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Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you lots of health and happiness for 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In praise of........

I wonder if you can guess who the following quotes belong to,  someone who is deeply sensitive and writes as wittily as Oscar Wilde, loves animals and became a vegetarian at the age of 14. 

"I like animals very much - lovable, dumb chums, loyal, decent and lovely - and if I'd had my way I'd've been reared in a menagerie." 

"I really craved the company of animals - the wordless simplicity of it.  Even now, with my cat Morrissey, I cherish the moments that I'm absolutely alone with him, and the unrecorded tenderness that no one will ever know of - I don't even feed him that much any more, 'cos Lynne, the housekeeper, does that now.  But he seems to want something from me that isn't food, and perhaps that thing is love."

"When I was eleven, I got a gerbil, Barney.  I worshipped Barney the way primitive people worshipped the animals they hunted, seeing in the creature a connection to the natural and the divine.  My devotion was swiftly rewarded when Barney, with scant regard for his gender, quite brilliantly had a litter of babies.  I treasure the memory of these tiny, pink, squirming chipolatas.  It was miraculous - like how Christmas should feel."

"It's difficult to believe in yourself because the idea of self is an artificial construction. You are, in fact, part of the glorious oneness of the universe. Everything beautiful in the world is within you. No-one really feels self-confident deep down because it's an artificial idea. Really, people aren't that worried about what you're doing or what you're saying, so you can drift around the world relatively anonymously: you must not feel persecuted and examined. Liberate yourself from that idea that people are watching you."

"For me happiness occurs arbitrarily: a moment of eye contact on a bus, where all at once you fall in love; or a frozen second in a park where it's enough that there are trees in the world"




Well I never! 

Russell Brand, twice voted The Sexiest Vegetarian Alive (2008 & 2009)

All quotes taken from 'My Booky Wook' by Russell Brand

I was inspired to find out more about Russell Brand because of something I'd seen on t.v.  I can't remember which programme it was, but the production company had arranged for a woman, heavily laden with parcels and carrier bags, to drop them in a busy London street, viewed by a hidden camera.  They did this numerous times to see if anyone would stop to help her.  No one did for ages until along came a lanky lad with a woollen hat hiding his hair.  At first they didn't recognise him - it turned out to be Russell Brand!   

Sunday, December 26, 2010

If the Christmas tables were turned.....

 You go!

Christmas has got me thinking of all those turkeys, geese, chickens and ducks that have ended up on our dinner plates (not guilty!). I'm having fun thinking of how animals could wreak their revenge on humankind.  Heh, heh.

Disclaimer: I apologise for the images portraying humankind as male - if I come across any with female images, I will include them. :D


Tit for Tat ~ get those slimey peeps!

This Zebra is Crossing



Stuffing the Christmas Peeps


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Oh my goodness, it's so long since my last blog post!  The main reason for that is because I haven't been able to do any gardening since moving to the new house.  We had one half-decent weekend when I managed to cut the grass down with shears - the garden has been neglected for quite a long time so the grass was long and coarse.  Since then it's either been raining or snowing and the back garden, we've found, is a perpetual bog!  This is because of damaged underground pipes in the next-door-neighbour's garden - the pipes are linked to ours so our garden gets flooded as well as hers.  Unfortunately the neighbour, an elderly lady, spends most of the time down south with her sister, so we're waiting to see what she's going to do about the pipes.  Meanwhile, I'm considering just turning the whole of the back garden into a huge pond. :) 

I have to confess I've been a teeny weeny bit down in the dumps at not being able to get started with the garden, but I'm telling myself that it will be worth the wait.  Anyway, because I have no garden photos, I'm posting ones that I took while out walking today.  Part of my walk took place during a 'white-out' - a man stopped to offer me a lift.  I told him it was okay, that I was out for a walk to take some photographs and thanked him.  "Yer mad," he replied and sped off before I could come up with some witty retort, such as, "Madness is relative" or even accuse him of being mad for driving in such dangerous conditions.  Ah well, I enjoyed my walk nevertheless and if it hadn't been for me needing to go to the loo, I'd have stayed out longer.

Here's two lovely cows I met while walking along the old railway line.  They were sheltering in the corner of the field and were totally indifferent to the interest I showed in them.  One of them glanced round briefly at me, the other didn't move at all. :)

A road bridge going over the old railway line - it leads to a farm

Horses in the snow

You didn't know Narnia was in County Durham, did you!  It isn't really - this leads into the nature reserve at Oakenshaw.

 These reeds are growing in the lake, which is now frozen over, at the Oakenshaw nature reserve.  I love the contrast of the straw-like texture and golden-yellow of the reeds with the dark green conifers in the background.

It's dusk now and the light in the photos is changing.  This is the frozen lake with a little island in the middle.  There are usually lots of ducks here, but I think the cold must have taken them somewhere else where they might get more food..... I hope.

Having left the nature reserve and village of Oakenshaw behind, I am now approaching my home town of Willington.  These sheep made a peaceful and restfull scene, but when I approached them with my camera they jumped up and moved off.  I apologised for disturbing them.

I make my way along the farm track that takes me to the top of the pit bank.  I'm very fond of this particular spot - it looks scenic whatever the season.

At the top of the pit bank looking down on Willington

My walk was just over 4 miles and I was out for only a couple of hours but I enjoyed it so much, except for the bit when I couldn't find the exit at the nature reserve and got a bit disorientated...... it looked different all covered in snow.  I didn't much like the thought of me stumbling through the trees in the dark..... not with my imagination! 

Update on my NaNoWriMo novel - I didn't get it finished within the month, so I didn't get a winner's T-shirt (boo-hoo), but I've since finished it and now at work with the editing. It was a really fun experience, one that I would thoroughly recommend to everyone.

And now I would like to wish everyone a