Archive | May 2016

Fourth May Blog

Fourth May Blog.

Elastic Time.

Oh, the days pass so swift.
And it was ever so. Time was, ionce
When we waited, and the days
Went by so slowly in winter’s
Demure path. And again we hunger for speed,
Its lonely progression, snail- like
In its trail, January to
March, April drags too,
Until finally, warm May arrives.
Yet, she passes so fast,
Where soon, June opens her arms,
Lifts the sun, then disappoints.
But wait again, my friends,
She is the harbinger of half a year.
When her time has flown, and fly
It will, wv are slipping downward,
Falling toward winter, its pace a race
Furious, hell-bent towards
A year ending. Soon, anorher
Has slipped by, almost
Without our noticing..
Time’s elasticity
Working its ethereal
Mystery, descending our live
Into the pit of immutabk time.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. May, 2016.

Flowers stretch from beneath the earth, buds grow fat, bursting into full bloom. We revel in that beauty, their charm, colour, shape, perfume. Then, all too soon, the flower fades, grows dull, withers and dies. Some forever! Others to be renewed the folliwing year when the sun is in the same quadrant.

This is the elasticity of time, for it can often oall depend on your size. A worker bee is quite small and lives only a few weeks. Humans have a range of life soan. A parrot can live for 80 years. It can, but not necessarily does. Some large tortoises can live for nearly 200 years, some cells live only a few days. So who knows? Size or what?

‘Tis said that some trees live for centuries, yet, is it sentient? Some would say no. But others disagree. There is a mushroom which seems to be very old, though the main part is underground and the myshrooms that send spores far and wide, only appear e eryyear and do not seem to have ‘roots’. They actually belong to this ancient ring that spreads year after yeat via its root system below ground.

So, what you see is not always what it appears to be. Thereh are symbiotic systems in many parts of the world where seemingly unconnected events, cause and effect, if you will, in actual fact, are very helpful to several other sytems that do not appear to be connected. Underwater ‘grasses’, fed on by snails, nourished by the salmon tne bears leave behind in the woods, which rot and fall into the streams, nouruhing the ‘grasses, which feed the snails, which feed the fry. These things are happening all over, one way or another.

Have a great Holiday Weekend.

Take good care.


Look Through Any Window?

I always have a “Titter’ at Gail’s blogs!

Just Life - Jennie Orbell

So, this is how it went . . .

Me. “Richard, could you look at this booking form that I’ve downloaded because to me it doesn’t make any kind of sense.”

Richard. “Where is it?”

I stayed calm.

“Here, on my laptop.”


Me. “All you have to do is scroll down – once.”

Him. “Do you mean scroll up?”

Me. “No . . . I mean scroll down.”

“Well, can you pass the laptop along the table?”

I slid said laptop along the table and watched as he peered at the screen . . . and peered at the screen. I propped my head up by the palm of my hand, elbow resting on the table and gave him time to evaluate. You see, to be perfectly honest, while Richard falls down in many areas, where ‘forms’ are concerned he is quite good. This is because I read the…

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Blanche, Duchess of Lancaster

More interesting takes of our heritage. I think John of Gaunt is well known in the land of ours. Evelyn (Hope I can get this blog out). Evelyn

History... the interesting bits!

240px-Marriage_of_blanche_of_lancster_and_john_of_gaunt_1359 The wedding of Blanche of Lancaster and John of Gaunt, painted by Horace Wright, 1914

Blanche of Lancaster is one of those ladies of history more famous because of her children and the antics of her husband. Blanche’s life was pitifully short, but her legacy would see the unravelling of peace in the fifteenth century, and the decades of civil war called the Wars of the Roses.

Blanche of Lancaster was born around 25th March 1345, at Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire. She was the 2nd and youngest daughter of illustrious parents; Henry of Grosmont, Duke of Lancaster and Isabella de Beaumont. Henry of Grosmont was the grandson of Edmund Crouchback and a great-grandson of Henry III. Isabella was the daughter of Henry, 1st Baron de Beaumont and Earl of Buchan by right of his wife, Alice Comyn.

225px-Portrait_of_Henry,_Duke_of_Lancaster_-_William_Bruges's_Garter_Book_(c.1440-1450),_f.8_-_BL_Stowe_MS_594_(cropped) Henry of Grosmont, Duke of Lancaster

Blanche had only one sibling, her older…

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Third May Blog

Third May Blog

Time’s Reverse Chariot.

Where is the land
My heart desires?
Where is the place of my youth?
The passing of time
Brings a quiet reflection,
A temperate peaceful booth
Where I may sit
And dream for a while
Of things that used to be,
Of solitude, state and tempestuousness
In the land that once was me.
Remembering childhood
Games that were played,
In a time that hung still in the air.
No war-like thoughts distressed my soul,
It was as if I could not care.
Reflecting now
Upon far off idays,
I shudder at all I could know.
I wish them gone,
The ugliest of tiines
As my mind sinks back to long ago.
And yet I remember
The loves of those days,
My father and mother of old,
My brother and dog,
And schooltime friends
Sunlit days that have now grown so cold.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. May, 2016

The Past, Differen From Today.

I am not the first, and I sure won’t be the last, to look back upon those days when we were new in the world, and the world and its ways were new to us.

But of course, times were different then. A famous quotation from the book “The Go-Betwen, “The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there”. This is very true.

Just take even twenty years ago. No Internet, computers were basic green screen do-dads. I had already lost several members of my family and was about to lose a sibling and other members of my wider family.

But my past goes much further back than twenty years, way back. I was born just over a year before the outbreak of World War 2. Most people alive today will not remember those times. Even I do not remember a whole lot, being so young. Jyst snapshots really. (And that is another thing, cameras, and how different they are today). But I am digressing somewhat, unless someone comes from a modern wartorn country., they will know about bombs, gunshots, strife etc.

Not certsin, but i think people were made aware that a war, of sorts, was on the cards a little before war was declared, so perhsps people started to save canned and dried foods a little ( though I think they were sure that it was just rumours and that, after World War 1, rhere would not be another war). So, perhaps, saving goods did not happen so much at first, but it was not a whole length of time before foiod became short. Rationing was declared.

Food was pretty basic then here in the British Iskes ( being known as the UK came much later). No choice of meals like Indian, Chinese, Thai, even Italian, etc. How many people in work, in the UK today, have food shortage and rationing where everything ( including clothing) were purchased, not only with cash but with the handing over of the requisite amount of coupons)? If you did not have the coupons, you did not get your ration of butter, bacon ( if there was any), sugar, meat, etc.

Many foods came in on transport ships, which were iften bomberd, quite often. Their cargoes ending up, not on our plates, but on the ocean bed. No, they did not get flown in either. Aircraft were for war, not fior bringing bananas or sugar etc.

So you see, it was a ‘foreign country’ as far as today is concened. Totally different. So wonderful in the 1950s to be able to actually choose a piece of meat and not worry about coupons. I remember at school we were given a treat, courtesy of New Zealand. They sent boxed of apples to be distributed to schools, we each got an apple. Definitely a rare treat where previously, a shipload could be blown out of the water, now was able to sail to England with an apple crop, and not worry in case the ship sank and the crop lost.

Gradually things changed. There were other problems in the world that affected us, like Berlin, but not as much as WW2. By the time I got to go on my first holiday abroad, aeroplanes were taking passengers, and I went to Canada.. Some people startef to go on holiday abroad too. Life was better.

I do remember that at one point, where I was then working, a kind of computer. was brought in. A special little office within the office, was built to accommodate it and its user. It seemed like sonething magical to us who were using manual accountng methods at the time.

Then there were the Space Race oddities, wonderful events of their time. Moon walks and strange videos, ‘One small step for man etc.’, and we are still in the 1960s, fifty years in the past, oh what changes would oome!

The Internet has changed a lot of how we live our lives today. I am missing out quite a lot of the changes, changes that younget people today have no idea about.

Mind you, things go wrong, as I full well know. But, such is life!

Be careful out there in this big old world of ours. You never know whact will cone out of the woodwork and smack you in the backside!


Joanna of England, the Lionheart’s Little Sister

Parts of the English royal jigsaw puzzle seem to be coming together. This one is about a period a tad earlier than the previous blog. All flling into placr. Evelyn.

History... the interesting bits!

220px-Joanna_Plantagenet Joanna of England

Joanna of England was born in October 1165, the 7th child and youngest daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. 10 years younger than her eldest brother, Henry the Young King, she was born at a time when their parents’ relationship was breaking down; her mother would eventually go to war against her husband, before being imprisoned by him for the last 16 years of Henry’s reign.

Born at Angers Castle in Anjou, Christmas 1165 was the first ever Christmas her parents spent apart; with Henry still in England dealing with a Welsh revolt, he wasn’t to meet his new daughter for several months. Although Joanna spent much of her childhood at her mother’s court in Poitiers, she and her younger brother, John, spent sometime at the magnificent Abbey of Fontevraud. Whilst there Joanna was educated in the skills needed to run a large…

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Joan of Bar: Abandoned Wife

More and more I am reading historucal fuctiin books where facts mingle and often I have either read or (as of right now) reading about certain historucl characters, in this case, not Joan but Edward 111, so it is all tying togethet nicely. Thank you Sharon.

History... the interesting bits!

128px-Bar_Arms.svg Arms of the County of Bar

You would think that a man who was given a king’s granddaughter as a wife would relish the glamour and connections such a bride brought. However, this was not always the case and nowhere is it more obvious than in the life and marriage of Joan of Bar.

Joan was the granddaughter of the mighty Edward I and his queen, Eleanor of Castile. Her mother was Eleanor, Edward and Eleanor’s eldest surviving child. Eleanor of England had been born in 1264 and was first married to Alfonso III, King of Aragon, by proxy on 15th August 1290 at Westminster Abbey.

However the groom died before the marriage could be consummated and Eleanor married again at Bristol on 20th September 1293, to Henry III, Count of Bar. Henry and Eleanor had at least 2 children together. Their son, Edward, and daughter, Joan, were born in…

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Second May Blog

Second May Blog

Bee Thankful.

Meadows full of sweetness,
Honey on the vine,
Olden flowers swaying,
Wild blooms all the time.
Gathering the nectar,
A host of honey bees,
Pollinating blossoms,
With pollen in their knees.
Flitting through the meadow,
To visit every bloom,
Sipping nectar sweetness,
From Violet and Broom.
Dogrose and wild Daisy,
Periwinkle, Borage, Thyme,
Birdsfoot, Burdock, Balm,
All seaon, and all rhyme.
Working like a Trojan,
Each honey bee feeds the hive,
Workers in their thousands,
As long as they’re alive.
Their time on earth is little,
Queen loyalty is rife,
Until she swarms, with courtiers,
They give, each one, their life.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. May, 2016.

The Wonder of IPlayer!

We often watch trlevision, to a certain degree. Many go to work during the daytime and relax in front of the t.v. In the evenings, missing some very interesting programmes. Well, I think so. My taste, educational and amelioratory.
Iplayer is the way forward. Not new, I grant you, but very handy.

I have been catching up on a few programmes that are both fascinating and efucidatingoin many ways. Martha Kearney, I beIeve her name is.

Take the series. The Wonder. Of Bees by a lady called Martha Kearney, A journalst and presenter who has been kerping beehives for over ten years, even though she is allergic to bee stings. She has a ‘pen’ if she gets stung, and always gets ‘togged up’ fully when appriaching the hives, ( three at the start of the series). One of the hives houses ‘angry bees”, so she tells us, due posdibly to the queen, but they are the most productive of all the three hives.

We begin the seties in her moving the hives ( with help from a master apiarist) to a field owned by a neughbour who had seeded the meadow with wild flowers. She says that she wsnts a more natural honey, made by the bees feeding on the nectar and pollen from wild flowers, rather than the raoe seed in a field not far away, as they once used to do. Apparently rape seed honey does have good healthy properties. Some apiarists are now advocating ‘raw’ honey,; i.e. Hiney that has nit gibe through a pasturising process like most supermarket hineys. Incidentslky. We are told that many if these honeys are conglomerated to fit a standard taste and that their is in these pots no individual tastes.
( having recently tasted honey with pollen and wild flower raw honey, it tastes o much better. As does Manuka and these honeys reputefly have lots of healthy properties fir our bodies.)

We see the inside the hives, watch Martha learn how to locate the queen. Checking on brood cells and honey cells, making sure that there are many capped brood cells for future generations of worker bees.
Now a lot of us know a fair bit about bees, but this series gives more information, as it happens. I am not going into more about this mini series, that would not be fair if you want to watch them yourselves, via IPlayer, but it is one of those programmes that the BBC do which often has a limited audience due, in part maybe, to the time they are broadcast, but deserve a widet audience as they are interesting and very informative. We all rely on bees to pollinate crops of one kind or another or for pollination of flowers. Definitely worth a punt.

Anither series of programmes that may have fallen through the cracks or deemed not worth paying attention to, is ‘Rip Off Britain’. Again, interesting and informative. Some of the programmes in this series have given information about what goes into certain foods. Like say a product that on the label extolls the virtue of its constituant parts like say blueberries and cranberries, making you think that it is healthy and so good for you. When, if you read the label, you may find that those good things are as low as 20% or less. You really have to study the labels to check on how much of the healthy stuff is within the oroduct, and hoe much filler rubbish is put in to nake up the whole.(one part on right niw, is about orange juice ftom cincentrate/nit from concentrate etc.)

This happens to a lot of foods we purchase from the supermarket. People nowadays do not have loads of time to stand reading labels. That is a fact, where you go out to work or have children and house to look after. And in the end, the choice is yours. It depemd on what you like to eat, feed your family or can afford. There is alwys choice. it also mentions smoothies which apparently, unlesx you make them yourself from fresh fruit and veg. are not that good for you, seldom having the amount of fruit in that you would think. Anyway, it is all about gatnering information. What you do with it is up to you.

My point here is that very often, more so these days of high prices, the wool is being pulled over our eyes! Manudacturers know we do not have time to check whilst in the store, they bank on us just grabbing what tskes our fancy, what we normally purchase on a regular basis and so on. So much so that they can alter ingredients to make the product cheaper for them to produce, but still look as though they are doing us a favour.

For the healthier option to help us become healthier at the right price and taste or help us lose weight in a better way, check the labels! Eat foods that do not have too many nasty ingredients that keep us going in this perpetual circle that is destroying our bodies in so nany wys, especially those who are diabetic or have other issues that need unadulterated foods.

In my humble opinion, the average person can do this by using that well known hone help, the computer/ tablet// phone. Supermarkets are online and you can check out the contents of the regular items movung only your fingers. So that when you venture out to the supermarket/ or order online, you can then be better informed on your favourites or find alternatives. Once you sort out your regular purcheses, you will know what ingreduents there are in each item you and your family eat. It is wirth the time and effort in the long run.
No, I have not veered off my subject, just maintaining that these programmes which inform us of things that pethaps we did not know before, can help us make us our minds up on sticking to what we always buy or fimding better alternatives.

Will mention one more prigramme we have been watching in my family called ‘Big Fat Cabbies’ about men who have sedentary jobs, like driving a cab all day and how eating snack foods and being sedentary, affects their weight which has increased manyfold. One Company bosd has sent its drivers to a Gym with a trainer to help refuce their combined weights.

I am sure this medium ha many more interesting and informative orogrammes for the discerning watcher to catch up on, especially to help us be healthier.
An Adendum.
There are plenty of APPs to find out information, things like how much alcohol is in beef and wine, for instance, as well as loafd of other priducts, even chicolate where things are added, very sugary, to save on added cicoa, which us more expensive. Ars possibly, with no chocolate at all but called something like chocolaty or chocolate flavour..And so on.. We all should be watching out for these changes. They snek up on us without warning.

Take good care of yourselves.


The Jilted Princess

More little pieces of the jigsaw of our history.

History... the interesting bits!

JoanEngland Joan of England, Queen of Scotland

Joan of England was the oldest of daughter of King John and his 2nd wife, Isabella of Angouleme. Born 10th July 1210 she was the 3rd of 5 children; she had 2 older brothers and 2 younger sisters would join the family by 1215.

Even before her birth, she was mooted as a possible bride for Alexander of Scotland, son of King William I of Scotland. A verbal agreement between the 2 kings in 1209 provided for John to arrange the marriages of William’s 2 daughters, with 1 marrying a son of John’s, and Alexander marrying one of John’s daughters.

Following the death of William I a further treaty in 1212 agreed to the marriage of 14-year-old Alexander II to 2 year-old Joan. However, the agreement seems to have been made as a way of preventing Alexander from looking to the continent – and…

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Richard of Conisbrough, the Traitorous Earl

I love these fascinating insightsinyoour history.

History... the interesting bits!

Richard_of_Conisburgh,_3rd_Earl_of_Cambridge Richard of Conisbrough, Earl of Cambridge

Richard of Conisbrough seems to have been a very controversial figure throughout his life, from questions of his paternity, through his secret marriage, to his untimely death for his involvement in a particularly ill-thought-out plot.

He and I were born within 3 miles (and, of course,  6 centuries) of each other. As a student, I even gave guided tours at the Castle he was born in. And the man is a completely fascinating, and yet such a shadowy, figure. The grandfather of both Edward IV and Richard III, he seems to have been a mediocre diplomat and soldier, and his eventual treason barely registers in the history books.

Richard’s birth is obscured by time. Although sources seem undecided, the most likely date of his birth appears to be 1386 (although some place it as early as 1375). He was a grandson of Edward III…

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