Day 3hree …. The Bird’s Nest Fern

DSCF1015.jpgThis Birds Nest Fern should really be growing high up in a tree, or so I read from my Wikipedia site and I tend to believe the information quite seriously. My rock garden follows my steps down to the road, situated on a gravel bed with boulders and falls a gradient of approximately forty degrees. The site faces North and only receives the late summers evening sun and the water from the down pipe off of the roof.

I’ve been watching this plant grow steadily and have had no desire to remove or destroy. Why should I? After all, this is another of natures miracles. Located between two huge boulders, it has tunneled a way out from the damp and darkness seeking a light source. If I wasnt so sure as to its actual species, I would of considered it not too dissimilar to a long leaved iceberg lettuce or even a seaweed plant.

The latter which has clambered up the cliff face in desperation to seek a sex partner, to mutate as seaweed does, often, on a regular basis …   Allegedly, Scientists, whilst looking through a microscope describe it as “a bit like a nightclub scene” <grins> I bet you didn’t know that? … (I certainly didn’t)

Reads more like an abandoned paragraph from ‘Alice in Wonderland’  I wonder if Charles Dodgson had considered that?

 

 

Day 2wo …… One Step in Time

DSCF1016.jpgI am not a rampant weed or a flower without a head, I’m small and green with much envy, every gardeners dread.

I climb walls and steps and sometimes hang upside down, for I am quite the dare.

I sit and stare at who often comes to visit and sometimes I think “who goes there?” And when I’m very happy I procreate with other weeds, and then once our baby seedlings are strong they too can spread their wings.

In fact some other weeds could say “he doesn’t really care” But that couldn’t be further from the truth, for me, I like the finer things in life and that includes grassy roots.

Now I’ve been growing on these steps for far longer than I care to tell, I’ve seen children walk up them and as they have gotten old, being carried back down as well.

Just recently, well perhaps about ten years or so ago. What started off with fast agile feet and two jumps at a time, now ascend one step quite slowly on aged heels with soles that feel on fire. So holding onto the rail going down is important and chance of tripping is now a no desire.

Well, certainly not LSD my dear, those days are now long long gone, but often souvenirs of dancing get in my head and I try to get back into step, so slow-slow-slow down it is, and the ‘quick’ well, that has steadily gone and now not a chance of getting in a strictly final and hugging the glitter ball, it’s now just memories of Tess and the munchkin both watching Pascha and his tiny little feet instead.

Many dog paw’s once trundled back and forth across these slabs and cold snouts sniffed deep into my many crevice looking for bugs and spitting them out, and although it’s nice to have clean steps, strong bleach now really isn’t pleasant.

Please keep it green, and not obscene, and growing tidily and neat in the corners, but surely not pesticide all over my edges.  For life on these steps these days are pledged with sunshine and laughter with just a few select friends and my so beautiful daughter.  

And now that we have become un-hurried and preparing for the hereafter, don’t spoil it by running, sit down on the cushions, warm your bum and take in the view. Raise a glass, say “cheers” and be part of life and its relaxed cycle, after all this modern day living is far too fast, be sedate like these old steps and share secrets and memories and the many adventures of our past.

Day 0ne ….. Where the Wild Roses Grow

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This is where the Wild Rose grows, she hangs precariously over a dilapidated rotting wooden fence, and desperately reaches toward the sun and follows its path of light.  Nature steadily inhales carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through her pores, the beautiful petals and the stamen. The leaves and stem yearn for its energy and even as far down to the roots in the form of photosynthesis. This marvel of nature gives her such strength and beauty which in turn gives us more oxygen for us to breathe.  A sadness hangs alongside these blooms that give a tainted perfume and make the world look bright, fruit brambles try to strangle the growth of this wonderful creation, and the ever rampant Honeysuckle attempts to squeeze every ounce of energy out of her it can.  She never gives up, no matter how hard life is for her, she still appears each Summer, spreading her ever lustful tendrils and radiates her cerise blooms with pride like a Tafeta bustle on a Victorian dress. I admire, and tell her to enjoy the miracle that is the sunshine whilst you can, although summer is not finished yet, try to hold on tightly to your elegance as it gently fades, just like we fade with age too. Unlike us, you will be beautiful again, and that wont be long as this named season will soon return.

~~~~ O ~~~~

‘On the last day I took her where the wild roses grow, the wind was as light as a thief               I kissed her goodbye, I said, “All beauty must die”

Exracted from “Where the Wild Roses Grow”  ….  Nick Cave 1996.

Crazy or what?

It is said if you love and trust someone enough to look after your dogs, and they yours, then you have a friend for life, especially when they trust you with either of their debit or credit cards to use. I have been blessed to have that such person in my life, I am not quite so sure that I personally could trust anyone else like that as much, apart from that same person. The fact that my life insurance came into force last week has nothing to do with todays events, but, just for the record, if I should disappear under strange and mysterious circumstances, then remember, if any of you Jessica Fletcher or Columbo type wannabe’s are on the case ….. Remember, you read it here first, the clues are in the words.

Early kick off today, a text just before 08:00 informs us that the new silver appliances for the kitchen arrive in twenty minutes. My plan to treat Chris to breakfast will now come to fruition, a time space we can use between installation of “non white goods” and the estimated time of grocery delivery. A steady perambulate from our homes, down toward the coastal path which directs us to the outdoor seawater lido. Shoals, is a new establishment, specialist dishes containing freshly caught local fish, the café on the lido stands on an elevated position facing slightly off North, affording great views and inside features comfortable surroundings, its quiet this morning, just two other customers, we settle in our seats, fixated by the beautiful contrast of the calm azure waters of the pool and the wildness of the sea beyond. Choice of soft pan-fried scallops, black pudding and streaky bacon in a sweet Brioche bun, Orange Juice and filter coffee are made, this is pleasant, it is also peaceful, a perfect start to a perfect day, life doesn’t get much better than this.

… Enter Parker, again. Most of you will remember that Parker is our trusty steed, and when let loose, will be as naughty as he is allowed, he’s also tends to lead one astray.

One of the albums I have recently downloaded from the big iLibray in the sky is Patsy Cline, her strong warbling voice resonates as if it was her last ever performance at the Grand old Opry, now transmitted by a technological marvel known as Bluetooth which attempts to extrude her voice out of the speakers like a terrible party political broadcast. Like any government in power if it (bluetooth) works, it does it well, if it doesn’t, well then you’re stuffed and today, Parker is as reluctant to oblige as lemon spray at a mosquito fest, he’s far too busy monitoring tyre pressures and communication with EE  …….

Normally I would only listen to her whilst doing the ironing (as if) and drinking Gin or contemplating suicide, (not really) as some of her tracks are synonymous to her sad and depressive, now depleted lifestyle, however, … I’m in a jolly frame of mind, my persona changes as I adjust the rear view mirror and put my seat into a comfortable laid back F1 driving position. Flexing my fingers backwards, my horn stumps break surface just above the temples, I select drive, flip sports mode, my right foot hits the boards, soon everything seems to be flying past me, or are we flying past them?  I warned you about Parker, he’s a beast.

I lip-sync  with her to “Crazy” as she shares my drive out of Fishtown just as if we are in a car-pool karaoke club, bemusing many strange looks from oncoming drivers. Should I turn the sound down?  Maybe I shouldn’t have all the windows open!  Someone once told me that fuel consumption improves when the air-con is off, so go figure that one, but I don’t care.  Not ten minutes ago that handsome blue Barclaycard was shoved into my grubby mitt, I have an important task, I was off, I tried hard to say “are you sure?” but, as hindsight, that’s an old gesture I didn’t want revoking.

The small piece of paper on it scrawled the words, ‘two ends for work-top (black), screws (black), two flexible pipe ends for tap, sealant (black), blank plug for sink, and a general peruse, at the bottom it read (don’t forget anything)’ B&Q is my destination, these parts are urgently required to finish renovating my honourable mates kitchen, list now firmly tucked inside my credit card wallet. Now there’s a claim for non truth of a trades description act, as I don’t have any credit cards left myself, all are either maxed out, part paid and also enduring the humiliation once of having one cut up in public with not a hopes chance in hell of it ever being restored to normal service means a definite NO.

Hastily we speed along the only vehicular artery worth taking toward the next town, which once had the proud honour to host a Woolworth store and Timothy Whites. The former now a pound shop, the latter yet another charity outlet with a cross above the door, not that I have anything against them, but, honestly, what’s the percentage chance of me buying a red sweatshirt with the words NEXT in blue for one pound, and turning up to pick my offspring up wearing same and my ex-wife giving me  the daggers look as *it*, would you believe, had actually been hers! So, instead, I just tend to purchase once thumbed through autobiographies and lavender joss sticks from those kind of establishments, and if I should see anyone selling pick and mix, I get flashbacks of being slapped on my thigh by my mother after fingering the all-sorts.

Not an hour earlier I had mentioned I might like to purchase a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses for our holiday in September, and before I had the chance to describe what style I wanted I was sternly informed that I already had one pair, but hey,  (that was rich coming from the male equivalent of Imelda Marcos, at least eighty pairs of footwear once adorned his shelves and cupboards) one pair would be for long distance, the other, reading, well, that’s my excuse, perhaps that was the reason I was given his card? Perhaps not!

The town centre is crazy, not a sign of a place to park, not even a double yellow line to abuse, its Friday afternoon, everyone seems to be of the opinion its hip to be seen to be out. A tight squeeze is made between a grey muddy Volvo and a Transit. I depart from the parking scene pleased that my reversing skills are still on form, I decide its time for a short back and sides whilst im out, after inaign chitchat about politics, (Eu’k) and weekend activities, and the usual “did i want anything for the weekend’  I depart the establishment much tidier around the follicles, my eyebrows trimmed so my vision is better and my hearing slightly more in tune, getting older punishes reward of strange places for hair growth. I notice in the morror just how aged I look, … ‘thinks .. must do something about that’  Exchanging cash for a tissue I wipe loose strands from my face and aim my feet towards an old haunt.

Recognised immediately by the attendant as I entered the Tanning salon, her skin now golden and slightly burned, the result of continued top ups of her free daily allowance, she bounces around to the piped music, vivaciously keeping order of her ‘beach side kiosk’, and after my many months of absence she rewards me with exchange of lip against cheek, knowing that not all her clients receive the same salutation as myself, I feel privileged. Such is as a civilised and modern greeting as Europeans tend to do. (Oh!  Just a thought! does brexiting the EU mean we can’t do this anymore?)  That’s bound to cause such a kerfuffle with the lovelies and the many thesbians (Sorry, I mean thespians ) …. Honestly, don’t you think it’s all gone PC mad now?

There’s now a queue a mile long, well not quite, just a few people, they like myself require our dose of Vitamin D from a fluorescent tube, we vie and laugh position for cubicles to vacate. I’m quite the happy bunny, I’ve been entrusted with an umpteen thousand pound piece of plastic in my pocket, and, to be honest, im not afraid to use it! …..

I dream of a million miles away, suddenly my raffle ticket is drawn, I’m on, it’s showtime. Time to singe my bunz and gyrate to some traditional sounding Ibizan beach folk music, and no, you cannot twerp on a lay down bed …. Or can you? … Perhaps next time!  I’m now in holiday mode, its just nine weeks away ….. and a sixtieth birthday to look forward to, watch out Mallorca, I do hope I make it?

‘Hi, I said.   ….. Staring, Chris replied ‘see you had your hair cut and your fifteen minutes of fame then ….

… Forget anything?’

“d’Oh!”

 

Circle of Life

img_2915Amazing just where our passage of time goes, before you know it, not just five minutes ago our children were just that, constantly learning and asking questions, and now, twenty five years on, they are now almost as old as I was when they were then.

As previously written, I explained there was to be a Christening in the family on Sunday just gone, a private service in the Church where myself and most of my cousins were christened too, the traditional “them and us” happened, them being the in-law side of the family and the friends we did not know, we positioned ourselves in a Dragons & Dungeons style start of campaign like two waring armies in the pews opposite each other, divided by the central passageway, muted comments were made about the Ladies-wear and hats and shoes and the general discord hung low like a very bad fart in a Zulu situation.

My Aunt, the matriarch of the family made comments which obviously were heard by those who were not wearing their ears for beauty and fits of giggles enthused, oblivious to the conversation I had eyes elsewhere, and passed comment that my cousin John looked like my Father and my other cousin looked similar to his uncle, my Dads brother. Well, Matriarch is was matriarch does and she, quite seriously and constructively said, well, of course, thats because of your noses, all the noses run in the Stamp family, (there is a joke in there somewhere).

Strangely, during the course of the ceremony, I noticed a lack of mobile phones being used to take photographs, it would seem, only by my observation, that the selfie seems to be dying a natural death, and lo and behold, a solitary digital SLR and a video cam were being used, so much more civilised now don’t you think!  Long gone are the days of the Grundig reel to reel tape recorder stood on a chair with a microphone placed discretely behind, or in a display of flowers recording the whole event, apparently, it was technology to the max in the late ’50’s.

The main common factor was that the newly christened baby, Holly May, was wearing the family robe, seventy plus years of care and intermittent storage bought this beautiful artefact out into the twenty first century and then reminded us youngsters that we too had been given our first names wearing same such outfit, more giggles bought shushes and frowns from the elders, sharply reminding them that I, as the youngest of, my title is heir apparent to Patriarch. Finally, a crown to wear, even though I am not possibly liken to King or a Queen.<grins>

Purposely I left my iPhone at home, and during the many conversations throughout the afternoon at the bun-fight I was asked when I last heard from my own offspring, surprisingly, during this space of time, my dear little fruit bat had left a message asking to be picked up from Exeter Airport at stupid o’Clock the following evening …….

So, in true Dad style ….. The school run I never took part in now becomes the late night old man rush bus!

….. and so the circle of life continues ….

Under The Influence

Its been sometime since I was last on here, and they say retirement is supposed to be relaxing! …far from it, goodness knows how I managed to keep not one, but two jobs going when I was actually working, talk about being pulled in different directions, that’s North, South, East AND West, oh, and the extremes of heat as a candle is burned at point Zero, between the cracks right under my ass.

Today starts a new chapter in my life, at almost sixty years old, and finally with the aid of a gracious monetary gift I have been able to order a bespoke iMac, it has arrived, been unpacked and here it now sits in front of me, pouting and sending love and virtual hugs to you all out there in WordPress land and to all of my dear dedicated followers on the many social media sites I tend to loiter and frequent.

I’m taking a few days off from the manic scenario that seems to have exploded on Berry Head Road recently, my mates flat is having new carpets, a new kitchen is being fitted in-between everything else going on, our normal routine has gone awry and everything scheduled on our busy social Calender has been shunned to one side to set this thing of beauty up.

This Saturday evening brings a still calm sea, Brixham is awash with visitors this Bank holiday weekend, Brixfest is being hosted in town and tomorrow I air my new suit again as the latest addition to our family is christened, family gatherings are rare these days especially as I have disowned my maternal family, so, its good that the paternal side seem to be breeding like rabbits which makes a good excuse for a decent bun-fight, being manhandled with tight (for goodness sake let me go I cant breathe) hugs, polite hand shakes and lipstick kisses on foreheads.

Hearing the latest news and gossip is always good, well, what other real reason is there to attend, apart from making sure that you let everyone else know that you are still very much alive!

James Morrison plays “Undiscovered” …… all seems good with me, mine and those in my world.

May 28 2016

Friday’s Fishy Tail … 5 of 7

I’m slightly annoyed today, that the notes I made to WordPress via my iPhone last evening have just disappeared, this is becoming quite a frequent event, and yes, its happened again.  Just hoping that if I give my my web-cobbed brain and inner sole a good trawling with a net, something may just come a tumbling back into its correct plaice.

So, today my blog comes from an alien kitchen on the waters edge here in Brixham, the recipe I’m trying to re-create is by the talented Dan O’Doherty, as featured above, from the famous Duck & Waffle Restaurant which is a perch’d high above on the fortieth floor of The Heron Tower, London.

(If you haven’t noticed yet, some words have been given a twist with really bad fishy puns, well, to be frank, thats all part of todays irony)

I promise I won’t ling’er too long on this subject, but, instead of my many usual senior blonde-ray moments I’l keep the bull’huss to a minimum, and give this story a bit of a turbot charge before I begin to start Breaking the ice.[1]

A whole baked Sea Bass (from Aldi and not one from Evelyn Harpers Drawer [2]) with spring vegetables will hopefully look as brill on my plate as much as his picture bream’s in the recipe book, I’l keep from floundering and carping on too much and make sure I mullet it over properly before I start to even think about skate’ing on very thin ice, perhaps I am tope’ing for far too much from this?

Right, the Bass has been split down through its spine and the pin bones removed, potatoes, tomatoes and the courgettes are now blanched, all that remains is a case of buttering them up, adding them back into a sturdy stock, reduce it to the thickness of a grey thick lipped mullet and to get myself skate’ing back into action, this whole dish looks like a ray of sunshine and not the cods pollacks as many might think, just imagine how much squid you’d have to pay for it in a restaurant?

 I’m not quite so sure that any of you are actually hooked on this blog and that its starting to wear quite fin’ly, so, I shall stop procrastinating and talking scallops, come to think about it, so, as i just heard someone quote for fucks hake shut up, I’l agree that i think that we have all haddock enough, and infant to be honest, I think it was really eel’y quite bad.Have a lovely fishy Friday folks, I have had a whale of a time today.                                           ….. Courtesy of the Happy Hooker

[1] Frasier (S2, Ep20)                                                                                                                                     [2] Evelyn Harpers Defence, (S5, Ep20)