First January 2018, Blog

First January, 2018, Blog.

Ancient and Modern Winters.

These islands have weather
As strange as can be,
Sunshine, snow showers,
Heavy rain, wind, wild and free.
Not the bad storms
When ice and snow would last,
Not in my time nor
In centuries long past.
And wolves prowled forests,
Deep snow drifts piled high,
Muddy horse tracks, wet
And slippy under dark sky.
‘Tis said, we are warmer,
With towns, homes, all aglow,
Warmth in most buildings
And traffic, to and fro.
Heat from cities gets
Pumped into the air,
How the old citizens
Would love to share.
So now we look forward,
Past January and Feb.,
Daffodyls, song birds
And spider-built web,
On to the spring
With much longer days,
A great deal more sunshine
And warm weather praise.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. January, 2018.

Halfway through the month, so my apologies.

The last few weeks have visited illness upon me. Like so many others on these Facebook pages.

I took advantage of a Flu jab quite early on, last autumn. Did it do me any good? Not sure because I have no idea quite if that is what I have had these last few weeks. Certainly nothing I have suffered through December ‘17 and January ‘18 has followed a once normal course of infectious chest events.

Sore throats that stayed just, sore throats. Never moving down onto my chest. Strange!

I did write more on the subject of my health but have decided that that would be a boring subject for most of you. So with that in mind, here we go.

This time of year, many are beginning a course of dieting and possibly exercising to lose some Holiday weight. Or, like myself, need to lose some of the collected weight that I lost about three yeats ago – difficult for a Diabetic, even more difficult for an elderly person who is also Diabetic.
We need to keep our weight down, if possible but even less easy to achieve, (if dieting could ever be thought of as an easy weight-losing device).

Many of us, expecially the ladies, are a tad overweight. Surveys suggest that more and more people now are obese, which can lead to future health problems.

In many cases (and partly, as I believe) this could be put down to fast food outlets where food preparation contains many products which, if eaten often, can produce weight gain. Also, I believe we, as a Nation, have become lazy in preparation of home made healthy meals, or work in jobs that take up a larger amount of time, so prep. time can be very short.

I have been watching a few t.v. programmes on this subject where a few people are given special diets and are checked for weight loss at the end of a period of. In one programme, two people (often friends or related) are given different diets (named diets) to see if they lose weight by sticking to the diet. Those I saw recently did, over time, lose weight. Each couple and each of the pair have a different diet. Some I have not heard of (but that may be just me not being well informed.

In other previous, different programmes, it was sort of proved that some peoples’ DNA controls whether they can lose weight or not on different diets. Their metabolism is controlled by their DNA. It was a three group trial and gave results to that effect.

However, I think that one has to have a deep purpose to lose weight. Mine was not weight loss at first but needing to drop my blood sugars. It was a strict regime of cutting out carbs.. As a Diabetic, the blood sugars had to be brought under control (I had not realised they were bad). This eating pattern, over a few months, not only reduced my blood sugar levels but gave me a bonus of significantly dropping my weight.

Once my sugars were under control, I carried on with the diet for a few more months before going back to a more sizeable set of meals. Sadly, over a couple of years, the weight increased again. I am still lower than when I originally started ‘dieting’ (this often happens with Diabetics) but much bigger than I would like to be.

So I am looking towards lowering the fat without messing with the blood sugars! Not such an easy task, the older I get. Whether or not this will happen is anybody’s guess.

Thank you for reading this Blog. Hope it is to your satisfaction this time.

Best Wishes for the New Year, 2018, and be safe out there in this big old world.




Just When You Thought I’d Gone Forever!

Lovely blog Gail. It will turn out well, eventually

jennie orbell

Gosh! To say I haven’t been around is blatantly stating the flipping obvious. In fact, I wasn’t sure WordPress would let me back in. I had to enter all my details again – after I’d hunted down the notebook that I keep all the details in! Yes, I know, I should assign them to memory. Fat chance equalled only by no chance. So, I hear you ask (well, I can hear one person ask – possibly) I’ve been to the wood.

Shortly before I  departed I told you that I’d bought a couple of acres of traumatised woodland? Very old, neglected, partly rotten, woodland? Yes? Good. Well, that’s where I’ve been mainly. Couldn’t possibly divulge other activities.

The wood, named Griddies Copse (grand kiddies = griddies) seemed like an instant joy back in May when we became legal owners of said wood. Unfortunately we also became the legal owners of…

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Second November Blog.

Second November Blog.

Wintering Northerly.

In this land, closer to
The Arctic Circle than
Many realise, winter is
A dark and gloomy affair.
The clock beats down
As the days wear on,
Cold blasts attack
More northerly climes
Like the Moors and
Scotland, Highlands,
Lowlands, watery Islands.
Snow comes most winters
In northern parts, often
Staying for weeks. It is
Milder further south,
Still colder than spring
Or autumnal days.
Yet snow down south
Is now a rare visitor.
When it comes,
It is swift, sharp, icy.
Then fast melts, only tp
Disappear. Frosty mornings
Hang on dewdrop blades,
Shiny grass and sparkling
Webs decked with diamond
Beads, Nature’s patterns
Seen at such times.
Mid-winter brings dark days,
But a seasonal holiday
Blesses all with light
And joy, gifts for the
Rich of heart with
Graceful happiness.
Happy Season’s Tidings to All.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. November 2017.

November runs away fast and furious, heading into December, racing towards the Christmas Holiday Season. For some it is the birth of the Christian religion, for others it is a Thanksgiving for the bountiful summer gone, its produce safely gathered and stored.

For others joy, looking forward to seeing family and friends gathering in the spirit of the holiday season, laughter and happiness, gifts, and food special to the season in our northerly climes.

We might think of those alone, hoping that kind people will visit them during the Holiday, give them the feeling of worth. Then there are those who have nothing. Almost Victorian, these days. Think kindly of those too.

My year, my autumn, has been fraught but, for the time being, I look forward to being warm and comfortable this Season. And perhaps a better year in 2018.

Happy Seasons Greetings and Good Luck for the New Year thereafter.

Be safe out in this wide world.



First October Blog

First (and probably the last for the month of October), October Blog.

It seems a very, very long time since I posted a blog. Perhaps too long? And my apologies for being so tardy. Lots of things taking my time and that I have little or no control over.

My time has been eaten up by mundane affairs. Mundane and extremely stressful happenings.

Some of this has been virtually completed, apart, of course, from the problems in the aftermath, as there generally are. Why would there not be problems? Ahhh! Such is the way of life.

That apart, I have recently been delving into an art medium that goes under the general name of ‘water soluble wax pastels’. There are three makes that I know of, so far. There are very probably more.

The gem product is made by Caran D’Ache and goes by the name of Neocolour 11. They work like wax crayons, you can colour in with them or draw with them. The beauty is that add some water, via a brush (I have even used ‘folded to a point’ kitchen towel) and they act like watercolour paint. You really do not need loads of water.

In fact, I dip my brush in water and wipe most off with a hand held piece of kitchen towel or something of the sort, or a piece of clean rag, before I wet the crayoning on my paper. One can even have a drawn design or plain paper, apply your brush to whichever crayon colour you prefer. The brush will pick up the colour and transfer it onto your paper.

The cheaper brands, like Reeves or Artists Loft (from Hobbycraft) are good for children to use, so it is said. The Artists Loft, being fatter, easier for children to hold maybe, and cheap enough at £7.00 for a pack of 24 colours.

The use also depends on what kind of paper you use. Watercolour paper of course but I found that the rough paper is better in that the water is taken up better. I also tried Bockingford Aquarelle but the paper buckled and also sucked up the water which made it very hard to blend these wax soluble wax pastels.

It is a learning curve, using all mediums. If you are interested, do try. The learning is enjoyable.

Be happy, and careful out in the world.


This entry was posted on October 26, 2017. 10 Comments

On being a wet blanket…

Very inciteful. Evelyn

The Silent Eye

For some unknown reason, I was weepy. It had not been a sad day, but a busy one. There was no cause on which I could lay the blame. Granted I had prodded the scars on some old memories, but they are long past and well healed. The dog, if I let her near the keyboard, would tell you that we had been having fun… a ‘mad half hour’ that extended throughout the early evening and ended in a laughing heap of fur and limbs collapsed panting on the floor… both hers and mine… and with a triumphant hound licking my face. The triumph being because she knows she is not supposed to and, as she was sat on me, she had the advantage.

I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself for any reason. I can’t even blame fluctuating hormones as they have come neatly packaged in regular daily doses for…

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A Visit to the Bar U Ranch – a National Historic Site.

I am sure ths kind of history would interest many today. Of course, the time scale does not compare with England, going back ovet 2,000 years for us. But still, history is history, and we are all a part of this world and how it came to be.


Bar U

I had the treat of spending a few hours over the past long-weekend visiting the Bar U Ranch which is not far from High River, Alberta. My daughter, Kristen, and I had a great time listening to the Parks Canada guides, wending our way through the 100-year-old buildings and simply enjoying a pleasant day of mid-20-degree temperatures under a gorgeous blue prairie sky.

Bar U Ranch Entrance

The Bar U Ranch highlights a work culture celebrated nowhere else in Canada – cattle ranching and the changing role of the cowboy over time. The seven decades of history represented at the Bar U follows the progression of ranching from the time of the open range, through the early days of fencing in the prairie and on into the age of mechanization.

George Lane fights off wolves

The above photo depicts George Lane, a bigger than life character, fighting off wolves while working on the Bar U – a ranch he…

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First September Blog

First September Blog.

September Solace.

The year has turned,
And summer is departing,
A strange August weather
Has kept us on our toes,
Drizzles for days,
And chill breezes blowing,
Winds hardly abating
Through summer’s bleak times.
A touch of sun.

That left us by lunchtime,
Leaving black clouds
Scudding ‘cross the sky.
But right at the end,
The orb has returned,
Bringing the sunshine,
Making the days warmer,
How long it lasts,
Whoever can tell.
Two or three days of
Blissful warmth.

Then comes showers,
And a chilly day.
Approaches autumn,
Days growing cooler,
Daylight is shorter,
Nights drawing in,
Mornings will darken,
Flowers disappear,
From the trees, leaves will fall.

More wind and rain
To beat doors and windows,
Mud on the ground,
Puddles galore.
Frost in places,
Ice in the ditches,
Rarely the sun is seen any more.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. September, 2017.


Did I miss out on August blogging? My apololgies.

Been a busy month. Not drawing, painting or writing. Just ordinary stuff that everyone gets at one time or another, not the same stuff but something that we cannot get out of.


So we plod along, not touching the things we want to achieve, because, there simply is not the time, occasionally not even the inclination.

I suppose my time of doing things I wanted came when I was a whole lot younger than I am today. I had, apart from work, time to indulge in all my hobbies which included, not only those listed above but going to the cinema.

This occurred quite often. There were several theatres around and occassionally there woukd be four good films on, all in one week. Fitting them all in could be quite a challenge.

Then there was going dancing, art classes and so much more. In my twenties, I went abroad for holidays, far away. This then led to horse riding. I also helped with gardening at home, and rarely, a bit of decorating with dad.

Not forgetting favourite t.v. programmes of the day.

Phew! I feel quite exhausted after all that. Just makes me wonder where all that energy went to? Because, sure as eggs are eggs, it has disappeared now!!!!!

Be very careful out in this changing world, dear friends.