now what?

I have decided to consolidate all my posts and pages on one site.  John and I now have our own web space and will be using it for our web pages from now on.

Please visit my blog here.

2015-06-07 16.51.48Wow – what a trip!  We had a blast.  A week of narrow boating with few locks and lots of lovely scenery, followed by a few days in Liverpool enjoying the River Festival, eating far eastern food, meeting friends and seeing the sights.

Immense thanks are due to Gay and Tony for their skillful tourguiding, their choice of restaurants  and their generosity of time and patience.

I have a slide show on Google+ which you might like to see

A creative mess ….

We’ve all heard the saying: “A creative mess is better than tidy idleness” and I’m sure it’s true in my case.  Today I had to tidy my room.  I’ve been playing at this for a while, but my computer started to make a horrendous noise and, after I quickly made as many backups as I could, I took it apart and cleaned it.  That lead to a large-scale dusting and vacuuming project on all the parts of my office I can’t usually reach!

2015-03-23 15.56.56So that’s the computer fixed and I sorted out a couple of laptops along the way while I was at it, tidying up the accessories, plugging things in or storing them away.  I finally have speakers on my computer.

But now I’m sitting in front of my computer  listening to Liszt, staring at a clear and empty desk and wondering what to do next!  In my case, out of sight is definitely out of mind.  I’ve moved all the junk off my desk and now I can’t remember what the next project was to be.

2015-03-23 15.57.15So – I’ll invent one:  Let’s carry on and tidy up the art side of the room.  I keep the room divided.  This is to keep the pastel dust, glue and glitter away from my computers.

Oh dear!  If I get that done, I’ll actually have to settle down and do some work, or make something or paint a picture.  Perhaps I can just surf the web for a little while?  Or maybe I could treat myself to a “quick” round of freecell, solitaire and spider?

Well, I wrote some doggerel instead.  Here it is:

Now that I’m a “wrinklie” I shall eat like a sow,
Swear like a trooper, fart like a cow.
I won’t have many friends, but that’s OK,
Since most of them are dead or gone away,
To live near their children or play in the sun,
While I’m staying here to annoy everyone!

Another go at life drawing – others produced some stunning pictures, but this was my best.  I wonder why I like to paint in green on black?


Well, that’s over!

I haven’t wished many people a Happy Christmas this year.  I haven’t sent out any cards and I haven’t decorated a tree.  Sorry, but the whole thing seems a bit pointless.  I don’t believe in “the reason for the season”, I hate the greed and the manic buying and I’m just on tenterhooks waiting for the spring.  I don’t have any love of, or time for winter.

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The sunlit view in Cardingmill Valley today.

John seems to feel the same way, so we had a lovely day on our own today.  We listened to the Christmas Oratorio (something we always did when we lived in the US), we had a lovely walk up Cardingmill Valley in the sunshine and John made a fabulous dinner of Beef Wellington.

While he was busy in the kitchen I went out with the camera searching for signs of life in the garden.  Actually, there are lots.  We still have whirley-gig beetles on the pond, and water boatmen below the surface.  This morning there were crowds of gnats above the pond, too.

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We still have a few roses and rosebuds!


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A Kaffir Lily


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The Witch Hazel is just beginning to bloom!


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One of my favourites – winter flowering, lemon-scented Honeysuckle


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tiny Fuchsia flowers


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The little Fuchsia is nestles in the upturned roots of a tree


No News?

They say that “no news is good news” and that’s perfectly true in my case!  I’m having fun with art class, life drawing and badger watching – so there’s nothing much else to write about!

Longsdon Blog is no more

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The NB Longsdon Syndicate held its AGM last weekend.  One of the items on the agenda was our website.  I had become the only person to post on the site, so they agreed that we should take it down.

I have a lot of posts that I don’t want to loose, so I’m moving them all over here.  This means that there may be new stuff in the archives that you haven’t seen before.  If you’re interested in our Narrow Boat trips, please scan back – we bought the boat in 2009, so there won’t be anything before that!

Art Work?

Haven’t had time to post much this year – I’ve been too busy having fun and trying to be arty!

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Stop the Badger Cull!

I normally stay away from political debates on my blogs, and I am aware that the Badger population is growing and this could well be causing problems for other native species, but the Badger Cull seems to have been botched beyond belief.  I’ve just received the following from Shropshire Wildlife Trust:

An e-action petition has been created by the Wildlife Trusts this week to ensure the Prime Minister feels the weight of serious public concern that any plans for continued and extended culling will make matters worse.

The Wildlife Trusts today ask David Cameron – via an e-action petition – to drop the Government’s failed badger cull policy and develop an alternative strategy for tackling bovine tuberculosis.

To sign The Wildlife Trusts’ e-action visit

Despite strong public opposition, a string of Government failures and MP recognition that an alternative strategy to deal with bovine TB is needed, plans to continue – and extend – badger culling – are expected this week.

In February, the Government’s justification for a badger cull in England was seriously undermined by Defra’s release of revised bTB statistics.  These showed that the overall number of UK cattle herds infected with bTB in 2012-13 fell by 3.4%, rather than increasing by 18% as previously stated.  The Government’s revised statistics are here.  The greatest reduction in bTB in 2012-13 was seen in Wales, where an independent strategy of strict cattle measures coupled with badger vaccination has achieved a significant 23.6% decrease in the number of infected cattle herds – without culling badgers.  In contrast, bTB incidence in England increased by 1.7% during the same period.

Please consider signing this e-petition if you are a UK citizen.

Weather stationWe treated ourselves to a weather station in December.  It ran for a while and then the rain gauge quit working.  It took us a few weeks to return it to the shop, but we now have a new one and have installed it in the garden.  It’s too bad we missed out on recording all the rain in the winter.

We don’t have an ideal spot for it down here.  There isn’t a a good fetch for wind measurements, and we’re in a bit of a frost hollow, but it’s the best we can do.

The data from this station are transferred wirelessly to a console in the house.  This is attached to a computer running Cumulus software which displays the data on the PC and uploads it to Weather Underground.  If I get a moment I will try to upload to some other free weather sites, but right now Weather Underground seems to be the biggest and easiest to use.  Here’s the link to our station data on Weather Underground.  And here is a display of the current temperature and wind:



Weather Underground PWS ICHURCHS4


A good comparison station is the one at the Midland Gliding Club on top of the Long Mynd.  This is only a couple of miles away, but it’s 1000ft higher up and you can really see the difference in the temperatures and wind speeds.  They’re not on Weather Underground, but you can access their site, including web cams, weather videos and current weather on their own web site.  Here’s their real-time data:

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