August 31, 2017

Health Update – a week since my Laparotomy

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:30 pm by Aleksan

It was a week today that I had my Hernia repaired by Laparotomy at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester, so I thought it was time for an update. Firstly, thank you all so much for your good wishes for a speedy recovery. I have much appreciated the love and goodwill, and it has helped a lot.

I’m am an impatient old Bugger, and at times in the last week I have felt pretty awful, not so much because of the post op pain, that wasn’t too bad, but because I have been very tired, fed up and generally a few degrees under. However gradually I have been coming up to the surface, moving about more and feeling less tired. Today, after a week I am nipping around much more, walking faster, and generally feeling more of the joys of life.

However there is no doubt that the older you are the longer it takes to get over operations and stuff. I am in danger of overdoing it of course, and even becoming a bit manic, but it has been made very clear to me that I must take it easier for about six weeks or so, especially no heavy lifting or “impact sports”! At nearly 73 I will therefore be avoiding Rugger and Speedway but can’t guarantee not to get on a horse before many days have passed….

Houston floods a good article from NY Times

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:07 pm by Aleksan

I stayed in Houston for a couple of days between flights in the 1980s. It was uncomfortably humid and people stayed indoors or in cars with the Air Con turned up high. Executives wore woollen thee piece suits, appropriate to outdoors in England. But this was to keep them warm in the chilly air conditioning! I remember thinking it was a place I could never live in, and saw few people outdoors enjoying the countryside, because what I saw of it was difficult to walk even slowly in without sweating. This is an interesting article that answers a lot of questions…..let us hope we can all learn from the awful experiences these determined people are facing….

August 30, 2017

Big Sister is watching you …

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:28 pm by Aleksan

The thought Police are out again trying to control how we think and behave. Sir Chris Hoy has to apologise for saying that middle aged male cyclists look daft in Lycra (They do!) and a Size 10 Beauty Queen is told she is “too big” and needs to go on a diet, so gives up her title! (She is drop dead gorgeous) And the National Trust is told off for selling pink hats saying “Future Footballers Wife” (Certainly provocative, but worse a case for the Grammar Police) Be careful it’s not just Big Brother that is watching you, but Big Sister too AHHHHH!

August 21, 2017

The garden after rain – spine tingling!

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:40 am by Aleksan

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The remains of Hurricane Gert passed by last night bringing much rain, no wind and warm air from the South. The garden flowers are bright, glowing in the damp, fluorescent blues and yellows. Sparkling drops of water drip from the ends of tree branches and the earth smells rich and organic. All is silent, apart from me saying “Oh” as a cold drop from the leaves of a Silver Birch oozes down the back of my neck – spine tingling!

August 19, 2017

Kamut Bread for breakfast – nutritious and good to eat…

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:14 am by Aleksan

Enjoying for breakfast some Kamut bread made from Khorasan wheat from Iran. It is quite dense, has a nutty flavour and pleasant with cheese or Apricot jam. The loaf I am eating comes from a local organic source. Khorasan Wheat is high in protein, and used for Camel food in the Khorasan Province of Iran. It is an ancient grain, and an interesting change. Thin slices go a long way, and it seems to keep well. I so like the sound of that word – here it is again – Khorasan!

August 16, 2017

Polarisation in Society and the Authoritarian position – is the media helping or hindering?

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:30 pm by Aleksan

I have noticed an increasing polarisation in our Society over here, mirroring what is going on in the USA. There is a view that using the "Left, Right" labels is not helpful, but I can see something similar going on here, but more complex. Human Beings, like Chimpanzees, are inherently territorial and inclined to stick to tribal groups, where they feel safe with PLUs. (People like us)

But the world is now more diverse and we are all mixed up in terms of backgrounds, colour, privilege, wealth and political ideology. So the tribes are now more and more Facebook and Internet tribes, where we can huddle together and jointly despise and attack people not like ourselves.

We increasingly live in our own self selected worlds, becoming more separate from each other in these parallel universes. Apparently a sociologist has identified four political types: Authoritarian (? Conservative) – Egalitarian (? Liberal) – Individualist (? Business) – Fatalist (? Passive, powerless)

Of course we are all a mixture in reality, but sometimes in some situations, these types become more prevalent in a Society. When we feel we have power and influence perhaps we can afford to be liberal and magnanimous. When fear and injustice drive then the authoritarian type may prevail.

I think that we are in a fear and injustice driven Society now, and that there is a general tendency for people to entrench into safe positions and condemn or attack others – an authoritarian, divisive stance.

Is there a solution or must there be conflict, even war? How can people feel safe, well enough off, and able to accept other views? We need a just Society for this to happen – where people don't fear or hate others but rejoice in diversity and varying cultures and lifestyles. I am not yet sure whether the media or Facebook is on the side of the Angels or the Demons….as well as informing they promote more and more conflict and provocation in our lives. I resort to poetry as an antidote.

The Divine Image

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
All pray in their distress;
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is God, our father dear,
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is Man, his child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew;
Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too.

August 15, 2017

Halted by Honeysuckle – the Magic of the Hampshire Countryside

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:41 am by Aleksan

There is something magical about a hot August morning in the Hampshire countryside. Stillness in the air, wet grass, gentle chirruping of birds, distant honking of geese, and swans sunbathing on the edge of a silver river. The cattle are nowhere to be seen, hiding in the darkness under the withy trees. As I return through the glories of our garden I am halted by the overpowering scent of honeysuckle and bow to inhale more.

August 12, 2017

Peace to Captain Cornelius Fly and to all Beings!

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:53 pm by Aleksan

Sitting in the garden, all peace, butterflies and sleepy Sam. Finished my large mug of tea, but this time I had a teaspoonful of sugar in it – to sweeten the old bugger up. Along comes my long lost many times removed DNA cousin Captain Cornelius Fly and I watch him running round the mug's rim, then the other way round – and now what's he up to? Whizzing round the inside of the mug in spirals like a motorbike Wheel of Death rider! He is not wearing a helmet and it's sticky feet rather than momentum keeping him going….Like me has found a bit of sugar, and it's sweetening up the old bug. Peace to Captain Fly and to all Beings!

Climate change denial on the BBC

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:52 pm by Aleksan

The BBC should air all views, even minority and unscientific ones. This way there can be a healthy evidenced based debate clarifying what are often complex issues. I subscribe to the ethic "Give someone enough rope and they will hang themselves". By the response to this interview so far it looks as though the noose is around Lawson's neck

Being offended – a manipulative type of bullying?

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:07 pm by Aleksan

"Im offended!" Ok you are offended, deal with it. You won't stop me from sayng what I think. Being offended is often a manipulative form of bullying. Freedom of speech is very precious as long as it is honest and intended to be helpful. If not then your offense is truly justified, but don't use these words to put people down or stop the expression of views that you don't agree with….

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