Small is beautiful – a bit, a little bit – a strange leaflet


Timsbury Monthly Village Market

We didn’t have much in our diary for today but saw that the local village of Timsbury was holding a  market between the rather strange hours of 9.30 and 11 30 in the morning.   Since we had not been before we thought we would check it out.

The event was much smaller than we expected with six or seven stalls selling bread, decorative flowers, honey,  meats of various types, lovingly grown vegetables, and someone selling Weleda biodynamic products and also giving a free hand massage.  There was a bijou coffee van and a setup with tables and chairs and everyone seemed chatty and  contented enough.  We arrived about 10 am when there were a couple of dozen people there, fewer than I would expect.  I am normally geared to bigger events but actually I am glad we went.

Francoise  did question whether this was the first one as we had not heard of it before but evidently it been going on all summer and this was the last one of the year.

A lovely stall, though I did resent being asked £4.50 for a medium sized white cabbage, organic or not.

The times they are a-changin’.

We are used to seeing shops and establishment closing but we were particularly sorry to see that Connie’s Tea Room, the only decent place to have a coffee in Timsbury itself, had closed. We knew this because there were ‘ to let’ signs out side

Who knows why? When I passed, they were always people in there enjoying themselves and having meals and they did a pretty good job with two or three staff. Maybe their lease had been terminated, maybe they couldn’t cover the increase costs, maybe the owner had decided to retire and no one wanted to take their place.

This is one more nail in the coffin of this delightful little village.  The community spirit is good and the Hall above has many activities throughout the week. I hope the pub in the centre will stay. There is a chain supermarket that I doubt very much will close as it seems to be doing good business

Use of language

This was sparked off by hearing a man at the show discussing the meaning of the term  a little bit.

‘A little bit’.   A curious little phrase maybe born out of politeness and the desire not to stand out from the crowd. Consider the following uses
A little bit much
this is about pressing people’s buttons and taking them outside their comfort zone
A little bit too far
….to walk. This is outside our capability
He is going a bit too far 
his use of language is inappropriate. We could leave out the ‘bit’ in this case
A little bit on the side
a sexual relationship with someone who is not married to you, or the person you have the relationship with: We’ve thought for a while that he was having a bit on the side.


A little bit and a bit are common idiomatic phrases in English meaning “a small amount.” Directory Editor Neil Serven helps explain this idiom: This phrase may sound redundant because the word ‘bit’ on its own can mean “piece” (as in “a bit of news”), so “a little bit” is often preferred to reinforce the idea of smallness.
What is a ‘bit’
It should be more accurately stated in most cases as a part or a piece
Just wait a bit – a little while, but a subtle way of saying ‘not bound in time’
as in ‘see you in a bit‘ i.e. when we next meet.
I am in a bit of a hurry
This can mean that I have not organized my day, or I have lost control of my circumstances.
In computer jargon, a bit is a 0 or a 1. Eight of them make a byte.
He is a bit rude, a bit cheeky = rather ***  but not over the top

A strange leaflet comes through the door

To which I wrote


I got a very nice leaflet through my door today about offering shopping etc.

The big omission, unfortunately, is that you do not say who you are, your background, where you live, what your history is, whether a company or an individual and no website.   I don’t think you’re going to get much of a response for these reasons although the idea is good in itself.

It’s always better to test any leaflet with people who don’t know you to get their reaction and you might have saved yourself a lot of time and frustration.

People are not very trusting these days, that is the problem. I’m sure your motives are of the best.


Visit to our local community allotments

It takes a couple of years or so to lick something into shape. This area of field was donated by the owner on the grounds that it was used for communal purposes. People responded and the area is growing slowly but surely. Well done people, a step in the right direction.



Dog*** – what an assembly – a helping hand – Jungian therapy

What have dogs done to deserve all this association?

Dogmatic  Asserting or insisting upon ideas or principles, especially when unproven or unexamined, in an imperious or arrogant manner:
Crudely or irregularly fashioned verse, often of a humorous or burlesque nature.
Going to the dogs 
Criminals and social outcast were often expelled from cities and were sent to live among the rubbish – and the dogs. Such people were said to have gone to the dogs
Dogged  (behaviour)
having or showing tenacity and grim persistence.
“success required dogged determination”
Stylish in a showy way
In the dog house
in a bad situation because someone is angry at one : in trouble. He’s in the doghouse for forgetting his wife’s birthday
dog leg Something that has a sharp bend, especially a road or route that bends abruptly.
doctrine or a corpus of doctrines relating to matters such as morality and faith, set forth in an authoritative manner by a religion.
person who carries out menial tasks for others; a drudgery
Dog tired 
Exhausted.I’m always dog-tired after a day at the amusement park.
watch dog
1. dog trained to guard people or property.
2. One who serves as a guardian or protector against waste, loss, or illegal practices.
hang dog
1. Shamefaced or guilty.
2. Downcast; intimidated.
sea dog
1. Nautical A very experienced sailor.
2. seal.

I love the English language. 🙂

Help behind the scenes

I had the pleasure and the privilege of meeting a worker or employee of a charity and I was able to make my comments  which were hopefully helpful based on their remarks on the state of the company.

 I wonder what draws people to work for a charity, we have this phrase ‘ lady bountiful’.  The idea  is that they work for the charity not the charity for them. Jesus Christ came not to be served but to serve.  This is not concomitant with any ego-led decision making which does not take the colleagues into account.

The problem is that once a person has been hired save gross misconduct or incompetence, there is very little that can be done to remove them and so an  organization can accumulate such people. It’s a bit like silting up a river.  It becomes less and less efficient and therefore the cost per person served will increase.

I have always said that the best unit is one.  With the world the way it is and everyone looking after their own interests,  it is very difficult to create a community atmosphere which really does serve the public.  Look at the term public servant. The clue lies in the name. Servant means ‘to serve’  the public is us.  Get it?

It will be my great pleasure to continue to serve this person as and when they need it.  I’m a bit skeptical and cynical about giving money to charities, certainly I would never give money to the Red Cross. Many charities have been taken over by ideologies such as Greenpeace.  I would rather help participants behind the scenes to be more effective in their work

Evening Virtual Bar with the SMN

Of all the therapeutic communication skills – listening is the most difficult. Very few people are able to listen. The Chinese verb ‘to listen’ One listens with head, eyes, ears, heart, throws some light on it.

Benig Mauger is an Irish Jungian Psycho therapist who has worked for 30 years.  She addressed us. It takes many years to become a qualified person and you have to undergo therapy yourself for an umber of years.

I’m French by birth. The culture of the Catholic church was very much to divide you from your divinity and to make you think that your humanity, your physical body etc is sinful therefore you need to escape from it whereas what we need to understand is that our humanity and our wounds and our vulnerability is part of how we can connect with the Divine

I always had a spiritual feeling and a sense of spirituality if you like as I said before in the earth and in the way I grew up. My parents were refugees in Ireland in the 50s and I was born there in extremely difficult circumstances in a very rural and poor part of Ireland at the time it used to be said people were either banished to hell or to county (Clare?)

in a time of spiritual awakening we know what is this time …well it in a way we’re now living in the age of personal responsibility because the outer  institutes and the outer forces that used to hold us up no longer do. We cannot be with that anymore; these are all crumbling and we now have to be focused on ourselves. We’ve been taught to look outside of ourselves for answers for our healing, for love, for whatever you’re asking whatever you want outside but in fact we’re being thrown back to the earth.  I think that if there was any silver lining to the years of the pandemic it was very much that people were thrown back on themselves and to connecting with nature.

 Someone said that you emerge from the lockdown either as a good cock or an alcoholic. There is more than a grain of truth in that.  Ed.

I contributed:  I think there are as many types of intervention as there are human beings on the earth. We are all unique. This afternoon I had a woman come along in some distress because she couldn’t share her terrible work situation. My qualifications are not Jungian but they are to love people and to listen to them and to care for them. She went away saying ‘it’s such a relief to meet someone who is actually interested in what I’m doing and I feel free to speak to them.

Now I didn’t get a qualification in love or speaking I just have it in me but I also watched other people and I respect everyone and I think if you have a caring nature you’re more than halfway there, otherwise you’d have to argue that the most qualified people are the best helpers and I think the opposite is often the case because some are politically correct and they over analyze and are painful basically. Some of the best help I’ve received is from people who were not qualified at all but just cared for me. They were not even aware that they were being helpful.  They were just being them.

And so to bed. My operated-on eye much better. Less swelling but still occluded.


post operative day + smart meters


I went to bed last evening really tired. My eye was sticky so I thought I’d follow my own advice so ‘in case of need just go to bed’.

The danger symptoms we are told to look out for are

flashing lights or floaters,
if you feel sick or you vomit,
if your vision becomes worse in operated eye,
if your eye becomes more red,
if you develop a continuous headache or pain

none of these have happened so far anyway. However, I notice that my left eye vision is still blurry as if I had not had the operation. They say in the advisory literature that it will clear up within one or two days; I hope it does.

Smart Meters and smart things in general

E.ON,  one of the UK suppliers of gas and electricity have pestered me for the second time in a month to have a smart meter giving numerous reasons including of course our safety and security.  In return I have sent them about 200 references from my site  showing the deleterious and health disadvantages of such machines.

Anything with the word ‘Smart’ in  should be regarded as suspicious.  It always has a bigger benefit for the supplier than the consumer.  With smart meters for example they can change the rate or charge you more between the hours of five and nine pm without you being able to do anything about it.  The idea of smart cities is an abomination where people live in their own very limited accommodation and have limited rights of travel and behavior.   A smart home is where everything is controlled by electronics, voice control or click on a mouse on on your mobile.

‘Smart’ is a very clever psychological term because it implies that if you are not smart enough to get one you are somehow lacking in intelligence.  Curiously, the main negative use of the word is to call someone a ‘smart aleck’. It basically means a person who is too smug for his own good,  who makes impudent displays of knowledge and who is annoyingly self assertive to the point of being obnoxious.

The word has been around for some time.  In 1981 (USA) SMART goals were developed by George Doran, Arthur Miller and James Cunningham in their 1981 article “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives” . Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely (SMART) Specific: What are you trying to do? Who is going to be part of the team?  My guess is that the term was hijacked by the more cynical manipulators as its power was realized but then who am I to know all the twists and turns?

S M A R T can stand for

  • Specific: target a specific area for improvement.
  • Measurable: quantify, or at least suggest, an indicator of progress.
  • Assignable: specify who will do it.
  • Realistic: state what results can realistically be achieved given available resources.
  • Time-related: specify when the result can be achieved.
  • So for a mental exercise how would you relate to the term  smart meter.
    Clue – a smart car.  An umbrella term for an automobile with advanced electronics. Microprocessors have been used in car engines since the late 1960s and have steadily increased in usage throughout the engine and drivetrain to improve stability, braking and general comfort. There can be a hundred or more microprocessors in a car today.
  • However there is another more dystopian reading of this acronym:
    S for surveillence
    M for monitoring
    A for analysis
    R for reporting
    T for technology
    see video in this Rumble video

    Barbara Hepworth

British sculptor Barbara Hepworth (1903 – 1975) with her work ‘Mother and Child’. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

I watched a wonderful, moving documentary on the sculptress Barbara Hepworth who after living in London decided to move to Penzance where she lived the last years of her life and whose studio I have visited.  She was a shy person who preferred to work on her own.

I love hearing people speaking the English language without every other phrase being ‘like’ or  ‘sort of’, and worse ‘if you see what I mean’.  She like many others working during the war found little demand for work and her partner had to go busking in order to earn some money. This is true of many great artists.  It is so easy for us to get a sanitized version of famous people. It would do us good to read their biography to see how much struggle they have had to overcome circumstances and finally they are recognized, sometimes only after their death.

Account of my cataract operation at the RUH


Dealing with noise  in public places

Today is the day when I have my cataract operation. Since it is a procedure entirely new to me I had no views about it and no fears of it.  So great is my trust in the eye department  of the Royal United Hospital here in Bath, and so many operations of this type have been performed that there is no reason to fear.

For some reason, we had to suffer noise on our travels.   A man got on at Midsomer Town Hall and he had a very loud voice, almost shouting you could say.  He got on to one of his mates on the phone. He was obviously a plumber and gave instructions at full volume so loud that  although I was sitting at the other end of the top of the bus my ears actually hurt.  Mercifully he got off at Peasedown  and I shouted back, imitating his voice, ‘goodbye’ because he had loudly shouted  goodbye to his friend a few moments before.

He actually turned on me and asked me if I was trying to make a point to which I replied yes I was, it was that his voice was loud and disturbing. He then got aggressive, said a few unmentionable words  and said that my voice was dreadful as well.  We felt this was a hostile person who would not be  willing to listen to anybody who dared to ask him to keep his voice down.

There was also a woman upstairs talking to her child in a loud fashion which she wanted everyone to hear and I did not want to learn about her domestic problems thank you very much.

So the question is, do we just ignore disturbance , move away if possible, or confront the person.  I think it depends on circumstances but from what I have seen the person knew that they are making a noise and did not particularly care. I would have been very surprised if the chap with the loud voice had said to me, “oh I’m terribly sorry I didn’t realize that I was making such a noise I will do my best in future to be quiet” Most people will go on the offensive irrespective of the way the complaint is made.

We caught the local 4A bus to the hospital from the town centre and sat on the top deck and again there was a youngster playing his mobile phone in loudspeaker mode and we all had to suffer.  As it was only a short journey and the lad was only about 14 I did not see any point in mentioning it so we put up with it for the next 10 minutes or so and then we got off at RUH

Detailed description of my operation

We were asked to arrive by 12:45 to allow time for admission and registration.  This involves a lot of paperwork  including asking us what medications we are on, particularly blood thinning agents. We  also had to say if we have any allergies, I had to say if I had any operation on my brain or my spine, my blood pressure was taken as was my oxygenation of my blood. The pressure was high but within acceptable limits.

There were six of us scheduled to be operated on by the surgeon. He had a Greek assistant whose  job was going around everyone making sure the paperwork was in order and also to do immediate preparation.   A nurse had put a hospital ID band around my wrist.  I was asked three times to identify myself, say what I was expecting, and in which eye.  This was in addition to the first staff member,  who was called Gayle,  asking me questions.  I cannot remember having been so thoroughly checked for identity and purpose in my life. It was quite friendly and thorough. I suppose they are worried about being sued for malpractice.

Gayle  was the same person who gave me such a wonderful injection last time. I felt she deeply understood the body and worked with efficiency and professionalism.  I was very intrigued by her accent.  As you may know, one of my useless hobbies is in collecting accents and trying to guess where people came from.    When I asked her and suggested the Caribbean she said I was way out and said that she was from ‘ everywhere’.   She was born British American and apart from working here in the UK she has worked in Publishing and has worked in the Philippines,  Malaysia and Singapore.  She was delighted to hear that I wrote a diary and I handed her a business card inviting her to read today’s issue, the one you are reading now.

There was a lot of waiting around. We were in a large room with six cubicles for 6 people numbered 1 through 6. The first lady to arrive had been allocated the sixth place. She was not pleased at having to wait so long.  Our order of being operated on had been decided before so I was allocated cubicle number three. A very senior lady went in first. She was very anxious about the procedure but came out smiling, always a good sign.   The second person was a chap who had contact lenses for 37 years. He came out not smiling but contented.

I was called forward and had to answer the same questions, my name, what I expected etc, this was even repeated in the operation theater itself. I was taken across the corridor and entered a preparation room. I lay back on a bed and my knees were supported with a cushion underneath for which I was grateful for. As I was uncomfortable,  the head was raised up a little bit.  My eyes were then flooded with antibiotic drops, and then more antibiotic drops and then more.  I was then injected with a numbing agent directly into the eye.  I had previously asked for something to make me drowsy but they said they could not do it as I had not given enough notice.

I was then wheeled into the operating theatre itself where there were lots of lights and microscopes.  I was wired up by a very warm and comforting nurse who put one of my fingers in an  oxymeter (% of oxygen in the blood)  and in the other hand I was given a button to push just in case I had to sneeze or blow my nose or something as a warning to the surgeon The great man himself appeared, gowned up,  Mr Antclif,

I’ve told him and the nurse that I would be more comfortable if I could have a running commentary of what was going on. They said they were quite happy to talk to me but once the operation had started I was not to speak since this interferes with the muscles of face and thus the eye.  There were about five people in the room three nurses, the surgeon and his assistant. They will all top rated people in my eyes.

I was aware of some poking around but there was no pain and no sensation to speak of. One thing I liked was that he was using a water jet with the cutting instrument so it was a nice cool sensation.  I just lay there and let them get on with it.  The whole procedure took 30 minutes  of which 15 minutes was preparation. The surgeon told me as we went along what he was doing.   At a certain moment there was a funny machine in the background that made musical tones. I believe this was sucking out the remaining detritus from the lens of the eye. After about one minute it stopped.

The surgeon then said quietly, ‘it is all done now’ and before  I knew it I had been wheeled out of the operating theatre into the pre-operating space and helped off the bed on to a wheelchair. I offered to walk out but this was not allowed on the grounds of safety. I imagine that some people are more wobbly than they think so I’m sure that was the reason.

Postoperative care –  we have to go and see the department again in four weeks.  Immediately post operatively we were offered  a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits.  People gratefully accepted the tea but I decided to have some water. Gayle spent about ten minutes with the elderly lady who had been operated first and she spent somewhat less time with me mainly because I said I had heard all her advice and she did not need to say it again.

We were given a paper to read which tells us all the things we need to do and some eye drops which we have to use at least for the next four weeks.  We were very struck by the comradeship and cooperation between the members of staff.  It was a happy as a positive atmosphere.

I should add at this point that I spent the previous evening or parts of it looking at videos of these operations,  and what patients said about their impressions.  I can only say having experienced the same thing myself I can mirror what they said. Many of them said they were nervous beforehand but it the procedure was different to what they expected and a painless operation to boot.

We arrived at the hospital at 11:30 a.m. And left about 4:30.  There was a considerable amount of waiting but then there was always something happening so the time did not really matter.

As I had not had any lunch to speak of, I took Francoise  to the restaurant which was gearing up to serve the evening meal.  They do a great service, breakfast lunch and early dinner.  I had a very nice cottage pie containing apart from mashed potato, minced beef and peas, and an absolutely delicious bread and butter pudding.  Raisins go very well and bring out the whole thing. This is my all-time favorite.

I felt I had achieved a milestone in that I had experienced something new  and had passed the test fairly well.  As I write this at 7 pm  I know that the effect of the anaesthetic is going to wear off and I will probably experience some pain this evening.  We have been warned of that and must take some paracetamol.  This is a small price to pay for getting my site back in my left eye. If the eyesight can be improved as well  that would be a bonus.

So well done everyone at RUH.   The only thing that bothered me was that two members of staff complained about their pay thinking it should be more and I could only agree with them all be it tacitly.

Back by bus, a very crowded 172 via Midsomer to Bristol.  I had to decide whether to come by car or bus and I thought that in view of the difficulty of parking there was no reason why we should not use public transport.

So much for the weather forecast

We were warned Monday in the usual alarmist fashion that there would be winds up to 80 miles an hour in the latest named storm, Agnes. As we started our journey home there were some rain showers and then we had a bright sunny evening with a maximum wind speed of about 20 miles an hour

Are we descendants of Bronze Age people? + ‘chemical foods’


I must admit that  my image of Bronze Age and other ‘ages’ people are more primitive than they may have been in reality.  I imagine cavemen with clubs. This portrayal I now see is far from accurate.  Were they less intelligent than us or just differently informed?   If we look at so-called primitive or indigenous societies today we find they are far better able to take care of themselves in for example times of shortage then us ‘civilized’ people. They had no supermarkets or convenience stores. What would we do without them and how long would we be able to sustain life?  I’m sure our future would be far less certain than these historic people

See above the ‘amazing’ facial reconstruction of a Bronze Age woman discovered crouching in a 4,200-year-old grave
More than 4,000 years ago, a young woman who died in what is now Scotland was buried in a crouched position within a stone-lined grave. She remained buried for millennia, until excavators at a stone quarry unexpectedly unearthed her bones in 1997. Read the article if you wish.

A quote for a gardening job – with a twist

I spoke to someone yesterday and agreed to come round at 10 o’clock today  for viewing the job.  I expected to see a man of middle to late 60s appear at the door but instead it was what turned out to be his mother.  She was well dressed, well composed and articulate and it turned out she was 84 years of age.

The job – When people plant hedges they often mix varieties and we had the normal private hedge with a foreground of four bushes that had been planted far too close.  People should speak with an expert before doing any such planting because the expert will know what the genre will look like in 10 years time and what their requirements will be in terms of physical space and nutrition needs.   Putting it another way  that through making the wrong choice you can make a rod for your own back in the longer term because of more expensive maintenance costs.

This is the first time in my gardening career that I would have preferred to deal with the mother  of the client not the actual client. The son, with whom I arranged the visiting time, was not there.  That should have rung alarm bells.  I quoted between £100-£150,  the majority to be spent on re leveling the five meter long dense hedge which, my dear reader, is far more difficult than you may think.   The mother had been trying her best with shears but you cannot do such a job without fairly heavy equipment.   When we left, she said she would have a word with her son.   I am not holding my breath.

Is this a warning or a scam?

For those of you that are not aware of things that are going on behind the scenes the overall plan is to reduce people’s dependency on meat to an occasional treat and encourage people to eat bugs, crickets, meal worms, grasshoppers, flies and the like. Anyone any idea why this should be the case?

NOT all it says on the tin – Mince pies

Francoise discouraged me  from buying a packet of six mince pies as an early Christmas celebration. I love mince pies and eating  them makes me sentimental.  Curious, I went back to the store to see exactly what was in the tempting Christmasy  package. Normally I never read the ingredients if I am in a hurry and/or like the product.

The main ingredients are (roll of drums)  mince meat filling 46%, apple puree 17%

The puree needs preservatives namely potassium sorbate, sodium
metabisulfites and also sulfites, sulphur dioxide

We then have Sultanas 16%, raisins 12% glycose syrup, sugar, humectant: vegetable glycerine; currants 5% ,dextrose, candid mixed peel consisting of orange peel, glucose-fructose syrup, sugar, lemon peel

We then have for some reason an acidity regulator: citric acid

We then have preservatives: sulphur dioxide then rapeseed oil vegetable suet (vegetable oils both palm and sunflower)    then we have fortified wheat flour (wheat flour, calcium carbonate, iron, niacin, thiamin)

 We then have black treacle, ground mixed spice ( cassia, coriander, ginger, nutmeg, caraway, clove)

We then have a acetic  acid

and for good measure  fortified wheat flour (wheat flour, calcium carbonate, iron, niacin, thiamin)  vegetable oils, palm and rapeseed,   glucose syrup, butter – cows milk 3%,  sugar, salt.

Raising agents: disodium diphosphate, sodium bicarbonate

I don’t know how much research has been done on substances added to preserve the life beyond its natural span, I don’t know about the origin of the ingredients and whether they react with each other in a way that is unfavorable to the body. I don’t know how much of the flavoring is safe or necessary. In fact, there is a lot I don’t know. Should I trust food manufacturers to have my best interests at heart?

I asked myself that if I were to make these from ingredients, how long this list would be. Picking one or two at random:

Is disodium diphosphate good for you?
In most products, disodium phosphate is safe. It doesn’t build up over time to toxic levels in your body. Di-sodium phosphate levels are usually low in any product that has it. It also helps protect against contamination and the decay of food and cosmetics.
Sunflower oil side effects
Yes, sunflower oil can have side effects if you are allergic to sunflower seeds. It can cause digestive issues, skin irritation and dry mouth. Sunflower oil is also not suitable for people with diabetes. In addition, over consumption of sunflower oil may lead to cardiovascular disorders
Sulfites side effects
Symptoms include flushing, fast heartbeat, wheezing, hives, dizziness, stomach upset and diarrhoea, collapse, tingling or difficulty swallowing. Many of these reactions when fully assessed have been found not to be anaphylaxis, or caused by triggers other than sulfites.
Sulfur dioxide effects
Sulphur dioxide can cause respiratory problems such as bronchitis, and can irritate your nose, throat and lungs. It may cause coughing, wheezing, phlegm and asthma attacks. The effects are worse when you are exercising. Sulphur dioxide has been linked to cardiovascular
People sensitive to humectants, especially when ingested in large amounts, may suffer from nausea or diarrhea. Sugar alcohols in large doses may have a laxative effect.  A humectant is a hygroscopic substance used to keep things moist. They are used in many products, including food, cosmetics, medicines and pesticides. When used as a food additive, a humectant has the effect of keeping moisture in the food. Wikipedia
The problem is that we need only a small amount, a homeopathic amount, for  ingredients to affect our body functions. We may not notice symptoms that what we do not notice is the work the body has to do to cancel out any deleterious effect.  In my opinion the simpler the food the better.  When I bake  bread I have flour, yeast at water as a basis.  I will add some sugar and salt to assist with the process and bring on a flavour.
This could be an argument for home cooking.  Who knows.
From Pastor Pio ‘Three days of darkness and a collapsed supply chain. The prophesies warn of END TIMES




Reflections on 45 years of gardening


Memories of 45 years of gardening

Today at 11:00 we trimmed a hedge for a local resident.  I always enjoy doing hedges if only to see the improvement of its appearance after my efforts.  For this we were paid £50.  I do not need the money but I need to be compensated from my effort. Why do I do gardening at all? I do it to keep fit. Power tools and their use are part of keeping the upper body responsive. I also do it to show myself that I am still capable of work. I know there are people who work until their 90s and I admire them. Farmers and so forth.

I have already reduced my workload considerably and know that one fine day I will say, ‘enough is enough’.  I first did gardening in my early 30s. That means 45 years of work, not consistently but when I needed to.  Most of my clients have been very content with my work. Only two people in the whole of my 45 years have not paid me. One was a gypsy family or gypsy related should I say. I would like to say that I have met a lot of interesting people.  This for the most part has not been true.  They were regular everyday people who wanted their gardens done.  I came, I did the job, I left. Occasionally I got offered a cup of tea but I did not mind if I did not.

Any outside occupation involves communion with nature and this is always a blessing. However for the last five years I have made it a rule not to work for people who are difficult or complaining. I find that in effect it becomes hard work just dealing with the customer never mind the work itself. I find that if I work for someone who is grateful and appreciative the burden is lighter and I end the day feeling refreshed and satisfied.  My rule is, if relations with the customer start badly it’s going to go on badly.

Overall, the work has kept me fit, hopefully improved the quality of life of some of my people  and enabled them to enjoy their gardens.    About charging rates, some people have no idea what is involved in self employed work.  They do not do so now but in previous decades they expected me to work for 10 pounds an hour. ‘ man with spade works for 10 pounds an hour’.  They do not exist any more.  We have to buy, service and maintain our own equipment and bear our own travel costs. If I worked for £10 an hour it would  be working for less than the national minimum wage and I would in fact be working out a loss.   20 pounds an hour is my minimum and more if the work is hard.

Failure of my internet connection

This may sound like a very nerdy thing but I have come to rely on my mobile phone in particular and the internet in general for so many flows of information such as my bank details, text messages from friends, deciding which of many applicants to employ, keeping up to date with my covid discussions not to mention the odd social media platform.

Last Sunday at about midday my mobile phone simply refused to connect to the internet. I’ve had this happen once before and I fell into the trap of thinking it was the fault of the phone.  It was in fact a local connectivity issues so when the same thing happened again I decided not to panic but wait and see.  Sunday night went. Nothing.  Should I call someone?  Who to call?  If it was a very local problem the company (Sky) probably wouldn’t know about it anyway. The point, I tell myself, is that in my area there must be other subscribers who have also been cut off so instead of engaging on yet another campaign and listening to endless music whilst waiting to be put through to some droid, I  assumed that the powers that be will eventually know that the system was not functioning, and other people will have telephoned to complain.

Sure enough the system came back today at about 3 o’clock. It is still stuttering with some apps but I guess ‘re-booting’ takes time to work through the system.


I’m shortly going to write a big article on fear. Everything is frequency, wavelengths and vibration as Nikola Tesla said.  Fear is  being forced on us as an idea 24/7.   I noticed they are even weaponizing the weather forecasts.
There’s a great storm threatened for this Wednesday,  storm Agnes

UK weather: Danger to life warnings issued by Met Office as 80mph winds set to batter Britons

I’m sick of reading these prognostications. They take the worst case scenario in other words the area which is most likely to be hit by a storm and then apply it to the whole country.   Believe it or not – and I don’t mind if you don’t believe it, The Powers That Be are trying to keep us in a state of fear which is very much like being tuned to a particular radio channel. If they can keep us on the channel then we’ll do what we are told.  So the reason – in a word – is CONTROL.

This is only one aspect of the topic so expect a  substantial article when I can get around to it, probably sooner rather than later. Ideas are boiling and they cannot be suppressed. If inspirations are ignored consistently they will go away to return another day, and return they will.

The value of hugging

Here is a small part of a discussion, which started on the topic of ‘community’ but reverted to hugging. Every Monday evening and other evenings the Scientific and Medical Network have ZOOM conversations. You are welcome to join that network.

Arthur Janov,  the founder of Primal Therapy said that ‘a twenty second hug was the equivalent of 5mg of valium’.

We discussed this topic at this evening’s meeting of the Scientific and Medical Network. The topic was the importance of the wider community introduced by the chair, Paul, but before you knew it the conversation turned to hugs. The theme of hugs returned repeatedly during the whole time.

A man gave a testimony that hugs run in his family and children regarded hugging as normal.


there were some research that if you hold it for say a longer time like 20 seconds something happens. It’s not like just a squeeze it’s like you make a connection

when you’re hugging it’s a heart thing and you produce the hormone oxytocin

I live in Central America where touching is normal,  touching is seen hugging is seen as some part of life I know that covid stifled a lot but we are  slowly getting back into it

I guess I’d be called a natural hugger.  I hug everybody as much as I can as long as I can and I consider it energy sharing . When you are  hugging you are really sharing energy with one another and you know it’s just a wonderful thing to do and I do it all the time

It comes natural to me and I just think it’s a wonderful thing to do people need touch, people need touch. We don’t touch enough we don’t we really don’t and I think it’s important

The average length of a hug between two people is three seconds. researchers have discovered that when a hug lasts 20 seconds there is a therapeutic effect on the body of the mind and that hug will produce a hormones called ocytocin and also known as the love hormone so something to think about especially with my grandchildren and loved ones. If we can hold that hug for a little longer I think we get a special feeling from that

I’m a hugger but I am very discerning about hugging I think it’s really important that we deserve that we don’t rush into people and assume they would like a hug because as everybody has said touch is really important but it depends on who you’re touching and their history for instance if there’s a history of sexual abuse or anything like that that can be very threatening

I just wanted to mention about where maybe you know but the idea of meta as in say Buddhism so matter as in loving kindness and this is a practice that can be done through kind of meditation so it’s in the mental space so it’s not physical hugging

I’m out in the street I regard everyone as a friend that I haven’t yet met I promise you it transformed each and every day and when I go out I’m not lonely for one single second because I’m excited about the person I have yet to meet who could be around the next corner who knows and there’s no excuse for self-pity here ‘nobody loves me’. Well jolly will go out and demonstrate love to others. Stop whinging

The whole thing is about relationships. That’s why masking people was such a killer because the kids at their key age couldn’t see their mothers reaction and we have yet to see the full consequences of that.  I’m afraid they’re going to be stunted or they ARE stunted.

An example of a town with all the right community vibes is Bridport in Dorset and I recommend it to anyone. There’s a lot of art there, intelligent people, and you can virtually talk to anybody and get a meaningful response.

If after talking to someone you want to hug them it is okay to ask their permission for example do you mind if I give you a hug

Funny is the English language.   Consider the use of the word ‘touchy’ vs the word ‘touchy-feely’. Same word, two opposite meanings.

Encouragement and St. Paul, stomach problems and other matters

I attended the morning service of the Vineyard group at the old Radstock Methodist Church.  I never know what I’m going to meet or more importantly what is going to happen when I go in the door. There were about ten people when I arrived but as many again came in time for the morning service which started around 10:30

I started talking to someone about how they were, and after the usual pleasantries it appeared that he was having problems with his stomach. He had had a tuna bake  yesterday made by his wife but after a short time it repeated. In other polite words was rejected by the body.   Having had this problem for many years, I was somewhat qualified to talk to him and I told him of my own experience that the gastric juices are not secreted in such quantities after mid afternoon certainly in my case so I dont eat much after that time. I keep a check on my condition by avoiding milk and by taking medication most mornings plus sodium bicarbonate which seems to be a cure for most ills of acidity and bloating.

I could not explain his tuna bake situation so I said there must be something in the food that the body does not like and rejects. We are so used to trusting everything that we eat and it could be that just one chemical triggers the reaction.  I said this in spite of him being very careful about food and having good food as often as possible.  In addition, I said that there were three brains, the heart brain, the ‘brain brain’, and the gut brain each of which exerts its own influence on the harmonious running of the human body. I commented that stress certainly have an effect.  Although the conversation finished at that point it may be that I sowed the seeds of success  and maybe something will come of it. Sometimes it takes but a tiny tweak to effect a huge change. For example I benefit from cutting out sugar.

Encouragement – what is it?

First, what is it not?  A dystopian visit into the past now follows. Pour encourager les autres is a French expression meaning, as an example to others; originally, a quotation from Voltaire on the execution of Admiral John Byng in 1757, for neglect of duty in failing to relieve Minorca when blockaded by a French fleet.
This is the very opposite of what encouragement should be about.

I have always said we use words and sentiments without thinking what they mean. I’m not talking about Americanisms such as ‘ have a nice day’ or ‘how y’all doin’ then?’  I’m talking about genuine communication,  conversation with individual people with a view to making a difference to their often difficult journey on this planet.

Suz, the co-leader of our local group based her talk on  Thesselonians 2.   St Paul was writing to people for the second time in Thessalonia – which is now part of Turkey by the way – explaining the root and branch reason why they should have the attitude that Paul describes.  Encouragement of other people was a big part of this letter as was consistency.

We were asked in our group to discuss what discourages you and what discourages you. Between us we  said  ….

We can start from the day to day understanding of what a human being is which is a frail and insecure creature until he or she realizes that the body is not the natural state, and our natural state is indeed in spirit, or in heaven as some  would say.   There is therefore an inherent insecurity.  Daily, we are insulted by disorder and disharmony. The easiest way to avoid this is to be in harmony with nature, living off the grid, feeding ourselves, not being subjected to wave forms such as EMF, 5G etc.  In other words of purity of life.

Maintaining our humanity is a full-time job. Even if we live with someone as a friend, companion or partner,  we are ultimately on our own because each one of us has a soul in other words a unique blueprint of the Almighty and the eternity of which our human body is the center and not the source. We must expect buffetings. We cannot deal with all situations equally well.

When we speak to someone and they do not understand it or they abuse us, this is not necessarily a reason for an immediate and reactive search of our own soul to see if we did the right thing. It may be that the bad behavior of another person is a damage report describing the way that they themselves have been hurt and therefore are unable to respond adequately to other people in certain respects.  This is where objectivity and the need for compassion come in because you are aware of the damage not so much on the person and what they have said.

There is no need to beat ourselves up. If we acted in good faith, it is highly  unlikely though not impossible that we set the wrong thing.

Jesus forgave us our sins because he understood our condition and we should be miniature versions of the same.  We are supposed to be imitators of Christ.  Think about the condition of the person who speaks angrily.  Who would be angry and objectionable because such actions do not make you happy, they cause an eternal internal strife from which it is difficult to extract ourselves.

Sometimes you can with the best will in the world say the right thing but at the wrong time and this will also not produce the desired result. If you are in tune with your intuition you will know what to say, and perhaps when not to speak and let the process itself take the person to a position when they understand what they have done. I believe that true love enables you automatically to get the right degree of distance between yourself and another situation although it may not be easy. I think compassion as opposed to sentimentality  has its own  built-in ‘self-adjusting distance meter’ so you don’t go too close to the flame and get involved with situations that will only diminish you.

I am not talking about passing by on the other side, I’m talking about a creative distance where your example can be available to them but not getting caught up in the manifestations of anger which may be coarse and unproductive.

You are less likely to be distraught at someone’s action if you have a good base of being supportive to other people. To give a simple example let us say you’ve had 99 examples where you have taken part in something and had a productive result, and the hundredth one brings no result, it is unlikely to be something that you have said inappropriately or unkindly.

We need to understand what is called ‘storing up treasures in heaven’. We cannot find security through possessions and anything on the material plain but we can find security in the knowledge of our eternal nature which does not change and can never change.

There is another phrase, ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial?’

The term  unequally yoked does not mean ‘do not speak to’ but it means avoiding forming an inappropriately close association with another at the core of your being. This is the principle on which a marriage or relationship should be formed.  While we should be friendly with everyone we should be careful who we admit into our inner courtyard.  It is very easy for us to be compromised in our face by engaging activities that  those in a group may find attractive. Let someone prove themselves before being admitted otherwise disaster and personal hurt could ensue.

We could learn to believe more in the presence of a loving  and accepting energy field or as Christians would say the Holy Spirit and know that we can be re-transmitters of this in the company of others so maybe we don’t have to actually say anything but just be in close proximity to them.    You will never know what good you do and some would say that is a good thing for the ego.  You don’t wake up one morning saying, ‘I’m going to have a positive effect on a complete stranger today’.  It just happens as a by-product. Your first duty is to your own inner truth and align with that. Some would say prayer and supplication is the way to do it, others would say meditation and awareness is the way to do it.

There are two types of actions and words. Those who separate and those who join together. We are very good at saying ‘we are all one’ but unfortunately we don’t act like it. Is it the famous ‘stand-offishness’ of the Brits?

There is another way where we can control  our highs and lows.   I do not think it is helpful to tell ourselves to ” snap out of it”  because that does not address the cause.  If you are digging a hole for yourself and have a wrong concept about something you would just dig a deeper hole. Its difficult to think while you panic.

How about rest and recreation, which by the way is formed of two words

re = about
creation = to create

How about finding something that you really benefit from. Clue:  it could be about the way you treat The Four elements are air, earth, fire and water. Many people get a restorative benefit from walking in a wood.  I get benefit from cutting hedges. I can apply a tool to unruliness and create order and beauty. Even 20 minutes or such engagement on this sort of activity causes a magical restoration of the mind. Even nicer if you get paid for it. Ha ha. It is not magic of course, it is the restoration of balance. When I have finished writing this piece, I will probably sit down and have something to eat or drink, and I may go into the garden.

I feel It is important to share your beliefs about this and indeed any other topic.  We are not able to be consciously aware of everything we know. We would go mad.  By focusing on something and addressing someone else – especially in cases of need – you will automatically  sort out the things we were only half aware of or even completely unaware of and thus learning takes place.

Come to think of it, if I gave away  every last bit of knowledge I had, I would be wiser at the end then at the beginning. Why could that be?  Because the brain, the ultimate relational database, would have done so much creative and analytical work that it would have generated more knowledge and wisdom.  That is in general why selfish people are less happy than selfless people.

The Book of Thessalonians in the Bible is in an exercise in economy of words and great meaning. In order for this letter to be successful in its mission, the writer, St Paul, had to have all the parameters at his fingertips so to speak. He would need to understand what God can do for example “may the Lord lead you into a great understanding of God’s love and the endurance that is given by Christ”   this is only one sentence but it contains a great deal of meaning and could be the subject of a whole evening’s discussion.

He says elsewhere ” We did not accept anyone’s support without paying for it. Instead we worked and toiled…. We did this not because we have no right to demand our support, we did it to be an example for you to follow”

In other words on a previous visit Paul had set the example and he would just remind them of this. he was encouraging other people by chiding them. St Paul was not trying to win any popularity contests. What he was writing was a question of life or death.  I would love to see more sense of urgency in the people I meet with day to day. I find that ‘normal’ people in particular have no sense of what is coming and I’m sorry to say I find them boring. One of the things I enjoy most of all is to hear English spoken as it is meant to be spoken with all its subtlety, humor, variety, and ability to lift us up from our rather mundane activities that we have to take part in most of the time.   We are supposed to redeem each other not leave it to someone else.

I sometimes think that the ease with which we can communicate such as by emails and telephone calls results in sloppiness in our presentation. Talk is cheap. If we had to write a letter that had to be hand delivered to someone 400 miles away with no guarantee that the letter would not be stolen along the way, we would write every word carefully. I see that we have lost the art of this I’m afraid

Anyway I’ve been preaching for long enough.  I realize with our group that they don’t all have to be perfect examples but they just have to provide an atmosphere in which I can be inspired. In other words I can give myself permission to be a spiritual being and not Be misunderstood.  It must be pretty lonely in solitary confinement in a cell but it must be more lonely to be with people who are not on your wavelengths and this has come out in the recent years with the  vaccine, the lockdown, and all that has gone with it.

To sum up therefore on the topic of encouragement:

We can also be discouraged, that is part of the human condition.  Unlike robots, we can encourage each other by our companionship, our words, and our very presence.  If we understand what is troubling us it may be nothing to do with us but the force of circumstances at  it is called.    The world exerts force on us and if we think in the same terms, and allow the force to influence us, we will be subject to turbulence which you could call depression or discouragement.  If we believe in a life beyond the physical that in itself will be a great store of encouragement on a 24/7 basis,  because it is part of the universe. Do we choose to be part of this universe?  That is up to our own free will so you could say we create our own heaven and hell within us

Shepton Mallet market no more

I went back home to pick up Françoise and we went off to Shepton Mallet looking forward to the normal collection of stalls. The market square was empty. We went into the coffee shop on the corner and it was obviously not the first time they had been asked. the service said that due to lack of subsidy presumably from the council, the market had had to be cancelled. This is very sad because the town is not the strongest town financially and does rely on local activity to bring people in. It’s all very well having  a local Tesco’s and Aldi  but that does not solve the community local spending attitude that people should have.  The lights go out little by little.


This is a powerful video from Neil Oliver. ‘To Hell with Spinelessness’

A multi coloured day – Rockaway Park -Frome Carnival

Finding professional help

I continue my search for a suitable helper for developing this website. I thought I would try People per Hour  ( which is a site that many professionals use to get help by the hour.

It is interesting how many people do not read the brief before applying.  My brief specifically said that I want someone from Somerset  here in the United Kingdom as it is a very local site.   In spite of that, the vast majority of the 12 offers I have had so far come from India and Pakistan.    Two of them have said they live locally and I have asked them whereabouts in Somerset they live and for some strange reason they were unable to tell me.

I know some people are desperate for work but it is not a good idea to lie on your CV.   Anyway the job is not urgent, it’s more important to get the right person.

I have installed a new text to speech client on this website. I do notice that there is a pause for some reason but it eventually goes ahead and reads the whole diary entry. I will try it for a bit and if the pauses are too long I will have to find another plug-in.    The benefit of WordPress  is that there are thousands of plugins so you can more or less do anything you need using the basic structure supplied for blogs. The other benefit of WordPress is that because there are so many millions of users, you can get specialist help on any problem you find.

Home tasks

So for once on a reasonable day it’s vacuuming time and then I in the absence of Francoise who is in Bath with a friend  I shall go to a local fete, in Temple Cloud  and do my usual walking and talking.

It is amazing how home jobs can pile up and I recommend they take about a day a week if you add up all the hours.  Today I had a look for some powdered potato and I forgot that I bought it about two years ago and I think it may be passed its prime. I have put it in the oven on low heat to try and desiccate it a bit so hopefully prolonging its life

Chat with a fellow writer

I had a lively chat with someone called Andrew, who is part of the local writers group. We had a very colourful conversation full of jokes and puns, observations, and it was so pleasant to meet someone with a creative brain. He forgot my name three times but for this I forgive him. I forgive any artistic person no matter what they do or all the things they have done, are doing or will do because they are struggling in a very unartistic world  and it is a bit like sowing seeds in the wrong soil.   The up shot of the call was that I will offer my help on the committee to get communications a bit better.  Time will tell if I meld with the founder with whom I need to speak.

Therapy – what is yours?

Francoise told me yesterday that she finds knitting very therapeutic especially when certain colors are involved. This let me wondering what I do for therapy when I want to unwind and I am the first person to admit that I do not do knitting. My sense is that physical tasks of any kind especially involving water or cutting things is for me a very relaxing thing to do. I know it is strenuous but the exertions of the physical body can surprisingly have a therapeutic value on the mind. I’m sure there’s more things I can do but I can’t think of them right now.

Temple Cloud Fête

So, off to Temple Cloud fête .    I entered through a housing estate where there wasn’t much parking but never mind,  I found somewhere and parked half on the curb.  When I entered there was the most horrible music scratching and booming from a stagae on our right but I suppose the kids liked it.

The main idea is to launch the new Pump track’   which is the ideal means for young children to race around on their bikes and have a great time. There must have been 100 children there  all noisily enjoying themselves.

I was very intrigued with the ambitious plastic disco and also wondered what the racing car was doing there but obviously it had a following. I could tell that for the number of bearded men who stood around chatting

There were many other stalls for selling the usual food items, local groups including a stall to encourage people to join the local village Council,  and a stand selling homemade jams without any additives.

I bought one of the smallest jam jars I have ever seen, it must be half the size of the normal jam jar, but it contained lemon marmalade or should I say lemon and ginger marmalade so I decided to spend £4.50 and support them in their efforts.  Normally I would not spend this amount.  The lady selling it told me that she had allergies herself particularly to sulfites. She told me not to buy French wine. I will tell that to Francoise and see what happens. She called herself ‘Sam’s Jams & ‘Saucy’ Produce. If anyone is interested her number is +44 7790 750968

Rockaway Park

Off to Rockaway Park. I have written about this many times and if you do  research you will see dozens of entries and my reaction to such a strange artistic colony in the midst of nowhere; it was actually an old quarry. In this website type in  ‘Rockaway Park’ for many many visit descriptions.

Someone called John was giving an exhibition of his art and I had the privilege of talking to him. I commented that the works were very well displayed and made the best of the available light. He was selling a book called ‘Salt’  and I commented that this was the means that Gandhi used to assemble the masses because the British were putting a tax on salt and everyone needs salt, a bit like water really.

I went into the cafe and got myself a coffee. The cost is £1 for all drinks.   There is an honesty box with what had I estimate to be about 40 pounds  cash and it was quite novel to put in a 10-pound note and take away nine pound coins. I love this sort of society.

I overheard two young men talking about the increasing cost of living. One of them said to the other that his mortgage had gone up by 600 pounds a month but he was philosophical saying ‘you just have to pay it’ or words to that effect. I was surprised to hear there was no anger but I suppose that there is no point?

I’ve then talked to a lady who had come for the exhibition. I told her that this place was very therapeutic for me  and that when I felt depressed for any reason I would come here and feel better because the normal prompts that encourage action in everyday society are not here. Instead, we have creative cues and stimuli and this is my bread and butter.

I said that there were terrible pressures on people to conform and I felt that normality was a disease that needed treatment. The question is, if you find yourself doing something, why are you doing it?  Are you sure you are not predicating yourself on the wishes or perceived expectations of others.  I said that so few people have the courage to become individuated.  She nodded.

She said that the party for the artist was supposed to start at 2 o’clock with tea and a proper party at 6pm but it obviously had not started and I said to her for my amusement as much as hers ‘well I know something will happen at some time’ so she said with a smile that she would just wait around.

I include various images that I found attractive. The Chapel of Unrest is a new religion that Mark the founder wants to start. He needs 60,000 congregants and he as so far at 1,600. I know that Mark, the founder, is sick of my saying how much I enjoy the place. I’m not being psychophantic, I’m just telling him as it is.

Each time I go I see something new and I strongly recommend it to anyone.  Do a search on ‘Rockaway Park Somerset’

Frome Carnival

I noticed by chance in the Mendip Times that there was a carnival in Frome  taking place this very evening so I thought ‘nothing ventured nothing gained’, let’s have a look at what’s going on.  Knowing that the town was blocked off in part, we approached Frome  from the north and found a road where we could park with no restrictions, 10 minutes walk from the festivities.

Frome is a very cultural town,  lots of money around but I was in for a shock.  The very civilized car park opposite the Cheese and Grain  Meeting Hall had been converted into a monstrous, and in my view tawdry  amusement park.    I might as well have been in Blackpool or Brighton in the 1970s.

 I have to say that the number of overweight people especially women was very noticeable.   Over weight can come about from poor diet and by ‘poor diet’ I mean bad quality food which is not very rich in nutrition but has been designed to sell, with generous quantities of additives to make it look more attractive and to prolong its life.  You may wonder why the diet for Coca-Cola is a secret.  I will give you three guesses.

The carnival itself was advertised to start at 7pm but the first floats entered the town center at about 7:35 and the show finished at 8:20.   The images below speak for themselves.  I enjoyed the fact that youngsters were enjoying themselves but I did not feel I saw the best side of Frome on this occasion. This event was definitely for the ‘working class’. I shall not return next year and that’s not being snobby.  I just felt the event was too brash and loud for me.

waiting expectantly
Is this a UFO?
Star Wars characters

There were many dancers and performers and some of the children cannot have been more than five years old. I noticed that there were many helpers and supporters waiting to enter the fray if there was any problem or accident.

We also noticed that there were quite a few solo performers who had made great efforts to make themselves interesting, attractive and amusing, including someone dressed as a tin of spaghetti, and why not. I cannot show you most of the images because moving objects at night are too much of a challenge for my humble mobile phone camera so you’ll have to imagine in part what went on.

All in all a good day. I completely forgot about the Christian men’s breakfast that was held this morning at 8am.  I realized this at 7:50.  If the event had started at 8:30 I could have just made it but I’m afraid even Batman would have had a problem traversing 10 miles in 10 minutes and that includes time to get dressed.

Ticket splitting and weeds

Bargain Fares?

We are contemplating a trip to London in November so yesterday I went to Bath  rail station to look at the cost of two tickets return and with a rail card  the price quoted was £92

Today I  visited a ticket splitting site and I got the same journey for two people for £60 total.  The idea should be self-explanatory but it means that you can combine two separate journeys into one, so long as the relevant train stops at a suitable station on the way.   To travel by National Express at this time of year would cost us £21 for two people return so there is a difference and I could certainly afford the train.  Another factor is time. One takes  one hour 25 minutes and the other three hours 30 minutes.

Weeds, weeds and more weeds.

This video caught my attention immediately because it shows that weeds have a function a bit like a roof on a house and the commentator very kindly gives us or shares with us the right attitude towards this genre.

About this site

I am considering the way I present information to you from other readers, to see if there’s anything I can do,  so today I talked with my web designer.  What I’m going to say now applies to all websites for all purposes so it is not particular to my diaries. First of all we have to consider what a person wants to gain from the site and they will only know when they start reading so we have to tempt them to read.

Secondly we have to consider the attention span of people. If we have a lot of topics demanding our attention and very little time, then I would not expect anyone to spend more than five seconds deciding if they wanted to read or continue reading.

Question –  what can a person gain from reading this website that they wouldn’t gain from reading another website. In the case of Russell Brand who has achieved notoriety recently it’s probably because it is Russell Brand and you either hates him or love him. He has stuck his neck out on many matters so people are probably polarized when they switch over to him.

However, I do not have such a profile for which I am grateful. People in my position have to make it quite clear quite soon what they have to offer and in my case it is a considerable body of local knowledge which may be valuable to not only those who live here in Somerset but those who are thinking of visiting or moving to this area.

I try not to be self-indulgent in my writing,  though I do report my feelings. I do not wish to bore anyone with repetition so we try to give something new each day and so far after about 1300 diary entries, we have for the most part avoided repetition. I like reading other people’s Diaries because I can see the world through their eyes if only momentarily and can get some sort of  insight into how other people might feel and react.

When we do a rewrite in about a month’s time you will see links to various cities such as Bath, Frome, Bristol, Wells, Glastonbury,  so those desiring to know what it is like from a visitor’s point of view will have plenty of material at their disposal

When Samuel Pepys wrote his diaries he may or may not have written for the benefit of posterity but I suspect he wrote because he enjoyed it.  Also, it is a work of art and you don’t paint a work of art because of the number of people that will see it, you painted because the ability to do so is embedded in your mind and your consciousnesses.

You can’t write over one million words as he did with quill pen and poor lighting without being totally dedicated. His works were hidden or stored in a library for 100 years before being made available.  They have become part of English Heritage.

The deft hands of my ophthalmologist and other stories

Being wonderfully treated by a professional

I love the English language in all its beauty and when I was having my eye injection I used a word that I have not used for as long as I can remember which is the word ‘deft’.  When did you the reader last use that word? Maybe because there are so few deft actions. Deft actions are defined as  characterized by facility and skill, for example the photographer’s deft use of lighting, or the deft fingers of the trumpeter.

I have had about 47 eye injections over the years  and have been on the receiving end of at least 20 clinicians. As soon as this one started, a new one on me that I can’t remember the name of, I knew she would have everything exactly right. She had an intuitive understanding of me, my body, and what she was going to do and why.

It is almost impossible to explain but I could say she was completely identifying with me as the patient.  The worst bit for me is where they put some spring clips to keep your eyes open and she has developed a way of doing it without any pain or discomfort. She had a good sense of humour which helped the actual injection involves marking the position on the eyeball with a marker pen of some sort and then injecting in that place. They do so to make sure that injections are not given over the same point in other words minimizing the trauma to the eye.

Previous to that I had an eye test and I could not even see the letters on the board using my left eye.  No, I tell a lie I could see one on the top line, I think it was an X so I am well due for my cataract operation which is to come next Wednesday.

I talked to one of the secretaries, Michelle, who has been with me since I started seven years ago and she said that the effect of a successful operation is miraculous and people cannot believe how clear their sight has become. I’m having the top man doing this,  Mr Antcliff,  and I know he has done  thousands of these so I am in good hands.   I was told they keep people for about 20 minutes after the operation and then let them go.

Events at the RUH Hospital

The new cancer wing which for some reason is called deep Dyson cancer Wing looks fairly complete to me at least from the outside. I’m sure the building is the simple part and the kitting it out is where it gets complicated.

Lunch is always a ritual for me.   I have learnt to avoid arriving on the hour either between 12:00 and 12:10 and 1:00 and 1:10 1 because everyone crowds in, staff and public and the queues get long.

I absolutely love apple crumble.  On this occasion it was pear and apple crumble with custard and I devoured it.

They are making great efforts for people to donate their organs. This was a very well designed site showing what organs are most needed and how many people need them and are waiting for them. I can just imagine being in urgent need and waiting for the phone to ring with good news.

This young lady was hoping to attract people to contribute to the local air ambulance service. One thing you need to learn is that even if no one appears to be interested you need to make eye contact with people. I think this young lady was at the end of her shift because staring at your mobile all the time in a way makes a closed circuit and not many people will be interested

Oh my goodness the amazing NHS photographer is at it again. The child’s arm is too close to its mothers neck, the mother is staring into nowhere and why is she smiling or should I say ‘grinning vacuously’? What is the point of having a picture at all and what has it got to do with making wills? Why are mother and daughter looking in different directions? Have I missed something?

Well done that man it would seem to me to be a real grueling self-punishment but if people can do it and they’ve got the right body type and the right support then this is as good away of making money for a good cause as any. In case you cannot read it, it says that the RUH head and neck surgeon Mr Stuart Gillett will be undertaking this venture.

Back in town

After a recent shower when the roads were wet people were out and about. There were literally hundreds of tourists with coaches blocking the main thoroughfares to the annoyance of many drivers.

Drag Queens have never been a genre that impresses me.  I don’t know what they are trying to say nor do I know what damage they do to young minds who are being increasingly exposed to the sort of material.   This is one of these ‘don’t start me on this’.  It is the deliberacy by the powers that be to confuse and damage young minds this they do by making people aware of certain topics when they are too immature.  Talking to five-year-olds about masturbation is something for which there is no excuse and also talking about the possibility that a child is in the wrong body whatever that means must cause deep anxiety and psychological problems later. Can we not let people grow up at their own rate and learn their own lessons without being programmed and enjoy a normal life. I would say only a fraction or one percent of people have gender dysphoria which is a medical condition.

Bath is not short of eateries and this one is very popular as he’s any street food cafe. It has a certain immediacy and value about it. I have seen such eating establishments all over the world and they never failed to excite me. They are food by the people for the people.

After a wander round,  off to catch the bus and a lovely ride home with beautiful light