What the World Needs

Holly Flowers in November

Holly Flowers in November

Today’s picture is of the flowers on one of the holly bushes down by the beck. Once you’ve crossed the bridge the road runs parallel to the beck and through a green tunnel – overhanging trees on one side and a line of holly bushes on the other.
This picture was take this week. Every other holly bush in the area has a colourful display of red berries. These flowers are completely out of place.
Dr. Edward Bach, in the 1930s, believed that his essence, made from the flowers of the holly, was associated with love.
Not the kind of love that we live in hope of being able to find in the world around Christmas time, but the kind of love that is completely out of place. The kind of love that leads us into jealousy, revenge, suspicion or over-attentive smothering. The kind of love that causes people to be a torment to themselves, with no expectation of relief.
Dr. Bach’s hope was that his holly flower remedy would offer these poor souls the relief they would not allow themselves to accept, and so, sooth their inner emotional turmoil.
Surely an act of love.

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Good Advice

'You're in trouble'

‘You’re in trouble’

‘What are you doing out there? You’ll get into trouble if the farmer comes along and finds you aren’t in the field, you know.’
‘”Just going for a walk” isn’t going to go down well, I’m afraid. He put us in this field for good reasons and “just going for a walk” wasn’t one of them.’
‘Well, there may be no harm in it, as far as you can see, but we have this fence round us to keep us safe, and wandering off on our own is asking for trouble.’
‘I suppose you made a hole in the hedge to get out of the field, did you? What if the farmer comes along and fills it in while you’re out there – “just going for a walk”? You’ll be stuck outside, that’s what.’
‘Yes. Once when I was a lamb. A few of us squeezed under the gate and made pigs of ourselves in the grass along the verge – remember how lush and green it was in those days? Well, someone came along with a dog and we found that the gate wasn’t where we’d left it. It still makes my heart go into overdrive just to think about it. We raced up and down, trying to find the gate, then one of us found a little hole in the hedge and we were able to scrape through. It wasn’t pleasant, I’m telling you.’
‘Oh well, suit yourselves, I’ve done my best. If you won’t listen to reason . . .’

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Ouroboros

Autumn Beech Leaves

Autumn Beech Leaves

As there isn’t much worth photographing around at the moment, this week we have a display of leaves showing their autumn colours. The interesting thing about autumn colours is that they are the result of the tree eating itself.

The leaves are usually full of chlorophyll – this is the stuff that converts sunlight into plant food. It does a good job, mostly, but as sun’s light becomes increasingly in short supply the chlorophyll is increasingly unable to produce enough food to keep the plant happy – so the plant uses up the chlorophyll. The green is sucked out of the leaves and they become the pretty autumn shades we find so attractive.

This cycle of birth, life, death, and renewal is something that has fascinated mankind (and possibly, for obvious reasons, woman-kind even more so) since the earliest times. The most ancient Egyptians we know, used the image of a snake eating its own tail to symbolise the mysteries of life and death. In China, the Taoist Yin and Yang is a stylised version of the same thing.  In Norse mythology the serpent Jörmungandr grew so large, it encircled the whole earth and held its tail in its mouth. Ouroboros has entered the lexicon of magic and alchemy all over the world.

But for us? It’s just a few pretty leaves on a bush down by the beck.

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Business Opportunity

Red Clover - blooming in Autumn

Red Clover – blooming in Autumn

The picture today is clover – its calendar is upside down and it’s flowering in the midle of Autumn. Something else that seems a little out of place currently, is the large number of pumpkins that have appeared in the shops.
This started me thinking. Are they not indicative of an opportunity in the Done-For-You space?
The demand for pumpkins at the moment is only the tip of the iceberg, for those of us who like to pursue possible openings – through to their natural conclusion. The slice of the profit that is being lost in the pumpkin pie, in this case, is that all of the establishments offering the aforementioned cucubits, have forgotten to follow through. Nowhere, although I searched diligently, could I find the requisite mice and lizards for sale. Surely it makes good business sense to offer all the component parts in one convenient package.
Almost certainly the best sales will be seen for the standard package – two mice, two lizards, and one medium pumpkin. (Larger pumpkins will require four mice but two lizards should still prove adequate).
My initial concept involved targeting Fairy Godmothers – I don’t doubt they’re all on Facebook – in the run up to the partying of the Festive Season, but on further analysis, the data suggests that the decision maker, in this case, is most likely to be Cinderella.

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Strange Tales

Weird Sun Through Clouds

Weird Sun Through Clouds

We recently had Hurricane Ophelia potter past. Although it made a nasty mess as it came up round Ireland, by the time it reached our vicinity it was just full of hot air. It was quite strange, after a night of howling gales – and if you live within a few yards of a wood, as we do, you’ll know how descriptive this phrase is – and thrashing branches, the days were blustery but not overly so, but this bluster was unnaturally warm. It was almost as though it had been sitting all day in front of the fire, watching the television with all the doors and windows closed. It felt decidedly stuffy and musty. It made you want to breath shallowly so as not to have to inhale too much of the stuff.

The strange, Fifth Dimension feel, extended to the daylight itself. It was dull and overcast. Now when it comes to dull and overcast you’d think that we had tried them all. Especially this year which has been almost a whole year of every variety of dull and overcast you can imagine. The dull and overcast of that day, however, just felt wrong.

Then the sun broke through the clouds. As you can see from the picture, it, too, was eerie and just plain strange.

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The Beginning Not The End

Sweet Chestnut Case

Sweet Chestnut Case

Today we have the seed case of the Sweet Chestnut. The tree it’s from grows in the hedge along the road we take to the railway crossing.

The seed case, lying here in the grass, is the sign of a job well done. All the effort that went into growing, putting out leaves, flowering, getting pollinated and finally producing this large spiky seed is over. The work is complete. The fruit of that labour lies here, before us.

Now, the world holds its breath. We wait for Spring. For new life to break forth from the seeds and start the new cycle.

Dr Edward Bach – in the 1930s – felt that Sweet Chestnut flower essence was for those who had reached the end. They had exhausted all their options. When interviewed they would say ‘I just don’t know what to do, now!’ Often, he noted, this was a sign that the end of a cycle had been reached – the darkest hour before the dawn – and the sufferer was about to experience a great awakening to a new life.

Art imitating nature, perhaps?

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Hard and Soft Options

Holly Berries

Holly Berries

The holly berries are reddening up nicely and, now they’re no longer green and have become visible to even a casual observer, we are starting to see predictions forecasting a hard winter.

The issue is relatively straightforward: there are holly trees that decide whether or not to produce berries with a joyful disregard to whatever the weather does; there are holly trees who produce berries only when they’re firmly convinced that we have a hard winter ahead; there are holly trees who see only positive outcomes and, even if they believe that a hard winter is immanent, refuse to produce berries; then, of course, there are holly trees who are convinced that it is their inalienable right to produce berries only if it sounds like a fun thing to do.

What we need here is a Venn diagram. This will reliably identify, once and for all, which holly trees, within the four sets, are this year’s true indicator.

Other than serving this important weather forecasting function, I can only report that holly berries are quite poisonous. As a compensatory gesture they also make us vomit, thus requiring considerable persistence and focus before we can consume enough to kill ourselves.

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