Tag Archives: England

Food on Friday ~ Rosehips

rose hips are the fruit of the flower of love

no matter what they say, rose hips are indeed a fruit

High summer presses its heat and humidity down on us, and yet in England the hedgerows are already beginning to ripen with wild harvest.  One of the hedgerow’s natural bounties 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, (for good fortune it must be an odd number.)

The finished product, (ready in about 6 weeks and will keep for a year or a lot longer), 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 may be no truth whatsoever in the persistent rumour that this concoction is a very potent female aphrodisiac.  However, it is well known 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, and although I’ve never tasted it, I have it on very good authority, from a very close friend, that this booze is the bomb.

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.)

Some say that you must be very careful when picking fruits, berries, and salad leaves from the wild ~ the uninitiated may pick themselves a deadly poison.  And that everything belongs to somebody, so be discreet.  All I know is that the mixture of rose hips, rosemary, and organic apple cider vinegar is as near to a sorcerer’s brew as anything I know.

~

canina1jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

 

a rose by any other name is still as sweet

even if it’s a dog

Virus Testing in England

across the UK there is no effective testing programme for the voronavirus

Yesterday a friend of mine was told to go to a COVID-19 testing centre in a hospital car park about an hour’s drive away.  After she had struggled to get there, queued in line in the car park for another hour, she was told there were no testing kits left and sent home in tears.

My friend Pam is in a high risk group because of her chronic asthma, and is extremely worried about this pandemic.

Personally, I have been very ill on-and-off since my birthday over a month ago.  I haven’t been tested, haven’t been in hospital, and have no support at home ~ other than my friend Pam who buys groceries for me and leaves them outside my building’s street door.  I am officially quarantined.

The UK has the third highest COVID-19 death rate after the USA and Italy.  Some 27,000 have died here from the coronavirus.

Doesn’t look like we will be getting out of lockdown any time soon.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

happier days with Marmaduke

Lockdown Breakdown

the English do not like being told what to do

The ‘National Lockdown’ already seems to be falling apart here in England, as I strongly suspected it would.

As it’s a reasonably nice day here I took myself out for a long stroll, (which is kind of not allowed).  For a Saturday morning; there were an average number of cars on the road, people were strolling in groups of 3 or more, and there were passengers on the buses.  Of the three supermarkets I passed, there was only a small queue outside one of them.  This is not what lockdown is supposed to look like.  We are all supposed to be isolated in our own home, or standing in line for an hour or so just to shop for ‘essential items’.

Of course it does not help that Mr Plod the Policeman has been seen behaving in his usual crass, overly officious manner when it comes to telling people they can’t sit on the beach, or let their children play in their own front yard, or do solitary yoga in the park.  I think the killer when it comes to police stupidity was when some senior police officers said they would be checking shopping carts to ensure that people were only buying ‘essential items’.  FFS!  The police have no authority to enforce a lockdown.  But people in uniform like telling the public what to do.

Neither does it help when government officials and ministers are seen to be utterly ignoring their own rules.  Nor when the BBC is pumping out a continuous stream of propaganda about staying at home, keeping safe, and protecting the NHS.

It seems that few English people believe this mendacious coronavirus crap any more.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I should be there, and not here

if there were still airlines flying

Ten Reasons to Love an Englishman

If an Englishman were to get run down by a truck, he would apologise to the truck.  ~  Jackie Mason

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Every Englishman is convinced of a couple of things; that to be born an Englishman is to have won first prize in life, and that it is better to be an English Gentleman than to be a Good Guy from any other country on Earth.

Hollywood actresses want to be admired by Americans, courted by an Italian, have an affair with a Frenchman, but be married to an Englishman.  So what makes Englishmen so admired?

  1. Englishmen are the most charming and best mannered people on Earth, bar none.
  2. Englishmen are very open to new, eccentric, and weird ideas.
  3. Englishmen will dress however they please ~ no matter what.  The best dressed men on the planet are Italians who are trying to look English, and the English when they’re trying to look Italian.
  4. Mostly we are very ‘happy go lucky’ and ‘easy going’ in a well-mannered sort of a way, anyway no other men on Earth have any manners at all.
  5. We treasure freedom of speech above all things, our prime minister can be subjected to some terrible diatribes in the House of Commons.  We reserve the right to be extremely rude about everyone except our own Queen.
  6. The English treat Sundays just like every other day of the week, except we don’t go to work.  Our stores are open almost 24/7/365.
  7. Our sense of fair play and concern for the underdog.
  8. The Englishman’s sense of humour, which mostly does not translate across the Atlantic.  Especially nobody but the English understands irony, rhetoric, or sarcasm.
  9. Mature Englishmen are the best drivers in the world, bar none.  We are frequently horrified by the standards of driving in every other country we visit ~ where they mostly drive on the wrong side of the road anyway.
  10. And there have been some truly great Englishmen; The Beatles, Brunel, Byron, Churchill, Cook, Coleridge, Darwin, Elgar, Elizabeth I, Elton John, Fleming, Henry V, Nelson, Newton, Kipling, The Rolling Stones, Shakespeare, Sturgeon, Wellington, Whittle, Wodehouse…..  And Bond, James Bond

And #11 Mature Englishmen have the very best accent, which is also utterly impossible for a non-Englishman to imitate.

Some say that an Englishman’s way of speaking absolutely identifies him.  And that most Englishmen are very conservative and terribly old-fashioned.  All I know is that I’m proud to be English.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the Union Flag contains the English cross of St George, the cross of St. Patrick of Ireland, and St. Andrew’s Saltire of Scotland.

 

Monochrome Monday ~ England

Any mature and educated Englishman will recognise these images.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Dixon of Dock Green

‘evnin all

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.

~

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.

~

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

 

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