Category Archives: History

Food on Friday ~ Healthy Halloween

have you come to sing pumpkin carols?

Here in ye Merrie Olde England we eschew Halloween as the pagan / catholic / foreign festival it is.  Instead we celebrate Guy Fawkes Night on November 5th.  However, these recipes are great for any cooler night when you’re having guests around, and you’re looking for something that evokes a darkly festive air.  Something healthy, tasty, and easy to prepare?

All of the dishes I’m featuring this week are healthy as well as tasty and great looking, and if you want to make the most of a healthy eating recipe then try to buy the freshest organic ingredients that you can find.

And OK, this is a shorter post because I’m not at all happy with some Halloween excesses,

First up this week, and the first time I’ve featured this site; from poach me quick we have sticky and smokey chipotle and maple-baked chicken on the bone.  Try not to get any of the messy stuff on your fingers onto your Halloween Costume.

Sticky and Smokey Chipotle Maple-Baked Chicken on the Bone

If you’re looking for something sweeter to have with tea, coffee, or a harder drink, then there’s this seasonally perfect pumpkin white chocolate bundt cake from Heather Christo.  I bet Charlie Brown would love this at Halloween.  Heather’s recipes are very healthy indeed.

Pumpkin White Chocolate Bundt Cake

And, from Ali Gimmie some Oven there’s candied walnuts, which I like the look of and she says are so irresistibly delicious.  OK walnuts are one of those things we should eat to stave off the horrible ageing problems ~ so make these.

Candied Walnuts

Now for something very American, from Good Housekeeping; acorn squash with brown rice and turkey sausage.  Allegedly acorn squash is one of those superfoods, and makes the serving dish for this great-looking recipe.

Acorn Squash with Brown Rice and Turkey Sausage

Turns out that one can treat acorn squash in pretty much the same way as one would treat a potato, although I suspect that the squash is better for a bloke than a spud would be.  So, as an opposite to the good old jacket potato, how about this baked acorn squash with butter and brown sugar, from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes.  God!  That would be so good with ice cream ~ or am I being silly?

Baked  Acorn Squash with Butter and Brown Sugar

I’m enthused about acorn squash, especially as it seems you can use the gourd as a serving vessel ~ what a brilliant way to save on the washing-up.  It looks like a pretty good thing for vegetarians and vegans too.  So for our collection this week, from Country Living we have 30 best acorn squash recipes for a healthy addition to you fall dinners.  One of the great looking recipes is the acorn squash soup with turmeric from Seasonal Cravings.  Who doesn’t like a warming soup on a cold night?

Acorn Squash Soup with Turmeric

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

perfect for a Halloween cocktail

pomegranate ginger paloma

ginger is a ‘new’ superfood

 

Her Smile

just like those remembered days when the dawn sang

~

then quite suddenly I see

if you smile, not just for me

the world is a lovelier place

those tears have disappeared

all that sadness has vanished

the old songs never did end

and we walk again by the sea

remembering the you I adored

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

give your Goddess all the love you can

Hobbies for Health

for me, saving the world and everyone in it is only a hobby

Now that I’m recovering from a bloody awful mental affliction, a good friend has suggested that I take up a hobby.  You know what?  After a moments reflection I decided that was a brilliant idea.  So I will take up a hobby.

But what is a hobby anyway?  Where do other ordinary normal day-to-day pursuits become hobbies?  And does a proper hobby have to be mostly harmless, inefficient, laborious, and useless?  I confess I googled hobbies and found a few incredibly long lists of hobbies, some of which activities I would have just taken to be everyday pursuits; like watching television.  No!

But I have a first stab at a short list of potential hobbies which may occupy my time, give me pleasure, be relaxing, and stop me having suicidal thoughts;

  • Art, and I mean doing it, most probably painting.  Thus far in my life the only things I’ve painted were walls, doors, cars, and boats.
  • Angling / Fishing.  I used to fish and gave it up because I felt sorry for anything I caught.
  • Calligraphy.  As it goes I have very good classical penmanship ~ but calligraphy takes that to a whole new level where writing in pen and ink becomes art.
  • Model making, although this seems a bit of a kids pastime.
  • Photography, which I already do a lot of but I could do more and do it better.
  • Reading.  I do a hell of a lot of that, but I’m certain there’s a way to turn casual reading into a constructive hobby.
  • Survivalist.  Not that I live in an earthquake zone, but add some of the other hobbies I’ve already thought about and I’m already a fair way to being a survivalist
  • Travel.  I love to travel, but is it a hobby for me, and could I turn it into one?  Maybe by mixing it with photography and writing.
  • Walking.  On average I walk 5 miles a day, but that’s not serious hobbyist walking.  More serious walking includes hiking, backpacking, and trekking.  So I have joined our local Ramblers Club, (how very English), who meet a couple of times a month and do some serious miles in all weathers.
  • Writing, and I already do some of that too, including being in a local writers group.

I’ve already realised that if you want your normal everyday activity to become a hobby you have to add a lot of time, money, and obsessiveness into the mix.  I can’t even turn my 5 miles a day walk into a hobby without buying a lot more expensive kit.

But, if you have any other ideas for a healthy, relaxing, challenging, difficult, self-improving activity, then please just tell me.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

also, I do like making practical things; such as this planter

Songs on Saturday ~ Bette Davis Eyes

the key to life is accepting challenges
once someone stops doing this, he’s dead

I was always a precocious child; I developed abilities and inclinations at a much earlier age that was usual or expected of me.

Everybody has kindness in their eyes.  Except some people.

Please listen responsibly.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

life is a sexual jest

and her eyes show it

Monochrome Monday ~ Male Nudes

an heroic god, and all is as if the world did cease to exist

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Some say that when you get a taste of a real man, the rest of the world never tastes the same.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

intelligence is enormously sexy

but so is a very toned body

Rebalancing my Life

the cycles of the seasons mirror the cycles of our lives

The quotation above is from the Wiccan Wheel of the Year, which explains a little of what the autumnal festival of Mabon means.  One of the three harvest festivals, Mabon takes place at the Autumnal Equinox, about September 23rd, when night and day are of equal length.  Right now the year is in balance, and maybe by coincidence, I am beginning to bring some measure of balance into my Life.

As with every living creature, the cycles of my life mirror the cycles of the seasons, and at this equinox it’s a time for me to reflect, to wrap up the imbalances and the demons that have tormented me in the past, to rest and ready myself to soon begin again.  In the past my life has been ruled by inner demons which were probably inculcated in me before I was seven years of age.  Those inner demons tormented and tortured me, and my pain spilled over to hurt those I cared for the most.

As the years go by, and all through the changes life brought to me, I have never stopped trying to free myself of the man I was, the man I never wanted to be.  I was that guy that, no matter how hard he tries and no matter how often he succeeds, sooner or later fucks it all up in a really big way.  And along the way I could be an angry, cruel, abusive, generous, impulsive, inventive, jealous, judgmental, manipulative, perfectionist, successful and very intelligent drunk.

BPD can do that to you.

No one with even the slightest ounce of honest humanity would want to live like that.  Even though the Borderline Personality Disorder I suffer from is classified as a severe mental illness, I always had enough sanity to know that I could and should be a much better man than I was.  But here’s the thing, BPD is very often misdiagnosed, and even if your doctor, psychiatrist, and therapist know that you have Borderline Personality Disorder, they most often are unable to treat you properly and effectively.  This is because effective therapy for BPD takes at least a year and more likely three, and therapists qualified and willing to take on cases like mine are few and far between.

Therefore, I have resolved to treat myself, as best as I can.  I have learned that this is called Self Directed Therapy, and that it’s a real and medically recognised technique.  I can be my own therapist, my own mental and psychological mechanic ~ and if I’m hard working and diligent I can get good repairs made pretty quickly.  It also seems that what I’m trying to deal with is a truly serious mental disorder, I need to be very serious about being my own therapist.

It also seems that Borderline Personality Disorder is almost never a result of a biochemical imbalance, and therefore medication is not only pointless, it’s dangerous.  So I can’t just ask my doctor for a prescription.  I need to rebalance my being and reorganise my thinking, and it’s going to take the rest of my freaking life.

I am learning that it’s not how I feel that matters, it’s what I do.  How I feel does not and cannot matter to anyone but me ~ my feelings are chaotic, and often negatively destructive. What matters is how I react to my feelings, and how I act towards the people around me.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

dark and light in perfect equilibrium

Why Stop Stacking Rocks?

making a rock stack is a kind of environmental graffiti

those are gigantic, natural ‘rock stacks’

There are those environmentalists who urge people not to build rock stacks because it’s meaningless environmental graffiti,  and disturbs the natural world.  And there are those other environmentalists who would like us all to reduce our carbon footprint by stopping flying cattle-class to take our two-week annual vacation in the sun, as all the while they take a dozen trips a month on private jets to speak at meaningless green conferences.  There are also those beggar-my-neighbour lunatics who would like to have building a little rock stack made illegal.

Man has been making piles of stones since the dawn of time, usually making big heaps of stones called cairns to mark a footpath ~ in the days when losing your way was a deadly mistake.  No doubt some Neolithic nutters were against that too.  Mind you I think it’s a damn shame that man cut down most of the ancient woodland here in England.

Unless you’re digging up stones with a lot of critters underneath, then the environmental impact of making a rock stack is effectively zilch.  Anyone can easily unmake it at any time.  But then ‘environmentally friendly’ ‘people are never really live-and let live types.

Some say that people should be banned from all the ‘unspoilt’ places on the planet.  And don’t do as I do, do as I say.  All I know is that the world would be a better place if most of the ‘environmentally friendly ‘ people packed their bags and left.

~

 

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

probably someone wanted to ban building Stonehenge, that’s a rock stack

Reflections of Despair

I know not age, nor weariness, nor defeat.

~

far off a beaten warrior

as seen in a winter mirror

his life a long road to nowhere

no noble quest, no gentle lover

no castle no princess in a tower

and by the path of this beaten warrior

dark thorns abound, no leafy bower

and the rabid black wolf cowers

from the constant defeated anger

the warrior has suffered a year

as for hope, that will never

lighten his burden of error

for the dragon’s fiery terror

he is doomed to endure evermore

and all he prays is to die

to sleep forever more

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Spirituality on Sunday

to walk the warriors path is to continually step out into the unknown

For years my life was based on self-belief, selfishness, and instant gratification.  I was a one-dimensional man, and deep down I was always afraid.  I went to church but I had no belief, I was married but there was no love, I was successful but all that gave me was money.

When we as human beings are disconnected from our true selves we place ourselves in a perilous position.  Our sense of identity becomes lost and we are prey to evils from within and without ~ anger, arrogance, envy, fear, greed, jealousy, lust, paranoia…..  There is no inner peace and little joy in our lives.  We act without thought for others, and we react to real or perceived attacks and slights with anger and extreme verbal or written or even physical aggression.  There is no real love in our lives, either for ourselves or for other people.

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.  ~  the Buddha

Without spirituality, without a belief in a power outside of ourselves, outside of that which we can explain through modern science, we do not live, we just exist.  This leads to serious physical, mental, and emotional problems and illnesses.  Alcoholism, explosive anger, drug addiction, gambling, infidelity, inappropriate casual sex, lust, resentments, narcissism, self-doubt, paranoia, fear, cowardice…..  It is not by chance that the second step of 12-step recovery programs is; Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Accepting that there is a Power greater than ourselves is the beginning of spirituality, the beginning of a real connection with our true selves.  Spirituality means evolving our consciousness, and at each level of evolution we react to the Cosmos in different ways.  Most people are driven by what is happening in the world outside them, some shape their lives to live in the world they choose, and a very few change themselves by looking at the world inside themselves.  Extraordinary people learn to reshape themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally ~ learning inner peace, true happiness, and how to love themselves and others.

There are three principles to reaching inner peace, knowing our true selves, and spirituality;

  • associate with like-minded people, people who strengthen us. avoid toxic people and toxic relationships
  • put aside time every day to make and strengthen the connection with our true selves. rest, meditate, harmonise your heart and brain
  • transform our character; turn arrogance into humility, hate into love, paranoia into trust

Some say that there is no God, no Higher Power, nothing greater than man and science.  And that Spirituality ranks alongside Magic, Sorcery, and the belief in a Flat Earth for stupidity.  All I know is that a Power greater than myself restored me to sanity.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

My own mind was a prison

 

Scenes on Sunday ~ The Moon

That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

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It’s fifty years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to stand on the moon.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the result of an extra-terrestrial visitor to the Earth

Meteor Crater, Arizona

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