Wednesday, 28 September 2011

One lazy cat....!

After a hard night in the alley,Charlie Coal is zonked on the most comfortable chair in the house.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Autumn Song

Autumn Song

Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the heart feels a languid grief
Laid on it for a covering,
And how sleep seems a goodly thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?

And how the swift beat of the brain
Falters because it is in vain,
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf
Knowest thou not? and how the chief
Of joys seems—not to suffer pain?

Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the soul feels like a dried sheaf
Bound up at length for harvesting,
And how death seems a comely thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?

Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


I've now been on this earth 59years. My birthday was spent like a I guess a 59yr old grunter would spend his 59th birthday: I spent the day reading, listening to music, went for a cycle ride & later went for a curry at the wonderful 'Kings Balti' at the top of our road. Perfect idleness!
Now (as you might expect) there's a story surrounding Kings Balti: 

The evening previously we called in & booked the table. I casually asked the manager if they would have any of my favourite Indian dessert-Ras Malai in. As usual he smiled & said "no Paul, sorry". (They never have it in, but their curries are the best for miles around with the exception of Saleem's on Ladypool Road-John in 'Oz will know both places).

Anyway,Kate, Esther, Chris & his partner Becci duly enjoyed our curries, As part of the usual game asked if they had any Ras Malai. With a smile the waiter said "no sorry sir". Then.... within 3minutes the manager appeared with a takeaway container full of the delicious sweet along with 5 small dishes!!

"these are on the house" he says. Well I was delighted-& he had no idea it was my birthday meal either!! The day was complete.
Incidentally, I I share the belief that growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional
Happy Birthday Woollie!!

Monday, 12 September 2011


I love all the seasons of the year, summer not to much as (when we here in the UK are lucky enough to have...) too much sun & the associated heat. I think now about my friend John in Australia, & I wonder if he experiences the diversity of seasons that here in England we joyously have. Sometimes we experience all 4 seasons in 1 day!! I reflect that now, as our leaves being to tumble down from the myriad of tree types in Highbury park, spring is approaching in Australia.
Autumn does however bring about a tad of sadness for me. I reflect upon that the year is drawing to its close, the green & the lovely bright colours in my garden will soon be no more, & I wonder what will be different next year?

I'm lucky enough to have a plum tree at the bottom of my garden & as usual now I have made jars & jars of golden plum jam which I'll give away to anyone who wants one(!). I still have lots of plums left-wind falls as well as those surplus that I've picked. I read a story some time ago about a group of railway engineers who were repairing the track in Nottinghamshire (or somewhere) & they came across a number of oldish apple trees along the side of the tract. They apparently wondered how come they came to be growing there,& it transpired that when the track was first laid by the Irish Navvies in the late 1890's they threw their old discarded apple cores into the grass...the rest is easy to see!
This inspired me. What I do is throw my windfall plums over the garden fence into the wooded area of Highbury Park where, I hope, they'll grow. Then, some years later-long after I'm dead & gone plum trees may grow & bare fruit! I can hear people now as they walk their pets thru Highbury Park-" I wonder how those plum trees got to grow their...?  I've taken this one step further though: I've been collecting acorns, conkers-(Horse Chestnuts) seeds from some of the plants in my garden  & I throw theses too into wooded areas of the park(s). I guess its debatable that I could be considered a hooligan, but I consider myself some sort of conservationist!
This morning we have strong winds that make the tall Poplar trees in the park dance & sway like drunken sailors dancing the Hornpipe, the noise of the wind  in their branches sounding not unlike the roar of the sea. The weather man on BBC Radio Four tells us that here in the UK we're experiencing the 'tailend' of hurricane Katrina-great comfort to the poor birds who are being blown around the sky like ninepins! However it does mean that there are more acorns & conkers for me to collect.
Speaking of conkers.....I remember as a kid going around to the local Horse Chestnut tree armed with a couple of big stout sticks &, along with a a few other kids we'd throw these sticks up into the tree hoping to knock down a few choice conkers to play 'conkers' with.
We'd take the best ones home, either baked them after soaking them in vinegar then thread them on a piece of string to play 'conkers' with at school the following days. I note now that there are lots of conkers actually left on the trees. Kids are no longer throwing sticks up to knock them off & for this I blame 'Health & (bloody) Safety: Kids are now forbidden to play conkers at school JUST IN CASE they may hurt themselves! What shite!! To be honest I cannot recall any child that I ever played conkers with sustaining a 'conker related injury'-Ah, the good old nanny sate.....protecting you from yourself. Madness, sheer madness.
Still, whatever you do this autumn, I urge you to look at the colours, listen to the wind blowing thru the trees because despite all the brutality & unhappiness about us, its still a beautiful world.

Friday, 9 September 2011


Wockley is back people!! I have a new laptop-sadly the old faithful died & was beyond repair & this new machine is very fancy with lots of new fangled things which I ain't got a clue what they do & a mouse button as sensitive as my mood on a cold Monday morning in January. Nevertheless I'm slowly getting to grips with it & I have (as you would expect!) lots to say on recent events in the UK, the world  etc.
On a cheerful note, I'd like to report that me & Kate have just returned from a lovely week spent on holiday in the tiny Cornish fishing village of Newlyn. We stayed in a small self catering apartment overlooking the tiny harbour & had lots of walks, plenty of real ale in tiny pubs & good grub. Not to mention Cornish Pasties+++!
We saw wildlife in abundance ranging from seals, dolphins & all sorts of bird life.
The most memorable event was a theatre performance at the Minack open air theatre. This open air theatre has.has its backdrop the open sea & is perched precariously on the cliff tops with rocks for seats!  Fantastic!!
We watched 'Fiddler on the roof' Truly memorable.
I'll bore you all later with a few posted photos.