Can you guess someone’s profession from looking at them?

Today we went to a local picture framing company who was celebrating 10 years of trading, of which five years had been in the premises on an industrial estate part of which is shown below.

Outside I spotted a very flashy car with the logo “Greenplanet” I was intrigued by this and wondered whose car it was.

I asked the chap who was helping serving drinks and he pointed to the singer on the right-hand side of the duo that had been hired to entertain us. Lo and behold, the owner of the car was the lady on the right. I would never guess in a million years she was a professional car tuner. I went up to talk to her after the set. She specialises in high-performance diesels. She plugs in some equipment to see the performance of the diesel, sends the report off to a company in the North of England and receives a ‘setting report’ showing how the car can be tweaked for better performance and greater economy.

So, as they say, you can never tell.

We decided to go to the tiny village of Stanton Drew where there are various ancient stones. We find it a very peaceful place to just ‘be’ in except if the cows who are allowed to graze on the field show too much interest.

It was a lovely blowing day and if you look very good eyesight right in the middle of the image you can see an EasyJet plane flying south from Bristol airport.

enlarge to read. CtrlC and + on a PC

Back to the village and I could not help noticing the ad for a Bavarian evening by the Village Hall, It sounds fun.

A lovely view of the inside of the local Norman church.

So, a nice blow on a perfect day for walking and being out in the fresh air. 21°C and wind blowing from the south-west.

A strange day – a great example of speaking your mind

My digestive problems continue and I can hardly eat anything without being  troubled with acidosis. I have joined a Facebook group on the subject and it seems I have plenty of fellow sufferers. The answer is diet for the most part. Acid suppressants such as Omeprazole are not the answer, because we do need acid in our stomach to digest food.

I find myself extremely allergic to dairy products, including milk, cheese, even I suspect butter, but I can put away a traditional English breakfast without any problem at all. As my readers will know this is an activity not entirely unknown to me. I was considerably ‘down’ this morning and decided to go to bed and stayed there for about two hours. When I arose, my appetite had returned and I felt somewhat easier with myself. However, this trend cannot continue, and I shall make of another attempt to contact the doctor on Monday to have a scan.

I’m a little bit concerned about cancer and the possibility of it.  My sister Marigold and my mother both died of it. I want to make sure that it does not visit me.  I know I’m 75 years of age but I do want to enjoy a good few more years of physical health.

There is a huge amount of educational material to watch this week. There is an exposition of talks on 5G given by 42 experts and as each is one hour long it is very difficult to encompass them all when the impact given by even one is so great that it takes me most of the day to recover from its implications and absorbed into my system.

I gave a quote for a job recently, a lovely job working to tidy up a hedge that got overgrown and put light excluding material on an area which needed to be kept clean. I have a horrible feeling, though I may be wrong, that the people concerned who run a centre for rescue dogs have no idea how much things cost. I charge £20 an hour per person, so in this case the bill was £500 for the labour. They will probably draw in their teeth and think it is too much.  I do wonder whether the uncertainty about Brexit has caused everyone to draw in their horns and be more careful about money.

I received a request for a reading from someone who I last met three years ago in Finland. He asked about the reliability of a potential job hire from Russia and asked me what I thought. He also asked about the condition of his mother. This is much easier to do then you may think but you do need discipline and focus. We are all connected together at a higher level though the education system does its best to bash this knowledge out of us.

We spent two hours this evening watching a video of a most remarkable chap called Mark Passio who lives and works in Philadelphia in America.  He has perfected the art of plain speaking. His video lasted for two hours and if you have never met plain speaking before you might like to watch this one. It’s about the fact that were too scared to see the world as it is. ***Just put up with the liberal use of the F word*** .

I can only say that I can agree with him point after point.

An imaginative scheme by the Rotary Club

Today we had nothing much to do and the weather was favourable so we decided to go on a bus tour of the area, Bath via Frome, starting with a breakfast at Wetherspoon’s. The best time to go is 10:30 in the morning after the breakfast rush hour and before the lunch. We are used to spotting the regulars. There is one particular woman who always has a half pint glass in her hand. I’m not sure if she even bothers with breakfast. She is there every day. Wetherspoon’s supports a variety of lifestyles I must say.

There is a bus to Frome every hour or so which picks up at the small villages along the way. But in spite of that it delivers us to that town in about 50 min and we being pensioners don’t pay anything.

We were a bit late for the bread but never mind.

A disused church has been converted into a bakery. The acoustics are perfect for conversation, not overwhelming, very friendly to young children and presided over by a very cool gang of young people who deliver superb bread as well as coffee, croissants and cakes.

Standing at the servery is one of the local characters which this small but trendy town has plenty. I had a pain aux raisins with a rather small latte.

Off to the town centre, here is a small sample of the delightful traditional or should we say trendy or retro material.

a new coffee bar that has sprung up recently
not sure whether this is in jest or what
a well used noticeboard is always a good sign of the cultural activity and Frome does not disappoint

And so to a second-hand charity shop run by the Rotary club. They do a huge amount of good work throughout the world and I only realised this when I saw two of their posters, below. The club rent out the space and give it over to various groups on a week by week basis. The stock in the premises is contributed by customers coming in the door, but also by the Rotary Club itself.  The idea is that in return for manning the shop the charity gets all the income from the people for its own funds. Those who are aware of the difficulties of managing volunteers will see the elegant simplicity of this scheme.

This week, the volunteers were from Open storytellers activities. They work with “physically and emotionally disadvantaged people, those who are marginalised because of learning and communication difficulties. They do this through varied work around telling and sharing stories, including personal narrative as well as classic stories using a collaborative approach based on 15 years of specialist research and innovative practice.

Their fundamental principle involves telling stories with people rather than to them using a collaborative approach that maximises personal engagement and ensures that individual abilities and needs are recognised and supported”. Further details of the organisation are here.

I needed reminding of the nature and scope of the Rotary International aspect

.               Suitably impressed, we continued our wander round the town.

this is another great idea, staffed by volunteers, that people can borrow tools they may only need for a few minutes or hours instead of going to the expense of buying a new product.
I find the poster below very apt, because the greatest cause of death among men under 40 is suicide.

Anyway, a very satisfactory visit so now we hop on the bus to Bath, again a delightful country drive.  I have written about Bath so many times but I merely mention that at the city Art Gallery there is an exhibition entitled “before, during, and after the Second World War” displaying various harrowing and haunting images portrayed by artists.

Being roasted by two community police

Off first thing to my local hospital to have a preparatory session for my forthcoming hernia operation. It is linguinial hernia i.e. near the scrotum and I was told that the after-effects of the operation are not without pain.  The nurse who spoke to me was obviously very experienced in sizing me up and getting information out of me. My blood pressure is a trifle high, 150/71 and she said that it should really be a maximum of 145 and that I would bring this down to this level by not eating cheese which is often full of salt, going for regular exercises and so forth. If the high level continues I should speak with my doctor.

The hernia operation itself could be up to 8 weeks away. I have to be at the hospital at either seven o’clock or 1 PM. I’m informed about this nearer the date. Nil by mouth for two hours before the operation. I was hoping it would be done earlier, but I’m in no pain and it is benign insofar as it will not do any damage but it is merely inconvenient. I wear a belt which stops it flopping all over the place and it seems to work all right.

I went to All Saints Paulton for usual coffee morning which is every Tuesday at 10 AM. Sitting at the end of the room were two policewomen.  I decided to talk with them since they were sitting a bit uncomfortably on their own. I forget her name but one of them was 25 years of age, she had studied criminology at University and lived in Westfield, which is the southern side of Midsomer Norton.

She had grown up in the area, she enjoyed her job particularly getting to know people and getting their trust. She and I were on the same wavelength, so we talked a lot about how thankless the task is but how everything you do is important, and how the sense of community is something that must not be lost. As police do not get a very good rap these days  I felt it my responsibility to give her some encouragement – which I did.

You may be asking why I said I was roasted. Police wear a variety of equipment including cameras. They have a communication system called TETRA which was blasting out radiation at me and after about 10 minutes I was getting pains in my head and experiencing general itchiness all over. How can these people can be desensitized enough to wear it all the time beats me. Maybe they are getting ill without knowing it. I know my local doctor sees plenty of them. Time will tell.

So what’s so important about our weight?

I’m aware now that the more fat I carry around with me the less healthy I become, the more work the heart has to do, the more my clothes will cease to fit and maybe the less comfortable I feel. At my age I am not concerned about ‘being attractive’. The main thing is to avoid frightening small children.

This is my body mass index calculator result. I like this particular calculator because it is friendly and easy to use. Sometimes I forget my height in centimetres for example.  I like the fact that the website includes real stories of people who have tried to lose weight so some people who are conscious of their weight might benefit from read this.

Obesity is becoming a bigger problem in this country. I don’t think it will ever get to the stage of America but we are up there among the most overweight in Europe. One thing I find unattractive about men is the beer belly. However, I have a particular dislike of very fat women. Some are so obese they cannot even walk without waddling. I wonder why no one has drawn this to their attention. They didn’t suddenly wake up one morning to discover they are overweight. I do not see how they can be comfortable. There are many things I don’t understand about the female of the species and I admit that this is one of them.

To finish off – Carbon Dioxide nonsense.

CO2 is nature’s natural fertilizer.
Increased CO2 leads to ‘greening’.
CO2 levels are lower than they should be at the moment.
CO2 comprises 0.04% of the atmosphere
97% is generated by nature itself
The balance, 3% (of the 0.04%), is generated by humans
of this 3% of this 0.04% (1/100 of a percent)
1.3% is created by one country (Australia) and the rest in proportion around the world.

oh – and the sea levels are stable in the mid hemisphere but going up by a maximum 1 mm a YEAR in the Northern Hemisphere.

See one of the many videos if you want.

We need a Carbon Dioxide Appreciation Day and — without this gas we would be — dead.

Another visit to a very sunny and warm Wells


an absolutely gorgeous day on the green. To add to the flavour, there was a wedding going on in the Town Hall and everyone was dressed to the nines.

We recently renewed our season tickets to the Bishops Gardens which is a very good investment. We paid for the two of us £52 for a 12 month membership starting on the day of the purchase. Admission is £8.05 per adult. Our visit last week, also our visit today would have cost us £32.20  which takes a healthy cut out of  the £52 for the whole year. We will have almost paid for our membership on the next visit.

Two swans and one surviving chick which have made themselves at home in the moat surrounding the castle grounds. The swans are new on the moat and first time parents – They nested well and had one chick to the surprise of all the carers of the wild life.

We now going to visit the 32 allotments in the Bishop’s Palace. I can’t imagine how long the waiting list will be for this. I would guess a few years.

looking at the main avenue bisecting the allotments
Apple is near to being ready
lovely corner of flowers and a courgette
surprisingly, a pond
labelled herbs
nature’s richness and diversity
nice place to view the Cathedral sitting on a shaded bench looking over the lake and springs at the far end
In the gardens, an attempt at a modern design. The idea is that the design and the different plants represent the stained glass of the cathedral.


On our way back home we went to a wood and enjoyed the dappled sunlight through the trees and discovered the first ripening  blackberries.  This in an unspoiled woodland area 200m east of the A37 on the Old Frome Road, Beacon Pond is a nearby feature. 51 deg 12’41.43″N  2 deg 31’11.61″W


Harvest flower celebrations + The world’s best situated allotments

We felt that today was the day for getting out and about, so what better place to start than a harvest flower celebration which Church of England churches do very well. People do not realise what a lot of effort goes into to the whole thing. The church concerned was St. Giles of Leigh on Mendip.

This church is in remarkably good order considering it was built in the 12th century. It has been renovated thanks to generous amounts of English Heritage and National lottery money. We are visiting a three-day event with the theme “what a wonderful world”. A more apt antidote to the misery that is going on I cannot think of so please come with me through the displays.

I want to call this one “small is beautiful”

Look carefully at this one. This work is made out of cost of plastic, paper, eggshells, other items that would go into the bin without a second thought.

I was particularly struck by the thoughtfulness of the words, almost amounting to poetry.

I find this almost alive and note how the backdrop has enhanced it.

Surely, a very good plug for having an allotment.

A lovely tapestry in the church hall.

An artwork made out of local and from 16th, 17th 18th & 19 th century – archaeology sites in & around the village.

This was a lovely church environment, comprising the church and the church hall. This has been extant for seven centuries; you cannot fake a feeling of history and indeed of peace.

If I continue this diary it will be such a long page that you would find it inconvenient to scroll down so now I’m going to cover my trip to Wells in what will be part two of this diary.


A holiday weekend spent at home

That’s the plan anyway.

For non-UK readers I should explain that this is a bank holiday weekend, the so-called “late summer bank holiday”  which means that next Monday is a work free day, a national holiday.  I was originally going to Manchester to see a friend but he was not available. So basically we decided to spend most of the time here in Midsomer Norton. There are certain advantages of not “doing anything.” First, you don’t get stuck in endless traffic jams which will definitely be on the M5, M4, A303, and also you don’t get caught up in situations such as pubs and restaurants where lots of young and enthusiastic children are running around all over the place while their parents sit staring at their mobile devices.

Someone said today that the letters that comprise ‘listen’ are the same that the word ‘silent’. There is a certain poetry about that.

The good part about holiday periods is that no one expects you to be in or available so the pressure is off. I might spend some time reading. The good news is that the weather forecast is excellent. So no rain forecast, may be plenty of time to go walking but most of all the possibility of staying at home doing nothing. I’m writing this on Friday morning, so being a Gemini by nature I may well change my mind (nature abhors a vacuum).

There will also be more time for reflecting. For the last 20 years or so I have known someone in South Africa, who has been through the ups and downs. We visited many times and had a lovely time. I do yearn to go back to South Africa in spite of the very difficult political and economic circumstances created by reverse racialism we can say. I gave my lady friend advice that she should leave her unfaithful and erring husband and gave her reasons why she should do so. However, she lives in a rather splendid house and if they were to divorce, she would lose it because she would have to split the proceeds even though she has contributed to the vast majority of the cost of the house. The husband returned from his philandering and gave orders that she must not contact me again. She meekly obeyed. I find this hurtful but I realise I must not take it personally because it’s all down to free will and people must run their lives in the way they choose.

Sometimes, situations are just plain sad and this is one of them. You just have to let the memory go and replay the good bits in your mind.

I was invited to a job which involved clearing the area around a caravan-sized dwelling but intended for dogs who have been abused. Dogs are bought to this shelter who have had all sorts of abuse including starvation, people putting out cigarette butts on them, and yet given attention they seem to have a  capacity for unconditional love which humans certainly wouldn’t have retained given a similar level of abuse.  The job is interesting, consisting of clearing a hedgerow of young trees and preparing an area for wood chipping. but I am going to speak to the lady after the holidays so I hope I get this job. The weather today was excellent and we spent most of the time outside in the garden.

No plans to do anything fancy.

School Memories – apple and custard crumble

Custard, even better, custard with apple crumble, brings me back to my school days. I was basically lonely at my secondary school, often bullied. Comfort eating became part of my life. This was at a time when cooks prepared food in kitchens in  the school and not bought in frozen from some central supply depot. The canteen at the RUH Hospital in Bath is pretty good. I told the server lady that I liked custard and she definitely took me at my word.

I often get ideas for cooking from going out and this one was a very nice beef stew with carrots. What intrigued me was the pastry parcel – whatever it is called – which was cooked to perfection and beautifully complimented the stew. I had the main course together with early potatoes apparently cooked in butter or with lashings of butter on. So this really was a ‘melt in the mouth’ job.

Today was my day for an eye examination. Unfortunately I have more fluid in the eye than I should have and also a small bleed. I mentioned that after spending in the sunshine  I could not see detail for about 10 minutes when coming into the shade. They asked me if I had had a cataract operation. Maybe this has to come. I hope I keep my sight enough to read. My right eye is perfect at the moment and the left eye is at least stable.

There was a lady patient who must have been 90 years of age. She fell over in the corridor. She sat there, shaking, if for no other reason than shock. The doctor invited her to sit on the floor and then he gently lifted her up onto her chair. The same lady was still disturbed and when she had her eye injection she moved at a critical time and there was a small tear created in the iris. This made her more upset than ever and it took the diplomatic skill of the doctor to calm her down but she still cried and felt she was a failure and said so to her friend, who had brought her.

As you know the corridors of the hospital full of paintings which people can buy and thus contribute towards hospital funds. This image struck me. They say the eyes of the window of the soul. There is no question that this man is looking into your soul but is there love or just perception? I think there is some suffering, some empathy, some understanding, but also some distance. This person is an observer no less.

Off to the cafe for very nice latte and a peach croissant then to catch the bus. As you know I’m a great fan of the signage here at the GUH and this is a particularly good one. What about helping the helpers?

The Mid Somerset show – a truly family affair

a typical sunny periods and showers day but thankfully it was mostly dry

The Mid Somerset show, held in Shepton Mallet, is about the ideal size for maintaining a family atmosphere. It is very much helped by being free of charge to enter so more people come and the exhibitors and stallholders have a chance to make more money as they appear to do.

one or two youngsters obviously got up very early in the morning

This contrasts with the gi-normous Bath and West show about which I have written three times. It cost adults £25 a head to get in, children go free. In my previous visits to the Bath and West I didn’t managed to get round everything even after being there for six hours. In this case, there are only four or five fields. I feel that the exhibitors are under less pressure because the fees are not so great, being for a one-day show and attracting less rental fees for the whole site and less need to advertise the show, which is mostly attended by locals.

Father and daughter showing in the sheep category
minute examination of the wool by a world expert


no two sheep have markings in the same place

A competition for the best dressed sheep

Vintage cars on display


This is a very short video about an animal whisperer who has an enormous capacity to establish telepathic contact this case with a leopard. The leopard was very aggressive; Anne talking to her just changed her attitude.

This brief movie is a real tearjerker


Climate Change

I cant resist this large injection of fact (one of many attempts) concerning the hysteria over climate change. The headless chicken that is Extinction Rebellion continues, actually encouraged by the UN. Behind the scenes, millions are raked in from carbon trading. Any mainstream scientist who speaks out is removed or sacked. Remember folks, without carbon dioxide we would be DEAD. This is someone, Marc Morano, who is actually thinking. Watch it and relax. 59:02