Category Archives: Myths and Legends

The Guns Fell Silent

Ninety-Nine years ago today;

on the eleventh hour

of the eleventh day

of the eleventh month

in 1918

the guns fell silent

From Great Britain and  it’s colonies 744,000 were killed in combat, or were missing in action, and 1,675,000 were wounded in the Great War ~ The War to End All Wars.

If I should die,

think only this of me,

that there’s some corner of a foreign field,

That is forever England.

~ Rupert Brooke

Jack Collier

JackCollier7@talktalk net

 

 

 

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Crazy People Here

Pouring wine onto yourself means you might be crazy.

There are a lot of crazy and insane people in this world, and I should know because I used to be one of them.  Strictly speaking crazy means you’re wild and possibly aggressive, while insane means you have an abnormal view of the world.  Both mean that you can’t interact normally with other people, and that any relationship you’re in is likely to lurch from one crisis to another.

Symptoms of being crazy and insane include extremes of; being intense and passionate, being unstable, doing stupid and dangerous things on an impulse, self-harm, excessive consumption of booze, taking drugs, smoking marijuana, engaging in cheap and meaningless sex, nudity at inappropriate times, mood swings, explosive bad temper, insomnia, extremes of jealousy, panic, paranoia, schizophrenia, feelings of worthlessness, depression, euphoria, and quite a few more personality disorders and character defects.

Most crazy and insane people have most of the above problems some of the time, and most of us have self-diagnosed and tried to cure ourselves with much more of the same things that drove us crazy in the first place.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  ~  Albert Einstein

Or we try to cure ourselves by switching from one crazy and insane set of behaviours to another~ say from depression and melancholia to copious quantities of  booze and indulging in unsafe meaningless cheap sex.

I wouldn’t recommend alcohol, sex, drugs, or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me.  Hunter S. Thompson

How do we know if we’re crazy and insane, or as ‘normal’ as the rest of the crazy people out there?

One person’s craziness is another person’s reality.  ~  Tim Burton

Some say that if you have to ask yourself the question, ‘Am I going crazy‘ then you probably are insane and crazy.  And, that if anyone else says that you’re crazy, then most likely you are.  Of course, you can find Am I Insane?, Personality Disorder Tests, and Just How Insane Am I? tests online.  Or, find your own online insanity / craziness tests.  Your results might surprise you ~ a lot.

The last time I took one of these on-line tests, to see if I was suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, I came out at the extreme bad end of the scale.

Alternatively you could just look for these attitudes, feelings, and behaviours in yourself;

  • Delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, jealousy, anger
  • Mania, depression, thoughts of suicide
  • Memory loss, personality changes and mood swings, time and place distortions and disorientation
  • Talking to yourself, talking to your pets and plants, giving unwanted and unsolicited advice, believing in angels, demons, extraterrestrial abduction, ghosts, gods and goddesses, past lives, and witches.

If you suffer from / truly believe in any of the above, it may mean that while you are doing the best you can, and are thinking deeply and seriously about yourself and your issues, you’re not thinking clearly, and you may be a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic.

The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly.  One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.  ~  Nikola Tesla

Another sign of utterly crazy insanity is being addicted to anything; Alcohol, Anger, Coffee, Cough Medicine, Drugs, Food, Gambling, Jealousy, Laziness, Masturbation, Pornography, Prescription Drugs, Sex, Shopping, Smoking, Social Media, Technology, Trivia, or Work.  (Trust me, people can and do get addicted to just about anything.)

Perhaps the easiest things to check to see if you really are an addict is to see if you’re suffering from; alcoholism, drug addiction, or sexual addiction.  Alcoholics Anonymous have a very, very good self test that will let you know if you’ve slipped from being a social drinker to an insane boozer.  There are similar self tests for drug addiction and sexual addiction.

However, the chances are that if you find yourself ever taking one of these tests, then you are already crazy, insane, and slightly weird.  That doesn’t mean you are bad and stupid, it means that you’re unwell.

I’ll take weird and crazy over stupid any day.  ~  Joss Whedon

Of course, another sign of being crazy, deranged, insane, peculiar, strange, unstable, unusual, or weird, is doing things in secret and lying about what you’ve done afterwards.  And, lying includes lying by omission, refusing to say anything at all, and only telling part of the truth.

The problem with slightly crazy people is they do crazy things ~ and you will know this to your cost if you’ve ever dated a bunny-boiler, stalker, self-confessed witch… or any of the other strange people out there.

So if you’ve been a little bit crazy recently, acting like a sack of cats in a thunderstorm, how do you recover?

  1. Fully and honestly accept that you haven’t been doing so well lately.
  2. Figure out / try and remember just what the hell you’ve been doing that’s so bad you’re reluctant to even admit it to yourself.
  3. Go and see your doctor and honestly tell them what’s been going on.
  4. Take whatever medication your doctor advises.
  5. Stop self-medicating with booze, drugs, sex, or whatever.
  6. See a professional counsellor / therapist for whatever flavour of crazy insane you’ve been.
  7. Get plenty of fresh air, exercise, and sleep.
  8. Have a good diet, eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  9. Try soothing and calming stuff; meditation, restful music, reading uplifting books, talking long walks in the forest or by the sea, yoga
  10. Apologise to everyone you have harmed, unless doing so will only make things worse.
  11. Make a solemn promise to yourself to be a ‘better’ person.
  12. Just get through each day without being a totally evil crazy insane wazzock, just one day at a time.

In my case I was completely crazy and insane due to a chronic lack of critical vitamins and minerals in my blood, (potassium and thiamine) ~ because I wasn’t eating properly.  The symptoms of a lack of potassium, and a lack of thiamine are quite severe~ literally you go crazy insane, and possibly die.

The upside is that within a couple of days of taking prescribed, very strong, vitamin and mineral supplements I made a miraculous recovery.  Today I feel very well indeed, in body, mind and spirit.

So however bad you may feel;

nil desperandum ~ carpe diem ~ noli illegitimi carborundum

and that’s crazy.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

click on the book to learn more

 

 

 

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Witch Moon

Witches are women of the false and beautiful moon.

~

the spider ran, the cobweb’s gone

did you eat it when the moon was new?

I chased your cat, what do you say to that?

I’ve even broken up your broom.

I ain’t superstitious, but strange things I’ve seen

I ain’t a superstitious fellow, but you worry me.

~

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

release your witch, click on the book

 

 

 

 

 

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Poetic Self-Discovery

Everything follows after you find yourself.

just morning beginning

I’m busy trying to find myself

understanding keeps disappearing

maybe I’m lost in the sea and white surf

or in the lonely mountains under a big blue sky

perhaps all I need is a little help with this confusion

finding good times, clearing thoughts, spiritual cleaning

she holds my heart in her hand, and my poor heart is breaking

Sponsored by:  http://www.amazon.com/shops/salinevalleyenterprises

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~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

pictures taken with a lumix

click on the camera

Total Eclipse, Wyoming, August 21st 2017

At totality there was a strange twilight
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There was not the spirituality and feeling of other-worldliness I had expected and hoped for.  But, if you look closely, you can see sunspots.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Life Is No Fairy Tale

The true beauty of a Princess is measured by her purity.

Snow White isn’t supposed to die in the opening scene.

The Handsome Prince is meant to be one of the good guys ~ he isn’t supposed to have an unseen silver dagger underneath his cloak.

Nowhere in the fairy tale does it say that the prince plunges the silver dagger into Snow White’s alabaster breast so that her crimson blood stains the purity of her dress and drips onto the green, green grass of the seven dwarfs’ garden.

The fairy tale does say that Snow White and the Handsome Prince will be linked together forever in broken dreams.  There is no way the Prince will ever be able to forget that he murdered the Fairy Princess he was supposed to love.

He did love her.

He will spend the rest of his life trying to forget her.

He will die trying.

At least the Wicked Witch Bitch will live happily ever after.

There never was a poisoned apple, that was just a story put about by the Seven Dwarfs.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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Scenes on Sunday ~ Durham, England

Durham; half church of God, half castle against the Scot.

The City of Durham was founded in 995 AD, although I guess there were people living there for centuries before the monks arrived to ‘officially’ found Durham City.  Building work on the spectacularly imposing Norman cathedral was begun in 1093 AD, but there was an earlier Anglo-Saxon cathedral on the site for about 100 years before that.

History is always written by the winners.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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The first picture of the cathedral is a stock photo, the tower was covered in scaffold when I was there.

In medieval times touching the door knocker gave criminals sanctuary.

I used to drink in that pub when I was a younger man. 

A Mediterranean Diet is Good for You

Is there anything a Mediterranean Diet can’t cure?

Specifically, I wonder if a Mediterranean diet can help to cure this terrible head-cold I’ve suddenly contracted?  Or more likely stop me from catching a cold in the first place? Well yes it could ~ but only if I really upped the amount of raw garlic I eat.

A diet rich in oily fish, fresh vegetables, olive oil, garlic, and nuts protects our bodies and our brains, especially as we get older.  However, to get the most benefit from a Mediterranean diet we also need to cut down on alcohol ~ one drink a day for women, (try not to spill it, and drink red wine, not white), and one or two drinks a day for men.  Lucky for me I don’t drink at all these days.  But, a glass of red wine every day is actually very good for you.

It isn’t only the Mediterranean peoples who ate that type of diet, the Vikings did too, and nobody ever accused a viking of being a sickly wuss.

Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.  ~  Hippocrates

People from the Mediterranean region have longer life expectancies and are generally healthier than people from Northern Europe and the United States of America.  The United Kingdom ranks 19th and the USA 31st in terms of average life expectancy, (out of 183 counties listed).

People from around the sunny Mediterranean have lower risks of suffering; Alzheimer’s disease,  type 2 diabetes, cancers, colitis, depression, heart diseases, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, pancreatitis, and strokes.  Trust me, you do not want to get type 2 diabetes, and you really, really, don’t want to have a stroke.

A proper Mediterranean diet isn’t all baguettes, pizza, pasta, and roasted lamb with lots of herbs.  A healthy Mediterranean diet consists of the region’s fruits, vegetables, (especially leafy greens like spinach), seafood, olive oil, cheese, and a couple of glasses of a robust red wine.  These are all anti-inflammatory foods.

But you also need to add a lot of fresh air, sunshine, and lots of physical activity to the mixture to obtain the most benefits.  If you are not already doing so, then you should walk 10,000 steps a day, both to improve your health and help prevent an early death.

Modern scientific evidence suggests that many, (some), of the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet accrue directly from all the good olive oil included in just about every recipe, dish, meal eaten around the Mare Nostrum.

Olive oil is full of monounsaturated fatty acids, (MUFAs), which are supposed to be good for you ~ at least the Mayo Clinic says that MUFAs are good for you.  In fact the well-respected Mayo Clinic says that olive oil is good for you ~ in moderation.

So; your Mediterranean diet should include;

  • The very best extra virgin olive oil you can get.  Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat on Earth.  Only ever buy extra virgin olive oil.
  • Fresh fish.  The oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, pilchards, and sardines are full of vitamins D, B, omega 3 fatty acids, and selenium.  Eating oily fish a couple of times a week is said to help prevent; arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, prostate cancer, schizophrenia, and blindness / impaired vision.
  • Green fruits and vegetables.  It seems that eating green plant stuff can reduce the risk of cancer, helps maintain strong bones and good teeth, and promotes the health of your eyesight in your senior years.  Popeye was right all along, spinach is good for you ~ and so are kale and dandelion leaves.
  • Garlic.  Everyone knows that Mediterranean people eat a lot of garlic.  The Ancient Egyptians used garlic as a medicine.  Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed a hell of a lot of garlic.  The health benefits of garlic include; fighting off allergies, keeping bacterial and viral infections at bay, improving your skin, prevents colds and sore throats, reduces the risk of thrombosis, lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, helps prevent type 2 diabetes, reduces cancer risks, helps beat anaemia, and improves your sex life, (if she can stand the smell).  If you can manage it, eat raw garlic, especially if you have dental problems.
  • Nuts and seeds.  Walnuts, almonds and other nuts are good for your heart.  It seems nuts and seeds contain lots of unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, plant sterols, fibre, vitamin E, and something called L-arginine.  Allegedly L-arginine does wonders for your sex life.
  • A glass of a robust red wine, (when I was drinking I would always choose an Italian red).  The health benefits of red wine were known as far back as the ancient Egyptians.  It seems a regular glass of red wine boosts heart health, lowers bad cholesterol, reduces the risk of degenerative diseases, helps reduce he risks of type 2 diabetes, stops you being so obese, and may prevent Alzheimer’s

However, some things about the Mediterranean lifestyle are very, very bad for you. Men from the Mediterranean coasts of; Spain, France, Corsica, Italy, Greece, (and less desirable places like Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia and Albania), smoke far too much, drive like maniacs in unroadworthy heaps, drive when they’re drunk, and sleep in the afternoons when they’re drunk.  In medieval Hell-Holes like Turkey, Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, and Egypt you will just get ripped off and / or assaulted / shot / blown up.

And yet, parts of the Mediterranean are among the most beautiful, most magical, most spiritual places on this Mother Earth.  Guys, take your girl there, soon and often.

I’m glad I am a woman who once danced naked in the Mediterranean Sea at Midnight.  ~  Mercedes McCambridge

A Mediterranean Diet is not only good for you, it has some utterly fabulous, great tasting recipes.  Mix Mediterranean with Paleo and you may well have the perfect diet for your health, fitness, well-being, and gustatory satisfaction.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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Scenes on Sunday ~ the Getty Villa

Overlooking the Pacific, north of Sunset, on the PCH…

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

 

 

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Old Wives’ Tales are True ~ Mostly

Folklore connects us with the wisdom of centuries past.

Modern science has ‘proved’ that old-fashioned weather lore is pretty accurate ~ for England anyhow, and what Gentleman really cares about any place but England?  We shouldn’t call them old wives’ tales because much true ancient lore comes from sailors, soldiers, and farmers.  Weather lore is often very accurate.  And while older people often give good advice, the wisdom of ages past, seniors don’t much like taking advice from the young.

Advice in old age is foolish; for what can be more absurd than to increase our provisions for the road the nearer we approach to our journey’s end.  ~  Marcus Tullius Cicero.

Going back beyond Roman Times, our oral history is full of rhymes, anecdotes, adages, warnings, and axioms.  They wouldn’t have lasted this long if there wasn’t a lot of truth in them.

  • Red sky at night, sailors delight.  This appears in the Bible, where it relates to shepherds.  It means that if the sky is red at sunset, then tomorrow will be a fine day ~ and this is mostly accurate.  In fact this saying is utterly reliable when the weather comes in mostly from the west, as happens in Great Britain.
  • Mackerel sky and mares tails make tall ships carry low sails.  If there are high clouds that look like the scales of a fish, (altocumulus), and / or streaky clouds like a horse’s tail, (cirrus), then we are due for a storm with high winds within the day ~ allegedly.  As it goes, this is always true.  A prudent skipper will be ready to shorten sail if he sees a mackerel sky.
  • St. Swithun’s Day.  If it rains on St. Swithun’s day then it will rain for the next 40 days and nights.  This lore, and the poem that goes with it can be traced back to the 14th Century, but probably goes as far back as the 9th Century in Southern England.  It’s mostly not true ~ we never get 40 days and nights of consistent weather in England.  However, St Swithun’s Day, (or St. Swithin’s Day), is on July 15th, and you can guarantee that if it does rain on that day England will have a wash-out of a summer.  As a matter of fact, it rained all day here on St. Swithun’s day this year, and the weather has been very wet ever since then.
  • It’s too cold for snow.  In England this saying is true.  It can be too cold for it to snow.  Actually the whole saying is a misconception, it should really be ‘it’s too dry to snow’.  Very cold air is always dry air, because only warmer air will carry water vapour, and you need water vapour in the air to have snow.  It almost never snows in bitterly cold Antarctica.
  • A ring around the moon means rain or snow is coming soon.  This is very true, and also applies to predicting the arrival of a hurricane.  The ring around the moon, (less frequently a ring around the sun), is due to ice crystals forming in cirrus clouds in the high atmosphere.  If you remember cirrus clouds are also the mare’s tails that predict storms.
  • A stitch in time saves nine.  This saying goes at least as far back as the 18th century in England, and it’s completely true, relevant today, and utterly applicable to our lives.  What is means is that if you sort out a small problem now, it will save you from it growing into a much bigger problem in the future.  It is exactly analogous to that other saying One year’s seeds is seven years weeds, which appears in Shakespeare’s Richard II.  Ignore a small problem and it will soon grow into a great big problem.  Ignore acorns and before you know where you are you will be up to your armpits in oak trees.
  • There will be the devil to pay.  Meaning that if we do something very bad there will be terrible consequences later.  This is always true.  This saying has nothing whatsoever to do with Satan ~ like many English epigrams it has maritime origins.  ‘The Devil’ was the longest seam on a planked wooden ship, and ‘Paying’ means caulking.  If you’ve ever done it you’ll know that caulking a seam on a boat is a heartless task, involving thick string-like stuff, tar, a special caulking chisel, a hammer, and a lot of time.

A hell of a lot of English folklore goes back at least as far as the Roman occupation of Britain; for example ‘If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need’.  This saying is supposedly from Marcus Tullius Cicero, who died in 43 BC.

The snag with using folklore for your weather forecasts is that you don’t get to see the cute weather girls on TV.  Seems a guy can’t have everything.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

 

 

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