As You Were!

Our Corner Cows
Our Corner Cows

Nature, you know moves, in cycles. Spring follows Winter. Summer follows Spring – at least we hope it does, and Autumn follows Summer. Then it’s back to Winter, and round we go again.

Last year there was a small hiccough in the smooth flow of our year. When the weather warmed up, our corner cows had a pressing engagement elsewhere and were unable to fulfil their obligations. They sent their apologies, leaving us with just the occasional sheep to break the monotony, while a whole herd of moles moved across the field like a tectonic plate leaving a string of volcanic islands behind them.

This year, the cycle picked up where it left off, that’s one of nature’s strong points. At the corner, when we made our customary pause to ensure that the gate was closed and the field was still safely contained, this years cows stopped their ruminating and came over to have a chat and to rub their chins on the top of the gate. They had only just arrived, they explained after we had introduced ourselves. Having only lived in a barn, the fields seemed vast – were they expected to eat all this on their own, they asked? We assured them that we had every confidence in them.



Along life’s path by field and hedge
The fruits of life their sweetness pledge
The most ripe, found in bramble patches
Can not be reached without some scratches

As you travel in your way
Gather such wounds as you may
By all your scars you are so blessed
They show you reached out for the best.



You know how it is, some people can’t get enough novelty. Off to far away beaches this year, skiing in the mountains the next, backpacking in the jungle or the bright lights of some capital city with the latest and greatest in entertainment laid on. It really doesn’t matter, as long as it’s somewhere they haven’t been before, doing something they haven’t done before. Naturally, that period of their lives spent in the place they hardly ever visit, often referred to as – Home – is used to prospect and plan the next item on their bucket list.

Then there are those who go on holiday just for the change of air. No bucket list here. Bucket and spade, maybe. Home from home is what they are looking for. The same place and the same lodgings, with the same rooms – often booking next years holiday before the end of this years stay – just to be safe. They can be found, without fail, in the same deck chairs in the same place on the pier at the same time of year. The staff in the ice cream kiosk all know they are tubs – the ones with the little wooden spoons – not cornets.

We’re beginning to see a few old friends around as the tourist season gets underway. We stopped to chat to this guy today – he said he remembered us from last year – isn’t that nice!

Seasonal Repeats

Tree Sparrows fighting
Tree Sparrows fighting

You see, there was this wedding, and all the Greek Gods and Goddesses had been invited. But not the Goddess of Discord – who’d invite her? Naturally she invited herself. She was stopped at the door.

Not allowed to present her gift, she rolled it into the room. It turned out to be a golden apple inscribed – For The Fairest. Three Goddesses, each immediately claimed it was for her. To settle the issue, they appeared – naked, just to keep things fair – in front of a simple shepherd. Not being that simple, he refused to incur the wrath of two of them by selecting a third. At this point the Goddesses resorted to bribery and he eventually caved in to the offer of marriage to the most beautiful woman in the world. Two things muddy the water at this point. First, she had already been married off, as part of a political deal, by her father – her name was Helen, by the way, and second, our simple shepherd was actually the king of Troy, Paris.

So, off Paris went to collect his winnings – and returned to Troy with the entire population of the Greek peninsular – including Agamemnon and Achilles – in hot pursuit.

The Greeks hung around outside Troy for nine years, doing a little friendly rape and pillage, just to keep their eye in. (An army of around 100,000, foraging for nine years, can you imagine what that did to the countries around there?) In the process they picked up a couple of the top local beauties, Briseis, who was awarded to Achilles, and Chryseis, who was awarded to Agamemnon.

As if they hadn’t caused enough trouble already, the Gods interfered and made Agamemnon give Chryseis back to her dad. Agamemnon had a hissy fit, then went and took Briseis from Achilles’ tent – without even asking.

Achilles told Agamemnon what he could do with his war, and went home – taking his football with him, and spoiling the fun.

Today’s picture is of a couple of tree sparrows, fighting over some woman. Some people have no sense of history.


Don’t forget to look at now and again.

A Passing Fad

Flowers of lungwort or soldiers and sailors
Lungwort or soldiers and sailors

Here’s an opportunity for you, perhaps – if you are one of those ever ready to dispense fashion advice to the unaware.

At one time it was very a la mode to charge into battle, through the mud and the blood – not to mention dismembered bodies of man and animal, wearing a nice bright red uniform. Some say it was because, being that colour, it wouldn’t show the blood. Personally, I’m more inclined to believe that at a time of hand to hand slaughter, and with your ability to communicate being directly proportional to how loud you could shout, a uniform of a distinctive hue gave the general or duke in charge a slim extra margin when it came to staying in amongst their own troops.

In the navy, on the other hand, our side would normally be crouching down behind the same wooden walls all together. This meant that being able to differentiate between us and them was a much more straightforward issue. Naval uniforms of the period tended to be blue, designed around criteria that didn’t include being able to tell friend from foe. (Although, it is worth mentioning, that this is always a useful attribute).

So, today’s picture is of Soldiers and Sailors, so named because of the plant’s sense of fashion, but it is also known as Lungwort, after its white spotty leaves.


Don’t forget to look at now and again.