August 19, 2017

Kamut Bread for breakfast – nutritious and good to eat…

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:14 am by aleksan

Enjoying for breakfast some Kamut bread made from Khorasan wheat from Iran. It is quite dense, has a nutty flavour and pleasant with cheese or Apricot jam. The loaf I am eating comes from a local organic source. Khorasan Wheat is high in protein, and used for Camel food in the Khorasan Province of Iran. It is an ancient grain, and an interesting change. Thin slices go a long way, and it seems to keep well. I so like the sound of that word – here it is again – Khorasan!

August 16, 2017

Polarisation in Society and the Authoritarian position – is the media helping or hindering?

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:30 pm by aleksan

I have noticed an increasing polarisation in our Society over here, mirroring what is going on in the USA. There is a view that using the "Left, Right" labels is not helpful, but I can see something similar going on here, but more complex. Human Beings, like Chimpanzees, are inherently territorial and inclined to stick to tribal groups, where they feel safe with PLUs. (People like us)

But the world is now more diverse and we are all mixed up in terms of backgrounds, colour, privilege, wealth and political ideology. So the tribes are now more and more Facebook and Internet tribes, where we can huddle together and jointly despise and attack people not like ourselves.

We increasingly live in our own self selected worlds, becoming more separate from each other in these parallel universes. Apparently a sociologist has identified four political types: Authoritarian (? Conservative) – Egalitarian (? Liberal) – Individualist (? Business) – Fatalist (? Passive, powerless)

Of course we are all a mixture in reality, but sometimes in some situations, these types become more prevalent in a Society. When we feel we have power and influence perhaps we can afford to be liberal and magnanimous. When fear and injustice drive then the authoritarian type may prevail.

I think that we are in a fear and injustice driven Society now, and that there is a general tendency for people to entrench into safe positions and condemn or attack others – an authoritarian, divisive stance.

Is there a solution or must there be conflict, even war? How can people feel safe, well enough off, and able to accept other views? We need a just Society for this to happen – where people don't fear or hate others but rejoice in diversity and varying cultures and lifestyles. I am not yet sure whether the media or Facebook is on the side of the Angels or the Demons….as well as informing they promote more and more conflict and provocation in our lives. I resort to poetry as an antidote.

The Divine Image
BY WILLIAM BLAKE

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
All pray in their distress;
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is God, our father dear,
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is Man, his child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew;
Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too.

August 15, 2017

Halted by Honeysuckle – the Magic of the Hampshire Countryside

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:41 am by aleksan

There is something magical about a hot August morning in the Hampshire countryside. Stillness in the air, wet grass, gentle chirruping of birds, distant honking of geese, and swans sunbathing on the edge of a silver river. The cattle are nowhere to be seen, hiding in the darkness under the withy trees. As I return through the glories of our garden I am halted by the overpowering scent of honeysuckle and bow to inhale more.

August 12, 2017

Peace to Captain Cornelius Fly and to all Beings!

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:53 pm by aleksan

Sitting in the garden, all peace, butterflies and sleepy Sam. Finished my large mug of tea, but this time I had a teaspoonful of sugar in it – to sweeten the old bugger up. Along comes my long lost many times removed DNA cousin Captain Cornelius Fly and I watch him running round the mug's rim, then the other way round – and now what's he up to? Whizzing round the inside of the mug in spirals like a motorbike Wheel of Death rider! He is not wearing a helmet and it's sticky feet rather than momentum keeping him going….Like me has found a bit of sugar, and it's sweetening up the old bug. Peace to Captain Fly and to all Beings!

Climate change denial on the BBC

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:52 pm by aleksan

The BBC should air all views, even minority and unscientific ones. This way there can be a healthy evidenced based debate clarifying what are often complex issues. I subscribe to the ethic "Give someone enough rope and they will hang themselves". By the response to this interview so far it looks as though the noose is around Lawson's neck

Being offended – a manipulative type of bullying?

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:07 pm by aleksan

"Im offended!" Ok you are offended, deal with it. You won't stop me from sayng what I think. Being offended is often a manipulative form of bullying. Freedom of speech is very precious as long as it is honest and intended to be helpful. If not then your offense is truly justified, but don't use these words to put people down or stop the expression of views that you don't agree with….

August 10, 2017

A solution: “No man is an Island”

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:12 am by aleksan

I think no man is an Island (John Donne) and that having a meaningful role in a community where we are all inter dependant will go along way to enabling people to gain a sense of self respect and fulfilment. We all need to have a say in what we do with our lives but to believe we are part of something greater than ourselves, which will continue when we are gone.

The self destructive urge that prevents success

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:17 am by aleksan

I find myself contemplating the self destructive side we all have – Freud called it Thanatos. So many able people fear success and they undermine themselves and make sure it does not happen. Time and time again I have found that those with difficult childhood experience, attachment disorders, in adult life appear confident but underneath they are anxious and maybe depressed too. Instead of showing anger they turn their feelings on themselves and end up destroying the things they do best or even themselves. This can take the form of alcohol or drug abuse, relationship conflict or at its most extreme suicide. We all have these urges within us to some extent, but mostly suppress them and the gains of our lives outweigh the losses and we grow in confidence. But many are scared of the gains, fearing they will be lost again – so actually pre-empt these loses, and when they appear to be succeeding, they mess up. It takes many years for such people to feel good about themselves and let them selves succeed not just in the eyes of others, but in their own eyes. It means taking risks and not running away from issues at the crucial moment. It can be done but often it is not done and some people live lives of quiet desperation, never quite believing in themselves, and never fulfilling the amazing goals they are actually capable of.

August 6, 2017

Milking Machine Eggs – Hazeldown Farm, Longstock, in the 1950s

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:57 pm by aleksan

Walter and his dad, old Mr Ash, sat on their 3 legged milking stools and pulled rhythmically on the teats of Daisy, Buttercup, Marigold and of a few more lovely ochre and white coloured Ayrshire cows in the new dairy. Warm white milk splashed into the pail, and I was occasionally offered a drink of the frothy and warm white stuff. But one day I was told I was going to see a Milking Machine with my dad. I was very excited and mum gave us some hard boiled eggs to take with us, donated by the hens in the yard looked after by Brommer, who also did the plucking when we had a rare treat for Sunday lunch – roast chicken.

This was the 1950s when the men on the farm wore sacks round their legs tied up with twine, and when it was raining, wore sacks on their heads as well. Otherwise they wore old suits and waistcoats, and the odd Army beret left over from the war, recently ended. Dad used to repair barns, trailers, fences and bits of machinery in the Shop. I was his Boy at the Forge and worked the bellows for him when he was blacksmithing, watching the different colours of the iron at different temperatures and enjoying the musical clang of hammer on anvil.

We got the milking machine, and Brommer ran a local milk round in Stockbridge. At Christmas my dad made clotted cream in little tubs with holly on them as gifts for the clients. He also made butter using wooden paddles to give the butter shape and pattern. Whenever we had boiled eggs in those days my mum and me called them Milking Machine eggs – always a favourite food for trips out and farm sales.

August 5, 2017

It is OK to be gay, but you’re no more or less important than anyone else….

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:55 pm by aleksan

Of course it is OK to be gay etc if you want and that's fine. I know I am going to annoy a few of you by saying this but this whole gay thing is getting a bit over the top! Gay Pride is all very well but making ALL your volunteers wear a Gay Pride rainbow badge is crazy. I am glad the National Trust has relented on this. Yes, it is fine to be gay but gay people are not any better or important than anyone else. There are different types of people and Vive la Difference! But let's get some balance here and not make the country look ridiculous.

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