Tag Archives: England

Turkey – Going Home

It’s very nice to go travelling – but it’s so much nicer to travel home.

I have had the time of my life on this short little Turkish vacation.

Sadly, today I am flying back to England.

I will miss this place and the new but temporary friends I have made here.

I will miss the strange air of synchronicity this place has.

I will miss the ability to meditate I have learned here.

I will miss the Crystal clear skies and the sunshine.

Who knows, in the strange world of the solitary traveller I may someday come across some of the friends I have made here again.

That wouldn’t be bad at all.

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Cold and snow

When two English people meet their first topic of conversation is going to be the weather; ‘It’s nice out isn’t it?’  or ‘brass monkeys here today.’

Well it’s certainly brass monkeys here in England.  It’s snowing and it freezing cold, (for England), just on freezing point actually.  Some places, Alaska for example, would think that 32 degrees F is balm and nothing to get exited about.  Not here.

The news headlines this morning;

Emma batters Britain:  Families are ordered to EVACUATE as snow gives way to lethal black ice turning UK roads into ‘death traps’ while 50mph storms continue to rage across the country.

I think whoever wrote that headline wasn’t born when England had some really bad winters.

Still, this one is bad enough.  I’ve been trapped in the garret for 3 days, and my phone lines have been down until a few hours ago.  Of course that could be due to the guys digging up the street outside the garret.

What it looks like across much of England.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Snow Day

Walking in clean, virginal snow makes me feel really special.

Where I live, in very temperate England, close to the sea, I don’t see a lot of snow.  Well, today it’s pretty cold here ~ just below freezing.  There’s been a little snow in the night, maybe 3 or 4 inches.  Snow and England are not natural soul-mates.

One snowflake in Central London and the meteorologists warn of climatological Armageddon ~ and so it was yesterday.  This particular cold-snap is being called ‘The Beast From The East’, and the weather men are saying this will be the worst cold weather in England since 1991, with ‘up to’ six inches of snow covering most of the country.

Thousands of London commuters were told they must complete their journeys by 6pm to ensure they would actually get home, and local authorities declared snow emergencies.  Hundreds of trains and dozens of flights were cancelled last evening, and allegedly the major roads are in chaos.

Social media, women’s pages in the newspapers, and posters in doctors’ surgeries are full of advice on how to cope with the cold weather.  Some of this advice sounds stupid; iced tea will warm you up more than hot chocolate, hug a hot water bottle between your thighs, stick your socks in the microwave, and think like a monk to get warm.

And, the ‘Met Office’ warns that the worst is yet to come… You’d think the English didn’t know about snow…  Have you never heard of Scot of the Antarctic?

It’s not like we’ve never had snow here before.  Back in the day, when I was nobbut a lad in short trousers, and central heating was something only the Queen had, we had some brutal winters.  Whole trains were stranded in the middle of nowhere, Royal Air Force helicopters airlifted fodder to sheep starving in the hills, and the army was called in to keep major roads open.  The wind cut like a knife, the ice was on the inside of my bedroom window, and my spit froze before it hit the ground.  (Being young boys it wasn’t just our spit we tested to see how fast it froze.)

Although the Met Boys feign surprise, it’s not like here in England we don’t get a nasty cold snap in late February or early March.  It happens most years, and it’s called the Buchan Cold Spell.  Jeez the Taiwan Weather Girls might be better at forecasting English weather than our Meteorological Office.

The weather here is just a little inclement, so I will not be going far today.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

due to the snow, today is cancelled

 

 

England’s Winter Miseries

When the English winter comes howling in.

I didn’t want to be in England over the Christmas Holidays, and I’d prefer not to be here right now either.  Next year I’m determined to spend a part of the winter in the sunshine.

Northern England in particular is a miserable place to be in winter.  Right now the temperature outside is 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s still dark, there’s a strong wind, and a mixture of rain and wet snow is falling.  In the next couple of days the weather here is going to get much worse with 80 mph winds and a lot of snow expected.  The sea is vicious and cold.

Drivers are being warned to stay off the roads, and only to make the most essential journeys.  Our rail service is in chaos, and there are long flight delays at our airports.  We do not handle snow very well at all, and the high winds can actually blow over trucks.  Some of our most important bridges are closed.

There is an epidemic of a particularly nasty strain of the flu, (Aussie flu H3N2), which can be fatal in itself.  Influenza can lead to several other fatal illnesses; bronchitis, pleurisy, and pneumonia.   Our health service is overwhelmed; the hospitals are full and people are being advised not to visit their own doctors except in cases of an emergency.

The thing is,  the cold, damp, and dark English winter weather makes people prone to catching nasty winter diseases; colds, flue, bronchitis pleurisy, and pneumonia.

I had this Aussi flu just after Christmas, and I was very poorly for a couple of weeks.  High temperature, hacking cough, tiredness, aches and pains, headache, insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, and an inability to eat ~ I have lost 10 lbs since Christmas.

Trust me, you don’t want to catch this Aussi flu.

Trust me, you don’t want to be in Northern England in winter either.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

walked alone on a beach

Alone as only a lonely man can be.

Crystal Beach.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

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

get a book about Durham

 

 

 

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. 

springtime colours

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vernal freshness efflorescence clear bright fresh light

transforms azure to cerulean and scattered enigmatic white

yet the verdant ground throws still skeletal branches coldly black

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words and pictures by jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Scenes on Sunday # 18

This Sunday morning we English moved our clocks back one hour to where they should always stay ~ Greenwich Mean Time.  This means we effectively get an hour of extra daylight in the mornings.  It’s also another sign that winter is almost upon us, the skies are changing, and the North Sea is back to its ill-tempered worst.  The Atlantic is brutal and dangerous, but at this time of year the North Sea is just a grey bitch.

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liebster-12pictures by jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Medicinal Plants ~ Rosehips

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Autumn is upon us, and in England the hedgerows are full wild harvest.  One of these is the false fruit of the dog rose, (rosa canina), more commonly known in England as rose hips.

p1050177You can do a lot of stuff with rose hips, from making syrups and jams, to my preferred use which is to make a tincture of rose hips and rosemary in apple cider vinegar.  As well as sweetening and adding taste to the cider vinegar. the rose hips also add diuretic, lithontriptic, and mild laxative qualities to your brew.  As for rosemary, this stuff is almost a cure-all.  I just add an odd number of fresh sprigs to the bottle, (it must be an odd number.)

The finished product, (ready in about 6 weeks and will keep for a year or more), is a great basis for a salad dressing.  Diluted in water it is also a first class tonic and as part of a whole-body cleanse.  There is no truth whatsoever in the rumour that this is a female aphrodisiac.  However, it is supposed to be a cure for practically whatever that ails you.

You can also make a true tincture of rose hips using medicinal alcohol, (or vodka).  For those of us with a real taste for booze, just make a rose hip brandy or vodka.  I have even heard of rose hip gin, although I’ve never tasted it.

The dog rose is an important plant to the herbalist, because the leaves, petals, and hips all have their uses.  In a hedgerow, the plant may reach six feet or more in height, its flowers can be anything from white to a delicate pink, and if will guard its bounty with some particularly persistent thorns.  (You can also use the hips, leaves, and petals of the cultivated rose, but I would look for a rose variety that’s as close to the wild rose as possible.)

The mixture of rose hips, rosemary, and organic apple cider vinegar is as near to a sorcerer’s brew as anything I know.

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canina1jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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English Independence

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The writing was on the wall when Britain refused to have anything to do with Europe’s grandiose, fatally flawed scheme to replace the national currencies of its member states with a single pan-European currency, the Euro.

The usual suspects were all in favour of Britain dumping the Pound Sterling, and accepting the new Monopoly Money currency.  Left-Liberal politicians, Europhile officials, and the leaders of big business all warned that Britain was destined for economic failure if we did not adopt the Euro ~ well that was a load of bull droppings.  The Euro has proved a disaster, especially for the smaller, less wealthy countries, Greece, and Ireland being two notable examples.

These same usual suspects are trumpeting the same doom and gloom now that the people of England have voted to leave a club we didn’t even know we were joining.  If you lived here you would be heartily sick of the amount of air-time the pro EU BBC are giving to the vapid talking heads.

Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.  ~  Rudyard Kipling

The European Union was sold to the English as a free trade zone, not as an attempt to replace the sovereign nations of Europe with a sort of United States of Europe, with a single European Government, mostly made up of unelected technocrats.  This was just a small part of the internationalists goal of a one-world government.  Not only that, the corrupt European Union receives, net,  billions of £ from England, every single damn year.  Some of that money comes back to the United Kingdom disguised as EU largesse.

And that is called paying the Dane-geld; but we’ve proved it again and again, that if once you have paid him the Dane-geld you never get rid of the Dane.  ~  Rudyard Kipling

There are some immediate downsides to the English electorate’s decision to walk away from the European Union;

  1. Total chaos in the United Kingdom’s political system. (We English despise all politicians, with the exception of Churchill, and possibly Thatcher.)
  2. Total chaos in the financial markets, especially the City of London.  (So what, some City cowboys are just using Brexit to make money.)
  3. A down-grading of Britain’s credit rating from AAA+ to AA.  (Good, we borrow too much anyhow.)
  4. A resurgence of the loony Left-Liberals, all of whom are saying that the electorate was wrong, stupid, ill-informed, and we want another referendum, preferably one we can rig.  (Have you seen the joke they call Jeremy Corbin?)
  5. New calls for Independence in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, and by the way these countries don’t want to leave the EU.  (Good, these countries are a drain on England’s prosperity, and they all hate the English.)

You want to know what the ‘man on the Clapham Omnibus’ thinks about those downsides ~ the average Englishman doesn’t give a damn.  We do not like being told what to do by a bunch of Johnny Foreigners, we don’t like uncontrolled immigration, we really don’t like politicians, unelected officials, the leaders of big business, and pseudo intellectual professors who would like England to be a communist country.  As always England will prevail in the end.

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you except the will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’  ~  Rudyard Kipling.

After the immediate chaos, the politicians had better negotiate an EU exit deal which is satisfactory to the average Englishman.  If they don’t, if they try to sell the same old stinking fish in new wrappings, the chaos you see now will be as nothing to the upheaval to come.  Politicians need to remember that the ballot box is a two-edged sword, and sometimes it cuts off the heads of the complacent.

Historically, England has always looked to the sea.  Every single time England has become involved in the politics of Europe it has cost us dear.

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.  ~  Churchill

My American friends also have reasons to be worried.  As you are about to celebrate your Independence Day, the independence of the U.S.A. is under increasing attack by the United Nations, ably assisted by your incumbent President and staunch UN proponent, Mr Barak Obama.

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P1040484jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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