Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Midweek supper...

Food to me is about nourishing my body. I work hard and I'm getting older so anything processed is out. I cook every day and eat supper at a dining table with lighted candles. This clears my head from the office dramas and allows me to appreciate my meal and to give thanks. As one gets older, a simple, peaceful life is a type of paradise. After supper I might go for a short walk and if I see a badger or deer that will be a perfect end to my day. Be yourself. Be happy with whatever is your lot. Shut out the noise around you. Peace.
Photo copyright SvD.

Cumberland sausage and kidney bean stew with roasted bell peppers.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Lucky? Happy? Happy. Lucky.

On my 6.30am walk today, the hound and I came upon a mortally wounded pigeon, its left wing ripped off by a dog. Shame on the dog owner to have a stupid animal and to leave the pigeon to die an agonising death. By the time the hound and I arrived on the scene, the pigeon was conscious but unable to move other than to drag itself on the stomach, a gaping wound where its wing used to be. Another dog walker appeared with his pug, Monty, and we decided to ring the pigeon's neck. I would hold the bird and Monty's dad would do the deed. We debated clubbing the pigeon to death with a stone and went in search of a large enough one. As we discussed the execution, along came a cat who grabbed the dying pigeon from right under our noses before you could say 'poor pigeon, this is making us late for work'. Both dogs, avid cat haters, didn't have a chance to do the whole barking, growling, we-detest-cats thing and looked genuinely startled to have been 'outcatted'.

The moral therefore is for you to decide. Was the pigeon lucky or unlucky? Unlucky to be attacked. Lucky for two 'saviours' to show up to end his misery? Or was the cat the luckiest and possibly the happiest of all? You choose.

Photo copyright SvD.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

You Humans Are Very Strange....

This morning. Photos copyright SvD.

This sheep looks at the hound and I with utter disdain as we walk past every day. I love the black patch which adds to that look of utter antipathy.

The local vicar who is a frequent walking partner dislikes sheep and often remarks that they are 'born to die'. That's usually when I remind the vicar that faith is about peace and love...

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Setting Sun.

Nature teaches us about how irrelevant we are in the grand scheme of things. The sun rises and sets in spite of us. Think about that.

Tonight on my walk:

  Photo copyright SvD.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Summer Light.

The summer sun has such intensity as it energises nature with an overdose of vitality to flourish, reproduce and bear fruit. One of my favourite books is L'Etranger by Albert Camus and the scene where the protagonist is blinded by the sun and pulls the trigger is a masterstroke of writing, creating an image that is instantly emblazoned on the brain. I used to live in a village where the only exit road meant you drove right into the sun and because the landscape was completely flat the sun appeared as a giant orb on a very close horizon. One had the sensation of driving into Hades quite literally, and for five or more seconds it was impossible to see the road or oncoming cars at all. The summer sun is a bit like love and art: heart stopping and unforgettable. Now that the days are long I am going for a last evening stroll before bed and this is the wheat dappled by the setting sun.

Photo copyright SvD.

The Secret to Happiness.

You'll find it the words above. Look carefully. One sentence will stand out and will change your life forever.

Good luck.

Photo copyright SvD.
Blenheim Palace.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Blenheim Palace: an exquisite tonic.

Having dropped in to see my doctor on Tuesday and asking him to find a pulse, he informed me that my blood pressure has hit the roof from stress. I must immediately find a work-life balance according to him. Ha, ha. Perhaps I should have asked him to marry me straight away if only he would promise that I could finally have a rest and spend the rest of my life reclining on sable rugs and sipping champagne while draped in priceless diamonds and little else. Anyway, after snapping myself out of a pointless fantasy and having checked my blood pressure maniacally over 48 hours, I then felt courageous enough to drive down to Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill and home of the Duke of Marlborough. Exquisite! Priceless antiques, baroque architecture and the spoils of the family's exploits over several hundred years. I enjoyed my day and feel restored and ignoring my health worries for now.
Detail on a Roman sarcophagus, Blenheim Palace. Photo copyright SvD.