Saturday, September 19, 2015


People come from all over the world to live in New York. These ones are Columbians.

I'd not heard of Columbia University, and I wondered why they'd named a university after a space shuttle, but apparently this is all wrong and I should have known better. In fact it is so old and wealthy that the space shuttle was probably named after it!



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

NY pics #2

Walking is a bit frustrating in NY. On the streets there's a crossing every few feet. It is quite right than no pedestrians obey the signals as, if they did, making progress would be impossible. In some places there is the option of a park to walk through, but the routes are quite twisty so I'm not sure much time is saved. Then there's the roads alongside the park which should be fast, as there are fewer junctions, and fewer twists, but the one I tried around central park was a bit rubbish due to the roots of the trees making the surface very uneven. With all these hazards, I was almost late for the start of the workshop!

Anyway, here's some park.



NY pics

Here to learn about rain in the past present and future, but the workshop didn't start until noon yesterday, so there was time for a bit of walking about and photographing. Photos with real camera but blogging from iPad so not sure how well these will work (anyone know a good photoblogging app?!).



Sunday, August 9, 2015


Almost a year since we completed on our house in Settle. The garden is a bit over-occupied. Being not that large and yet with 5 woodland trees it has an almost continuous canopy to offset its unremittingly sunny aspect. It is similarly full of flowers. They are mostly new to me so I have been mostly just watching them this year. I think the previous people planted a lot of stuff, and there could also a villageurbia effect of things escaping from nearby gardens.


Thursday, July 16, 2015


A sheeps
Lake District Lamb.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Lovely James

awww, i'n't 'ee sweeet?


In photos on the internets, James makes most things look smaller than they are, because he is larger than you think, but maybe the little hill behind James was once a big mountain, before the glaciers scraped most of it away. It is fun to ride by bicycle as the track starts at a gentle slope and gets gradually steeper and steeper almost all the way up. 


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Englefield v Myohoji

Englefield seems to date from the mid 1500s, and Myohoji goes back to the 1200s. How much of which buildings may be "original" is another question, of course...

Anyway... in 2010, I blogged the Deva gate and famous moss steps at Myohoji

Both places have a large number of trees, but at Englefield I found no red gate with protective angry monsters - there was just a little metal gate with an "honesty box", into which you are expected to put 6 quid. In November I expect you'd feel more moved to put in about tuppence, and with no red monsters to chase you down, why not? However, to make up for this lack of impressive gate-ness, the main building is very grand and the landscaped garden very large. 

Oh look - a Japanese maple!

But the thing that really caused me to think of Myohoji was, of course, the daisy staircase.
daisy steps

Myohoji's moss steps repeated for those who can't click links back as far as 2010
Myohoji moss stairs

Clearly Englefield need to grow more steps to make it proper zen, but there is potential, for example with  the correct ferniness at bottom right hand side.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015


I've been missing Starbucks Parking on Sundays. In fact I've been missing all the colourful, shiny, expensive and overpowered cars of Kamakura and Yokohama. Here it is mostly Land Rovers with dogs in the back, Quad Bikes with dogs on the steering wheel, and Caravans full of dogs and holiday makers. But then last Sunday there appeared, just down the road at Falcon Manor... 

woo hoo!


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Our garden

Almost everything in our garden is doing flowering at the moment. It is the British way, to bloom in May and June and hibernate the rest of the year.



Monday, May 11, 2015

The prodigal cat

Oh noes. He's back!

Apparently, Riley the cat has too much character, and his new owners gave him back after less than a week. So, on return from Vienna we had to go and pick him up again. However, Riley is so much trouble, that I begged for another cat to distract him. The rescue woman suggested Blackie, a probably older and definitely much calmer creature of similarly large stature. It's worked pretty well so far, although Blackie, a scraggy stray when he arrived with us, seems to be getting rather sleek and fat. He does have a very different temperament to Riley. He does nothing much all day apart from doing purring while being stroked. He also has been trying to teach Riley to be more of a gentleman. While that may not be working our that well, he does at least occupy some of Riley's time, and the two now seem to be quite good friends. So now both cats are advertised together on the rescue website. Hope they find a home soon!


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