Scenes on Sunday # 3

The third of a regular Sunday Post of ‘scape pictures.  Seascapes, cloudscapes, landscapes, cityscapes, roadscapes….

All the pictures were taken with a compact LUMIX Panasonic DMC-AS3 camera.  This camera has a special setting for taking pictures through window-glass.  I believe ‘the cute blonde girl riding shotgun’ didn’t use that feature on any of these road-trip shots.








liebster-12all these shots of Orange County

by the girl riding shotgun

Magic Often Works

It doesn’t matter if you believe in magic, or not.

What matters is that the magic believes in magic.

There is a magic of the tides, and power in the moon, the stars, and the sea.  If you want to rid yourself of something, write its name in the sand on a falling tide, say your prayer and invocation,  and the sea will carry whatever you have named away from you.



I no longer suffer from insane jealousies.


Today I had a rising tide in my favour.  The rising tide will bring your wish, your prayer, your invocation to you.

Given one prayer, one wish to the Goddess, what should I ask to be brought to me?  What would you write in the sand?



I know how this magic works, at least I think I do.  What I am certain of is that this magic works for me.  And, now I wait.




Food on Friday # 38 ~ Avocado

Avocado is full of good nutritional stuff, including the good kind of cholesterol, but it can also be pretty boring.  None of these recipes are in any way dull, in fact they are all super cool enough to grace any table.

First up this Friday, from Chungah Rhee at Damn Delicious I offer you this avocado potato salad.  Everyone like potato salad in summer, and this one is just a little different.  The good news, there is no mayo in this dish, but there is a lot of bacon.  Bloody good show.


Avocado Potato Salad


Next, from Heather Christo, another great recipe, grilled romaine, red onion, avocado and bacon salad.  Remember to make far too much of this dish, so you’ll have enough leftover to take to work for lunch.


Grilled Romaine, Rd Onion, Avocado, And Bacon Salad


Elise Bauer at Simply recipes has this very refreshing avocado beet salad with citrus vinaigrette.  Nice appetiser or light main course.


Avocado Beet Salad With Citrus Vinaigrette


Crab and avocado roll in lobster and crab broth.  This is a versatile and great looking dish from Petra at Food Eat Love, you could have this as a starter at a dinner party, or as a midweek dinner, or you could just make the crab and avocado roll and take that to work for lunch.  The most time consuming part of this dish is the broth, because you can’t hurry a good broth.  Magic.


Crab And Avocado Roll in Lobster And Crab Broth


Tieghan Gerard from Half Baked Harvest has this seriously pretty 20 minute dish; avocado veggie spring rolls with sweet Thai mango sauce.  This is another dish where you want to make enough for tomorrow’s lunch in the office.


Avocado Veggie Spring Rolls With Sweet Thai Mango Sauce


This is especially for an American Girl I know, who I am certain doesn’t eat a good breakfast.  From Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower we have a perfect summer weekend brunch, roasted garlic asparagus and bacon eggs benedict, with basil avocado cream sauce.  Yeah, the only time my friend will get to eat this is if I make it for her.  (funny thing about asparagus…)


Roasted Garlic Asparagus And Bacon Eggs Benedict With Basil And Avocado Cream Sauce


Now another great dish, for those of you who like a girl’s night, or as a snack, ir to take to work.. Tropical mango spring rolls with avocado-cilantro dipping sauce.  Thanks Cookie + kate.


Tropical Mango Spring Rolls With Avocado-Cilantro Dipping Sauce


liebster-12A big, big thank you to all the great cooks featured this week.

clouds illusions




painted white on blue

delusional feelings of grandeur

where is the truth?




P1030220poetry and photographs by jackcollier

and the girl riding shotgun


personal energy that attracts



Positive, Assertive, Calm, Determined, Energetic, Generous, Kind, Optimistic..

In the past it’s always been very easy for me to focus on the negative aspects of my personality.  I have suffered from extreme insecurity, jealousy, pessimism, selfishness, and immaturity.  I’ve been judgmental, aggressive, demanding, bossy, and egotistical.  Do you know something?  Being a complete jerk is hard work, no wonder I also got tired and petulant at times.  But, that’s a Borderline Personality Disorder for you.

Instead of all that negative energy, why don’t I focus on developing my positive character traits? Positive character traits exude an energy which is attractive to others.  I’ve been told that I can be charming, funny, kind, considerate, and assertive without being domineering.  Some say I’m also intelligent and interesting, challenging but generous, attentive and romantic.  And, that it’s obvious I’m an experienced, dominant, been there, done that, don’t mess with me kind of a guy.  All I know is that I still have enough of a sense of fun to take pictures of my teddy bear.

The psychological people have told me that positive character traits can be developed and enhanced by making a conscious effort to change, but that it’s really only possible for a man to work on one thing at a time.

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.  ~  Carl Rogers.

Given that sometimes I’m too smart for my own good, I’m going to work on something difficult ~ Congruence.  This means being true to me, open, genuine, honest, acting with confident integrity…

This also demands that I have to study what being congruent really means and behave in that way.

The only person who is educated is one who has learned how to learn – and change.  ~  Carl Rogers.

As I have asked in prayer; ‘Please teach me how to learn.’



my teenage crush

Stars I’ve ever had a crush on?

A girl I know raised that topic, and I had to think about it.  To begin with, men of my generation don’t really use English like ‘have a crush on.’  Secondly, have I ever felt hopelessly attracted to a female from stage, screen, or the music industry?

Well, turns out I was.  And, turns out she is well before your time, (really she’s well before my time too).

Jane Russell.  The eccentric billionaire, aircraft designer, and film mogul Howard Hughes once built a special bra better to display her magnificent cleavage in a western movie.  This scene almost finished up on the cutting-room floor becuase the censors thought it was too erotic for American audiences.  How sad would that have been?

Powerful body, fabulous legs, magnificent décolletage, sexy face, luscious lips…

And, she could even do comedy.  The question is; are there any ‘up to date  stars’ I find almost as sexy?  (or even sexier?)

Shania Twain has pretty good legs and shoulders too.

All very reprehensible and adolescent stuff I should have grown out of long ago.  But, am I sorry I still find these quite sexy clips a turn-on?  Hell no!




Male Aggression



The whole world is filled with news of violence and chaos.

In the United States of America the killing of white police officers by disaffected black men continues, with a new tragedy almost every day.  The abortive military coup in Turkey seems to be the beginning of a Stalinesque purge by President Erdogan.  An insane muslim petty criminal kills and critically injures over 100 people in the French  town of Nice, with a truck.

The Middle East in still in flames with muslim fanatics in Iraq, (Daesh, IS, ISIL, ISIS, whatever), inflicting torture, rape, and murder on women and anyone they don’t like, (mostly non muslims, homosexuals, and women).  The strangling of ‘selfie queen’ Quandeel Baloch by her brother is just the most recent and high profile honour killing in supposedly civilised countries like Pakistan and India.  Millions of refugees are on the move, many of them trying to gain access to a better life in Europe.

Gentleness, self-sacrifice, and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.  ~  Mahatma Gandhi

In the European Union, crime by these self-same refugees is endemic, particularly rape and sexual assault.  Meanwhile, England has decided to leave the European Union, (Brexit), and today the British Parliament will vote to replace our fleet of nuclear ballistic missile submarines with something even deadlier.

What strikes me is that the vast majority of this mayhem is committed by men.  One has to ask if deep within the male of the human species is an hereditary propensity to aggression, violence, mayhem, jealousy, and conflict.

You know what?  There is.  Males are naturally violent and competitive.  Look at the entire natural kingdom, from the tiny robin bird, to alpine goats, to man, and we see violent competition for territory, food, and females.

It’s only common sense and a higher, (almost altruistic), need to protect the survival of the species, as against one’s own gratification, survival, and the promotion of one’s own genetic heritage, that keeps species, (including mankind), from wiping themselves out.

In the past I have been guilty of aggression, excessive competitive urges, violence, manipulation, a need for instant gratification, and insane jealousy.  But, do you know something else?  The better part of mankind sublimates aggressive urges and instead cultivates serenity and a strong desire to do no harm.

The better man is safe, reliable, dependable, altruistic, friendly, kind, and protective.  Women feel safe around that kind of man.  Going to the extremes of available responses should only be resorted to for the protection of oneself and others, especially those you care for.

Some day you will find out that there is far more happiness in another’s happiness than in your own.  ~  Honore de Balzac

Randomly killing people is the sign of a diseased and inferior mind, body, and spirit.



Scenes on Sunday # 2

The second of what is going to be a regular Sunday Post of ‘scape pictures.  Seascapes, cloudscapes, landscapes, cityscapes….

All the pictures were taken with a compact LUMIX Panasonic DMC-AS3 camera.  This camera is so small and convenient that I can take it with me everywhere I go.  After decades of carting around heavy camera bags, something I can just stuff in my trouser pocket is a liberating revelation.








liebster-12high tide at sunrise and just after

pictures by jack collier or the girl riding shotgun

what not to take on a road trip



A long Road Trip is more fun than you can imagine ~ if you do it properly.

However, it’s easy to get it wrong, mostly by carrying along with you a whole lot of stuff you don’t need.  So, with the benefit of my worldly-wise experience, here are some things you should not take on your next road trip.  Just don’t take this list too seriously, it’s your road trip, not mine.

  1. A schedule / timetable / plan.  Well, and to be honest, even I usually have something of a plan.  Such as; ‘I need to be at John Wayne airport in Orange County by 08:00 on the 18th to get my flight back to the UK.’  And, ‘let’s drive the Pacific Coast Highway from here heading north,’  or whatever…  Other than that, things like booking hotels, motels, planning on reaching Tulsa by the evening of the 11th…  Forget it.  Just relax and go with the flow.
  2. Bad weather.  You do not want bad weather on a road trip.  Rain, snow, dark clouds, gales, tornadoes, hurricanes…  Really bad weather makes driving difficult, makes you put the top up on your sports car, makes your girl wrap up in shapeless clothes…  For a good road trip take good weather with you.
  3. A crappy saloon car.  A great car is one thing that helps to make a great road trip.  Trust me, I’ve made a road trip in a little Toyota hatchback, and a car like that kills half of the fun.  If you’re renting, get a cool convertible.  If you’re taking your own car…  I expect you to have a cool sports car, or why are you even reading my blog?
  4. Worries and concerns.  These have no place on a road trip.  From the second you set off, until the second the trip is over, just don’t worry, be happy.  Real life will catch up with you soon enough, don’t take it along with you.
  5. Chateaux & 7Boredom.  Gods… If you are bored on a road trip there’s something badly wrong.  Either you’re with the wrong person, driving the wrong car, on the wrong roads, or going to the wrong places.  Even with one bad mistake you shouldn’t be bored.  I once went on a long road trip with the wrong person, and I still had a great time.  I had the right car, on great roads, driving down the Loire Valley in France, staying each night in cool castles / château.  OK, the company was bad, but the rest of the trip was great.  (The sex was non-existent.)
  6. An idiot.  This is tricky, especially if the idiot in question is you, or your partner, husband / wife / child.  If you know you must have an idiot along, even if it’s you, then perhaps don’t go.  You are going to be cheek by jowl with this idiot for however long the trip lasts, and either they will ruin it for you, or you’ll stab them in the eye with an ice pick.
  7. SaraToo much luggage.  If you’re a guy, then you can travel light.  If your girl wants to fill the rest of the boot / trunk with her cases, just let her, you know you like her to look good anyway.  (Flip that around if you’re female / gay.)  But, always leave enough room for; maps and guides, any stuff you buy along the way, refreshments and water, and if it’s your own car take your essential tools and spares, even if it means she has to cut down on the outfits she’s taking.  (Hey I cut down the amount of luggage my ex-partner had on road trips so it would fit in the miniscule boot of a Seven.)

Really, the main thing not to carry along on a road trip is an uptight attitude.  Relax.  Take it Easy.  Chill out.  Go with the flow.  Have a siesta.  Smell the scenery.  Leave time behind.  Leave your watch behind.  As long as you make it home on time, (more or less), that’s all you need to worry about.



Food on Friday ~ Gluten Free

Gluten is bad for a guy.  At least that’s what I’ve been reading.  I only vaguely know that gluten is found in flour, and I’ve mostly eschewed wheat flour anyhow.  As I don’t use milk I don’t eat breakfast cerials either.  Here’s a clue to gluten, it’s basically glue, so a gluten-free diet or reduced gluten diet sounds like a good thing.  Some people suffer from celiac disease, which means they must have a completely gluten free diet.  There is evidence that reducing the amout of gluten you eat / drink helps to reduce unsigtly tummy bloating, and women especially don’t want a beer belly.  There are some easier ways to reduce abdominal bloating, and cutting down on gluten is one.

My Top Tip ~ Stop Drinking Beer.

Gluten – Free Recipes

From the kitchen of Cookie + kate, (Cookie is the dog), we give you double tomato pesto spaghetti with zucchini noodles.  You can make this a vegan dish if you don’t use parmesan.  Without parmesan I would use plenty of olive oil and black pepper.


Double Tomato Pesto Spaghetti With Zucchini Noodles

Also fom Cookie + kate, and using mango ~ a fruit I want to eat more often, there’s this Thai mango salad with peanut dressing.


Thai Mango Salad With Peanut Dressing

Now from the ever interesting Heather Christo, I offer you this nice looking nectarine ginger sesame chicken salad.  If you want a vegetarian / vegan dish, then miss out the chicken.

nectarine salad

Nectarine Ginger Sesame Chicken Salad

Here’s a mixture I wouldn’t have thought of; mango and fennel salad.  A dish with a hint of Asian form Sabrina at Organic is beautiful. Now, if we ever get a hot day in England I will try this.


Mango and Fennel Salad

A lady I haven’t featured before, Mona from Queen of my kitchen has these gluten-free spicy cheese straws.  It’s pretty difficult to buy this kind of really tasty gluten-free stuff at your local store.


Gluten-Free Spicy Cheese Straws

Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has this nice looking and nice sounding recipe for Vietnamese meatball lettuce wraps with mango salad + cilantro-basil cashew sauce.  Tieghan says this is a 30 minute dish, from start to finish.  It’s on mu menu for the weekend.


Vietnamese Meatball Lettuce Wraps

Finally for this week, from Chungah at Damn Delicious, Thai salmon in foil.  This is a great 20 minute dish that works well with all types of sides, including fries, rice, green beans….  The dish uses sweet chili suace and lots of garlic, both of which I like a lot.  It also uses srircacha, a hot sauce, (which I had to look up).


Thai Salmon in Foil

Thank you ever so much to the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday.

hbz-insta-amandabisklook good and feel good, eat healthy food

Jack Collier



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