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 Arctic sea is melting at a rate never seen before.  That's  having all kinds of knock-on effects, including the release of methane from the sea floor (a worse gas than CO2 for climate change)

It's a vicious circle.   The methane released by the warmer temperatures helps warm the atmosphere further.  And that isn't the only knock on effect...

And at the same time, the UK government are trying to make us believe that adding a third runway at Heathrow will not prevent us from meeting our promises on Climate Change - a claim that is pretty impossible to believe.

Air travel is one of the largest sources of CO2 emissions that we have any personal control over.  We have to eat. We have to get to work.  We really don't want to freeze in the winter. But we don't have to go on foreign holidays.  

Try any carbon footprint calculator of your choice - they will all tell you the same thing.  Giving up air travel will make a big difference, bigger than any other lifestyle change you can make.

If you have a beloved child, nephew, neice or grandchild, this may be the single best gift you can ever give them.  Try and give them a world that still resembles the one you love now, before we pass the point of no return.

For the sake of my children and everyone's children, I gave up air travel in 2002.

For my granddaughter, and everyone else's grandchildren, I intend to keep that pledge for the rest of my life.


Nov. 10th, 2016 10:28 am
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 I'm looking for a room share for Redemption. Anyone interested?
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 Here's my Pratchett filk - the tune is "Bread and Fishes"
As I walked through the corridors, sleepless at night,
I saw in the bar a familiar sight.
A man in a hat, I had thought he was dead,
A teller of stories who smiled as he said:
Oh, the turtle's still moving, she swims through the sky,
With her cargo of elephants riding so high,
The Discworld's still turning, the sun still goes round,
And all of my people are safe on the ground.
I sat down beside him, he showed me a chair,
We nibbled on peanuts someone had left there,
He told me of wizards and witches and kings,
And of the Patrician who knows everything.
Oh, the turtle's still moving, she swims through the sky,
With her cargo of elephants riding so high,
The Discworld's still turning, the sun still goes round,
And all of my people are safe on the ground.
I sat there and listened until daylight came,
I know that I never will see him again,
But stories keep living as long as they're read,
'Twas the teller of stories who smiled as he said:
Oh, the turtle's still moving, she swims through the sky,
With her cargo of elephants riding so high,
The Discworld's still turning, the sun still goes round,
And all of my people are safe on the ground.
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 Had a great weekend gaming with a group of friends from all over the place. Old PBM friends (Delenda est Carthago), Redemption and Discworld friends, Morris dancers, local gamers, nephews, etc.

I also got to chat about yarn with tictactoepony

We have a (inherited) gadget that looks like this:


I figured it had something to do with yarn winding, but when I tried to wind yarn on it, it made a ball that was too tight to slide off the cylinder (the wooden cylinder is concave),  the cylinder is also hollow, with a interior profile a bit like and ice cream cone.

One of our party suggested it was a winder for lace bobbins, and there are certainly pictures on the web of gadgets like this labelled as bobbin winders.  (and there is something that might be a lace pattern in the drawer at the bottom) Frustratingly, there are no pictures or videos of them actually being used to wind lace bobbins... (the bobbin would presumably fit inside the cylinder).  I'm not entirely convinced by this, as I can't help feeling that the bobbin wouldn't be gripped very well.

then I found this video, which simply makes things more complicated:

If you have an idea of what my winder is actually meant to do and how it works, please tell me! 


Oct. 17th, 2016 10:00 pm
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 There's nothing like dancing for the soul.

 I can be all stressed and twitchy, and after two hours longsword practice I'm at peace with the entire world.

Southern Star are only just large enough to survive as a side, but I think we're going to make it.  We're a mixed ability bunch to say the least, but the dances are starting to flow.  We're moving with the music now and that's making a big difference.

The timing in longsword has to be a bit intuitive -in morris, if you make a mistake, you just nip back into the correct position. That's not possible in longsword, you have to find ways for the group to get back in sync with the music.  After a while, you realise that at least some of the moves in traditional longsword dances are designed to give a bit of catch up time.  Moves that can be a bit variable in length are often followed by  simple circle moves that can soak up time until a new phrase of  the music begins.
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 Bobby Shafto is one of those songs that most of my generation know, without even knowing where they learnt it.

It normally has three verses, although the nursery rhyme videos for kids all seem to leave out the one about her having  a baby.

However, the
Wikipedia entry says that it was supposedly written about a girl who died for love when he came back and married someone else, and none of the versions of the song I can find include that part.  So, I've written an extra verse.

Bobby Shafto's gone to sea,
Silver buckles at his knee;
He'll come back and marry me,
Bonny Bobby Shafto!
Bobby Shafto's bright and fair,
Combing out his yellow hair;
He's my ain for evermore,
Bonny Bobby Shafto!
Bobby Shafto's getting a bairn,
For to dangle on his arm;
In his arm and on his knee,
Bonny Bobby Shafto!


Bobby Shafto's home from sea,

Wed a maid, forgotten me,
Will he love me if I die?
Bonny Bobby Shafto!
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 I'm definitely on too many committees.

I've just done the AGM minutes and updated the constitution for Anonymous Morris (but still have all sorts of stuff relating to bookings for next year and updating dance notation on the web site to do)

I have to hold a mini AGM for Southern Star Longsword tonight to see if we have enough people to form a committee. Don't need that many posts, but I'd like it if someone competent offered to do publicity as that's a major job for a small, new, dance group.  I'm doing all the jobs for Southern  Star at present, but sometimes that's what you have to do to get something off the ground.

I'm working on a new constitution for the local Allotment Society -which is a devil of a job.  The Chair doesn't really believe in Constitutions and proposed we adopt one out of an old Allotment book she had, as it was short.  The fact that it set a minimum committee number of three more than we currently have, that it assumed a totally different relationship between the landlord and the Allotment Society than is actually the case and several other  things that simply didn't fit our circumstances was clearly irrelevant. I don't think she'd bothered to read it.

I'm also doing masses of stuff for Wimborne Minster Folk Festival...

I'm feeling tired and short of free time and I really want to sit down for several days and do nothing but knitting.
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 Oswin has recently been enjoying Richard reading Dr Seuss books like 'One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish' to her.  While the illustrations are amusing, it's probably the rhyme and rhythm of the words that are a big part of the appeal.

So, today, I tried 'The Jumblies' on her.  (the last time I tried, she was still too young and wasn't interested, but now she's nearly 2 1/2)

Big success.

Read it half a dozen times throughout the day and followed that up with a couple of readings of 'The Owl and the Pussycat'.

Only a few pictures for each poem.  Definitely the words that she loved. Big smile at the end each time and requests for another reading.

Edward Lear's poems appear to be working for yet another generation of children.  Oswin has no idea what all the made-up words mean, but it doesn't seem to bother her any more than it did my generation.  Personally, I think a runcible spoon is a spoon with holes in it (the kind you use for draining things).  It fits Lear's cheerful illogic.

 Far and few, far and few,
            Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
      Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
            And they went to sea in a Sieve.

I think the time may have come to get Kipling off my bookshelf.  Oh yes, my best beloved.  I'm itching to read her the 'The Elephant's Child' and the other Just So stories. My father read them to me, and I read them to my children.  They were written to be read aloud, the words roll along.  "What does the crocodile have for dinner?"
"Go to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, and find out."

Go and read it again, you know you want to!  And if you've never read it, find a child and read it to them immediately.
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 This is Oswin directing a digger near her house.  (having parents who regularly do convention tech means that she already has the high vis jacket)

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 Southern Star were practicing this evening when we found a group of local teenagers having a fag break from the rain under the porch of the library.

So, as one does, we invited them in to watch us practice our dance.

When they were impressed by that, I gave three of them swords (the 4th one decided just to watch) and proceeded (as one does) to teach them the dance. They picked up really quickly and greatly enjoyed it.  I think there's a fighting chance we might see one of two of them again. I hope so. They were a nice group of kids and have real potential as dancers.

I was amused near the end when one of them commented how much energy I had. I'm three times her age and this was a dance done at a brisk walk.   It really is nothing on the energy front.

Last week, I was on the canals, running between locks in a flight, winding stiff paddle gear and pushing open heavy lock gates. Now, that requires energy!  (and I'm aware that I can't run long distances without slowing down for a break now and then.)

Take up morris dancing and  retain the illusion of staying young and fit...


Sep. 10th, 2016 04:46 pm
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 I'm having general fun with longsword related stuff.

I did four informal longsword workshops at Discworld and people really enjoyed them.

I'm getting a lot better at teaching the dances now. Once upon a time, I would probably have gone into great detail, telling people where they had to move, and the steps they should take, and which way they should turn at the end of the move. In a typical longsword dance, there are 6 people and each of them will be taking different actions.
Now, my typical approach is to give everybody a sword, get them to stand in a straight line behind me, say: "Follow me and do what I do."
This usually gets everyone through the first four moves of the dance without any difficulty at all. The more complicated moves, such as a double under, can often be tackled by saying: "You two make an arch; Julie and I will go under it. When you get to the other side, turn round and come back again. Steve follow Julie, Jennifer follow me."
This works 9 times out of 10. People instinctively turn in the correct direction, even when they've never done a sword dance in their lives. Sometimes, giving too much detail can actually confuse people.
The detailed instructions for double under come to several paragraphs and can be surprisingly difficult to understand.
Longsword, possibly more than any other kind of dance, is easiest to learn by actually doing it. And it's more fun that way.
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 Bill, send me your email address.  I can't contact you via Dreamwidth as you haven't confirmed your address with them.

we're doing another Games Weekend.

Contact Judith dot Proctor at Gmail.com
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 Here's Oswin sitting in front of her great-grandad behind the engine her great-great-grandad made. (With granny - me in purple trousers, and grandad - Richard sitting on the bench, in the background)

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 The local paper did a short article about my Sword dance group

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 I'm starting to realise that the greatest hazard of getting old isn't dying yourself, but that all the people you've grown up with start dying.

This has been a bad year.  Gareth Thomas, Terry Pratchett (and several other actors I enjoyed), my mother in law and now, this weekend, a concertina friend of mine.

Gary and I met regularly to play concertina - and now we won't any more.  He was an odd bloke.  Rude and a bit annoying in group settings, but much easier to get on with on a one to one basis.  (Some of that may have come from social awkwardness)  I'd known him for a very long time, but we only became friends this last year.  He was my kind of musician. Neither of us were great concertina players, but both good enough to play for morris. It's always more fun to play with people at your own ability level.

He died a  couple of days ago, but I didn't want to sour my parent's diamond wedding party by talking about him then.  They're getting very old and frail (though still with full mental capacity) and besides, no one else there really  knew him.

The Diamond Wedding was a good party. Brought together members of the family I rarely get to see.  Really good to meet with them again.

We went to the Stockport and District Model Engineers railway track on the Sunday and my father steamed up the model engine (Puffer) that my grandad built (and the model engineers have adopted and cared for and repaired and rebuilt as necessary over the years).  Oswin got to ride on the carriage pulled by her great great grandad's engine.

I nearly cried there.  It's many years now since my grandad died, but the smell of the engine in steam brought him right back to me -he had a track that ran the length of his back garden and used to give us rides. He made around a dozen engines, but I only know where two of them are now.  (He sold most of them.  No point in keeping too many in the family as they need to be looked after by people who know how to use/maintain them and have the skills to keep a valid boiler certificate, etc.)
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 Here's the first picture of Southern Star longsword.


I know we'll often have different numbers of dancers, so I'm working on sword locks for different numbers of dancers.  This is a sword lock for four (in fact the only possible lock for four - anything else would fall apart).

You can see two more photos (including a six man lock) on the Southern Star Longsword website along with pictures of longsword dancers in Lingdale, Yorkshire in the 1960s.

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 One of the things I've wanted to do for the last few years is to start a longsword dance group.

A couple of weeks ago, I realised that if I didn't do it soon, I'd get too old to be able to do it at all.

So, I've taken the plunge. Southern Star Longsword will meet at our local library on Monday evenings.

I'd write more, but I'm knee deep in sorting out insurance, publicity, bank account, etc.

Even if the team doesn't get enough members to be viable, all these things still need to be done.

And, I also know from experience (getting Anonymous Morris started) that if you have the faith to do all these things and publicise and dance at every possible opportunity, then the odds are greatly increased that you will get your team off the ground.

I'm also on the committee for next year's Wimborne Minster Folk Festival, so getting seriously busy with that as well.
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 This video shows how to do double-faced tablet weaving. It's a harder to learn technique, but very versatile once you've mastered it.

You may want to click on the closed caption box if the sound is poor.  I've done a full set of subtitles.

I wasn't clear enough in the video about the card-turning sequence. Each 'square' on your chart requires two turns of the cards in the SAME direction - with a pass of the shuttle for each turn. Thus, there is an ongoing 2 forward, 2 backwards turning sequence throughout the weaving. This has the advantage of greatly reducing the amount of twist building up in the warp threads.

Here's my new shuttle that Alex Holden made for me.  I thought it was very good value for £10 including postage.  (I'm happy to supply his contact details if you want your  own) You may notice in the video that I've adapted my weaving style, now I have shuttle and beater combined in one.

Here's the pattern I used for my space invaders hat band; (the bottom two on the left were the ones I chose, but you could use any combination)

and here's how it came out:

Single threaded version above - alternately threaded version below

I'm very pleased with the result.

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 I've done the video, but the sound quality (as always) is very poor, so I'm adding subtitles. It's a slow process, but I'm half way through.

When I finally get there, you'll be able to weave anything from space invaders to alphabets (provided you buy/design the pattern you desire).
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Kudos to Funding Circle.

They've improved their system for withdrawing money so that it's much easier to use. As part of the change, you now get an email saying how much you've withdrawn and when.

Unfortunately, for a British company, the message gave you dates in American format 7/6/16 rather than 6/7/16, which is very confusing for some dates.

I wrote in pointing this out, and five days later, they are now sending out dates in British format.  A fast response, and a good one.

BTW, if anyone wants to invest in Funding Circle, (a peer to peer lending business), the average rate of return is 6%, it's dead  easy to withdraw small sums at any time and not too difficult to withdraw larger sums if you need them.

They're currently repeating their offer of £50 for new investors who invest over £1000 before the end of August.  You get £50 and I get £50 for the referral.  If interested, just ask me for a referral.  (Two LJ friends have taken up the offer in the past, and both have been happy with the results.)

I've been with them a couple of years now and find it a flexible way of investing my money.  A big plus for me is that the money is all invested in British businesses.

Rather less kudos to Worcester Funeral Services who have finally returned my mother-in-law's wedding ring two and a half months after she was cremated.  
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 An excellent (and surprisingly accurate for a newspaper article on morris) piece about the morris demonstration team of the English Folk Dance Society who fought in the Battle of the Somme, and mostly died there.

I'd come across some of the names before.

George Butterworth can be seen dancing in one of these clips form 1912  (and you may also note the existence of women like Maud Karpeles dancing at this date.)

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 Igenlode is a member of the BFI, and just noticed that this month's program includes a showing of "Stocker's Copper" at the National Film Theatre on the South Bank (Saturday 9th July) -- being prominently billed as "starring Gareth Thomas".


Stocker's Copper is well worth seeing.  This is the part that really got Gareth established in TV. 

He plays a Welsh policeman transferred to Cornwall during a clay miners strike.  The script is based on historical events.

As a Welshman, he is naturally  sympathetic to the Cornish miners, but as a policeman in a special unit and proud of his job, he is pulled in two directions.

He is billeted with a  Cornish family and gets very close to them in spite of their initial resentment at having him foisted on them.

As the strike draws on, the situation starts to deteriorate and the mine owners demand action.

This is well written drama, set at in 1913, a time when most people would never travel beyond the area they grew up in.   Communities were close and outsiders viewed with suspicion.

It's one of Gareth's best TV roles, he's young, handsome and working with a really good cast.

Here's the first part on YouTube (and parts 2 and 3 are also on You Tube - the picture quality isn't brilliant, so if you can see if at the NFT, then go for it!)

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 If you recall my problem with a book I recently bought on Amazon, here's how it worked out.

I filed an A-Z complaint - I think it was Aralias who suggested that - and I just got a full refund from Amazon of  £2.81.

I strongly suspect that Amazon are aware of this firm's 'no return postage' policy and tacitly allow it.  I imaging most customers give up early on in the process and either pay the postage or accept the crappy book.  But if you stick to your rights under the Amazon policy, you do eventually get your refund.

It probably helps that I regularly buy from Amazon and post positive feedback for the many good sellers there, so I clearly wasn't just trying it on.

It was a lot of effort for a refund that small, but I take a real dislike to people who try to con me.  Maybe it will make them describe their books a bit more accurately in future....
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 CAB completed here first weave.

She cheerfully confesses that the first set of vertical stripes were an accident, but nicely mirrored them at the end, so you'd never know.

She mentioned that her back was aching a bit. There are several ways of helping with this.  One is to anchor the weaving to a clamp on the table rather than your waist.  It gives you less control over the tension, but does mean you aren't looking down so much.

If the far end of the weaving is higher than your waist, even up to head height, this definitely helps as you don't have to bend over so much.  Also, consider ways of starting the actual weaving several inches away from your waist so that you don't have to look down so far. 

I'll do a future post on tablet weaving looms.  I haven't tried on yet, but I'm thinking about it. There are two main styles, neither is terribly expensive and both are fairly easy for anyone with a bit of woodworking skill to make themselves.

(I'm working on  a 'double-faced' tablet weave this week.  I'm trying to get past the initial  mistakes before I post anything about it.)

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There are several reasons why I want Britain to remain in the EU, but this one is head and shoulders above the rest.

 I love wildlife and I love people.  I want that wildlife to be there for my granddaughter and her descendants to enjoy.  

I want us to combat climate change so that there is a chance of reducing (it's already too late to prevent it totally) mass starvation, migration, and death for those in the worst affected areas.  I want to reduce the danger of increased floods, droughts, and losses in crop yields. Not to mention mass extinction of wildlife.

Much of our best and strongest environmental legislation comes from the EU.

Organisations like the RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts are pointing this out to their members - I belong to both.

Here's the summary of the report they commissioned.

and a few extracts:

EU environmental legislation has been driven by the single market requiring common rules for products and services –for instance, individual countries cannot distort competition by lowering their environmental standards.

Some of the main contributions of EU legislation to the environment over the years include:

• Achieving a substantial decline in industrial sources of air and water pollution – although there’s further to go, particularly in improving urban air quality and tackling water pollution from farming.

• Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting rapid growth in renewable energy.

• A significant and extensive system for protecting wildlife and wild places - most notably through the Birds and Habitats Directives - that has helped to slow the loss of some habitats and species and invest resources in nature conservation. However, wildlife is still under significant pressure across Europe and much more needs to be done.

• Transforming waste management – increasing recycling rates and encouraging the first steps towards a more circular economy.

• Creating a thorough system for reviewing chemicals, and withdrawing many toxic substances from use.

• Building a legislative framework to protect our seas from mounting pressures.  

I do not believe UK politicians will do this on their own.  

The EU isn't perfect (the CAP still needs reform and the fisheries policies has only recently improved,) but the overall environmental record is a good one.  If we leave the EU, we will immediately lose the Birds and Habitats Directives and have nothing to replace the protection they give.
watervole: (Judith)
Look at what la avispa has done with her latest belt - she's woven it straight onto a buckle, which is a brilliant idea.

The tablet weaving I've shown you so far had all the cards threaded the same way at the start.  It didn't matter which way, as long as they were all the same - though if you flipped some of the cards part way through, you effectively reversed the threading direction.

Now, I'm going to show you a simple repeating pattern in which the cards are threaded diffently from the start.

If you look at the hatband below (modelled by my lovely husband), you'll see that the 'stitch' direction is symmetrical across the middle of the band and that 's due to the cards being threaded in opposite directions.

You'll also notice, if you look carefully, a 'v' patter along each edge.  This is known as a 'warp-twined border' and gives a neat edge that helps the completed band to lie flat.

Now, we have to introduce a few technical terms:

Looking at the diagram below, you'll see the letters ABCD down one side.  These letters represent holes in an individual card.  The numbers represent the number of the card in the pack.

Remember this playing card from way back at the beginning of my tablet weaving discussions?  If we look at the chart, we can see that for this pattern, card 4 has black thread in hole A, white in hole B, black in hole C and white in hole D. (In my case, black and white became purple and lilac)  there are a total of 40 dark and 24 light threads (4 x 16 in total)

Some people label the holes clockwise, some anticlockwise.  Most times it won't make any difference as the pattern will just come out reversed and you're pretty much bound to reverse the direction sometime during the weaving in any case, (but if you're doing a really complicated pattern from a chart, you may want to check.)

Now, you may have noticed the little arrows below the chart.  These are important and potentially very confusing.

Here, we have to talk about S and Z threading.

Imagine you have the cards all threaded and the warp threads tied to your belt ready to start weaving, now, visualise one of the cards.  The threads will enter a hole on one side of the card and come out the other side.  Look down on your cards from above and think of the direction of the central stroke in a capital S and Z and compare with the slant of the thread in the diagram.
The left-hand card is S-threaded and the right hand card is Z-threaded.

Some people use the terms left and right when talking about threading directions. I find this incredibly confusing as it all depends on how you visualise the terms.  (I visualised them the opposite way to the writer of the first book I read and I still rely on my pencil notes in the margin of the book to remember what she actually means.)

I suggest you convert all references to right and left threading to S-threading and Z-threading.

An arrow -> like card 1 in the threading diagram will be called left to right, but is acutally Z-threaded.

An arrow on a threading diagram like <- in the diagram above for cards 2-8, often refered to as being threaded right to left is actually S-threaded.

You'll notice that the edge card is threaded the opposite way to the one next to it. That's how you do the warp-twined border.

To carry out this pattern, you simply thread the cards, start turning the pack forward, and keep turning it forward with a shuttle pass on every turn.  When you've either got the length you desire, or have too much twist to carry on (more likely the latter), then change direction and turn backwards until you have as much twist as you can handle, etc.

The warp-twined border will look after itself.

NOTE - in patterns with frequent changes of direction, the warp-twined border will need different handling.  I'll deal with this when I move onto double-faced weaving.  Double-faced weaving is not suitable for a first project in tablet-weaving, but it is very versatile and can be used to weave anything from space invaders to alphabets.

NOW- why not try either the pattern above, or play with some squared paper and see what designs you can come up with yourself.  You can use as many different colours as you like and you can use any width of band (within reason), but you only have four rows to create your pattern in.
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 I recently bought a second-hand book on Amazon (as I do regularly)

This one was advertised as 'very good' condition.  

When it arrived, it was clearly in 'poor' condition.

The seller refuses to pay return postage or to give a refund unless I return the book paying for the postage myself.

I've not encountered this kind of policy before.  It is not mentioned anywhere when you buy the book and appears contrary to what I can determine of Amazon's policy with regard to marketplace sellers.

The book is of no great value, one of the endless supply a one penny plus postage.

It's the principle of the matter.

The fault is theirs.  The book was not as described and I would not have bought it if it had been properly described.

I do not see why I should be out of pocket.

The seller is based in the UK.  

IN the meantime, I suggest you avoid buying any books from SNayler books
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 I'm absolutely knackered.

We're in the process of putting Molly's house on the market.  We'd love to keep it as it holds many happy memories, but the family member living in Kent would not be able to afford to buy the rest out and those living in Dorset and elsewhere can't live in it as it's too far from work and family.

So, it goes up for sale, although my
 brother-in-law will continue to live there until we find a buyer, so the house won't be empty.

It's an old house.   The oldest part of it has massive thick stone walls and 500 years ago it was a grain store for the mill next door.  Later parts are half-timbered and have been everything from a forge to a pub.  In the last century it was a dairy and you can still see features like the dip well in the garden that was used for cooling milk churns.

Every generation to live there has made changes and additions. Molly did a lot of research into the history of the house - even gave a talk to members of the local history society.  

Her talk ended with: "Future owners of this house and large cottage garden will undoubtedly continue to alter things just as each family has in the past."

Which is a rather nice way of saying that future owners should not feel that they have to preserve a fossil from the past. They will doubtless do revolutionary things like introducing central heating and an upstairs toilet and other modern amenities...

We took the estate agent's advice and did massive de-cluttering and cleaning and moved various items of furniture. We cleaned all the windows, which made an amazing difference all on its own.

But most of our four days in Kent were spent in the garden. Molly's garden is very big and a real delight. It's an informal, partly wild garden that contains many interesting varieties of plants. She was a real plants-woman. There are many different varieties of garden plants like hellibores, geums, geraniums, pulmonarias, etc. as well as wild flowers like purple loosestrife, honesty, foxgloves, yellow loosestrife, primroses and more.

She managed all of this (apart from mowing the lawn and cutting the hedge) until she was in her mid-eighties and suffering from loss of vision and anemia. She loved her garden. People used to ask her why she didn't move somewhere with a smaller garden, but she always replied that it was the garden that kept her going.

The last year or two, she also had a gardener (Not the lawn and hedge man), a real gardener, the kind who can identify plants like burgenia, london pride and three different varieties of mint.

Sadly, last week he got a full time gardening job somewhere else and can't do the Dairy House garden any longer. And on only two hours a fortnight, he was only able to do a reasonable job - some sections were getting a bit overgrown.

Advertising for a gardener has so far produced two applications without the necessary plant knowledge - one was honest enough to admit she didn't after she'd looked at the garden and the other failed the phone interview in spite of trying to claim she could do it. Her definition of a weed would have removed virtually every self-seeded plant in the garden. Farewell love-in-a-mist, forget-me-not, etc.

So, in lieu of anyone else, Richard and I spent many hours weeding. Because we do know our plants. Molly taught us. Many of the plants in my own garden came from her and she loved showing me round her garden and talking about the different things growing there.

It's June and the garden looks fabulous.

I do so hope that the eventual buyer is a keen gardener (really, they'd be crazy to buy the place if they aren't). I'll not have any regrets if the house is changed, much though I love it, but it would really hurt if that wonderful garden was turned into a couple of tennis courts and a swimming pool.


May. 26th, 2016 02:24 pm
watervole: (Default)
 I am amused by Rated People who claim:

We have 1,800 recommended Gardeners & Garden Designers in Loose

That's more than the population of the village...


May. 17th, 2016 06:11 pm
watervole: (Default)
 If you watched Eurovision and loved "Love, Love, Peace, Peace" (the parody song by the presenters), but didn't watch the second semi-final, then you need to see this:

Scroll along 6 or seven mins and continue until 11 mins and see just how many familiar show tunes you recognise in the other parody song performed by the presenters.


watervole: (Default)
Judith Proctor


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