Sue Vincent:

Keeping it real..

Originally posted on The power of Quantum Thinking:

I have heard many times of people expressing their desire to do something radical to inspire others, to become a role model to follow.  Usually those people try to follow a life that does not correspond to our modern life style anymore.

You don’t need to go and live in a cave in a remote mountain in order to reach enlightenment. You don’t need to deprive yourself of all earthly possessions and become a saint to be a living example to others. (Unless that kind of life is your calling in life and fills your soul with joy of course, but as usual it is a personal decision.)

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Originally posted on Stuart France:

If one is interested in Mythology then there are a couple of books published under the Silent Eye Press banner which it would be foolish to be unaware of.

The first is the cycle of Egyptian Myths put together by Sue Vincent which goes by the intriguing moniker, ‘The Osiriad’.

Whilst ourselves familiar with most of the stories in this collection the notion that these tales actually formed a cycle telling the beginnings of the Gods and their operations in Egypt came as something of a pleasant surprise and each individual tale gains immeasurably by finding its rightful place in the overall scheme.

It is a welcome and masterly contribution to the Egyptian Pantheon.
The second is our own foray into that corpus of Mythological Tales which we believe represent the Ancient Myths of Albion.

LL 3D osi

‘Crucible of the Sun…’ is an ideal primer for anyone contemplating the study of…

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dusk 007It was, it appeared, going to be one of those days. By six, Ani and I were on our way to the village shop, grateful for its early opening so I could grab coffee. I had plans for the day… the weather forecast was good, the garden in need of serious attention. I would go to my son’s, then home to get on. Yeah, right. The best laid plans of mice, men and hobbits…

It took the PC monitor half an hour to finally stop rolling this time and four dull patches had appeared round the edges. Not much I could do about it, really, so I had another coffee and got organised. By the time I got to my son’s home it was fairly obvious this was not a day to be doing a lot of moving. Sort the shopping and the daily jobs, sort the pond, make a batch of the vile green sludge he calls a smoothie, cook for the lad’s night, then home and feet up was going to have to be the order of the day. Frustrating, but I have a lot to be working on between the journals that need answering and the books, so that would be okay.

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Another half hour for the monitor to warm up…it was definitely getting worse. No question. Sort the inboxes…a job and a half every day… then a break for essential chores. By the time I got back to the PC the monitor had gone to sleep again… and this time it didn’t want to wake up. Under the stairs there was a small TV. If it had an HDMI socket, perhaps that would do as a temporary measure…

It did! Brilliant! Of course, I had done weird and wonderful things with the wiring when I set my monitor and speakers up originally, in order to get all the plugs to where they needed to be. The connecting bits are large… the hole they had to pass through very small… the contortionism involved in getting them all out again probably worthy of an Oscar. The last bit involved scissors… I could always put the plug back on later. Then I realised I would actually need an HDMI cable to connect to that socket…

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The contents of the spaghetti drawer were soon strewn all over the living room. You know the one… where you stuff all the unidentified wiring you daren’t dispose of in case it is essential. No joy. A hunt through every other possible hiding place finally brought one to light. More contorting and dismantling half the makeshift desk and I finally switched the PC back on. Nothing. Blank screen. Realising my own idiocy, I dived back under the stairs and unearthed the remote control… this is a TV after all. Then a hunt for batteries. Bingo! One ‘monitor’! No sound. But I can manage without sound. At least for now.

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The widescreen format is novel. The desktop took a fair bit of sorting. Then I went online and the brightness of all that white space started to get to me. Sitting a foot away from a TV screen is not a good idea, but it would at least allow me to work. Images look odd, the colours and contrast strange after the muted monitor. I’ve no idea how the photos I post will appear! But after adding darker backgrounds wherever I could to the sites I use, it is a delight to be able to switch the thing on and start to work immediately!

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A jubilant phone call from my son brought some fabulous news… of which more later, when everything is in place. The day was looking up… as long as I didn’t too often. I wondered if sunglasses would help? Unable to work more than half an hour in the brightness, I decided to go and get a bath. In fact, I would test the turning tenor of the day and go one further. I would try and give Ani a bath! I had to carry her upstairs… and she is not that small a dog… being setter-sized, retriever weight and wriggling like a worm. Mayhem ensued, but she was bathed… at least from the neck down. I mopped the bathroom walls and the small lake on the floor, cleaned the bath and put the dripping towels in the laundry, watched reproachfully by the small dog. She’d been good. Sort of. A glance through the windows showed a pink sky. Maybe we should have a quick walk… let her run herself dry… And run she did. With me on the other end of the leash, until we reached the fields, trying to get a few photos of the flowers as the light faded.

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The lane is lined with a frothy lace of cow parsley. Chestnuts are in full bloom, wildflowers are everywhere, starring the long grass in pink, blue and yellow. The fields are green and the trees, so recently bare, are lush and full. The western horizon was tinged with flame, soft as a pastel painting, and the moon already high as we set off. Five or ten minutes, I thought, then home for a nice, hot bath… for me. But… the birds were coming in to roost. There were deer in the fields. Rabbits scurried out of sight as we approached. Pheasants complained at our intrusion. Bats skittered across the hedges and a huge, sleek fox paused, one foot raised and poised for flight, as we walked through the buttercups. Then, as we passed the place I had seen the pair of red kites, I looked up, so glad I had the camera in my hand as the light finally died, some two hours after we had gone out. We were being watched! The day may not have gone according to plan… but if it had, would I have seen the eyes of a red kite meet mine again, this time over the edge of the nest in the dusk?

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Silently turning Change is the only constant As the seasons dance

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Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee – Part Thirteen

Originally posted on The Silent Eye:

Alexandra arrived to find her coffee waiting on the table; together with an old silver coin.

“It’s a half-crown,” I said, in response to her puzzled look. “You may never have seen one, before?”

“I have. My grandfather had some; and what am I supposed to do with it?” she asked, in reply.

“Why, you spin it, of course!” I was being irritating, but it was for a purpose, besides, I am not old enough to be her grandfather.

“One coin, two faces – okay, technically a head and a tail? So,” she paused to take a breath. “What am I choosing between?”

“Much better,” I was ready to drop the curmudgeon. “Between a dance around the clock or a hexawaltz!”

“A what!?”

“I just made it up –  a hexawaltz . . .”

She sat down, looked at me as though she could throw something, then decided to sip…

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Ready to roll

My new chair arrived and the writerly posterior is now ensconced in unaccustomed and softly cushioned luxury… and loving it. However, I do have a small complaint. Not about the chair itself…oh no, that’s heaven! But…

Call me old fashioned, or possibly delusional, but when I buy furniture, unless it specifies ‘self-assembly’ or bears the dread words ‘flat packed’, I have visions of it being delivered in one piece. I can go with ‘minimal assembly required’. But at what point did ‘easy to install’ equate, in the English language, to either ‘needs to be built from scratch’ or ‘takes two strong men and a bottle of valium to assemble’?

I have no objection to a little doing-it-myself when the occasion arises. I’m not saying I’m much good at it, but things stay up…mostly…when I put them up. It’s just not always a good idea to look too closely at how… Superglue and duct tape have their uses.

The box arrived looking big enough to contain a small office, complete with canteen and restroom. A good sign. All I would have to do would be dispose of the packaging.

Well, that is going to be a job and a half in itself, given that most of the contents of the space within the cardboard box was packaging. There were even instructions.

Unfortunately, I don’t read Chinese.

I laid the contents out on the floor, checking to see if there were the requisite number of bolts and berating myself for not owning an electric screwdriver. I really need to replace the power tools. So far I have deemed it safer not to do so. I might be tempted to use them.

Ani, wise from past experience, took one look at the proceedings and retreated into the handy cardboard box, nesting in the polystyrene packaging. With the static from her fur, I could see that was going to be fun when she finally ventured out.

Maybe this was going to be easier than I thought. The wheels went in fine… the gas lift assembly? No problem. The seat… deeply padded and inviting… was next. No more than half a dozen bolts. That wouldn’t go. No matter how much I tried.

The hex key supplied had, by this time, been un-hexed and was a nice, shiny round thing. A trip to the shed and a determined rummage and I returned with a number of possible alternatives. None of them the right size, of course… but workable.

I turned the seat base round. That worked. Apparently there had been a sticker with a little arrow saying ’this way’. It was, by this point, attached to the nose peeping out of the box.

The nose, attached to the black, hairy beast, ventured out to offer sympathy and support. It is not easy DIYing with a muzzle in your face intent on illicit cheek-licking, but being on the floor by this time, she took me as being in her domain… and that means getting up close and personal.

The arms came next; curvy, dull silver with thick, soft armrests… and bolt holes just a millimetre out from where they needed to be. I wrestled them into place; the lure of comfort drove me. All it needed for perfection was the thickly upholstered backrest with the lumbar support.

It got…interesting about here and Ani bolted back to her box. You have to get this thing, wedged tightly between the armrests, into the precise position for the holes. It is, of course, spinning on its nice, mobile wheels and virtually impossible to hold. I couldn’t get it the last little bit. I tried sitting on it. Not, you understand, as if it was a chair… more like trying to ride a bucking bronco. I’d be useless in a rodeo. I fell off.

Several abortive attempts later, I dismantled the gas lift, took off the seat, crammed it between me and the door and knelt on the bugger. That did it. I emerged triumphant to fix the screw covers, move the comfortless brown chair and install the new, black upholstery in front of the desk.

They were right… installing it was easy.


Ani, by this time, had de-cushioned the sofa and built a castle round the box. The living room was in chaos and I needed either a stiff drink or a hot bath or both. I got neither… But tonight I am enthroned in comfort in front of the screen.

Now if I could only fix that and stop that rolling…

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The unexpected, awaiting the unwary, and calling unseen

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Bald tailed squirrel

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“Do all squirrels have bushy tails?” Such was the question down the phone some time ago. I explained, that as far as I knew, the answer would be yes. I asked why. It seemed there was a bald tailed squirrel on the bird feeder. Bushy-tailed grey squirrels are regular visitors, of course, Bald-tailed ones were a new one on me.

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“It’s probably a rat.” Given the tree-lined alleyway that backs onto the house, the old industrial sites in the vicinity and all the green spaces between, it was hardly a surprise. We are told that in urban areas we are never more than a few feet from a rat and the current rat population in the UK is somewhat higher than the human. Our urban landscape, with its sewers, forgotten cellars and plentiful food supply, provides a perfect environment for the brown rats who like to live in safe burrows as family groups.

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There are a good many myths about this creature which has, of course, been demonised because of its supposed responsibility for the bubonic plague that decimated Europe in the 14th century, although it is now known the Brown Rat was not the culprit at all. It is true that rats may carry a number of diseases, but so do other less unpopular rodents, like squirrels. They also themselves provide food for predators, spread seed and aerate the soil. So what do you do about wild rats living outside? You wouldn’t want them living in your home, of course, and the damage they can do to property is well known. It has, however, been shown that exterminating part of an outside population only increases the reproductive rate of those that are left, so the population quickly comes back to its original numbers.

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I wonder if we are we really justified in killing wild creatures ‘just in case’? It is from the Brown Rats that our pet rats have been bred, as well as those used in laboratory experiments, and their intellect is apparent to anyone who takes the time to watch or get to know these creatures. Watching this youngster explore the flowers this morning, I for one, could not find it in my heart to be responsible for its death.

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Dear Wen XXX

Originally posted on Stuart France:

5 Pickering (52)Dear Wen…

Oh, there you are… ah, the old ‘Tree-Beard’ with ‘Hobbit’ on shoulder shot from the wall painting at Pickering church if memory serves.

We have still to visit a goodly number of Hammer Stones in that vicinity if you remember? And as it is not too much of a hike…May we pencil that in for July sometime, perhaps?

We could utilise the New Inn as a base…our usual rooms.

The Mister Fox shots will be along in good time for the Xmas edition young Wendolina, I have been a tad engrossed in R2, as Ben would say… (Briefly considers hanging head in shame, then thinks better of it.)

foxy wedding 273I reckon we should probably throw the whole lot of the Scions in… There is more than enough room and it would be a shame to lose any of them… especially as, as you so correctly point out, in many…

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Stowford’s and office chairs

stowford's cider

I’ve still got two Stowford’s just sat in the fridge,
And I know that you’re thinking that that’s sacrilege
But I seldom drink alcohol when I’m alone
And as Ani’s teetotal, I’m all on my own.

I’ll save them, I thought, for a nice sunny day
When the garden gets done, or I’ve been out to play
Taking Ani out into the fields for a run…
I’ll be hot and bothered, and then I’ll have one.

But of course I forget, as I am quite unused
And the habit of such luxury is reduced –
To have Stowford’s at home, well that’s really quite new,
So you’d think I’d be up for imbibing a few.

As a gift, I must say, that their welcome was sure
And the knowledge I do not have weeks to endure
Before getting a pint of that cool, golden liquor…!
I could not have accepted them any quicker!

And yet they still sit there, all frosty and chilled,
Not even because I have been iron willed,
Or, miserly, seek to hang on to my treasure…
I simply forget to indulge in the pleasure!

Tomorrow, however, I’ll be celebrating
The well-padded cushioning for which I’m waiting
Should finally make it as far as my door
And I won’t have to fall off my chair any more.

You may well remember the tale of the chair
That decided to break and throw me through the air,
Where I landed in such an inelegant heap
And with tail off the chair where the bruising went deep…

So to deep leather padding, and proper adjusting…
Wheels that stay on and in which I’ll be trusting,
With thanks and with cider, I’ll raise up my glass
To a chair that stops me falling right on my…….

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