Monthly Archives: October 2018

Some Photographs

This is what happens whe you are on a mission to post every day, when your wife is going mad looking for something and you can’t concentrate because of the noise and bustle. Yes, twenty four days into the 100 day self-imposed challenge and I’m sticking in three photos to make sure I don’tmiss a day.

I really should do better.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Silver Birch Clumber Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Clumber Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dead Trees –  Clumber Park

 

 

A Sad Story of Modern Life

I stopped to take a picture of the war memorial while I was in Hardwick village (part of the Clumber Estate) yesterday.

There was something different about it but I couldn’t quite place it until I had a closer look.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hardwick Village war memorial

As you can see from the close up – the bronze plaques are missing.  According to the various newspaper stories the “engraved brass” plaques have been stolen. They were actually cast bronze, which is completely different, but I won’t waste my time discussing that. Like the teeth of hens and the droppings of rocking horses, the accuracy of journalists is very rare.

I’m not sure I want to live in a society where people deface graves and steal memorials for scrap metal. I had a wide choice of examples to use there – I selected Michael Foot’s grave as being suitably neutral. I could have chosen stories on Jewish graves or Muslim graves being attacked in the UK, or British war graves being attacked in Libya. It’s a depressing world.

Fortunately, the names are preserved for posterity, so at least the sacrifice will not be forgotten.

It’s tempting to hold forth on respect, education, crime, punishment and the decay of civilisation. However, whatever I say won’t alter the situation, even if I had anything useful to say.

Really I just wanted to write something as a (mild) protest at this sort of thing.

Sadly there’s not much else I can do.

 

 

 

A Trip to Clumber Park

Julia was working today so I had an afternoon to myself. This is obviously a mixed blessing – things are usually better with Julia, but they also tend to involve housework or shopping and neither of them rank high on my list of preferred activities.

The featured image is the Lime Avenue, planted in 1840 with 1,296 Common Limes, it’s two miles long and the longest double Lime Avenue in Europe. That presumably means there are longer single avenues and longer double ones elsewhere in the world.

You may notice that there are black bands on the trees – these are grease bands, applied in 1906 to foil insect attacks. They have lasted a long time.

Unfortunately the sun was a bit low and I didn’t have a lot of time, so it wasn’t as productive as it could have been.

On the other hand, I do have a lot of notes for haiku, which was one of the things I was hoping for, so it wasn’t a complete waste.

It was school holidays so there were a lot of kids shouting and getting underfoot so my haiku may include some unconventional subject matter such as the benefits of family planning and the use of baseball bats.

The Lake at Clumber Park

The Lake at Clumber Park

 

29th Wedding Anniversary

We’ve just celebrated our 29th Wedding Anniversary. The traditional gift is, it seems, furniture, which I take as a sign that the romance may have faded.

I broke with this tradition and gave Julia a silver brooch and chocolates. Actually it wasn’t much of a break with our tradition as I normally give her a jewellery and chocolates. She likes jewellery and chocolates, and it saves me having to do much thinking. I made sure she had plenty of chocolate so she could share it round.

The longevity of our marriage owes little, as regular readers may guess, to my qualities as a husband. It does, however, vindicate my policy of waiting for the right woman, even if she did make me wait nine years. By “right” woman, I mean, of course, one with low standards in men.

The traditional gift for 30 years is pearls. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I know that the value of a virtuous woman is a price above rubies, but have you seen the cost of pearls?

 

Grumpiness Level Rising

Interesting day.

After my first post I mooched round the house a bit and gathered the washing. I just managed to get the first two loads into dryers when a crowd formed. It was like a flash mob of people with bags of wet washing. Several of them scowled at me for my temerity in having two machines. I had three loads to do so I deliberately split the last load between the two washers and sat there looking smug to the bitter end.

I hate people who use the dryers without using a washer in the launderette.

I’m not keen on people who scowl at me either.

To be fair, they probably aren’t keen on me either.

Then it was off shopping. There were a lot of people in the shop who explored new and inventive ways of getting in my way.

I hate…etc…

They should be identified as children by their tendency to dawdle and sterilised. That way they might be able to get in my way but they won’t have a brood of useless children to help them in the activity

By this time I felt the need to sit in the car and write haiku.

Unfortunately I ended up writing a haibun about people getting in my way.

It didn’t help.

I feel the calming effect of Japanese poetry might be wearing off.

 

Decisions…

I’ve delivered Julia to work, I’ve re-set my car clock to GMT and I’ve had a drive round to look at nature from the inside of a heated car.

I hadn’t intended driving round so didn’t have a notebook with me, and have returned with two haiku and a couple of notes scribbled on the back of a car park ticket. I keep meaning to get a recorder to carry with me – this phone doesn’t seem to offer that facility.

I’m now facing a big decision. Do I do the laundry or do I write a post? I think you can probably guess the answer from the fact you are reading this.

It will save time later, as the days soon pass and I’m so disorganised that it could easily be close to midnight before I actually press the button to publish. That’s what happened last night. I  started writing around 7.00 and it was close to midnight when I eventually posted. It didn’t, as you may guess, take me five hours to write. But somehow I managed to fill the rest of the time with eating, napping, watching TV, talking to Julia and surfing eBay.

At the moment “out of control” is the theme of my life. The garden needs tidying, the house needs a serious declutter and I have letters to write regarding both health and finance – all important stuff.

I have also lost control of my haiku. I don’t know how many I’ve written on my challenge (though it is at least ten a day, so I’m keeping up with it) and I still have a lot to edit,  type and index. It’s the indexing that’s tricky. They don’t have titles. They don’t lend themselves to numbering due to my habit of making and keeping multiple edits. Quite often they have the same first line (see previous comments on multiple edits). All in all they are slippery little creatures and trying to keep them under control is like trying to herd hamsters.

Looks like I’m going to have to look at numbering again, or risk upsetting an editor.

This post marks 21 successive days of posting. Early days yet, but I’m starting to establish a habit.

At this point the 21 days could be significant, as the old saying is that it takes 21 days to form a habit. This, as with so many things, is a myth. Newer research indicates that it takes between 18 and 254 days to form a habit.

Writing haiku, which was a development of my normal poetry writing only seemed to take a week to take hold but my broken blogging habit doesn’t feel established after 21 days. Eating salad would probably take 254 days to become a habit. Even at 254 days it wouldn’t so much be a case of forming a habit, more like breaking my spirit and me losing the will to live.

The Halo Slips…

You may recall that I’ve trying to stay calm this week.

Well, my resolve has been well and truly pushed today. What sort of person rings a coin shop about a “rare coin” and doesn’t even know what it is? How do you know it’s rare?

We’ve had several old favourites this week – the worn out Victorian pennies, the “old pennies” from 1912 and the ones” in good condition – you can see all the letters”. The ability to see all the letters on a coin doesn’t mean it’s in collectable condition.

Often, when asked about specific details, the seller doesn’t have it to hand and has to go to another room to find it, leaving me hanging on the phone when I have work to do.

We have had some “rare” Charles Dickens £2 coins offered this week after a newspaper story and some eBay idiocy.  The trouble is that newspapers report coins as “sold” on eBay when they are merely for sale on eBay. Any idiot can put a coin on eBay with a massive price on it. Judging by what I’ve just seen several idiots are doing it.

To cap it all, as I was trying to get things loaded before we went home, two people rang in the last ten minutes. One had a “rare” decimal penny and one had a “rare” £2 coin.

I came close to snapping.

What sort of person, having found us on the web, presumably with our opening hours, decides to ring ten minutes before closing time?

The prize moment of the day, however was the offer of a rare £2 coin with a picture of the White House on it. I didn’t take that call, I just heard one of my workmates say: “I think you’ll find that the 2005 £2 coin actually has St Paul’s Cathedral on it.”

Image result for st pauls £2 coin