Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.

Wild primrose

Wild Primrose
The Latin name for this very fresh flower is Primula vulgaris and although they readily flower from February until May the little clump that I have in my garden is slightly later than the ones growing in the local lanes.

On a very special note .................. on Saturday 26th April there were four small leaf cutter bees buzzing around my little insect house. Will they come back and live in the house once more? I do hope so ... I was intregued by their behaviour last year, although I ended up with a very lacy garden where they had cropped the leaves. Unfortunately, we have had extremely heavy April downpours - certainly not the usual showers. So the big question - has the weather put paid to the young bees or will they return when the weather improves?

Eaten any Tyrannosaurus Rex lately?

There has been a recent study made of protein taken from the fossil thigh bone of a Tyrannosaurus Rex that perished some 68 million years or so ago. The bone was found in 2003. It is now believed that chickens may probably be the direct descendants of this ferocious beast ... so if you eat chicken ... The same group of birds also includes ostrich - I can't say that I can see any resemblance though.


Wicket is one of the easiest and versatile recipies that you can make. It can be served as a breakfast, lunch, light supper or even as desert.


1 rounded tablespoon (4 teaspoons) millet
1 egg
1 teaspoon of runny honey
one quarter pinch (just a few grains) of salt


Lightly boil the millet, in a little water with the sprinkle of salt - until quite soft (approx 20 minutes)
Allow to cool for a minute or two
Pour off any remaining liquid
Stir in the honey
Add the egg - and stir it in to the mixture
Put back onto a low heat and carry on stirring for a few minutes until the egg is absorbed and cooked (usually three or four minutes)
Serve ~ and enjoy


St George's Day - England's Rose

St George (the patron saint of England)
St George's flag ~ the flag of England

The first St George's day occurred in 1222. It is said that St George looks after everyone in the armed forces and years ago many soldiers and knights wore the white background and red cross. St George stands for chivalry. He was born of Christian parents in the third centuary AD in Turkey. It is believed that he later moved to Palestine and at some point became a soldier in the Roman Army. He disagreed with much of the ethics of Rome at the time and was torchered and imprisoned. He was finally beheaded in Lydda in Palestine.

Many people wear a red rose to remember him by - though why a red rose was chosen for rememberance on 23rd April I am not sure, as I certainly don't have any flowering in my garden at present.

Happy St George's Day to everyone!

Lavender oil

I have been a fan of lavender oil for many years as it is something that you can grab and has a use for almost anything. Yes, it's old fashioned .... but what an amazing possession it is. It has anti-viral (not many things help kill viruses), anti-bacterial, soothing and healing, relaxing .... the list seems endless. You can apply a small amount to minor burns, place a few drops into bath water, add it to vegetable oil and use as a massage. Place a few drops onto a linen square and hang in a wardrobe, cloakroom, etc to ward away the little clothes moth .... well I won't go on - you get the picture.

All I would like to know is what is happening to it? At one time you could purchase a small bottle at a reasonable price and it smelt like English lavender .... straight out of the garden. Now, you are dicing with the waft of a char lady as so many of the little bottles smell like furniture polish!!

*This is currently my favourite lavender oil.

The Omen: good or bad?

Yesterday was filled with promise, despite the cool breeze the sun washed over everything and brightened up each view. I had a mission, well not really, an appointment. Instead of my last minute rush - I decided to start early and take things at a more leisurely pace. I was then able to enjoy the scenery on the way. This paid off - as for the first time I saw the 'English pyramid' all on the same day. I am talking about three specific plants all out in bloom on the same day: the wild bluebell (this was my first spy as it was in a great swathe in one of the lanes), the wild primrose (I spotted two of these plants each had a display of about five flowers fully open), and lastly a merry cowslip just one plant (it was such a sturdy specimen and had four heads of flowers on quite thick stems - so I stopped and walked over to it just to make sure it wasn't an oxlip!)

Everything in the country has a meaning - for instance: red sky at night shepherd's delight which means a red sky in the evening usually signifies a good day to follow. A shoal of mackerel in the sky - clouds known to locals as a mackerel sky means a glorious sunny day will follow. The world probably knows "when the cows lie down the sky wears a frown" and cows lying down means that rain will shortly follow. The list is endless - but I'm not sure what the sight of the 'English pyramid' signifies ... Many of the old country folk that used to be able to tell you the answer to everything are no longer there to ask. Much of what they used to pass on has never been published in books and of course blogs were not even dreamed of. I shall have to try and find out and add it as a note at the end of this blog - if I ever do. Perhaps the only way I shall find out is to wait and see what happens in this coming year - that may, of course, give me the answer!


Amphibian death

The day started off with a promise of spring warmth and I made my way over to the pond. We had three batches of frogspawn and I wanted to see how far the tadpoles had developed. Peering at each of the batches - it was apparent that some had broken through the egg sacks and were hiding in the ribbon algae that clings around the edges of the pond.

The fish are now beginning to become more active and have started to eat extra quantities of food. I have not yet seen any swallow the tadpoles.

Celandines are squeezing through the cracks around the edges of the pond's brim. It was here, towards the pipes that come from the UV filter that I saw a frog. It had the loveliest of markings and along the sides of its body it was a bright yellow-green spattered with black spots. The remainder of the body was rich brown. It was on the side of the pond with its back leg dangling in the water, motionless.

After a while I realised that it was, in fact, dead. Just to be sure I touched its soft, cold body - it didn't move, not a twitch. So it was scooped up out of the water, away from the tadpoles.

There has been talk lately of a disease that is spreading through the wild frogs of Britain and killing off large numbers of them. I am hoping that my frog (which was a handsome specimen) died of natural causes, hopefully old age. I shall have to wait and see if any more of the little brood that live in my pond die - I hope not.

1984 - Big Brother comes to watch us

There has always been talk about how much surveillance there is watching the ordinary man on the street. We now have one of the latest 'talking' cameras being installed into a Worcestershire town. This will enable camera operators to view members of the public - and if they begin to do something undesirable, the operator has a microphone with which the operator can speak to the public.

These have, apparently, become quite popular in a number of towns making the public aware that if they are doing anything undesirable from causing a disturbance to dropping litter it will not be tolerated. The new 'talking' camera in Worcestershire will come into operation next month.

In out - shake it all about

The last few days my cat has been like a young child. When she is in the house she wants to go outside and when she has gone outside she is knocking the door to come straight back in again! We have never had a cat flap and instead bought a large bell with a wooden paddle that slips onto the handle of the back door. It hangs down like a pendulum and when the cat wants to come inside she simply flicks her paw onto the bell which rings, at the same time the small wooden paddle knocks the door. It is very efficient and we can hear it from all over the house. The last few days, however, have been a keep-fit trial of going back and forth to the kitchen door letting the cat in and out and in and out ... perhaps there is going to be some kind of change in the weather - something that she can sense that we can't. Or perhaps she is trying to remind me that it will soon be her birthday. Who knows?

In one of her inside modes - she lay down by a door frame and started to flick her tail. She has never laid in this position before so I thought I would make a little animated gif of her lying there.

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My black and white cat as an animated gif.

Grid - Internet

The World Wide Web (Internet) was invented in 1989 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Since its birth, things have appeared to have moved faster than the speed of light but now it is set to move like a spaceship through a worm-hole. Cern, a Swiss organisation where the Web was first invented is shortly to introduce 'the Grid.' The Grid when up and running will probably be up to 10,000 times speedier than the fastest Broadband operating at the moment. It will run parallel to the Internet on fibre optic cables. The central hub will be in Cern which will link to 11 other centres around the globe. Each of these will have further branches to link up computers.

SO HOW LONG WILL IT BE BEFORE THE WEB AS WE KNOW IT IS OBSOLETE ... AND WHAT WILL BLOGS BE LIKE THEN? Some people believe that besides speed, conversations, downloads there will be many other changes one of which will be the introduction of every day use of holograms.

Dissolving blanket

During the night it snowed quite heavily. At least heavily enough to have left a soft white blanket over the lawn and flower beds. We awoke, however, to a bright blue sky and warm April sunshine which has melted the snow as quickly as it came ... it has now almost gone. A magic trick of nature!

The snow having now melted from the flower border leaves the small blue grape hyacinths waving in the spring breeze ...

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Grape hyacinth flower animated gif

Sweet and sour ...

Damson blossom
In the summer of 2007 we bought some plum and a damson tree. We had a very small harvest from one of the plum trees which produced the sweetest of fruit.
one branch of Damson blossom
Although it is early in the year there is blossom on both the damson and the plum ... but will it be too early for them to be fertilised? As yet there do not appear to be the usual hum of insects. There has been an occasional two-spotted ladybird and the odd gnat but no real flower loving creatures!
Plum blossom