The Benji Cake

A once-off (non-edible) addition to Emily’s Cakes baking portfolio.

The Benji Cake


To extract cake from mixing bowl  you will need:

1. A brief tickle behind the ears. If Benji cake is reluctant to budge …..

2. Use a fork and tap briskly against side of tin of cat food.

Once extracted from bowl, for best results, place on warm lap and stroke until cat’s internal motor is engaged.

From the Ark manual of Recipes That Really Work. 


Caterpillars with wings: An eye witness account of Battling Glider butterflies after hatching

A marvelous butterfly post, from Carol who lives and works in Kwazulu, Natal, South Africa.
Definitely worth a visit.

letting nature back in

Very busy caterpillars that were doing more walking than eating in a nearly bare tree at the bottom of the garden first attracted my attention. My guess was that the caterpillars were getting ready to pupate, and so over the next few days I kept a look out hoping to find some pupae.  It turned out that many of the caterpillars had been successful: I found dozens of butterfly pupae attached to leaves in nearby plants, and a few days after that, perching in the surrounding vegetation there were several butterflies with wings outstretched in the morning sunshine, these butterflies evidently from the first caterpillars to pupate.  Inspecting the pupae, I found that several had hatched and some had newly emerged butterflies clinging onto the now empty shells. But as many of the pupae were still intact I couldn’t help thinking: If I keep careful watch I might actually witness…

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On the Road …


I go through phases of listening to this type of music, and this album is rather special, not least as I can never listen to it without it reminding me of my late brother, Kevin.

The summer of ’78 he was on the cusp of joining the army and he and I were going on a road trip that would include August bank holiday weekend at the Reading Rock Festival.

He’s just got his first car and he needed some driving music. He didn’t have any cassettes with him and wasn’t having any of my ”Bloody Jimi Hendrix.”

On the way through town we parked the car by a local record store and he popped inside, emerging a few minutes later with this album on cassette.

He showed me as he climbed back in the car. I was vaguely aware of Tom Robinson but that was as far as it went.

”I wanted Elvis Costello, but they were out.”

So Tom Robinson it was.


And the rest of this brilliant album.



Gospel Authorship.

Gary – don’t believe myths or internet memes….*Most bible scholars do not doubt the eyewitness authorship of the Gospels…so no problem !

Pastor David Robertson
*My emphasis
Although there are ample sources that claim the bible authors are anonymous, are there any reliable stats that offer enough evidence to support Robertson’s claim?
Naturally, he has not offered any evidence.
A thought in closing: The Catholic standpoint is the gospels are not eyewitness authorship and they are the largest Christian denomination. This would suggest that every Catholic scholar considers/accepts anonymous  authorship.

Ready, Steady … Grow! Veggies and stuff

I am usually an ad hoc type of gardener – dirt-seed, seed-dirt … hope.

Well, since  I decided to try to grow enough potatoes for the entire year – we aren’t sure which year that will be – I have become much, much more ad hocness. Meaning, things are still sort of erratic but just a lot more of it!

I am trying several different methods – directly in the ground , in pots and the no dig method of laying seed potatoes on the ground and cover them with used  hay/grass from the hen house.

As we are now in March it is probably a bit late to try to plant any more until spring arrives down here. However, based on what’s already popping up, we may still get a late winter crop.

Sweet Potatoes – These won’t be ready for six months or so, apparently. I grew the slips from some old Sweet Potatoes we found in an unopened bag on the veggie rack in the pantry.

Potatoes in Pot

In the ground -coming along just fine.

Some of us think this is a Melon. I don’t remember  ever eating a melon, let alone planting any seeds, but the wife is convinced, and one should not argue the point!

Cabbage. I had to plant these under cover as the hens devastated my last attempt. I should have some leaves for a decent soup in a month or two. Just in time for winter!

Pumpkin – definitely!

Pot potatoes  – just peeking out.

Peppers. Not sure what variety these are , but I picked one from this vine that was orange and sweet.

Drying Seeds: Jalapeno and Habanero

Some sort of squash. We are mystified. Anyone got an ID?

Bitter Orange. Grown from seed from one of our oranges.


That’ll do for now. I can’t show you my tomatoes yet; they’re not ripe.  (One word, Prof, just one word,  and you’re band … or banned even.)



Bits and Bobs and Odds and ends

Eristalis Tenax (hoverfly)

Crinum Lily – flowered last week.

Rose and Alysumm

When you’re hot you’re hot!

Nicotiana alarta against a backdrop of Agapanthus

First potato shoot to show from slips planted ten days ago.

Growing Sweet Potato Slips in water.

And the rain came down and I was stuck in the shed!

Later … somewhere over the rainbow rainbow.



”Boom,boom, out go the lights.”

We are less than a day away from ushering in 2019, so I thought I’d post my three personal favorite photographs for the year.

They aren’t great by any stretch of the imagination, but I reckon they are a bit special simply because each one is unlikely to be repeated – certainly not by me at any rate. It was definitely a case of being in the right place at the right moment.

I want to thank everyone who has visited and contributed in whatever fashion they saw fit.

It’s been enlightening, educational, and lots of fun.  Let’s hope the new year continues in the same vein.

A thought or two for absent friends.

And please be mindful of our animal friends if  fireworks are involved in any New Year celebrations later on, okay?


Wishing you health, peace, laughter and the absolute very best of everything else, and may your gods go with you.








Bless his cotton socks —

Now and then, when I am reading a post, I will read several linked posts and this morning  I came across these two comments on Mak’s blog which made me smile.
makagutu says:

There is this blog[can’t recall] where ark was banned where we had this discussion and the author was arguing for minimal facts the same used by I think WLC. My interest is they reconcile the Jesus they are arguing for and that believed by most believers and how they know.


  • archaeopteryx1 says:

    There is this blog [can’t recall] where ark was banned

    Do you have any idea how long it would take, to sort through THAT list?!! There are stars in the sky, grains of sand on the beach, that are outnumbered only by the blogsites from which the Arkster has been banned! And not a moment too soon! And once, he even took me WITH him! Don’t get me started —


Who said dead men tell no tales? Ha!