Tag Archives: children

Poppies, Kids, Death and Zen

I deadheaded the poppies a couple of days ago. It seems to have paid dividends because this morning there were fifteen poppies in a spot where we had never had more than six.

I thought of stopping to take a photograph, but bit was raining, I was in my shirt sleeves and the flowers were not very impressive, being weighed down by water droplets.

It sounds artistic now, and I’m starting to regret not taking the picture, but it was cold and wet this morning and enthusiasm was not running high as I left for work.

By the time I returned they had all dropped. They do that. It’s very annoying.

For those of you who aren’t conversant with deadheading it’s a way of manipulating nature with just a pair of scissors.

Plants flower, set seed and then close down as their job of perpetuating the species is over.

If you cut the dead flower heads off before they set seed they have to keep flowering to fulfill their biological imperative. Tricky, isn’t it?

It’s a bit like kids. Once you have a couple you can stop. And you still end up dried out and dead, just like a flower in Autumn.

I have to go now, I’ve just started on a meaningful poetic thought and it needs nurturing. It starts with raindrops and ends with scattered petals, and has haiku written all over it.

Poppies growing from cracks in concrete

Poppies growing from cracks in concrete

I’m getting a lot of use out of very few poppy pictures. I’ll take some more pictures later in the week.

Scone Chronicles XIX

Sorry, I decided it didn’t matter if I missed a day posting and, six days later I’m only just getting back to blogging.

I have plenty of things to write about, but no enthusiasm for the work.

However, I will give it a go, as scones have recently reappeared in my life. On that subject, I may dispense with Roman numbering after the next one. That’s what they did with Spitfires in WW2. They got to Mk XIX and the next one was the Mk 20.

I suppose it’s all part of the dumbing down of the world. First we stop using Latin numerals, then, under pressure from Microsoft, we adopt American spelling.

We’re on the verge of electing a buffoon, and have a fine choice, with both Johnson and Farage, so we’re following America in so many ways.

I’m going to fail to post before midnight, but I’m not rushing. It’s a bit late to worry about my posting record.

On Wednesday we went to meet Julia’s brother and sister-in-law who were visiting family in Radcliffe-on-Trent, a large village just outside Nottingham (which I thought was a town, until I checked when adding the link). The Atrium is a converted bank, and is very pleasant, though the name had led me into expecting more glass and plants.

The staff were efficient, cheerful, and very patient, which was good as they had a lot of kids running about. One of the kids was my great nephew, who is just over a year old now. He’s not quite walking but he’s on the verge, and manages to get about well enough.

The scones were large, and light in texture, though a bit sweet and slightly deficient in fruit. It doesn’t make them bad scones, but it does stop me talking of them in glowing terms. I’d happily go back for scones if I was in Radcliffe-on-Trent again, but I wouldn’t necessarily drive all the way from Nottingham for them. Julia had Bakewell Tart. It was a bit lurid compared to last week’s Bakewell Pudding.

Still having difficulty posting using the ancient netbook, so I’ll call a halt there. It’s amazing really, a few years ago I thought this machine was brilliant, but after using a laptop for the last three years it’s like torture.

 

 

Quick Update

Number Two Son now has a bank account and a mobile phone. Mobiles are more expensive in Canada. He’s now searching for a job.

Number One Son set off this morning, had a few hours in China and is now back on the way to New Zealand.

We had a Chinese takeaway tonight. It’s cheaper with just the two of us. It’s also all the travelling we are likely to do this week.

That’s it for now.

I will have more time tomorrow.

Travellers’ Tales and an Auction Result

Number Two son is in Toronto, has already arranged his national insurance number and is on the track of a job. This is all good to hear.

Number One son, meanwhile, is somewhere down south preparing to take a flight on Saturday. When he gets there he will be spending the first ten days travelling round in a camper van.

Ah, the carefree days of youth.

Julia had to wake me up the other day when she left me in the car whilst shopping, but it’s not the same thing as camping.

Most of the day was spent researching medals to go on eBay. I found a couple of interesting stories, which I’m writing up.

The Genghis Khan coin sold for £16. It’s cheap for 800 years of history and a link to one of the most famous names in history. But, on the other hand, it’s expensive for a piece of dust-gathering junk. It’s just a question of perspective.

A Day Off

I say day off, but it wasn’t quite as clear cut as that.

We started with laundry. This was Julia’s idea – she thinks that the kids need clean laundry for their foreign adventures. I agree with her on that point. I do, however disagree that we should be doing it. Neither of them are working at the moment, as they are both flying out this week, so they have plenty of time to do their own laundry.

Despite this, we were able to enjoy a freshly-cooked bacon cob at the cafe down the road, before we returned to the launderette to do the drying.

We went to the jewellers after taking the washing home, cadged a couple of cups of tea and had two watches fitted with new batteries.

After then had a late lunch at Frankie & Benny’s. They charge £2.39 for a cup of tea. I was expecting a pot for that price. Not only that, but it’s served as a cup of hot water and a teabag, so you don’t even get properly made tea. You need boiling water for tea.

They are having some problems, with closures and redundancy, I’ve been told. I’m not surprised. If their grasp of business is as good as their grasp of tea making they are in deep trouble.

No photos again today, but at least it’s a slightly less depressing post. I’m planning our next holiday now. It’s likely to include piers and scones, so watch this space.

Dentist tomorrow.

Into each life some rain must fall, as Longfellow said.

 

 

 

 

Photography Puzzles

Looking through the old photographs, as I was yesterday, I am reminded of the complexity of regulations around photography.

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Care Bears came to visit

I have photographs of children and vulnerable people and I have permission to use them. So I’m clearly OK to post them on the blog aren’t I? Well, no. According to some regulation, which may be data protection rather than safeguarding, I should have asked for time-limited permission and I shouldn’t use them indefinitely. Schools, for instance, are only supposed to use photographs of children while they are attending the school. This would tend to suggest that I shouldn’t use the images now we have closed down.

This suggests that even if you are lucky enough to get a decent shot of a child you can’t keep using it. Unless you’ve paid a child model – that will be OK. That’s one anomally. Another is that I can’t publish names, but newspapers can. Presumably predatory perverts only cruise amateur blogs – professional photos and newspapers hold no interest for them.

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The Quercus Group in disguise

There’s another anomally – if I want to take pictures of children on a visit I need permission, which some schools take more seriously than others.  We once had a teacher shouting at one of our group members because they had  taken a picture with their telephone, which might have included a school pupil.

Yet that teacher thought it was OK for the school to take pictures of the visit without asking our permission and without checking with the vulnerable adults in the group. In fact no school ever asked permission to take pictures.

I’m not saying they should do, but I am saying that there should be one rule for everyone, particularly for schools that insisted on coming on days when the group was in.  Julia, being soft-hearted always resisted my requests that we should have a photo permission form for visits and only give permission to groups who gave us permission.

It’s funny how a train of thought can rise from a few photos…

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Agroforestry project

Imagine what that would mean for the famous Pears Soap advert. They used this one for years. Oh, how Admiral Sir William Milbourne James GCB must have mentally thanked his grandfather for this portrait of him in green velvet as he strode the decks of his various commands, where he was known by the nickname “Sir Bubbles”.

Image downloaded from the website of the Victoria and Albert Museum, with permission. Despite a lack of medals and dead animals this kind gesture has elevated thm to the status of one of my favourite museums.

 

The Trend Continues

I forgot to tell you that another of my shirts disintegrated yesterday, I was tucking it in when I felt it give. That’s what happens when you have cotton shirts and a disinclination to spend money. It’s always a bit of a downer when an old favourite disintegrates, though not so much of a downer as when trousers disintegrate, I admit.

After posting I took Number Two son to work and dropped him off for an 11pm start.  About 1 am I had a text.

“Are you awake?”

I was naturally inclined to answer “No.” but decided I’d better admit that I was still up.

“Can you leave the chain off. I’ve been throwing up and I’m coming home.”

Oh, the language of Shakespeare…

So, to cut a tedious story short, I went to pick him up. If I’m going to get him to leave home he needs to save his money, not squander it on taxis. We nearly reached home before he decided to throw up again. Fortunately he managed to get out of the car before it happened.

I think it’s true to say that he has the same gastric bug as Julia, He just doesn’t handle it with the same panache.

We returned home around 2.30 am, which left plenty of time to write my haiku quota and get to the hospital for a 7am blood test. This was handled so efficiently that I was back at the car and out of the car park before my free half hour was over.

I had the results by 11.20. I passed, though they have adjusted the dose and I have to go back in two weeks.

I wonder if this is a sign that things may be looking up.