Sunday, 28 May 2017

People who made things to last: An Appreciation

  1. Chain Harrows. Probably the earliest form of grassland maintenance implement of the modern era. Still as good as the day they were made back in who knows when. To you, gentlemen, thank you for your skill and work.
  2. My Ford 3000 Super-Dexta tractor. Probably produced at the Ford Tractor plant in Basildon Essex in 1967. Gentlemen, your machine has today put in a seriously good shift in the fields fifty years after rolling off the production line. She still runs beautifully and pulls beautifully. My salutations, sirs, you knew how to build tractors.

We hear a lot of complaints when things are done wrong but I don't think we hear enough congratulations when things go right. So my grateful thanks to you both.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

A dry spell

My writing output in April was similar to the weather - a long dry spell. However a downpour in mid-May coincided with another burst of writing productivity. I've recently finished my first new story in two months and I received an acceptance from the respected Third and Starlight anthology for a reprint of 'The Waiting Room.'

In the meantime I as usual turned to writing poetry. By this, of course, I mean formal poetry as opposed to free verse. For some reason I find the discipline of metre and rhyme helpful, even though the output is not saleable in today's free-verse dominated poetry market. I suppose the modern fashion really is poetry because the market tells me so, but personally I prefer prose properly punctuated. If you'd like to see some of my recent work, there are some new pieces on this blog's poetry page.

One strange result of the freak weather has been the may blossom blooming in May high up on top of Sliabh Mannan rather than as it more commonly does in June.

camellia (unknown variety)
To my surprise and pleasure a camellia bought cheaply in a car boot sale years ago has produced its first flower (left.) I had suspected it would turn out to be Japonica rather than Williamsii. The former, it seems, just don't flower at this altitude. However it has just about the most sheltered spot on the place, so it does have its best chance. It was anybody's guess as to the variety, so if anybody happens to know, I'd be pleased to hear from you.

The early season butterflies have been out in good numbers, particularly orange tips and green-veined whites. A red admiral turned up in the garden this week.

At least one pair of greenfinches seem to have taken up residence in the garden this year too. We have chaffinch every year and bullfinch occasionally but greenfinch are a novelty. Siskin have also turned up this year and there are grey wagtail down by the burn. Wrens also seem to be on the increase and the local greater spotted woodpecker has also been visiting the garden.

For the amateur photographer a woodland summer is so frustrating. The summer visiting birds are all displaying their brightest colours, but the shade and the leaf cover make it so hard to get a good picture!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

I tolerate, you overlook, he neglects ...

I'm the most tolerant person on Earth.

Except that I can't tolerate intolerance. Lots of social media comments are intolerance disguised as tolerance. And I can't tolerate that either. 

And while we're on the subject I can't tolerate people who can't tolerate people who can't tolerate intolerance. 

And I can't tolerate anyone who can't tolerate my tolerance. 

In fact, when you get right down to it, I'm not only the most tolerant person on Earth, I'm the only tolerant person on Earth. 

The rest of you are just so intolerant I absolutely cannot tolerate you.