Archive | October 2016

Third October Blog

Third October Blog

Almost November.

Mist around the rooftops,
Dampness on the path,
Cobwebs sporting dewdrops,
Cool, no way to laugh.
Halloween’s upon us,
And pumpkins, orange bright,
Ghostly creepy crawlies
Festoon the trees at night.
November in the offing
And fireworks that spark,
Dispel the misty gloaming,
Showing up craggy bark.
Kiddies bonfire building,
Fifth of November draws near,
And winging its way soon is Christmas
The season of love and good cheer.

Cooyright Evelyn J. Steward. October, 2016.
This month has been a full-on month. Things happening, appointments, searches, shopping for the coming Festive Season. Yes, my friends, time to start gearing up. Not perhaps sorting out last years festive lights. That treat has yet to rear its little head. Or even deciding that some of the cards we stored away last year are usable, as we liked them better than what we have seen for purchase so far: and it makes sense to save a bit of cash that way.

No! Items like battery operated candles – some with remote controls. Some even advertised as operating on remote controls that do NOT work, no matter how many new remotes we try, or replacements the Company send, free of postage – that still do not operate in remote control ( even with a new remote control). The candles do work if you switch them in and off by hand. Pity, because the glass container that holds the candle is quite pretty. Going to the store with one of the remotes and trying several of the exact same item on the shelves makes no difference. Not one of them is powered up by said remote control.

Is this against the Law? Whatever! Said items ( two of them – the original purchase and the replacement) have been returned. Again, pity! Not a tin pot Company. Very, very large Company. Sigh!

A trip out to a farm shop. A nice drive with a relative. Beautuful weather for the time of year. This was partially to suss out products available, and boy, were they available. Great meats, luscious condiments, odds and ends that were unexpected.

I wanted to get, perhaps, a wild rabbit, so I enquired. Was party to a silly joke about rabbits being wild once deceased. Hmmm! They only had frozen ones, but it has to be said, in my lifetime, I have never seen prepared wild rabbit that size (apologies to vegetarians and vegans here). They are normally about a third to half the size I was shown, which made me suspect that it was a tame animal. Unless rabbits are being fed on better garden and hedgerow grub these days?

Suffice it to say, I did not purchase it. More for the point that I would have to defrost the whole thing. Far too much for me. Had it been jointed before it was frozen, might have had a different ending.

I was a tad disappointed regarding vegetable produce, sadly, a meagre display. I bought a large garlic bulb that cost me £1. 40 – almost three times normal price -because I needed garlic. But really, I suppose, vegetables are not big-ticket items. The rest of the goodies were also much more expensive than in a supermarket but…..and here, I have to say, they were good. So far, very tasty, bacon , sausages, ham. Other stuff in freezer so cannot tell just yet. Perhaps we always have to pay more for quality and taste?

And here we are, almost at the heels of November. Soon they will be kicking up and making us dance to their Tarantella. Good luck with that. Oh, and this is also planting season.

Be careful out there in this busy world.



Second October Blog

Second October Blog.

Grey Sqirrel: Friend or Foe?

Archetypal woodland creature/ secret thief and plunderer of suburban gardens.

Clothed in the PR of goodwill: a Beatrix Potter and childrens’ storybook memory, but in reality, nightime marauder. In daytime, he blatantly raids our gardens.

The majority of suburban home owners look on them benevolently as partly, a kind of country blessing, partly a cute furry RAT! But they tear up gardens, steal newly planted bulbs, raiding fruits and any nut trees that abound, erc.

The likes of Ms Potter and other writers, see this creature as cute, turning a blind eye to their wicked and covetous nature. But I can side with Farmer McGregor trying to rid his crops of this stealthy gatherer of autumnal bounty.

What has brought on this vehemous feeling, you may ask? Why, when they steal my newly planted and somewhat expensively bought and especially searched for, spring bulbs. Not to mention the filling of containers and the careful design of the planting arrangement so that taller bulbs are at the back and so on to crocuses at the front, daffodils and hyacinths inbetween – this arrangement now TOTALLY RUINED!!!!!!

How many bulbs still remain? I can in no wise tell! What I do know is that it hurt my back, even sitting down to do the job, never mind the cost. I have also had to move the containers closer to the house, with rain coming down on me, trying to cover the tops so that the bulbs could not be dug up again. As the bulbs were only recently planted, they are only just sending out the first tiny root tendrils. The covers will not yet have an adverse effect. Might even keep a degree of chill away for a while so long as I water them. That not being necessary for a few days due to a lot of rain yesterday.

I will have to apologise though to any local felines. The hole and heap in one container looked remarkably like those dug by cats for toiletry purposes. No, it really did, and my fingers were sore after touching some of the soil. (I did not have any gloves on, my mistake!). The bulbs really should be replanted, but not sure some of them could be discerned as to which was which. So, they shall remain where they now live, provided they are not moved a second time by sneaky fingers!

My daughter spotted the culprit sitting in front of a small pot this morning, its fingers reaching up to the rim, obviously searching for the older crocus now living there (I accidentally moved them, not realising they were living in this pot – having been planted some years ago). She banged on the glass but it nonchelantly moved a short way down the garden, then sat with its bushy tail curled up as if nothing was going on. Another banging session and it toddled off, totally unworried by the strange noise.

Had this creature not purloined my bulbs, it could have gone about its business and I would have enjoyed watching it skimming through the cherry tree branches, its tail flicking up and down in a carefree manner. And, when what is left of my bulb display has settled down, put out roots and solidified the soil around them, I may relax and wish them well. Until then, I will be in the lookout, trying to catch them in their antics.

Be safe, be aware. You may have squirrels eyeing up where you plant your bulbs!!!


This entry was posted on October 17, 2016. 3 Comments

First October Blog

First October Blog.

The Endless Search.

Sweet realm of infidelity,
Lost in the miasma of regality,
The dogma of civility,
And truism of propriety.

We seek, though seldom find,
Bumbling through the wind,
Never trusting the mind,
Being kind to the unkind.

Searching the presence of infinity,
Leaping the chasm of reality,
Mind-blowing distance of insanity,
Loving the coldness of prosperity.

Finding dreams to sear the heart,
Or blades to drive us apart,
Songs to sing at the start,
The sadness as we depart.

We seek love with impunity,
Often missing the core of iniquity,
Searching for dreams of conformity,
To live life in total equity.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. October 15th, 2016.

Finally some trees are shedding. A few in the supermarket car park today, planted years ago when the store was planned. Someone, in their infinite wisdom, decided that trees were needed to dispel petrol fumes and chose small decidous trees that showed lovely colours in the autumnal drop. Well done that someone, I say. They are pretty. Makes a change!

The discolouration is later than perhaps it would normally be due to the continuation, in this southern area, of mild temperatures. I hope this is not a foreboding, a portent, if you will, of a change in the air, to quote ‘the shape of things to come’. I personally, would be happy to welcome yet another mild winter in my ‘neck of the woods’. Chill, maybe but not really icy cold.

I know there are many who like the cold weather. And I suppose coldness is good for the trees and plants. Snow brings water but ice can cause problems in many ways, we live in a four season land here, after all. So those who love the cold in winter, my apologies. But this is my blog and my feelings. I am, as I have said before, a LEO. Lions like the sunshine and so do I.

So, a short blog for my first (and late-ish) start to October.

Keep safe.


This entry was posted on October 15, 2016. 3 Comments

On packing for a novel

Thoughts on writing and travelling,interesting!

Words and Fictions

Although I love trips away and I’ve chosen to be a writer, packing a case and planning a novel both fill me with dread. But I’m not one to waste a good analogy.

I don’t know what to include. I’m worried I may end up marooned without something crucial, or humping around a dead weight of miscellaneous junk. Will my choices complement each other, or will they be out of place and pointless? What mood will I be in – light, careless, stressed, excited, energetic? hat-and-umbrella-2Will I stride up mountains and pen epic passages? If so I’d better take my strongest boots and most heroic thoughts. Or will I get stuck at some bureaucratic roadblock, with no way through from one chapter to the next without endless examination of my narrator’s identity and reasons for passing through? Will my inner critic let me vault such hurdles, only to shrug her shoulders and say, I’m lost?

For realism and to set the…

View original post 582 more words

Inspired by Miss Happiness and Miss Flower


Words and Fictions

This writing blog got diverted and may seem more like a travel blog, so let me, Japanese fashion, impose some order. (Travelling followers picked up recently, please do stay on board: I think our interests coincide.) Hiroshima was so striking I wanted to deal with it first, but now back to what I read to complement my trip.

Why did I go to Japan? My fascination arose from childhood, and a book called Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godden. A small girl receives a present of two Japanese dolls, and her cousin models a house for them to live in.

Of course it’s dated now. Girls may design and work with wood as much as boys; children, sadly, no longer go to the high street by themselves to find information at the bookshop (so few local bookshops remain, for one thing). But nevertheless it was a delight to reread, thirty or more years…

View original post 909 more words

Circles Beyond Time – The thrice-risen sun

Dawn, a precious gift most if us constantly miss. Wonderfully brought to our conciousness here.

The Silent Eye


We were out long before dawn, driving the few miles to our rendezvous at Fox House, where we would meet our companions. With Sheffield behind us, we saw the sun rise above the distant horizon and watched its soft gold suffuse the sky of the city below as the car climbed the road to the moor. We were taking our little company to a high place to watch the dawn… yet we had already seen the sun rise in splendour.


Gathering our companions and blessing the fact that they had all risen so early to share the birth of a new day with us, we headed out to Higger Tor, the highest point in the area and an intriguing place in its own right. The views from there are spectacular…and have the added advantage of being only a few minutes walk from the narrow road that winds its way across…

View original post 811 more words

This entry was posted on October 4, 2016. 1 Comment

The Most Efficient Healthcare Systems in the World

We are lower than I would have hoped, but better than some.


According to the most recent Bloomberg Health-Care Efficiency Index, Hong Kong has the most efficient healthcare system in the world, a position it and close runner up Singapore have held since 2009. During the same span of time, Spain and South Korea climbed up to third and fourth place respectively, with Japan dropping two places but remaining at a very respectable fifth.

Here are the full results of all fifty-five countries measured. 

View original post 876 more words