I have made a bid on eBay for  Canon 5D Mark 11.



For the past week I have been gardening in my back and front gardens and at the allotment. It has been such a holiday and a meditation with a beautiful result each day, be it a plant put into the right place or watching the robins as they pick at the overturned soil. The allotment soil is very heavy with clay and it can be annoying when it keeps clumping, but it is always moist and so good for the vegetables. Potatoes are already in, another trench has been dug and more early potatoes will go in tomorrow. I will also dig another trench for the onions and beans and prepare an area for the rhubarb which has been divided and put into my back garden to start. The big leaf bees have been making a huge dent into the rhubarb leaves this year with holes in every leaf. I so like having the bees in the garden and I do hope that despite all the digging and moving of soil, the slow worm will return again, along with the frogs and, eventually, a hedgehog. 

I will photograph the gardens and allotment tomorrow in order to have a photographic record as this blog is supposed to be about photography and writing – and Bill. 


Rhubarb at the Botanical Gardens in Oxford – being forced in these lovely clay pots.


It is a new year and with it comes renewed hope in the future. Time to look again at the act of giving.

Shalom to all …

Shalom to all

Comic Relief

It has been too long since posting. Given the state of the world, the desire for the Arab states to have some modicum of democracy, it is good to give some thought to hope and optimism. Comic Relief provides for children and those in need. Of course, giving without altering the fundamental cause of the problems in the first place, will never eradicate poverty, lack of education, the gulf between the rich and the poor. However, in the meantime, and whilst that problem is being tackled, children still require nutrition, education, and help with coping with life in traumatic conditions.

The present cuts taking place in the UK are affecting the poor, vulnerable, women, and those least able to take this battering. Education, my beloved passion, in my sector has been cut by 30% and will result in severe consequences. Further education is the poor cousin of education in Britain, unlike the States and Canada, where the local college is truly a community college, the government is not able to see the gem in the community that FE delivers. It is my choice to work in this sector, it is a vocation and when it is under threat, as it is at the moment, I can feel the indignation rising within me. That a government can state that the rich are taking the burden indicates that they are completely without compassion or understanding of what it is to be a regular person working hard within the society we have been fortunate to have been destined to live in. When a millionaire takes a tax burden of a few percentage points it is not going to affect anything in their lives – not even the holidays in exotic places, not the restaurants they go to, not the clothing they buy, nor the cars they drive. None of this is altered because there is so much of it that nothing really affects it. But when a family of five lose a full time salary the hit is hard to the point of real suffering. Obviously this government has no idea what it is to live from month to month, and losing any amount of money means the difference between being constantly concerned about money to constantly worrying about the lack of it. It is a permanent thought in the head, a constant worry. I’ve lived it, I’ve suffered it, I never thought I would ever see it again. But here it comes as my daughter is worrying about redundancy – she is in the ‘female’ profession working with vulnerable families and children, in many respects, helping them to stay out of prison, getting their children to see a brighter future, helping them to get into the local FE college to give them a sense of purpose and a future career. The consequences of losing such workers is frightening. And then, we shall see the homeless on the streets …. what a vision for this country. The way I managed to escape the constant poverty of unemployment was to borrow money to pay for a course that would ensure a job. Cutting back and saving was impossible the only way was to spend…… I’m no economist but kicking the workers of this country in the teeth will only end up with plenty of cracked teeth and a massive dental bill, and a lot of people ready for a revolution.

Don’t forget the homeless: Emmaus



Yom Kippor

Thinking about Christina Livingston Rowan, my great great grandmother who, at the early age of 34, died of meningitis as a result of syphilis, I could not help wonder about her face and what she must have looked like as her disease was affecting the bones of her face. Some people had holes in their noses and cheeks. I hope that did not happen to her.

It is in thinking of her that I have made the decision to give my tzedakah money to the charity that devotes itself to children in Africa who are suffering from the consequences of the disease noma.  All the pennies and small change, as well as other monies collected throughout this year I will add up in the next few weeks, when I have some time, and then double it.