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    Avatar photosporting sam
    • Total Posts 16465

    I watch aljazera for news and our political leaders ought to be Ashamed of themselves. Watching bbc and itv is a total waste of time.
    I wish I could send some of the food I’m growing to the people of Palestine 🇵🇸.
    Who knew Governments of the western world would support Nazis. I’m not taking sides I support neither political factions of Israel 🇮🇱 or Palestine. I know thousands of Humans have been slaughtered by a brutal force sanctioned by the members of the United Nations. This is happening daily and my MP does nothing in the House of Commons. The Geneva convention is very clear about war and the rules of engagement and the rules towards treatment of civilians and yet snipers kill innocent children and all Palestinians including medical staff and ambulance staff every day.

    • Total Posts 9008

    Did you see the news item on Ch4 News about the little girl who phoned the emergency services to say everyone in the car she was travelling in had bee killed? She was eventually found dead but only after the paramedics who tried to get to her had also been killed…

    Avatar photosporting sam
    • Total Posts 16465

    I didn’t see it moe because I no longer watch mainstream news. I think we have been brainwashed into accepting the worst destruction of all of our human rights since the Second World War. I am ashamed of my government and all of our politicians. Our journalists have also accepted the status quo and all the dangerous precedents it sets.
    Soon we might be told we no longer have rights just like the people in Palestine.I am going to visit my MP’s surgery when it comes to town and I’m going to ask my mp to stand down if she feels unable to stand up for the people of Palestine 🇵🇸. If we tolerate this then our children will be next.

    Avatar photosporting sam
    • Total Posts 16465

    On a happier note if there can be such a thing, my trip to the stately home the other day was very fruitful. The head gardener took me round the amazing gardens and we selected some beautiful blossoms. I’m not one for Latin names but among them were a Chinese cherry blossom and good old Daphne. The scent was amazing and we talked about Roses 🌹. I’ve just been given an unwanted rose which was actually the rose of the year in 2017 called “scent from heaven”. I described it he looked it up and there it was. It is planted in my front garden just behind “ remote installation number two 💩. So hopefully visitors on the trail will at least get a whiff of a scented rose and the manure ten years in the msking doesn’t smell at all.
    The upshot of the blossom gathering meant that I was able to present the manager of the Walton community pop up shop with a beautiful bouquet yesterday as she recovers from a horrible operation last week. She was already on her feet and is well on the way to recovery ❤️‍🩹.
    I’m not saying Brendan is a hunk but the girls at the pop up shop are. He posed for a picture to say “get well Carolyn” and they are comparing him to that lad from Poldark!! He’ll be pleased. My missus had a big crush on him too ( Poldark that is ) I have always liked roses but have never really got to grips with pruning.
    So I was delighted to be invited back tomorrow to spend the day with the garden team pruning their many thousands of roses of all descriptions.
    They are busy but are still willing to try and teach me how to do it effectively and correctly.
    I’m made up and this is the direction the tree and love of gardening has allowed me to go.
    The swimmers 🏊‍♀️ of seascape of also invited me to join them for a dip in the North Sea today. It is a growing trend of people who wouldn’t normally enter the sea going in and doing so. It took off around and after covid. Nigel one of the organisers has on my request promised to come up with a wetsuit for me. Most of these people have been swimming for years and mixed in with the newbies make a great group and always stop for a yarn 🧶 whatever the temperature!
    I’ve been swimming off and on for many years but always alone and when I started in the bay by the fludyers where I ironically now live, I stopped because I kept repeatedly getting ear infections in the filthy water. I think I’ll go in this morning without the wetsuit and if it goes well that’s me acclimatised. One of the swimmers Penny is also a gardener and she promised to bring me some Daphne from her garden last Friday . It was lovely and she indeed brought it to me on Friday last just as I was leaving for Helmingham hall. “ you’re going to Helmingham!?” I trained there, they taught me how to prune roses 🌹. We went through the names of the staff and I said I’d pass on her regards.
    Now remarkably, I can tell her I’m going back tomorrow to follow her path to a smaller degree.
    I’m decided I’m Swimming Al dente just in me shorts 🩳 and if I have the cold I can swim in a wetsuit another time. It isn’t rocket science it is cold 🥶 but get through that and I’ll swim again. Find it cold in a wetsuit and I’ll most likely pass in future. I can wear the wetsuit next time. Psychology is a wonderful thing.
    My polytunnel is stripped bare and I am collecting my old wood frame greenhouse from the twins. 👯‍♀️ where it has stayed for over seven years since change of job forced me to leave the house we were renting to move to a rented apartment without access to a garden for the first time in my life and out of the darkness of that time came the fish job, my great next door neighbours Dan and his family who are now lifetime friends and my other neighbour from whom came my wonderful allotment. It really is funny how things can turn full circle.

    • Total Posts 2555

    Love swimming in the sea and being in the Westcountry I am never far from somewhere to go in. I know some good spots away from population centres too so the water should be reasonably clean. Cannot wait for June to roll around when it’s usually up to a temperature I can tolerate. No chance you’ll see me anywhere near the water in winter.

    Avatar photosporting sam
    • Total Posts 16465

    The reverse psychology worked a treat. Memories of my last swim sufficed to remind I am unlikely to encounter water as cold as I did on December 3rd.
    My uniform of wellies 👢 shorts 🩳 and Guernsey 🇬🇬 jumper accompanied me down to the beach under the large shelter where the swimmers gather in their robes and I’ve got mine on too a nice big blue shroud. But I’m stripping down to the skin and only the shorts 🩳 remain.
    “7.5 degrees!” someone shouted. It was still cold but not as numbing as December and passable. I’m glad I went in and about ten minutes after arriving home a chap knocked on the door and said I’ve got your wetsuit here. Brilliant I’ll wear it next time. Sunday had had a good start but the best was yet to come.

    Avatar photosporting sam
    • Total Posts 16465

    Richard 88 wrote

    “Cannot wait for June to roll around when it’s usually up to a temperature I can tolerate. No chance you’ll see me anywhere near the water in winter.”
    Quite right too, but there is something refreshing about a cold swim, provided it’s around the six mark which it is here right now. The next time I’ll try the suit as the temperature is dropping at the moment but having been in on Sunday in skins it wasn’t as cold as I’d expected.
    A trip to Sutton hoo took place afterwards it is right at the head of the Deben and across the river from Woodbridge on the highest ground to emphasise it’s prominent position an observation tower has been built. It’s essentially a military watch tower built of steel and as close to a wooden watch out post as you could get. Given the vantage point and amazing view it gives it isn’t difficult to envisage that there would have been a similar construction built in those ancient times just like the round tower at Ramsholt and the imposing castle at Orford all strategically high with incredible views. The biggest visible structure is of course the cranes at Felixstowe which look like Martian vehicles from war of the worlds. The tower gives a great view of the mounds which house a multitude of burial sites. It’s clear that there must be many such mounds dotted all over the place and in the near future advances in thermal imaging will give these places up readily. All of these sites were robbed over history just like the pyramids.

    Avatar photosporting sam
    • Total Posts 16465

    I’ve had to put my mates freezer to good use for the second day running the fisherman has gone up trumps. On Amber beach you do a good turn and it is remembered. In addition to a huge bass on Sunday he sold me three cod yesterday and to say a further thank you for helping him pull his boat off the beach on Sunday, he threw in two “flatties”a Dover and a small plaice.
    I met a lifelong friend on Sunday as I was pulling in the boat with another guy his female companion stood on the beach near us,aghast. “Is it really you? “ I asked her the same question, 25 or more years since I saw this girl. We used to walk to school together aged 14 in Ipswich.

    Avatar photosporting sam
    • Total Posts 16465

    Sir Winston Churchill was possibly it’s most famous victim. That is not a suprise given he carried the burden of the Empire on his broad shoulders. He called it ‘black dog’. It is not easy to talk about and you cannot put a plaster over it. I tried some pills once and whilst it had a helping effect it was the ultimate two edge sword. Such was the payback it might as well have been heroin. Everyone’s experience is complex and often incredibly different. Tough exercise and extremely hard work and mentally demanding challenges are the medication of choice these days and I like it.
    The worst thing anyone could say to a sufferer no matter how well the intention is “ pull yourself together man”. A sufferer would accept such advice then retract even deeper into the well of pain they were already in. Music 🎵 is a beautiful retreat and in the pleasure of the song and amongst the prose and poetry particularly in rock music there lies huge solace snd enjoyment derived from the lyrics.
    I’ve been advised “tidy up your plot or lose it son.” Ditch the organic and go conventional. No one appreciates all this organic claptrap.” Nature does appreciate it actually I thought the world had changed but it hasn’t and you do have to take the pill still. Luckily it’s the pill of conformity and I guess you have to meet people halfway at some stage.. You cannot sugar coat such a message.
    But neither can you polish a turd.

    Thank Christ for HACKNEY DIAMONDS

    It’s like walking into an artist’s studio and saying “that masterpiece you’ve been promising us all this time will never emerge from this pile of crap.” I believe it will.
    I took delivery of my beautiful wood framed greenhouse from the twins 👯‍♀️ yesterday. I know good people by their actions not by the hot air they spout and the world is full of talkers. My greenhouse was cared for and stored lovingly by the girls. It’s conveyance to the allotment was no mean feat courtesy of Stan the man Cornish. You couldn’t get more English than this fellow. he was born in Cornwall, but quickly moved to neighbouring Devon in the shape of Plymouth. I’d trust this old man with anything. He talks sense in every stride and is a man after my own heart. He helped me load the beautiful structure onto the roof of his transit van and inside it. You’d have thought there’d be the shattering of glass or at least a crack so precarious it all seemed. Stand had a new hip and still clambered up his ladders and he’s a philosophy about life and getting things done done of us ain’t gonna like it, but there you are He serves life up in coarse blunt terms. Nothing airy fairy about life as far as this guy is concerned but in his own way he’s quite gentle and quite the Gentleman as the twins found out. A charmer for sure with a glint of mischief always present. A few bugee cords here and there some tarp an old paint sheet and not a single pane of glass lost. Plenty of panes are missing after seven years but it’s a lovely work of art which will be repaired and rebuilt on the allotment and is part of my tapestry. You need faith in what you are doing and the counsel of wise men. You also need time and huge self belief.
    I can see how a thousand dreams lay in tatters and how these dreams can be trampled on by bullying Neanderthals who cannot tread gently on the nerves of the delicate fragile.
    I’ve made contact with Andy today the dectectorist and he’s been over for some of my spare asparagus and I’m meeting him on site at the allotment.
    Another gentleman and one who understands the fragility of us all he’ll be over at midday after I’ve done the kitchens on the café ole run.
    You know what that gives me fifteen minutes now for a bloody swim 🏊‍♀️
    They say honesty is the best policy and I went to get some cash earlier to pay for my wetsuit.
    I also decided to treat myself to a racing post financially given its price it’s not the best day to buy one. But there appears to be a magic till which transports me back in time at least ten years, it’s only £2:30 here. Cash back of fifty pounds to pay for the wetsuit of 45.I ask for “two dukes” and put out one of the givers in my side pocket and the perfect forty five in my top shirt pocket ready with the right money.
    When I go to pay for the wetsuit I hand him £55 and I’ve still got a fiver in my pocket.
    Clearly I need to revisit this unfortunate cashier as she’ll have a shock otherwise at the end of the day. I’ll confess to my original sin about the “cheap racing post” as well.
    It all goes down well. And the people in the queue nod approvingly even if they have to wait five more minutes. She says “don’t worry about the racing post”. So now I’ll go for my swim with a clear conscience and go straight out on the café ole run afterwards.
    Happy days….

    Avatar photosporting sam
    • Total Posts 16465

    It’s almost as if things really do happen for an interlocking reason and sometimes I believe they do.
    I was driving some friends to and from the allotments on Sunday when heading up the high street, We saw my partner and my daughter walking into the Red Cross shop.
    We pulled over and walked into the shop to say hello. Not many charity shops open on Sundays and I thought the Red Cross never did. It is yards away from the 142 gallery and whilst manning exhibitions there I’ve never ever seen the RedCross open on a Sunday. I’m glad it was as they all meet for the first time and whilst they interact, I stroll over to the garden books stall where a gem often lies.
    Today’s gem belongs to nine other than Chris packham like myself no stranger to the “ Black Dog”. But also winning the fight and striding out in his chosen craft agin the Grain. As much a lover of canines as ‘Liverpool lil’ Packham trumps me there He’s on the spectrum and proud and flaunts it to good effect. He has had to resist and endure savage criticism from bullying types hiding behind a keyboard and reacting or not drives the attackers into a further cruel feeding frenzy. Ultimately one has to look to the old adage of “sticks and Stones”. But I can tell you whoever dreamt up that load of old bollocks was totally wrong totally. The tongue is like a two edged sword and it can sometimes be like death by a thousand cut for victims.
    I was delighted to find packhams book which essentially was about the nature reserve you can have in your back garden ( my back garden -dog free incidentally- is of course my wonderful allotment)
    I love my crazy labrador, immensely he’s not human and he loves me. But our last visit to the allotment cost an arm and a leg. There were dozens of fallen apples 🍎 here last summer and he of course filled his boots and within thirty seconds off the leash he’d snorted a blade of grass which saw him reduced to louder sneezes than I can summon up as an all year round hay fever sufferer ( and boy my sneezes are loud!!) he also drew blood 🩸 and after an hour of worry he was whizzed round to our waiting vet who could find nothing up his snout. A return on Monday saw him sedated and the offending blade of grass moved. Of course no expense is too much to help your loved pet in distress but the allotment is off limits and Molly Roberts in total contrast memorably spent hours on end with me on my much missed old plot atop railway hill. She’d simply go off rabbiting and rat hunting and rendezvous back at my pond when hungry or thirsty.
    Talking of Molly along with Big G and Marjorie. And Molly’s Mum and Dad, she takes pride of place on the Raffle tickets named as sources of tickets.
    The raffle in aid of Saint Elizabeth Hospice and Saint Philip’s community pop up shop is set to be held on Thursday night. Due to a printer breakdown, the tickets only rolled off the press last night on the reserve printer.
    Johnathan at the flyer press has worked miracles but effectively I’ve got forty eight hour noless to shift the 200 books of ten tickets.
    I’ve got plenty of promises of interest to follow up and working to tight “ impossible “ schedules is what drives. Two thousand tickets are enclosed in those two hundred books. I’m hoping very few people are going to ask to split the books ie pay less than a tenner. That is how I’m pitching it. Cheltenham chaps for a tenner. Two festival tickets are the top prize and local business is chipping in with a host of prizes. The local bookshop Stillwater books are on the list along with the Sunday butchers from the market at the ever flowing beach street complex which has developed steadily in the past few years in a very rundown part of town which is having a renaissance.
    The gentleman’s outfitters COES are onboard too and Hills the jewellers have donated a prize. I need some restaurants onboard now and I’ll get them today and the list will continue to grow. It’s the crucial day when every thing comes to plan I’ve two hours on the allotment first and foremost from 7 am no beach sunrise and I’ll be out in minutes with the dog. I’ve also got a massive bouquet to make for a very close friend and workmate who suffered a loss no parent ever want to suffer several years ago today. I can’t go into further details but this awful day is repeated and ingrained in their lives. My first wife’s Dad was her Dad’s brother. So having worked with her also I’m still part of the family.
    I’m on the road too as there are no morning refuse slots in Felixstowe so a trip down memory lane to the Foxhall tip beckons. And with it comes an opportunity to visit a few old haunts.
    I’ve swum again since Sunday week ago and yes the sea is fresh and not terribly inviting an sun makes it doable and I’ve rebuffed the use of a wetsuit as it took layers of skin off my leg when I tried one on the other day. I think if you are into s and m you might get on with one but my goodness the carry on involved in battling into one of these strait jackets is all too much and not bring either an escapologist or a contortionist or a Sadi masochist I’ve no use for a wetsuit. Ten minutes in the sea doesn’t justify the trouble. Nothing a subsequent hot bath cannot sort out….
    One place I’d particularly like to visit today in my trip out to foxhall 🦊 is Bucklesham lavender farm…

    Avatar photoBigG
    • Total Posts 12464

    Best of luck on Thursday (I think) with the auction, I hope the good people down your
    way dig deep. We have “dookers” as they are called up here who have a New Year’s dip every
    year (apart from other times) but I don’t recall seeing any wetsuits (hardy Scots you see)

    Good to see you managed to get all the bits and pieces of the greenhouse from the twins and
    you’re very stout mate who got it all in one piece to the allotment. That was a decent book
    you picked up in the charity shop Sam.

    I can’t understand why some people can’t take to Chris Packham, I’m sorry to say I’ve even
    seen in in these forums. He seems a decent chap who has a love of nature. He is never going
    to be the “gushing” type, maybe that’s what some people don’t get but then it shows a complete
    lack of understanding as to what the man is all about. He’s 100% committed to what he does, and
    his daughter is a gem too, she’s into nature and is a natural on the box. As you said sam,
    keyboard warriors are only too willing to bring him down whilst never getting off their backsides.
    I hope all goes well on Thursday :good:

    Moe, I’ve read and seen clips, and heard the little girl pleading on the phone for help
    in Gazza. One of the saddest things I’ve ever heard and it did bring tears to my eyes.
    What is happening in Gazza is a war crime to my mind, nothing less. What Hamas did was
    shocking, unbearable, but the reaction from Isreal defies belief. Over 29,000 dead and
    more than half of them are women and children and it’s not over yet. How the west and the
    US stood back whilst this was happening is staggering. Yes plenty of rhetoric now, but that’s
    all it is. God help them.

    Avatar photoBigG
    • Total Posts 12464

    The UN called for an immediate ceasefire in Gazza. 13 of the 15 countries
    voted for it, and wouldn’t you know it, the US rejected it and the UK
    abstained. It’s all about who’s pocket you are in. So depressing.

    • Total Posts 9008

    Watching the debate in parliament now…

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