A Sparkle Jar: Photo Gallery.

"Conversation is but carving, give no more to any guest, then he is able to digest " So wrote Jonathan Swift ( 1667 -1745 ).

I think you will agree, although a memorable quote, it is not the usual fare a mother  gives to a young youth, but in a curious way, it describes the singular person Chris Packham, who finds social intercourse with people difficult and instead uses all his energies in the detailed study of all creatures, big and small.

This is Chris's wonderful book " Fingers in The Sparkle Jar. " Note the intricate cover with its bird motif and sun peeping through. This is so typical of the care that Chris takes with all his work.

There are no photos within the text, yet the eloquent and rich imagery allows the reader in see in the mind's eye a Kestrel swooping; a fish darting and insects swarming. Everything is precise and truthful and what he sees; when he sees it; is recorded.

Here is an example of his writing:

" Saw the scarf of the otter, be…

Rhymes and Words: A Snowy Scene

Well here we are again. It's already beginning to seem we've been in the year 2018 for quite a time.
Just waiting for the first Snowdrop, to announce Spring is on her way.

I don’t know where this rhyme is going Because the future is really unknowing 
From my thoughts words slowly dribble  But is it really art or merely scribble?
Thoughts cascade from my pounding skull Some quite coherent, but mostly, null.
I need to assemble the best phrases. To bring a higher quality that raises This snow storm of  useless verbiage  Making heart heavy and eyes squirmiest.

Oh to produce a  memorable ode Upon the minds of readers to bestow, a word, a phrase or slight refrain that makes a stay in someone’s brain.
So  I’ll look for pearls in oysters and plant myself in quiet cloisters. 

Ck 16/01/ '18

I wrote the above piece, using the app " Writr. " This allows you to input a word. The app then
instantly gives you words that rhyme  with the word inputed.  It pulls up words wh…

Quiz Time: Football Predictions: Major's New Year Message.

A Good New Year to one and all.

Let's start at the end. The following people have all passed away in 2017'
Can you guess their names?

1 This lady captained the England ladies’ cricket squad from ’66 to ’78. She was also the first female to score a six.
2  This gentleman was amazing in “The Elephant Man “. He died aged 77
3 A big favourite of children in the ‘60s and ‘70s, who loved his sheepdog, died aged 88
4 A bit of a scaly,  all his life he duck-rocked up to be one of the first  musicians to be inducted into the Rock ’n ‘ Roll Hall of Fame. He died aged 90.
 5  A celebrated  Children’s Author died in London aged 91  not far from a railway station, which bore the name of his best known creation
6 This loved actor, died aged 91 was the only star to appear in all 295 episodes of this popular sitcom.
7  Starred in Coronation Street for many years. She died aged 77
8 Running in the ‘60s and later in the ‘70s it’s likely you would have known this actor, who died aged 79.
9  He sang those…

Magic Band: Farewell Tour

It started here:

The first concert the Magic Band played  at Shepherds Bush Empire on Monday 7th April 2003.
Organised and led by John 'Drumbo ' French (drums, vocals harmonica); the band consisted of Gary Lucas ( guitar); Denny Whalley ( guitar); Mark  ' Rockette Morton ' Boston ( bass)  and Richard Williams ( drums).

All had played with Captain Beefheart ( aka Don Van Vliet ) at various times and their mission was to recreate songs from the Beefheart canon.

Fast forward fourteen years and we arrive here:

The Magic Band Farewell Tour to which I attended with friend K.
last Monday 20th November 2017 at The Fleece, Bristol.

Here's a thought. How many bands with great musicians after an interval of fourteen years still charge the same for their tickets ? Not many I venture.
Arriving early I quickly grabbed the latest tour T shirt; still selling for a modest fifteen pounds.

Pulling rabbits out of a hat indeed.
The 'Fleece' quickly filled up. eventually achieving sell-ou…

Catch up with Photos. A coded life?

The nights draw in and real racing returns. The majestic leaps; the noble presence; triumph and disaster lie side by side. Elation and despair. The Winter Kings return for our pleasure.

Frosty, crisp mornings, bring heart-warming country-side views. Here are three, two from darkest Essex, one from deepest Brockworth.

Courtesy J& D.

Courtesy K.


Once a year, the River Thames is drained near Richmond for general maintenance .

Courtesy LJC.
So for a short time it is possible to walk across to Eel Pie Island. More explanation here:  Thames Drain


On October 16th, owing to unusual weather conditions , aided by Saharan dust, the sun appeared to turn pink- weird stuff!

Courtesy LJC


The above is a picture taken from inside the new, American style burger bar " Five Guys, " which has recently opened in Cheltenham.

Young d. took me there last Tuesday 14th November 2017. A brightly, lit space, it was notable for a deafening sound system, which threatened to overwhelm the wou…

An Inside Story: The Sea And Shrubs.

Inside Story
There is no light Warm in this cosy nest  Dimly aware of Gurgling sounds in my ear Stretching my limbs I detect a changing pulse Soon I will leave this Watery cave.
Suddenly release; A sensation overdose Dazzled by lights Lifted up and touched  By affection. I cry for a joyful force  Within me.

Twenty eight days Have left September.  Nine hundred and Fifty one years ago King William landed and  Laid claim to Albion
This day I have landed On the loving shores Of  mother and so I lay claim to my new life. Full of wonders; from Crawl to Tall from Boy to Man and from Loved to Loving.
For E.S.C. ( 28th September 2017 ). Inspired by "Embryo, " by Pink Floyd..

Listen  to this track, by clicking on the link.

D. and I had a couple of days (4 / 5 ) October at Lyme Regis. As usual the weather didn't let us down. The sun was bright and the sea was calm and blue.

Across Lyme Bay

Tide out at C