beginnings and endings

The long hot summer is forgotten, the grass is green and straggly again and there is a distinctly autumnal nip in the air.

The horse chestnuts seem to have really suffered from the drought – rather than turning colour with the season, their leaves are all shrivelled and mottled – and I’ve hardly seen any conkers, though there are at least some sweet chestnuts.

There’s also more beech mast than I thought possible, and a fair number of acorns, too, so hopefully the squirrels should have a reasonable chance of surviving the winter.
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things worth celebrating

The August bank holiday weekend is just about at an end.

Despite it having been the longest, hottest summer in who knows how long, yesterday we had torrential rain and today has been as grey and breezy as might have been expected if global warming had never been invented.

Essentially, there are no more national fiestas now until Christmas.
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the words we use

They say that language shapes our view of the world: if we use sexist and bigoted language, it is difficult to avoid becoming sexist bigots and if we don’t have the words for a concept, we find it hard to understand.

Certainly my own experience of learning a second language revealed a different personality: I was free to say things I could never have said in my native English because the words and the grammar permitted it and because I came fresh to the new language with the opinions and ideas of an adult but with no personal attachment or aversion to the words.
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it’s complicated**

“[T]here is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

As Shakespeare clearly understood when he had Hamlet say the above line, everything in life is affected by our personal perspective.

And our perspective depends very much on where we were born and brought up, and on the social and family values we were exposed to as children. Even beauty is a learned concept.
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attitudes

Sometimes, all you seem to be able to focus on are the thistles:

cardo : thistle Continue reading “attitudes”

april

SunsetI rather think April, with its traditional alternating showers and sunshine, should be the Brits’ favourite month, as it gives us plenty of weather to talk about. This year, it’s done even better than usual, with snow, hail and torrential rain highlighting some mild summery days, beautiful crisp mornings and glorious sunsets.
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bright beginnings

I usually only post to the blog at the weekend, and I’ve already posted this Saturday and Sunday’s updates. But I don’t think the picture of a mouldering red chili pepper that accompanies the last post is quite what I want to stay as the top image for the first week of the New Year.

So, in an attempt to brighten things up, here is a photo of a rather fresher red pepper that seemed to reveal an appropriately seasonal enthusiasm for life, growth and general personal development when I cut it open:

red bell pepper cut through centre