Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I have just finished reading "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking; a book I began months ago, put down as the complicated language floated before my uncomprehending eyes.  But this book was on loan from my son, and I deemed it time to return it. 

Of course there were zillions of facts, or theories [at what stage does a theory become a fact?] espoused on those pages; scientific words dotted the pages like a tagger's tags on a blank wall; questions asked and not answered did little to enlighten my mind. 

My son has read this book at least half a dozen times, and he being of a more scientific and mathematical leaning than I, confessed that one must read it over and over for the information to sink in.  Maybe I will re-read it again some time in the future, but then again, maybe not.  Because the main question this book raised in my mind was WHY? 

Why do we suppose that by KNOWING how the Universe began our lives will be altered, for better or worse?

Why does it matter what lies beyond the moon?  Or indeed, does it really matter what lies on the moon?

I know mankind has an insatiable hunger for knowledge, but sometimes I wonder how this knowledge affects the 'ordinary man and woman' of planet Earth.  I wonder why some folk spend a lifetime sitting at a computer [today] or scribbling figures on endless sheets of paper [in the past] to work out an equation that so often in another ten years proves to be nothing more than a walk down the garden path of 'I grew the wrong plant!  Cacti do not like cold wet climates ... I should have grown weeds.'

As I read all those words that I had absolutely no idea of their meaning it crossed my mind that if as much time and effort, and dare I say it money, were spent on working on the many problems facing the Earth today ... WHY some folks are discrimated against, WHY so many go hungry,WHY a few own 90% of the Earth's assets, or rather use those assets to their own selfish advantage, then perhaps this planet on which we live at this moment, might be more joyous, and our relationships with each other a glue that keeps us bound together in making the Earth a better place to live NOW.

Of course we should continue to ask questions ... why, why, why!  Why of course, to further our knowledge.  However I contend some knowledge is of more universal use than some other.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A sewing project completed

The quilt and matching cushions I began not that long ago are now finished. 

For further details click onto this 
where more will be revealed.

Monday, July 4, 2011


"Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us."  ~ Oscar Wilde

I have been told that as we mature we tend to spend more time in the past!  Not sure if that is 100% accurate, but then again ...

At lunch as we were munching on a malt biscuit with our coffee I suddenly recalled the days of my childhood when we were dished up a spoonful of malt extract [Maltexo I think was the trade name] to help us through the winter.  Malt was not too bad, if a trifle sticky if the spoon was slightly off course and malt met the face. 

My brother also had cod-liver oil pills ... not me!  I had one once, crunched on it and Yuk!  Not nice at all, and a good enough reason to refuse it ever after.

Then there were warm clothes in winter.  I recall an undergarment, worn over a singlet, called a bodice.  It was white, sleeveless, fleecy if I recall correctly, and had funny buttons down the front.  The texture of the buttons was sort of soft and pliable, but as this was last century I have no idea of their make-up. 

Some of our classrooms were older than the new block which had heaters around the walls.  The old block had pot belly stoves that belched smoke and ash especially just after they were 'fed' with coal.  All children had to drink a small bottle of milk that in winter, was placed near the pot belly stove ... to take the chill of it!  Another Yuk!  [Though I will admit that expressive word didn't occur in our vocabulary way back then!]  Thankfully we lived on a farmlet and had our own cows.  With a great sense of relief I persuaded my Mum to write a note excusing me from school milk.  The only good thing about school milk were the cardboard tops to the bottles, which made excellent bases for pom poms.  No doubt 'town milk bottles' had the same cardboard.

Now we have centrally heated schools, children seldom wear more than three layers of clothing, and as for malt ... I have a feeling they only know it through malt biscuits.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


“Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true”

A science teacher told the tale of a race horse named Roygbiv that was named after the colours of the rainbow, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, recommending the name of the racehorse would help us in exams.  I am not sure that we were ever required to name the colours of the rainbow but questions about refraction of light and other associated questions were asked.

This morning, while outdoors scratching the remains of the porridge pot as a bird breakfast with a darkening sky I glanced upwards to see a glorious rainbow.  A photo opportunity!  Then rainbow enveloped the western sky, like a protective duvet on a cold damp morning. 

Rainbows are a marvel that never fail to attract my attention, and the science lesson about refraction of light etc did nothing to diminish the beauty of 'roygbiv', one of a natural wonder of the world.  Dream a dream whilst looking upwards dreams can be as fleeting as the rainbow, but like a rainbow their return may prompt us into action.

As for the race horse story ... I am left wondering if the horse was rainbow coloured, or the jockey's attire rainbow coloured, or perhaps more prosaically nothing more than a gimmick name.