Wednesday, 18 December 2013



I was going to write a nice long, newsy blog but Dashboard have changed all their systems since my last teach-in.  This picture has taken me over half an hour to retrieve and add!!!

If I live long enough I think this will be just a photo-blog, I will not have time to compose anything.

We have lost a few notable people this week.

Mandela.   I have nothing to add to what the Good and the Great have had to say this week except that he gave me faith that perhaps human nature was not as bad as it seems to be when one listens to the media.   What I wonder is, if nature can fashion one such unimpeachable human being, why on earth are there not more of them around.

Perhaps there are and they just don't get their chance in history to make their mark.   But, a lot of them seem to try, and here I speak mainly of our politicians, and they fail dismally.   Why.   Greed for power and wealth I suppose.

Perhaps they will take note and try to emulate.   As for Cameron, Obama and the Danish Prime Minister taking Selfies, enough said.   Would have loved a C.U. of Mugabi during Obama's speech.   What a cheek even turning up.   


We also lost one of our best English actors when Peter O'Toole died last Saturday.   

Who hasn't watched Lawrence of Arabia and wondered at his beauty?   I didn't know him well but met him on numerous occasions with Sian his wife, usually at the home of Jack Hawkins and Dee.  The time I remember most vividly was on driving to our country cottage in Hampshire after a hard weeks work in London to find our drive filled with grand chauffeur driven cars, an Iso Bifo Batserini, a fancy Ferrari type sports car belonging to Jeremy Lloyd, and a lot of noise.

It was the perfect summer evening, full of atmosphere, blackbirds singing, the smell of summer Phlox and an unmistakeable hint of alcohol in the air.

Jack was working on Goodbye Mr. Chips in a boys school, Sherborne in Dorset with Peter, Jeremy Lloyd and another handful of great actors and they had been hijacked by Jack to finish up the week having a drink at the cottage on their way back to London!

I walked in on a picture of eight highly inebriated men all howling with laughter, wine bottles on every surface.   I became the butt of this humour as soon as I entered the fray.   I was young, not totally at ease with these quick thinking jokesters and immediately probably showed how inappropriate I thought their behaviour was.   What would the locals think?  You could hear them a mile away.

I only had to look up the drive to find out.   The whole village had come out to watch as soon as the news spread that Peter O'Toole was in town.   

I think he won an Oscar Nomination for Mr. Chips.   He was nominated six or seven times but never won.   He asked the nomination committee not give him a Lifetime Award until he was ninety because he wanted to try to win an Oscar fair and square.   He should have had seven by the time he died.

His performance on stage in Jeffrey Barnard Is Unwell is never to be forgotten.   Never has anyone played drunk for that long on a heavily raked stage, clutching a lit cigarette without crashing into the orchestra pit.   He spoke continuously for three hours and never forgot one word of his lines.   His performance was probably not all acting if the truth was known!   Wonderful but life-threatening.

He was as beautiful in real life as he was on screen and one of the best and funniest raconteurs one could ever meet.   He and Richard Harris would put to shame any comedian today.   

Until ten that night in Binley one after the other of these thesps took it in turn to tell stories and if I had that evening on tape it would be worth a million today.   I just wish I could remember one tale to tell.   I do know that I was furious when he said he had peed in the kitchen sink because he couldn't find the loo!!!!

Every time I used that sink for ever after I thought of Peter!!!





Eggs no longer.   The caterpillars have eaten all of my winter greens!!!


I also lost two of my precious baby doves to the blasted cats that roam the countryside here.   Nobody has their farm cats neutered here and therefore we are overrun with very hungry wild animals who would take your hand off for a bit of second hand pasta!   Mum Dove had spent three weeks diligently bringing up twins and the first time they flew to the ground to explore the outside of their rather smelly shelter, they were breakfast.   

Funnily, I found an egg kicked out of one of the nest boxes and lying on the floor this morning.   It must have been frozen jelly and I really do not understand why they are still laying at Xmas time.   Perhaps Mum was so disgusted after her last effort that she decided children were not worth the effort.   

I thought birds only laid one or two clutches in the spring time.   These doves have produced nest after nest of young, most of which have been eaten by cats.   I am going to find a way of keeping them healthy until they can fly.   Their home is high-rise and if you cannot fly off the ground again when you come of age, you are dead meat.  
Cats beware.   I am after you.    Give me a dog any day.   


I am also after the heron who visits every morning before I am awake and enjoys breakfasting on one or two fat goldfish in the lago.   I have trained Lamu to chase him off even before she has had a comfort break!!

My kitchen garden is finally being upgraded but no pictures to publish of flowers.   Except one of my pines has suddenly burst into flower.   I thought they grew in hot climes.   Here it is 4C or 5 below at night at the moment.   Strange.





Am going to bed now, this has taken me hours!

Beautiful sunset.

No comments: