28 July 2006

Ovar the Rainbow

We are in Ovar just south of Porto for a few days before heading inland to play at the Andancas festival for a week. If anything it is possibly a bit cooler here than it was in the UK but still pretty steamy. Not quite able to enjoy the moment though as stricken with a bout of bronchitis which is bad timing indeed. However it seems to be abating a little today and thank goodness I have four more days or so to get better before we have to play.

20 July 2006

Reality Cheque

The night sky was full of the heat of the day and the promise of more with beautiful and indescribable colours, crimsons, violets, reds and others that have no name.

Peace is not a destination. A road map implies a destination and movement, both of which are false. Peace is like rain, it comes into being if the conditions are correct otherwise it cannot be. It never came from the barrel of a gun and never will. Peace also requires vulnerability and open hearts. This is why politicians and so called religious leaders can never bring it about. Both are enclosed within their unbreakable shells of opinion, ideology or faith. Their hearts are closed and hard. Children of any race or culture will play happily together; race, religion and political boundaries mean nothing to them at all. The conflict can never end until we have learned this lesson from them. It is not that they are bad teachers it is just that adults are too stupid for words.

Woke this morning to the sound of rain trickling and gurgling in the gutters and to fresher air and a cooling breeze so welcome after the last few days.

14 July 2006

Carbon Dating

These are some of Ben's camping buddies.....they seem to be exploring the make-up potential of raw carbon.

They will go far.

13 July 2006

Plum Duff

This plum tree is only a youngster and it flowered beautifully and set to fruit so heavily that we had to remove some to prevent the branches collapsing under their own weight.

Over the space of a month it has turned from a healthy specimin into the sorry state you see in the picture and the branches are dying from the bottom up. Anyone know what might be going on here?

03 July 2006

Wildlife Garden

This is the wildlife garden and pond we have been working on at Ben's school. We ran a plant stall on Saturday during the school fete and Cathy worked up an activity which involved people walking round and identifying 10 of the plant species therein with plenty of clues to help them. A pleasing number of people took part also spending time reading the notices explaining what the wildlife garden was all about and looking at the childrens art work which we put up on posts round the pond. If they identified all the plants correctly they could choose a free plant from the stall.

The stall does not look so big in this pic but there were a fair few plants in there and the majority of them sold making the PTA about £75 which, if I have my way, they will spend on a half decent strimmer for the garden as the school does not possess one of it's own.

The pond viewing platform displayed some of the childrens artwork and other information.

I hope the display encourages the teachers to do some more work with the children in the wildlife area. It is a resource that more could be made of. Hopefully all the health and safety concerns have now all been met.

Can't blame the head really, it's a damnably litiginous world we live in now and they have to be careful coz if johnny gets post traumatic stress disorder from being croaked at by a frog, then someone is gonna have to Pay Compensation.

These blousy Livingstone Daisies did a good job attracting folk to the stall.

Such a hot weekend! And getting even hotter today. Spent all morning clodhopping; mostly hand weeding and ho hoeing. Stopped at noon and went home to cool off.

The white spider lilly Cathy sowed in the spring has flowered beautifully and now graces our bedroom windowsill. I needed to take it into the garden to get a decent shot of it. It leans out of it's pot at such a crazy angle that it is threatening to fall over.