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Richard Walker

A Geometric Problem - Given the angle A is 60 degrees...

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Edited by Richard Walker, Friday, 28 May 2021, 01:47


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Richard Walker

We'll Gather Lilacs in the Spring Again

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Edited by Richard Walker, Tuesday, 25 May 2021, 23:52

We'll gather lilacs in the spring again
And walk together down a shady lane
Until our hearts have learned to sing again
When you come home once more

https://youtu.be/T29bxIh_krI


My fellow gardner sent me a photo – is this lilac? It smells lovely – I thought yes but uploaded it to Name This Plant, Microsoft's visual search on Bing, and it came back with Syringa. But a little more digging revealed that is indeed lilac, which is one of about a dozen plant species in the Syringa genus. It originates in the Balkan and the Greek name is paschalia, to do with Easter; pascal is derived from pascha = passover.

The name lilac ultimately stems from Persian nil = blue, which has a variant form nilak, and it has reached us via French < Spanish < Arabic. This made me think of the colour eau-de-nil ("water of the Nile"); could there be a connection.

Well perhaps. The Romans and Greeks called it Nilus and Νιελος, but beyond that the source is very uncertain. However, one possible root that's been suggested is indeed nil, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nile#Etymology_and_names




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Richard Walker

The First Rose of Summer

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The first rose appeared today and it's a beauty.


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Richard Walker

Start-up of an unusual kind

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A Unique Business

We offer a hairdressing service and also a private detective agency.

Visit shirley.combs.co.uk

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Richard Walker

Epitaph for a Chicken

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I THOUGHT I COULD MAKE IT

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Richard Walker

The neglected garden

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My garden is so overgrown

Nothing there but tall ferns

Which the occasional bear visits.

Everything’s gone to bracken and bruin.

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Richard Walker

My Chair

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Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 23 May 2021, 23:03

My chair

Always complains when I sit on it

I don’t know why 

I’ve done it a thousand times before

Perhaps it’s lonely.

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Richard Walker

News From the Wildflower Meadow

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Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 23 May 2021, 10:00

We've been working hard to create a pocket wildflower meadow on the front lawn. There are a few introduced species; for example Snake's Head Fritillaries and Cyclamens; but also a whole mix of weeds that grow naturally round here. The latter are all wildflowers though, so we will manage rather than remove them. I counted at least 12 flower species on the go last week, not including grasses. We are adding to the variety and have recently put in some plugs of Yellow Rattle, and we shall plant more plugs in the autumn.

We decided we needed a 'cultivated corridor', a mown passage, to get more easily to the herb trough (that you can just see to the right of the path toward the end, but also to show a balance between management and nature.

We hope this little wildflower meadow will please the eye and provide an environment in which our all-important poillinators will flourish.


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Richard Walker

What our book club is reading

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I’ve read it before but not for many years, and I once saw it performed live.

Now rereading it, I see what an extraordinary and unique piece of work it is. Whatever could have put this into Shakespeare’s mind? And humour is not often durable, but the rustic players in Act 3, Scene 1 made me laugh aloud; it’s still very funny after 500 years.


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Richard Walker

A stunning poem by Cavafy

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AIMILIANOS MONAI, ALEXANDRIAN, A.D. 628–655, epitaph

Out of talk, appearance, and manners
I will make an excellent suit of armor;
and in this way I will face malicious people
without feeling the slightest fear or weakness.
They will try to injure me. But of those
who come near me none will know
where to find my wounds, my vulnerable places,
under the deceptions that will cover me.
So boasted Aimilianos Monai.
One wonders if he ever made that suit of armor.
In any case, he did not wear it long.
At the age of twenty-seven, he died in Sicily.


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Richard Walker

The Geometry of Salad

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Richard Walker

Denys Watkins-Pitchford's Motto

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When I was very young, I have been told, I was sick down the back of Denys Watkins-Pitchford, a friend of my father. Watkins-Pitchford was an artist and an author of children's books, writing as 'BB' but illustrating them under his true name. His books are less well-known now, but perhaps worth a revival.

At the front of every book BB included his motto, which his father had recorded from a tombstone in the north country apparently.

The wonder of the world
The beauty and the power,
The shapes of things,
Their colours, lights and shades,
These I saw.
Look ye also while life lasts.
I had fogotten this but was reminded when our little book club picked 'A Midsummer Nights Dream' for the next read, and that got me thinking about fairies and then other beings from folklore. I was reminded of 'The Little Grey Men', a story about the last four gnomes in Britain. Then, 70 years ago, we were susceptible to the sadness of this fact, and we'd heard of the fate of the Dodo, but we didn't really register how many non-fantasy species we will probably end up driving to extinction.


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Richard Walker

The Hawthorn Tree

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As I was coming home tonight, I photographed this hawthorn tree at the end of my road.


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Richard Walker

Blank verse

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- - - -

- - - -

- - - -

- - - -

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Richard Walker

Progress with our pond

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Here's the pond from another angle. The big news is that the dwarf waterlily has put out a new leaf.


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Richard Walker

Mutants

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I hear a lot about mutant but I don't get it. I didn't even know ants could talk

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Richard Walker

Caper Spurge

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Edited by Richard Walker, Friday, 14 May 2021, 22:41

This rather unusual plant is growing in my garden. I didn't plant it and didn’t know what it was, but having recently found out about the astonishing Bing visual search “Name that plant” I uploaded a photo and got my answer. 


It’s not clear whether it is a British native plant. It seems to originate from the Mediterranean region and South Asia, and so it might be a garden escape. Although it is poisonous and has a somewhat sinister appearance, it is cultivated for its unusual “architecture” as one web site described  it and you can buy seeds from garden centres.

Its botanical name is Euphorbia lathyris. Euphorbia are a large(ca. 2000) genus of flowing plants, ranging in size from a few centimetres up to large trees. They all exude a milky poisonous sap, latex, which seems to have evolved as a defence against plant eaters (although it's said goats are immune, maybe that's why it's caper spurge).

There are other spurges you might see in your garden; common spurge, a weed of flower borders, and sun spurge which is it bigger cousin, which I think is a native wild flower but is also cultvated for its intriguoing and decorative appearance.

The common name spurge comes from the plant's traditional use as a purgative.



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Richard Walker

My Pirate Past

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At one time I was an international boat-napper. It’s an unusual occupation, but basically I used to take rowing boats and hold them to ransom.

I remember one episode in Scandinavia, where people with names like Lars, Magnus, Gerd and so on all had dinghies pulled up on the beach next to their chalets. With so many to choose from it was a difficult decision, but finally I took the hull by Bjorn’s.

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Richard Walker

A song in my heart

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I’ve had a musical pacemaker fitted and now I wake each morning with a song in my heart.

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Richard Walker

A Result!

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Won a gardening competition yesterday. Behind at one point, but luckily I had an acer up my sleeve.

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Richard Walker

Pablo Picasso

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Edited by Richard Walker, Tuesday, 11 May 2021, 22:41

This rather stylish shoe is named ‘Pablo Picasso’.


Inspired by it I dashed off the following lyrics

It's one for the Monet

Two for Tissot

Three to get Redon

Now Gaugin go.

Well you can do anything but don’t tread on my blue suede shoes.

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Richard Walker

Dad Joke

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Q. How do cats make their morning coffee?

A. With a purrcolator.

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Richard Walker

One Liner

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Edited by Richard Walker, Friday, 7 May 2021, 02:59

Last night I ate like a pig. Mind you swill is a bit of an acquired taste.

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Richard Walker

The Magic Pond

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A creative friend has created a magical garden-within-a-garden. We bought most of the plants, the pond liner and some of the materials, but we also scavenged a lot of cobbles and the wonderful Cornish limestone slabs you can see. We currently have a drought locally, so the pond is not filled yet.


This miniature pond is designed to be soothing to the eye and spirit, but also to act a wildlife sanctuary for a variett of small animals, We had hardly finished when this young hedgesparrow came really close to us. LIke robins they follow the gardener.


At night the area appears magical.



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Richard Walker

Homage to Ogden Nash

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Of all the philosophic twists

Here's the one that most persists

Why does the Universe exist at all

When not existing would be more economicall

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