Leading you up the garden path.

garden gate

Let’s go for a wander shall we?

Some things are easier to photograph than others. Goes without saying I suppose. Insects require a fair amount of  patience and luck. More of the latter in my case. Except for bees which I’m pretty au fait with their habits during summer.

Wasps on the other hand…

Some species’  build their nest under the eaves of the house and the female, once she has laid the eggs, will hang upside down and fan the nest/eggs with her wings. If you are brave enough to get a ladder and climb up and see … I’m not!

However, the desire to photograph one in my ongoing ‘quest’ to photo-catalogue as much fauna as possible that visits our spot has  made me a little braver( or foolish) than I might otherwise be.

When I saw this wasp buzzing around the garden I followed it for about five minutes. Yes, I sometimes have too much time on my hands. Anyway these wasps hardly ever seem to alight on flowers or wot not – though I have seen them come to ground by the pond when there is a puddle of water from the hose.

So, the intrepid Ark – the demented very amateur entomologist tracked his quarry to a patch of geraniums where said wasp buzzed into the undergrowth for a breather and a bit of grooming.

Carefully I squatted on the lawn, gingerly moved aside a leaf that was blocking  the view and got off one shot.

Phew! Objective accomplished and didn’t get attacked.

Click on the pic for larger view.

wasp 1

And here’s whatsisface …

Sting and co. apt under the circumstances.

(sh)It Happens…

Yay … the carport is half done. On the other hand I am completely done in. No I will not be showing photographs.

Two corrugated panels fell down – on me. Much to my kids’ amusement. Fortunately they weren’t around to see.

Emily takes a perverse delight when I announce I am going to be ”doing things” around the place.

Her only regret is that she hasn’t managed to take photos when I am falling off something or something is falling on me.

The litany of  ”Dad” moments is legendary at the Ark’s spot, from dropping screwdrivers into the deep end of the pool and nearly drowning trying to retrieve them,  having a spring loaded car jack go off on my thumb, to tripping over, knocking myself out and having large cacti fall on top of me. I don’t know what it is, but something weird, almost cosmic happens as soon as I get changed into my handyman togs ( I use that term in the very loosest sense possible).

I am not accident prone in the strict sense, but in the proximity of tools and stuff things just have a life of their own.

(Sh) It  happens.

Anyhow, I managed to get some of it done and broke two drill bits in the process.  I also have a sore head and the middle finger on my left hand looks like a bloody sausage …. It is ”on ice” and I am typing with my index finger only on my left hand.

Sigh … par for the course.

Work will probably get in the way for a day or two, not to mention I can hardly flex my finger, so I am spared a repeat performance tomorrow.

I think I shall go and watch a movie. Or a few episodes of Home Improvements .  ”Tool Time Tim.”

Here’s the coolest rock musician that ever walked the planet.

T’ra …

Put on your ear goggles and turn it up!

Here’s Lenny …

No proper blog post today. I’m knackered and I have to spend the better part of tomorrow repairing the carport. Half of it collapsed after a rather large bough from the tree at the front of the Ark’s spot got hit by lightening during a humongous storm and demolished half our carport.

I have been waiting all these months for the right size nails to arrive at the hardware store. Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Going to bed.

Here’s Lenny, Live.

Damsel fly having lunch …

DAMSEL FLY 10

If you click on the photo you can just  see what  our friend is munching on!

And how’s this for camouflage?

Imagem 298

Tiny spider, no bigger than my pinky fingernail was scurrying across the garden wall. I noticed movement and it froze when I bent closer . I initially thought it was a bug or some sort of fly at first.

Isn’t  nature so truly amazing? Thank … nature?

And something to close …

The  brilliance of The Cult . ( don’t say my tastes aren’t eclectic!)

She Sells Sanctuary

T’ra

Nite , Nite. It’s been a hard days’ night …

I have been asked on several occasions whether the characters in my writing are based on real people. I can honestly say no.Although the cat on the cover is a photograph of one of our cats. That is about as real as the ‘characters’ get. But the places … ah, to that I can say yes!

In Almost Dead in Suburbia, the cul-de-sac, Cherry Blossom Close, where the main characters live is based on Lime Road,in Ramsay; a small town in the South of England where I lived for a couple of years. We had a brand new corner house. 1 lime Road. ( Cost: 2,600 pounds sterling. It’s the house on the left of the screen)

Some of the immediate area has changed – as you’d expect, but Lime Road is essentially the same, as is ”our” house

In fact, my very first memory of that house was visiting once it was almost finished and one of the builders blowing cement off a trowel and it got into my eyes. I was eight.

We stayed there for two years before my dad was posted to an air base ( St. Athan) in South Wales. We returned two years later and stayed for six months before selling to the daughter of a neighbour and moving to Chester, where dad accepted a posting to another airbase. This was to be his last posting before he retired from the RAF .

I was pleasantly surprised ( though I shouldn’t be I suppose) to find it in Google Street View and this is the first time I have been back since I was ten years old! I never thought to look, not even when I was writing Almost Dead.

One of the first memories I have of playing records was listening to Hard Day’s Night ( It was one of only two pop albums I recall in my folk’s collection) my favorite track from that album was … and still is,  this one …

Things we said today

T’ra

Cake over the fence and a walk up the garden

A  year or so ago Emily’s Cakes was commissioned to design and bake a wedding cake that included fresh roses.

Anyhow, instead of throwing the rose stems away, Emily had a go at growing them. As with growing  pretty much anything from a cutting there is a certain amount of pot luck involved and as bad luck would have it most of the stems did not take. Most but not all …

One survived and we planted it in the front of the house. After a while it began to look very sorry for itself so we dug a new bed in the back garden and transplanted it … very carefully!

This year it flowered!Imagem 130Imagem 129Imagem 253

Oh, and this was the cake …

weding cake

Story Post. Excerpt from The Nine Amendments.

Chapter 14

‘Sir?’

‘Hrrumnf . . . spl’t grnarff.’

Horus tried again, shaking the king’s shoulder a little more vigorously.

One bleary, bloodshot eye opened. ‘Seems I’m still not dead, Horus.’

‘It would appear not, Your Majesty. We have plenty time for being dead, sir. For now, let us be up and about. The Chief Minister and Mister Knewtun are due at the palace within two hours. And later on you have an appointment with the new Ambassador of Judysear and the outgoing Consul General.’

The king hauled himself out of the bed and stretched.

‘What time is it?’

‘Six o’clock, sir.’

Toot at the Moon reached for the cup Horus held. ‘Mmm, tea!’

‘Yes, sir. As Your Majesty instructed.’ There was a note of disapproval. Horus was suspicious of anything that even hinted of herbal. Whiskey was the thing for a king. He now suspected tea was responsible for the king’s continued bachelor status and his apparent reluctance to do the Royal Business.

Why couldn’t His Majesty have a stiff one in the morning like every previous male ruler of Sunniclimes?

‘Would you like me to send a handmaiden, sir?’

‘No thank you, Horus. I could do with washing everything. I’ll have a bath.’

‘Ah. Another example of the Royal Wit, sir,’ Horus replied.

‘With a capital T, Horus?’

‘Oh, no, sir!’ Horus sounded affronted that the king could suggest he would be so rude. ‘Not a capital T, sir, no.’

Toot at the Moon laughed as he wandered off to bathe.

‘Have clean clothes laid out will you?’

‘Already taken care of, Your Majesty.’

‘Capital, Horus.’

*

   The bathroom door banged open as Princess Nefer burst into the room.

‘Excuse me!’ her brother cried stepping out of the bath.

‘Is he here yet?’ she asked, excited as a child on Yearend morning.

   Yearend is celebrated across the known world. However, it varies depending on religious beliefs. In Sunniclimes, they call it the Festival of Dog. Gifts include miniature replicas of the Great Cube of Geyser. There is a tradition that these cubes are supposed to be hollow and filled with sweets. So far, no one has been able to open one to find out whether this is true

‘This is my bathroom and I was taking a bath,’ Toot at the Moon tried again, pointing out the obvious. ‘Do I ever barge unannounced into your bathroom?’

‘What?’ Nefer seemed confused by the question. ‘Oh!  For goodness’ sake, stop being stupid. It’s only me. Besides it’s not as if there’s anything I haven’t seen before, is there?’

‘Well thank you very much,’ he said indignantly, while trying to hold on to as much dignity as possible.

‘Tch. You know what I mean,’ she scolded, handing him a towel. ‘Why did you bath in cold water?’ she asked, as the steam poured off him.

‘I didn’t. Why . . . ?’

Nefer grinned.

‘Very funny,’ he said wrapping the towel around his waist.

‘Well, is he?’

‘Is he what?’

‘Here. Is Isack here?’

‘Oh, it’s Isack already, is it? Haven’t clapped eyes on him yet but already we’re on first name terms, it seems.’

‘Can’t I be excited? We are family, after all.’

‘Family? Well there is a bloodline, although by now the blood must be so thin as to be transparent.’

‘Good!’

There was a note of triumph in the way she said the word.

Copyright 2013© Douglas Pearce

Is god the answer?

I didn’t want to say too much, but I believe I had a bit of an epiphany and  have been trying to work through this before revealing my thoughts. And as it is the weekend and especially Sunday it seems appropriate.

The other day, cup of tea in hand, I wandered out on to our patio and  was greeted by such a glorious sight I immediately had a huge smile etched on my face; one I could not seem to remove the entire morning. Every time I thought of this I smiled again. And I knew, just knew that god was involved.

Don’t ask me how I knew. It was a feeling,that’s all. But I was certain and you all know me; I wouldn’t make such a sweeping statement.

But let me tell you the whole story …

Several years ago my crew went out on a valuation and came back with a cacti, given to them by the owner.

“Here you go, Ark. Plant this and see what happens.’

Dutifully I obliged and once planted we waited. And waited. And … waited. And …nothing.

For years, nothing. This piece of cacti grew, but that was all it did. Slowly. Very slowly.

It was in an shallow planter box, one such as you might call a window box. It was up against a west wall outside the back door and I often forgot to water it and it just ‘sat there’. Year after year.

Now, last year I began my Take-cuttings-and-seeds-of-every-perishing-thing kick and  soon ran out of pots.

So the sad looking,boring,slow-growing cacti came under serious scrutiny and after discussion with the Boss it was decided to turf the cacti and grow something else.

Trowel in hand I approached and after removing one small heap of dirt a cry of ‘Wait!’ from behind my shoulder stopped me in my tracks.

‘What’s that?’ the wife asks.

On closer inspection we noticed a small Grenadilla shoot at the base of the cacti. How it got there is a mystery. Seed dropped  by a bird, perhaps? As grenadilla are used in the cakes we decided to grant the cacti a stay of execution, not wanting to risk disturbing the roots of the grenadilla. But we needed somewhere for the plant to grow up.

Aha! I moved it to the top step of the front patio, on the east side of the house, fixed some thin wire and pretty soon the grenadilla began to wind its way up and eventually flowered and produced its first few fruits.

Meanwhile the cacti … nothing. But by now we had lost all interest in it anyway.

And then, as I walked out onto the patio, stepped down to walk towards the pond, one of the dogs barked at a pigeon and I turned … and saw this.

red yesterday Imagem 026

Imagem 022

And this is why I now truly believe in g.o.d – good old-fashioned digging. Because if it wasn’t for me wanting to dig the cacti out one Sunday morning all those years back it may never have been moved and may never have flowered.

Is there any other band more appropriate than Simply Red?

I don’t think so either. Here you go.

Christianity: The Epitome of Stupidity.

The essence of Christianity is:

A) to acknowledge that Jesus is the Saviour and then to accept Christ/God into one’s life.

and:

B) to do this one must ask or invite God (in).

I have never tried this; for obvious reasons, but I am assured by every Christian I have encountered that this is ( more or less) the way it is done.

Which, on the face of it, all seems pretty straightforward and there are a great many stories of reborns; plenty right here in blogland, and when one has reached the stage, for whatever reason, whereby an appeal to Jesus/God seems to be the only avenue left to take,  then that appeal is no doubt as sincere as the appealer can make it.

So, for argument’s sake, one is down on one’s knees, praying to the Christian god for timely intervention and if one is honest with this prayer, this god, via the ”Holy Spirit”, should enter your life ( body?) and the transformation will take place.

I heard one say it was like an electrical charge going down his spine, and suddenly he knew!

At this stage, there is no religion involved, you will note, and I have not brought this into the picture.

Epiphanies of this nature are all about a ”Personal Relationship” with God.

So far so good.

But now we get to the crux.

If this epiphany, this being reborn (as we are (often/reliably)  told is crucial to salvation) one would expect that those who have gone this route would all be espousing the same message from god.

But this is not the case. No sir, not by a long shot.

The diversity of this message, this road to salvation, is staggering. That there are around 40,000 different christian denominations all preaching a slightly different doctrine should be serious cause for concern. And especially as most/all protestant denominations consider the largest Christian sect, the Catholics are not proper Christians. ( the feeling is mutual, no doubt)

Oh, yes, they all say they believe in their god; they all say that their god has filled them with the ”Holy Spirit”  but how do they know which is the right message? The message from this god they all claim is the only road to salvation.

Is the world only 6000 years old or billions?

Why would God leave his worshipers in any doubt whatsoever?

William Lane Craig or Archbishop Desmond Tutu?

And to illustrate just how reliable this message is, the likes of Craig are obliged to sign a contract at their place of employment stating they agree that the original text of the bible is inerrant.

How can they ever remain impartial?

So why do so many of these ”esteemed” gentlemen( sic) tell a completely different story regarding the message contained in the bible?

And what sort of  deity is it that requires unconditional ”surrender” to his will for salvation would pass on a different message – however slight that difference – to every one that invited ‘Him’ in?

The answer is glaringly simple: because what every single christian in the world espouses is erroneous nonsense , or lies if you prefer,  and acceptance of this ‘deity’ is nothing but a psychotic episode; the epitome of stupidity.

The Ark.