Season's greetings to h2g2'ers...
Posted Dec 24, 2011
... and to h2g2 friends. Here's to a good day tomorrow, however you're spending it .
Latest reply: Dec 24, 2011
Thirty journals later
Posted Dec 1, 2011
25 minutes until December. Xmas shopping, Xmas cards, Xmas decorations, Xmas visits then New Year is on the doorstep, the days are lengthening and spring is coming up the drive. Time flies. Dear Einstein, time is not even relatively constant, it goes quicker and quicker. Ask anyone over 40. Or anyone with minutes to go before a deadline.
Short journal to finish with, due to shortage of November minutes left. Many journals, like this one, have been a last minute rush but one or two worked out. One or two missed midnight but that's a technicality, they were all posted before my next day. The problem’s been keeping up with others’ journals and even more difficult, keeping up with conversations that develop from them.
But it's been fun writing. So the next project is a guide entry - I'll try Shropshire's Lost Wood Whites.
Latest reply: Dec 1, 2011
Posted Nov 29, 2011
A water bills expert called today. An ex water company engineer. Now he makes a living giving advice on water bills and sharing any savings found. He can find the savings because he knows the industry inside out – all the small print behind the charges, and the detail of local drainage systems. He will save us over £3000 a year. ‘Us’ being the work us. There’s another consultancy business fishing for the same business. The same thing happens with gas and electricity in negotiating supply contracts. It’s not just frustrating, it’s wrong. Just plain wrong that the way we pay for basics like energy and water is too complex, too opaque for the ordinary man. These aren’t savings by reducing consumption, they’re savings through knowing pricing structures and exemptions. These guys deserve their cut, they save us money but I’m royally miffed that with reasonable numeracy skills I cannot work out when we’re being overcharged. That without them we’re at the mercy of a small group of companies hiding behind voluminous small print.
Latest reply: Nov 29, 2011
Windrows, phoenix and whipping bracken
Posted Nov 28, 2011
Went walking in the wood with a woodsman today. Learnt about windrows, phoenix trees, whipping bracken and how to check hazel stools for dormice. There won’t be any, well very unlikely, but got to check. And about the possibilities of charcoal burning and the market for charcoal, logs, hurdles, poles and rods. That’s tempting. And about using sycamore to decoy squirrels away from young oaks but to fell them before they’re of an age to seed. About pollarding willow and the heartwood needed for standing dead trees. Which birches haven’t and oaks have. About gaging the density of the canopy by looking at the health of the hazel and alder below. He was a craftsman of woodland. No hardline rules, like must clear a minimum of x square metres, or leave y metres between standards, or cut down to z inches every w years. No, look at the individual trees, the plant life on the woodland floor, the growth of the understory and young saplings growing to replace aging standards to see what needs to be done. It must be good to know trees as he does. I should like to get to know this wood of ours as well as that.
Latest reply: Nov 28, 2011
Three depths of in Salford
Posted Nov 27, 2011
The Lowry: a white seascape merging into a white sky, no beyond, no escape, no human trace, utter isolation.
The Imperial War Museum North: a contorted, rust coloured tower of steel from one of the World Trade Centre towers. The sign says not to touch, there’s no need to because its reality radiates from it. Hold your hand out and you feel it.
The Bridgewater Hall: Alina Ibragimova’s violin sings out Shostakovich’s despair.
At the end of the concerto the applause was tremendous, some people jumped up cheering. A lot of the audience went out with big smiles. Some wet eyes and big smiles. Why does it feel good when someone else expresses these things? Maybe it's the feeling of contact, the opposite of Lowry's isolation? But then it's comfort in someone else being able to feel the pain, which we shouldn't really want. It has to be something to do with connection and sharing though.
Latest reply: Nov 27, 2011