The Dog, Jackie and I have been living in our new place for just over a year, now. A year ago I set myself the task of posting every day. The main farming activities in the fields that surround us are winding down. The trees are shedding leaves and the flowers are dying back, in preparation for whatever the winter weather has in store for us. So many things seem to have come full circle. I was standing in the back garden this morning, listening to the rattle of acorns as they fell through the branches, with the occasional thump, as an acorn landed on the roof of the house. A train came past along our embankment, going at a good lick, downhill, on its way to Carlisle. I watched until it had disappeared round the bend. In the silence that followed, I heard the tap, tap, tap, of the woodpecker, doing a little carpentry, in the trees behind me. All reminders of how delighted we have been with our new home, over this last year.
But time and tide wait for no man – Google notes that they have known this truth since at least 1225 and probably earlier. So it looks as though Time and Tide haven’t changed much since then. We, however, are making big changes. From today we will only post once a week – on Friday to start with, but there is no logical reasoning behind our decision, so things may change. This, then, is not the end. It is the start of something new, we’ll be telling you more as it happens.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there is nothing we like better here, than having a good moan about something. Preferably about a problem or issue that there is no reasonable solution to, this gives us a completely free reign. Well, as you can guess from the picture, we’re going to whinge about Indian Balsam. Well, no that’s not true, we’re going to whinge about people who whinge about Indian Balsam.
Let me ask all you environmental addicts out there something. We know for instance that squirrels bite the ends off acorns before they bury them. This stops the acorn from germinating. Good for squirrels – bad for oak trees. Squirrels are just parasites. They do nothing for the tree that provides them with food and shelter. The Jay also collects and buries acorns, but the Jay buries them undamaged. Any acorns that the Jay doesn’t need are left in the ground to germinate and sprout into new trees. So, the question is, of the Squirrel and the Jay, which is the most environmentally friendly?
Let’s use a bit of vision here. If nature invented a creature (as in – us) that took advantage of almost every plant and animal on the planet, could it not be that the appreciation of the beauty of her works as well as their utility, was built in to us specifically so that we would collect and spread those denizens of her kingdom who were rooted to the spot?
We invited Indian Balsam to come in – and now suddenly we can’t wait to get rid of him. It’s no wonder the guy in the picture looks ready to bite your hand off, is it?
Here in the UK, babies wear nappies, in America babies wear diapers, so I wondered how we managed to keep the babies on both sides of the Atlantic dry at night. Wikipedia knows of course, but he was much more interested in discussing how environmentally kind and courteous the reusable versus the disposable types were.
Most of the disposables were developed by and for women who, in the equal opportunity, hard times following World War II, wanted to get on with the work and not spend their entire life kneeling over the bath tub, washing soiled garments. The buyers at the big companies were all men however, and they just didn’t see the point. Women are persistent though – and the men soon changed their minds.
A diaper is a diamond shaped piece of cloth or to be more precise it is the name of a type of cloth with repeated diamond shapes all over it. But it’s just the stuff to use for nappies so the two became one – so to speak. Diapers went off to America with the Pilgrim Fathers, while here in the UK, it became posher to refer to the smelly squares of white towelling as Napkins. Now napkins, or little tablecloths, were also serviettes, to be used to wipe your fingers at meal times but we managed to stay posh and keep our fingers clean by reducing the infant version to a nappy.
It’s hard to imaging that these three, looking so cute lying there in their nappies/diapers, will one day be sixty foot, football playing Oak trees, isn’t it?
We’ll keep this photograph, just to bring out when their girlfriends come round.