Category Archives: History

Songs on Saturday ~ Coldplay

grant me the strength to make it through today

Depending on who you are and what you’ve done in life, then ‘higher power’ may be a significant concept for you ~ or not.  In any event, I like this Coldplay track.  But then, I used to think that I was a very cool guy, living a really great life.

As if any truly self-confident guy would ever say anything like that, much less believe in it.

Please listen thoughtfully.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Aphrodite, a reflection of my chosen higher power, a goddess of my understanding

Food on Friday ~ Rosemary

redolent of Mediterranean mists and sea-dew

Rosemary grows wild on the shores of the Mediterranean, and is widely cultivated in the more temperate areas of Europe and North America.  This glossy shrub can be seen in decorative borders, kitchen gardens, herb gardens, and physic gardens, wherein medicinal plants are grown.

In Greek mythology rosemary is said to have been draped around the otherwise naked figure of Aphrodite when she came out of the sea.  A more Christian legend is that the Virgin Mary draped her blue cloak over a white rosemary bush while she was resting on her way to Bethlehem and the flowers turned blue.  The shrub was henceforth called ‘the Rose of Mary’.

Most decent cooks are familiar with this herb as an addition to meat dishes, lamb in particular.  However, it can be used judiciously as a seasoning to a wide variety of recipes; soups, casseroles, salads, and stews.  Use rosemary with chicken and other poultry, game (especially as its strong flavour enhances the strong flavours of game dishes), lamb, pork, beef steak, and fish, especially oily fish.  It also adds flavour to otherwise bland grains, mushrooms, peas, potatoes, and greens, (especially good with spinach).

If you a drop of strong drink, then perhaps try this rosemary pomegranate grilled meyer-lemon sparkler.  But beware, it’s much stronger than it looks.  For some reason rosemary adds a lot to the taste of pomegranate juice.

Rosemary also goes very well with gin, try putting a sprig of the herb into a fresh bottle and letting it stand for a week or so.

A rosemary gin fizz is a very refreshing, if potent drink.

Rosemary tea is easy to make and is said to have a host of health benefits, try sweetening it with Manuka honey.

The main active ingredients in this herb are tannin and saponin. (There is also a little thujone, which is the active ingredient in wormwood, used to produce real absinthe.) Technically this adds up to rosemary being good for the immune system, blood circulation, reducing cancer forming free radicals, as an aid to digestion, enhancing memory and concentration, (especially after a stroke), staving off eye problems, and staving off aging of one’s brain, (dementia).

Rosemary can have a beneficial psychoactive effect, it will not get you very high, but it will make you feel both relaxed and alert, at one in the same time.  As a sleep aid it can give you wild dreams.  (Actually rosemary is a very mild ‘legal high’.)

Rosemary is best gathered in spring and summer, but as an evergreen it can be collected fresh at any time of the year.  It dries very well.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the flowers are very much favoured by bees

Scenes on Sunday ~ Stelvio

there are bold drivers and there are old drivers
but there are no old bold drivers

One of the places in the world I most want to go back to is 15 miles of road between Davos in Switzerland and Stelvio in Italy.  The Stelvio Pass.

~

I drove it twice, once in a TR6

~

~

and once in a 7

~

Some are stupid enough to ride the Stelvio on a motorcycle.  It is to be hoped that they had their life assurance up to date.  Do not drive the Stelvio in bad weather or at night, unless you are very brave.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Detroit never dreamed that a road like the climb to the Stelvio Pass existed

Songs on Saturday ~ Shape of My Heart

only the world can keep us apart

It was always in the cards that the world would conspire to keep me apart from she I care for, but that distance is not the shape of my heart.  This track from Sting comes some way to expressing how I feel.

A real man, a man who shows and honest and open face to the world can only ever love one woman.  And, I don’t own a dog.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

but then, real men don’t play cards

Food on Friday ~ Thyme

I know of a place where the wild thyme grows

Thyme_Common

Thymus Vulgaris, garden thyme, is one of the four great medicinal and culinary herbs; parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme…..  A herb is a plant where the leafy green and flowering parts are found useful in cooking and natural medicine.  Whereas, a spice is produced from other parts of a plant; seeds, bark, roots, fruit….  Ergo ginger is a spice, whereas the ash tree is used both as a herb and a spice.

Trust me, thyme is most definitely a herb and an important ingredient in Mediterranean, Indian, and Caribbean recipes.  Thyme is also a basic ingredient in perfumery.

In medicine, thyme should be treated with caution because, like all herbs, it contains some very powerful and complex chemicals, especially thymol.  Interestingly the antiseptic thymol is a major ingredient of Listerine mouthwash and most alcohol-free hand sanitisers.

Other major and powerful compounds found in the common or garden thyme are; borneol, carvavrol, eucalyptol, menthene, thymene, and tannin.  The major effects of these compounds are; antibiotic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, balsamic, carminative, and soporific.  (Balsamic really means ‘elixir’)

Thyme tea, (usually made with dried leaves), is calming, helps most people to sleep, fights off coughs, reduces inflammations, and much reduces embarrassing night-time flatulence.  As with most natural herb teas women of child-bearing age should take care as it increases blood flow to the uterus.  Thyme in wine is good, and I use sprigs of thyme in both olive oil and apple cider vinegar, (makes a fabulous salad dressing)  Thyme tea is a potent female aphrodisiac.  Thyme and marijuana cookies should be treated with very great care indeed.

A sprig of thyme under the pillow is an aid to calm sleep, and a good bunch of thyme in your bath will help kill off very nasty things like toenail fungus, athletes foot, and the hookworm ancylostomiasis.

Thyme of any variety is easy to grow, it prefers a well-drained gravelly soil in full sun.  Collect your thyme in spring and early summer.  Bees love thyme as the flowers are nectar-rich ~ real thyme honey has all of the properties you can find in the plant.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

if you have a scrap of space, grow herbs

Leadership

a real leader does not court popularity and consensus

In May 1940 Winston Churchill was not popular within the government, he was seen as a rebel within parliament, and not that many of the ordinary ‘men in the street’ even knew who he was.  Yet Churchill knew something that even his own king wasn’t prepared to admit; Hitler and the Nazi party were the very personification of evil.  There could never be a negotiated peace with Hitler’s hellish regime.  England would have to go on and on fighting Germany, even though there seemed very little prospect of victory.  Eventually, through sheer vision, oratory, and force of personality W.S. Churchill carried the government, parliament, the people of the United Kingdom and the World with him to victory over the evil empires of Germany and Japan.

But then, Churchill was a true leader.

The men at the top of the United Kingdom and the United States; Boris Johnson and Joe Biden, are not leaders.  They are mere mouthpieces for their cabinets and special advisors, with one eye on public opinion and the other on whatever populist cause is making the headline news.

Boris is in thrall to his squeeze Carrie Symonds and her far-left extreme green views.  The man who once said that wind farms ‘couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding’ has now committed Britain to a legally binding target of reducing carbon emissions by 78% of 1990 levels by 2035.  You can tell how insane this is because Greenpeace have described it as the ‘boldest move by any world leader…..’  Boris has also caved in on everything the nutty academics from Oxford University have told him to do when it comes to the coronavirus and lockdown.  The man isn’t even a paper tiger.

A God without wrath, without intimidation, without punishment, without Hell?  It would be a paper tiger, a teddy bear!  ~  Bangambiki Habyarimana

Come June Boris Johnson will be schmoozing with Joe Biden, another green freak who is expected to announce swinging carbon cuts for the USA at the UN Climate Change Conference in November, or maybe at the G7 summit in June.  Good luck trying to drive across your state in a Tesla, and forget central air in your home.  (Just check how much the price of gas has risen since Joe took office.)  President Joe also showed himself to be at best a geriatric fool when he commented on the trial Of Derek Chauvin while the jury was still out.  But then Joe’s history with the KKK shows that he knows all about racism.

We would have to go a long way to find a real leader today ~ unless we consider Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who leads only by example.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

the Queen has lead the country and the Commonwealth for almost 70 years

Food on Friday ~ Herbs; Sage

Sage is an Important herb, especially for adult women

Like most herbs, common or garden sage is a plant packed with complex organoleptic phytochemicals.  These compounds are why herbs are great for flavouring food.  Organoleptic means affecting the senses, and as we all know there are a lot more than 5 of those.  It’s commonly held that humans have 13 senses, but that list may not even scratch the surface.  For example, how do you always know when someone is staring at you?  Not only that, the complicated stuff in the plants we commonly use as herbs would also seem to bypass the senses and work directly on the brain to affect a person’s mental state.  The unregarded sage, Salvia Officinalis, is chock-full of interesting compounds which would be illegal if you tried to buy them over-the-counter.

As any organic chemist will tell you, if you add chemical compounds together, you will often create something that is more spellbinding, than the sum of the individual effects.  That is also what happens when we ingest herbs.  The separate ‘drugs’ in herbs are engaging, but in combination they can be enthralling.  The unique combination of chemicals in sage has a particularly strong influence upon adult women.

The modern urban man with a bit of a garden, balcony, doorstep can easily grow sage.  Like a lot of herbs it it very tolerant of poor soil and sun.  Sage also comes in a host of varieties ~ different sizes, colours, leaf patterns, in fact you could make yourself a sage garden.  Sage reaches a height of about 2 feet, can be pretty rampant, grows best in full sun in slightly acid soil, pH 5.5 to 6.5, and the old growth should be cut back by about half in early spring.  The herbs to grow along with common sage are parsley and clary sage.  Neither sage nor clary will grow well indoors.

While common sage, (Salvia officialis), is packed with psychotropic drugs, diviner’s sage, (Salvia divornorum), is so psychedelic that its legality is under consideration in some US states.

Two very important words of warning.  Diviner’s sage really is a potentially potent hallucenogenic.  Pregnant womenshould avoid clary sage, it can bring on child labour.  In fact if you are thinking about using sage for medicinal purposes, then it may be best to have a word with your doctor before you start experimenting.

The effective parts of the plant for culinary and medicinal uses are the leaves and flowering tops, and these are best gathered in spring.  The active compounds in sage include; asparagine, borneol, camphene, eucalyptol, oestrogens, pinene, salvene, saponin, tannin, and thujone.  Thujone has a very similar effect on the human mind as does the THC in marijuana.  If you can get hold of a plant, diviner’s sage, (a.k.a. Mexican Mint Sage), contains a lot of Salvinorin A which targets the brain’s kappa opoid receptors.   Salvorin A is the strongest natural hallucenogenic.  Basically, sage has similar stuff in it as the wormwood used in absinthe.

Sage is best picked fresh and used straight away.  You can easily dry it for use all year around, but dried sage isn’t always as effective as the fresh article.  Don’t pick it after early autumn, in fact don’t pick much sage after the flowers have all gone.

Sage, especially clary sage, (Salvia sciarea), is a woman’s herb.  The other spices herbs and oils to use with it if it’s to help a woman with anything at all are; cinnamon, geranium, jasmine, sandalwood and  lemongrass.  Mixing these with a lot of alcohol is not necessarily a brilliant idea unless the effect you are looking for is euphoric desire.  In that case, run your lady a tub and add sage oil or fresh sage leaves to the water.  Get a couple of scented candles in jasmine or sandalwood.  Mix your lady an aphrodisiac drink ~ creme de cacao and tequila are good with sage.  Wash her hair and give her a head massage using fresh sage leaves or sage tincture ~ which also treats dandruff.  If she’s a smoker give her a sage cigarette, which is also good for asthma.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalknet

 

a sage bed makes a great addition to any garden, or a garden all of its own

 

RMS Titanic

April 15th 1912 RMS Titanic Foundered

RMS Titanic

Off the coast of Newfoundland, the White Star liner RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the early hours of the morning 109 years ago today.  She was four days into her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York and travelling at 22 knots when she sideswiped the ‘berg.  Of the 2,240 souls aboard, more than 1,500 perished in the icy waters of the North Atlantic, making this one of the deadliest peacetime disasters ever to happen at sea.  Fortunately Titanic was not carrying her full capacity of 3,500 souls at the time of the disaster.

Yet, even though carrying only half of her maximum passenger capacity, there were still not enough lifeboats for all those aboard, and the evacuation was badly managed meaning that not all of the lifeboats were full when they rowed away from the sinking ship.  Some carried as little as 28 souls out of a capacity of 65.

Of the 892 crew only 45 were trained seamen or watch officers, capable of commanding a lifeboat.

Following this great disaster an International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea was convened in London in 1913.  Eventually new rules were declared requiring that every ship have lifeboat space for each person embarked; that lifeboat drills be held on each voyage; and that all ships maintain a 24 hour radio watch.  Modern safety at sea is largely a result of the Titanic Disaster.

The wreck of the RMS Titanic was eventually found on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean on September 1st 1985, by a submersible launched by the U.S. Navy research ship Knorr.

Perhaps the best movie about the sinking of the Titanic is A Night to Remember from 1958.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Sinking of the RMS Titanic

Freedom

’emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which individual liberty has been eroded

the only casual sex allowed is phone sex

Here in England it’s Day 380 of the national coronavirus lockdown, and now that there may be some signs that some of the restrictions may be lifted in the foreseeable future, it is worth remembering just what has been taken away from us.

Just to focus on three of our inalienable rights;

  1. Freedom of Association.  All through this lockdown we have been prohibited from meeting our friends and families.  Two women sharing walk and a cup of coffee were arrested for ‘breaking the spirit of lockdown’.  A lady was arrested just for being outside the care home of her elderly father.  And while the Black Lives Matter ‘protests’ were allowed to go ahead, every other public gathering of more than six people was treated as a riot by our increasingly heavy handed police.  Schools, Universities, and Churches have been closed, as have all other possible meeting places.  Extramarital sex is out of the question unless you are part of the ‘governing elite.’
  2. Freedom of Movement.  We have been told not to to go anywhere unless it was absolutely essential, not to leave home, not to travel more than a dozen miles from home, not to go to work unless you couldn’t possibly work from home….., and our increasingly Gestapo-like police force have happily arrested anyone seemingly breaking the rules.  Airlines have been grounded, Wales and Scotland closed their borders, and do not even think about attempting to travel to the USA.
  3. Freedom of Trade.  Apart from some ‘essential’ food stores and pharmacies, everything has been shut.  Factories have been lying idle because nobody could buy anything they made.  Agriculture has been badly hit because farm workers were told to stay at home, or in the case of ‘foreign casual labourers’  weren’t even allowed into the UK.  And, of course, any business where people could gather together has been closed for the duration.  Forget getting a pint with your mates down the pub.

Some say that losing our freedom was a necessary part of staying safe and protecting the Health Service.  And that those who complained should be gagged.  (Well, there goes Freedom of Speech.)  All I know is that we have all lost more than just our basic liberties to combat a mild ‘flu epidemic.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

all doors have been firmly closed

by order of some power-mad unelected officials

Monochrome Monday ~ Lancaster

the aircraft that broke Hitler’s reich

~

~~~~

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

crew and ground crew

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