M followers) – Deleted on June 20th, 2018.
  • Brighten Your Soul (100K followers) – Deleted on June 20th, 2018.
  • Essence of Spirit (12K followers) – Deleted on June 20th, 2018.
  • Jesse Ventura Fan Page (750K followers) – Deleted a few years ago.
  • Exposing the Truth (800K followers) – Deleted on June 5th, 2018.
  • Learning the Truth (1M followers) – Deleted on June 5th, 2018.
  • Latruth (7M followers) – Unpublished on June 5th, 2018.
  • Healthy Life Box (1.8M followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Healthy Food House (3.4M followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Health Awareness (2.5M followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Healthy Life And Food (350K followers) – Deleted on May 23rd, 2018.
  • Check These Things (80K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Health Care Above All (90K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Health and Healthy Living (450K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Health & Alternative Medicine (550K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Healthy Living Motivation (644K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Alternative Health Universe (420K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Natural Medicine Corner (411K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Organic Health Team (490K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Global Health Care (130K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Healthy Alternative Medicine (140K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Natural Healthy Team (190K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Organic Food Medicine (30K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Love, Health and Happiness (10K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Healthy Organic Life (25K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Healthy Lifestyle (55K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Guardian of Health (160K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Daily Health Keeper (190K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Health & Love Page (720K followers) – Deleted on June 5th, 2018.
  • Diabetes Health Page (180K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • The Beauty of Power (170K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Nutrition Facts and Analysis (170K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Deeper Perspectives (32K followers) – Deleted on June 13th, 2018.
  • Healthy Living (1.8M followers) – Deleted on June 5th, 2018.
  • Organic Planner (1.5M followers) – Deleted on June 5th, 2018.
  • Healthy Lifestyle (1.4M followers) – Deleted on June 5th, 2018.
  • Just Natural Medicine (1M followers) – Deleted on June 5th, 2018.
  • Great Remedies – Great Health (650K followers) – Deleted on June 5th, 2018.
  • Nature is Beautiful (1.1M Followers) – Deleted on June 3rd, 2018.
  • Amazing World (872k Followers) – Deleted on June 6th, 2018.
  • Pure Nature (425k Followers) – Deleted on June 6th, 2018.
  • Photography World (1.4M Followers) – Deleted on June 20th, 2018.
  • World Magazine (845k Followers) – Deleted on June 20th, 2018.

You’ll notice the majority of these pages refer to nature, health, natural medicine, organic food/living. Almost without exception, the remaining pages feature words such as “freedom,” “Tesla,” “conscious,” “awakening,” “aware,” “alternative,” “meditation.”

Gee, it’s almost as if there’s a war on consciousness—but I’m just a crackpot conspiracy theorist, right?

Editor, GlobalFreedomMovement.org




Humility, and unrequested sales emails from India

Great quote from today’s morning religious programme (no better way to start a day) “humility is not about thinking less of yourself but thinking about yourself less.”  This has nothing to do with today’s topic.


I receive many unrequited offers to help me with SEO, web development etc. Most of them are from India, and from a private person probably fishing for a small percentage of profits that they will get if the customer signs up with a real company.

I was attracted to this letter because it was written in good English. Normally there are at least three mistakes and they get immediately cast aside by moi.

Interestingly, the mother ‘site’, mediabysearch,com  is registered in Russia but the writer claims to come from India. I decided to amuse myself with syntax and spend the odd 10 minutes reflecting on her letter.

From:Alicia <alicialee@mediabysearch.com>
Subject:Design and Develop Website….??
Date:Wednesday, 27 June 2018 11:16 AM
Size:13 KB

Hello Brian,

I am Alicia, I apologies for my cold outreach!!

Are you looking for Mobile Apps to improve your business or you want to Website Design\Redesign of your Business?

We can design and develop Mobile app to help you deliver more value to customers in your specific industry. I hope, you’ll notice that many small businesses you interact with in your daily life have their own dedicated app.

We offer the following services, all at Flat Rate prices:

1.      Apps Development (iPhone/iPad, Android & Hybrid/Web App)

2.      Mobile Responsive Website

3.      Website Re-Designing

If you are interested then please reply back to this email today and let me send you links to our portfolio and vast gallery of our many happy customers. Also, if you send me your detailed project specifications I will be more than happy to provide you with a flat rate price.

I appreciate your time and consideration.



Business Development Consultant (India)

To which I replied:

This is written not only in English but in the English language.  Lots of brownie points for that.
Your outreach was not cold (you are not a cold person are you?) You can have cold calling, a cold attitude, giving someone the cold shoulder, but cool and calculating, cool as a cucumber, etc.
The horrible American term is ‘I reach out to you’. Ugh.
Outreach programmes are to the unconverted and helpless. Maybe I am both.
I have tried to find your site without success but here is a commentary on it:
mediabysearch.com is 7 months 1 week old. It has a global traffic rank of #14,259,135 in the world. It is a domain having .comextension. This website is estimated worth of $ 8.95 and have a daily income of around $ 0.15. As no active threats were reported recently by users, mediabysearch.com is SAFE to browse.  (cutestat.com)
Let me know when you have an up and running site and we can continue.
<end of letter>
I will certainly keep you in touch with anything that happens.
We very seldom take trains on account of cost but tomorrow we plan to go to Weymouth, which is on the South coast of UK and mingle with the crowds. The train is via Frome, a cross country effort that does not attract premium charges. I decided to check on the train, the 9.47am and see if the hot weather itself causes problems (30 degrees causes the track to buckle).  Sure enough today’s train has got stuck some way south of Castle Carey and remained there for an hour due to ‘a fault’.  Does lightening  strike twice? Will I be delayed if I travel on the same train tomorrow?  Who knows.

men are hopeless at cuddling

Gosh this is such an awkward picture. Anyone can read the body language here. Poor old Paul. I think women can have a good embrace and cuddle easier than men.When I see men trying to embrace, it reminds me of two robots crashing into each other. I wonder why. I think it is because in our youth we had little or no example of men expressing affection for each other so perhaps it is a skill that has to be learned. Sometimes, people go too far the other way and crush the life of the hand that shakes them. I remember at a funeral in France I was embraced by – it must have been 20 men – but they all did it naturally and without a shade of embarrassment. I guess us Brits have a thing or two to learn.

Its a big question whether we shake hands or not. I prefer not to, giving a nod instead.  Shaking hands goes back to the time when you needed to show that you did not have a hidden sword. I find that outside a formal business situation and especially with women, hand shaking is regarded as redundant. Sometimes, to avoid any confusion, I stand with hands behind my back and ‘the moment ‘ of introduction seems to pass without any embarrassment.

Picture Essay of visit to Wells

Yesterday on the way to Glastonbury we popped into a Reclamation yard that promises unusual items. I wasn’t quite sure whether this excellent outdoor stove would fit in our garden otherwise I would have bought it.

Today, off to Wells Cathedral gardens. The moat is very still and clear and the weeds can be seen with great clarity. 

A couple of allotmenteers with a sense of humor regularly dress their garden with a relevant theme.

A hand written sign in the allotments showing the amounts of community activity that goes on. A very handsome raised bed for Lettuces. No mobile phones around. This family is – wait for it – talking I was most impressed with this well travelled 2CV.


Reflections on midsummer’s day

We had a full house at Glastonbury, Chalice Well. For the first time it was uncomfortably crowded. The cakes ran out and who wants to stand in a long queue. Mind you, everyone talks to each other and you could not have asked for a more pleasant day. To my relief, very few of the women wear make-up which makes the real person easier to see. Why do women plaster make up on their faces.

Back to reality or third dimensional space and time, I find this illustration rather strong but it is oh so accurate.

The fact is that an awful lot of people are just too lazy to be bothered with anything outside their comfort zone. The more you take them out of their comfort zone or try to, the more toxic your behavior will be and the more they will resist you. I cannot see any way around this apart from telling jokes.


Well now, here is a story with a twist. I have somewhat of a fascination with YouTube videos of trains in the various forms, passenger, freight, snow clearing trains, old trains-  you name it.  Quite by chance, I came across a website called virtualrailfan.com. You can visit many stations and road junctions mainly in the USA and watched trains arrive and depart in real time. This example was Ashland, Virginia, USA. To the right of the images there is a chat board where people comment on the various features of the trains and gossip. It is a bit nerdy but fun.To my annoyance, I noticed that the clock on the right-hand side of this picture had a misalignment hour hand.  I commented on the chat board to say how sad it was that I was irritated and one of the other people, who presumably lived in the area, said he would look after it. One hour later, I returned to look at the screen and saw that the mis-alignment had been corrected. This viewer had gone along and put a ladder up the side of the clock and moved the hands.  The picture is of the corrected clock.


Situations that give me satisfaction

The image shown has nothing to do with anything apart from the fact that it amuses me. This could be a warning to those absent-minded people who are thinking  of leaving their bike parked. I’m assured that this is not a doctored picture.

I have decided today to do a review of all those activities that cause me pleasure, or a sense of satisfaction. Are you ready for a fairly bizarre and long list?

#1 The first one (clue below) is putting out washing on a sunny and windy day knowing that nature will do the job in a couple of hours.#2 – understanding something for the first time, when the brain ‘clicks’ and when the dots are connected.
#3 – sharpening the blade of a knife and trying it on material previously impervious to cutting
#4 – seeing that all my electronic devices are fully charged
#5 –  making a nice straight line with a mower on a lawn
#6 – serving food to a person who appreciates it
#7 – giving an unexpected present to a person
#8 – finding something that you thought you lost
#9 – doing a psychic reading on someone to be told that I was spot on
#10 – setting my GPS to get to a place and finding that I do so within a minute of the projected time
#11 – having a good nights sleep
#12 – talking to a complete stranger and having a wonderful conversation knowing that you will never see them again and you didn’t know they were
# 13 – discovering something I forgot I owned when I was about to buy a replacement
#14 – designing a website and seeing it propagated for the first time
#15 – Actually remembering the name of someone you met ages ago
# 16 – cracking open a boiled egg to see that it is exactly right
#17 – opening curtains in the morning to see a clear blue sky

Interesting how few of these involve money.


Morning church service then old steam engines

This morning was a combined service of the Holy Trinity benefice in Paulton. The congregation was composed of about 60 people; as is my won’t I sit in the back row. The marriage banns were read. There were two couples going to get married, and shortly after they were read one of the two couples hurried in a couple of minutes later. They were obviously ill at ease due to unfamiliarity with the service, never mind the full works with Holy Communion included. The man did not endear himself to me by continually sniffing. Have people not heard of handkerchiefs?

I read an interesting article in the Telegraph today asking “if chewing, sniffing or clicking gives you the rage? What it’s like to suffer from misophonia. This term, discovered by US scientists Margaret and Pawel Jastreboff translates as ‘hatred of sound’. I suffer from sounds that are outside the normal context for example people coughing during musical recitals, or sudden unexpected sounds.

I found the service dragged on a bit. The prayers were too numerous, the hymns were too long and the tunes were unfamiliar. The sermon was good, talking about the need to take responsibility for your faith by sharing our faith with other people, something that does not come naturally to the average English class but never mind. The preacher thought that had not St Paul undertaken his various journeys under very difficult circumstances the sect of Christianity as it was at that time would have remained small and insignificant.

The other thing that makes me uncomfortable is the so-called ‘Passing the Peace” where everyone goes round shaking hands with everybody else. I must be charitable at this stage and say that perhaps it is very good for people to come out of their shells and make some sort of physical contact with the other people there. I myself pass the parcel as I call it to between six and eight other people, those in the immediate vicinity of where I’m sitting. Guide, the regular vicar, makes a point of coming to everybody and so he reaches the length and breadth of the church.

I love these symmetrical numbers. The message on the left relates to a failure of the five computers within the car to talk to each other. There is nothing actually wrong with the car.


Home, via Tesco’s, where this last week I must have put in £60 worth of petrol and this only for local journeys. Goodness knows how people manage you got to travel long distances in connection with their work or even a long commute. Off to Trowbridge in Wiltshire. I find the people of Wiltshire different from the people of Somerset. They are more quaint, I feel there are a higher proportion of travelers and I could be quite wrong, but they are a friendly bunch and they definitely express themselves differently.

To the “Wessex Midsummer Vintage Show Near Symington, Trowbridge which is supporting the ‘Children’s Hospice South West’. It boasted a series of engine, tractors, steam, vintage cars and motorcycles, vintage horticultural machinery etc. In this it did not disappoint.  in what will turn into a pictorial essay where the images should speak for themselves, you will get some flavour of the whole. It was held in a huge L-shaped field which meant that the stalls were not close together and that the two mechanical steam organs did not interfere with each other.

I think it’s a fair comment to say that Wiltshire people know how to do things differently.



Next, off  to the lavender farm who not only sell lavender and products but also run a bijou cafe.  Faulkland BA3 5WA from one of the waitresses I got what must’ve been the quote of the month. Upon telling her that the ice cream was a little bit too cold to enjoy its she suggested that I put it ‘in the microwave for a few minutes’  Now that is someone who really understands what they are serving. I declined the offer.

The land before dinosaurs

At about 10:30 PM, we decided to go for another of our famous spontaneous days, with the initial rationale of the need to pick some eggs from our local farm and to pick up my mower from the repair shop in Kilmersdon. I had another expensive repair bill mainly because I use the mower not for mowing lawns but for demolishing rough areas which the mower blade in general is not designed to do. I have learnt my lesson now after the second bill and will use the mower for what it has been designed to do namely mowing lawns. I have a new strimmer of the ‘take no prisoners’ variety so I will use that instead.

We decided to go on impulse to Mells including our favourite outdoor cafe and garden shop combined. On the way we saw this poster and I was intrigued by its originality. It is next Tuesday so I thought I might go. I will certainly get the chance to meet a new lot of people and it will make a refreshing change from my normal routine. No matter how many times I go to the outdoor cafe and gardens, it is never the same and this time we were treated to rampant growth in what is the highest point of the year as the following pictures will show.This is an area in front of a wall overlooking a field where you can have tea brought to you if you so wish. The main serving area, partly covered, much loved by the locals. You need to be well off to live in Mells so don’t ask about the prices.  If I tell you that the average house price is £1,643,985 you will see what I mean. However I suspect that this is inflated by a few very special houses in the historical part. I can recommend Mells to anybody on a fine day as the ultimate relaxant. There is only one street so you can’t get lost. Park by the Post Office and walk up the hill.

An eating area that can be used in case of rain. This was previously a second-hand shop but I don’t think it was making any money so everything was cleared out.I have no idea which variety these flowers these are but they were most attractive. What next?

In the Mells Post Office I saw an advertisement for a Summer Fair so we thought ‘why not’? The weather was indifferent but we decided to go anyway. The local Radstock museum had a very clear banner, simply laid out, which I found very attractive. I liked the text and layout and even the font because it was not too busy and did not try to say too much. People only have a few seconds to take things in..There was a very original stall about snake rescue. the couple who ran it knew everything about snakes and said that the only poisonous snake in the UK is an adder, all the rest just want to escape from people if they can lead a quiet life. They were encouraging people to touch and hold the snakes.

A magic hat competition.

The local clown and clowness telling funny stories. If you can hold the attention of the children, then the parents will love you.

After having a pint of cider, speckled hen no less, and enjoying every last drop of it I noticed that the local quarry were running trips. You would be amazed how many stone quarries there are in Somerset. They are vast, and typically hidden by woods so you don’t see how big they are.

For years I have been curious to see what one looks like from the inside but you can’t just walk in because during the working week they are a security area. This one run by Tarmac, close to Leigh on Mendip,  was 1000 metres in length and 500 m in width. It had been active for about 30 years and they had just applied to go down another five layers or steps as I think they are called.  I was very interested to learn how many grades of stone there were. The crusher is set accordingly. It can start at 20 mm in diameter and go down to little larger than dust size.The limestone on which we were standing to look round was formed well before dinosaurs came on the earth which makes it quite a few hundred million years old. There are layers of clay which are unsuitable; the company find  the occasional fossil but the rest is hard usable rock.Here are some of the machines used to do the loading onto lorries. I did not photograph the crusher machine which is many times as large.


This is an example of when we just go somewhere without any preconceived plans, we end up by having a far better and more interesting time. I would never have dream that I would have the chance to go and visit a real live quarry but there it was, right in front of us, so we jumped at the chance without any hesitation even though we didn’t have the right footwear and  the weather was not very good. We thought to ourselves, when Will we have another chance?


To a private view, 6-8pm,  at the Andelli Art Gallery situated in a private house near Wells. Good wine and a small amount of nibbles. I amaze myself. On the way a little voice said to me that I was going to buy a work of art. We turned up to find quite a goodly crowd of people there and blow me down, there was the art work staring me in the face, calling me to buy it. It is vulgar to talk about price if but it was a useful amount. I will show it in my diary later on in July when it is delivered but it’s about a work of art of asking a question and in this case several questions.

I met several delightful people, one of whom had traveled down from Richmond in London and another of whom had worked at the Royal College of Art also in London. I realised how important art is as a therapy and as a statement and down from now on to take care of myself in this respect.


To the Old Down Inn  and we ordered a whitebait and a couple of drinks. In the corner was sitting very well built gentleman and his wife were turned out to be the grandfather of no less than nine children. Evidently, regularly, he takes the grandchildren into his house for a sleepover at weekends on a regular basis. I said to him that I would never do such a task but he said that they will look after each other and behave well. I was most impressed by the fact that they do not allow iPads or any form of mobile telephony. Any child who brings them as to give them in. As a result, they play, talk, share, experiment, in the way that children should do.

The grandparents said that if the children complained, then they didn’t have to come and the choice was theirs. , well I was enormously encouraged by the moral stance of these people and on leaving the bar I wish them all the best and told them to keep up what they were doing.

it is necessary to greet the parrot who is at the entrance to the pub just inside the front door. He says hello to you anyway even though you don’t respond but I always say hello in parrot language.All in all, a thoroughly good day. Getting away from the office, mental stimulation, doing something new, meeting complete strangers, and encountering a work of art that wanted me to be the owner. Looking at the leaflet below I have a feeling what tomorrow is going to bring.


Three dud garden jobs

Today is somewhat of a record. For the first time in all my 30 years gardening experience, we have had three jobs on the trot which for various reasons did not work out.

The first one was four lawns, I politely call them lawns.  They were actually little better than fields. For some time they had just been strengthened and the cut grass had just been allowed to fall. What happens is that after a time, a mat builds up and new grass has to struggle to get through. This results in a deterioration of the whole. I asked the customer what would happen to the land if I mowed it and she just said “we’re just trying to keep the grass down that’s all”. The whole area has an unloved look and feel about it and I felt that I would not make any useful contribution so I declined.

The second job was a graveyard in Timsbury, a job which involved streaming over 100 graves each of which were in a different condition. Most of them had not been touched for some time. I estimated that as each grave had to be treated as a separate entity, it would take around two days to do the whole thing and then once it had been done, maintenance would have been less expensive than two days. The Parish Church Council had a meeting and they decided that one of them would “have a go”. I said that the graveyard had reached such a stage that having a go would only result in further mess and I was not prepared to go along and clear up someone else’s mess. People do not realise how much work is involved in getting something from a dishevelled state into a working condition.

The third job was even more complicated. It was in a place called Shoscombe, which is close to the middle of nowhere as I can recall, deep in the country along small winding lanes, up and down hills, up hill and down dale as they would say in my native Yorkshire. The customer had bought an area of land behind his house which he hoped to sell for housing. Unfortunately, an area of land is only as good as the access which was of a very narrow lane, down at least 100 yards of track, actually part of a field. The grass was so high that we had to wade through it. The garden itself was a complete mess which although small in area had a number of carpets laid upon it to prevent weeds growing.

I asked the customer if he had got planning permission and he replied that an architect friend of his was coming along the following week to give advice.  I said that our input would be relevant only if the way was clear, or likely to be clear, for a building. Without this permission, the purchased land would be virtually worthless or at best could be used only for agriculture. The problem with the track was that it was narrow and the lane at the other end was also very narrow probably just about the width of a lorry. In order to go down the track it would have to be made good and to further complicate things, there was nowhere to turn at the end.

I told the customer to call me when he had sorted out its problems. I do not expect to hear from him again. This is a good lesson when buying any land. You need to think ahead to what you want and what are the conditions necessary for the success of your plans. The customer failed to do this and I think will suffer accordingly.