Pensioned Off

Sea King Mk4
Sea King Mk4

If you were a Greyhound and getting to be a bit less supple, it would be nice to think, somewhere there was a comfortable chair, near a fire when necessary, out there, waiting just for you. If you were a Donkey and you had spent a long and profitable life in one of the countries of the Mediterranean region, it would be nice to think that somewhere in the Chilterns, there was a cosy stall with a door looking out onto a field, that was knee deep in lovely, green grass. From the jungles of the Congo basin to the islands of the Philippines, every Gorilla or or Orang-utan, as they get older, must be keeping an eye out for a naturalist or TV crew, come to carry them off, to a peaceful old age in a zoo somewhere in Europe or America.

But what do you do if you’re a helicopter? Say you are a Westland Sea King and you’ve been in service in the far corners of the world, for over forty years. For more than forty years you have picked up and put down people in the jungles of Borneo, the South Atlantic, the Arabian deserts, or the foothills of the Himalayas. You’ve picked people up off the decks of sinking ships or sliding mountains – when they’ve been lost and when they’ve been injured. Wouldn’t you think you’d be entitled to a decent retirement?

This chap is due to retire in 2016, I wonder if he’s just looking around, thinking of settling in this area, maybe.

Pennies From Heaven

Honesty And Seeds
Honesty And Seeds

It’s all moonshine – you can see right through it. Moon seeds and silver dollars. Thirty pieces of silver in fact. It’s escaped – who left the garden gate open? Ask the Cabbage White, it was very happy there as a caterpillar.

Lunaria annua, Honesty, Silver Dollar, Judaspenning, The Money Plant, Moonwort. What a lot of names for one plant. It came originally from ‘The Balkans‘.

Where’s that, you might well ask, is it near Balaclava where they wear those knitted helmets?

Well, The Balkans is that bit that ends up as Greece where it sticks down into the Mediterranean.

Balaclava was the punch-up that gave Florence Nightingale her big chance and the Light Brigade their chance to turn a misinterpretation into a propaganda victory (making more work for Florence in the process).

Baklava is filo pastry filled with nuts and soaked in honey.