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The path to understanding.


Kundera wrote about the pathway to understanding being a straight line. I have been much derided in my life for planting things in straight lines. So here's Mr Badger tonight hoovering up grubs and surprise, surprise, there's his little trail as he goes through the clover: in a straight bloody line. And they called me stupid. Photos copyright SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  269 Hits

Mr Badger goes walkabout.


I worry about this badger as he has decided he's not nocturnal at all. We frequently cross paths early morning and evening. I know where he lives. He doesn't seem to mind either the hound or I and will simply puff himself up and hiss if the hound gets too close. Luckily, the geriatric hound poses no threat and responds to my effing and blinding, returning promptly to my side. This badger is juvenile and I used to see him chattering to his sibling while sitting on the mound of their set. I fear his sibling is dead as badger baiting is practiced in these parts. I hope not because I like badgers and this one is quite a sweet little thing and I am hoping we shall get to know each other (and he s...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  108 Hits

How to live and How to eat.


To the horror of my guests, I ate snails at my wedding reception while they had to settle for chicken breasts stuffed with pistachios. The marriage didn't last but my love of snails did. I remain particularly fond of the little blighters especially when a crusty home-made bread and a merlot accompany them. Mix parsley finely chopped with lots of garlic and far too much butter, a splash of cognac, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake in a very hot oven (220 degrees C) until bubbling. PS This is not my recipe but classic ESCARGOTS A LA BOURGUIGNONNE. Worry about tomorrow tomorrow. My idea of happiness. Photos copyright SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  264 Hits

Decorative Pillows

Decorative Pillows
Boy, have I been waiting a long time to get into this subject. Nobody ever warned me… no father, no brother, no friend, no priest, no doctor, no mortician, and no lawyer. Excuse me if I missed your profession. I am mad. LOL Marriage is a good thing. Children are good thing. Good is a good thing. But kids grow up and mommy isn’t as busy as she used to be. Kids clothing and needs leave no room for individual expression. More time for hair and decorative pillows. I never knew they existed. Now there is nowhere to sit down and just be a guy without sitting on one of those damn things. Doesn’t let my butt get fully on the seat, chair, cushion, bench, sofa, or bed! If you dare to move it you get “...
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  331 Hits

Make hay while the sun shines.


The neighbouring farm slaughtered their lambs and for the past six weeks has allowed the grass to grow in the field where once the ewes and lambs lived. Tonight the farmer is cutting the grass which he will leave to dry in the field for a few days and then he will make bales of hay to store in hangars over Winter.  The farmer needs to be assured of a good dry spell otherwise the hay will rot and won't keep over the Winter months. Today in London moped muggers were raiding luxury stores. The thieves must be congratulating themselves on their easy pickings. Elsewhere in our green and pleasant land, a farmer is still at work at 19h15 as I write this and if he doesn't  diligently plan to make ha...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  278 Hits

The Oldest Book in the World


“The gold in one’s heart is far more precious than the gold in one’s purse.” --Confucius While doing research on fortune cookies, good luck and fate for my upcoming novel, I came across some interesting tidbits about the I Ching. First, I learned it’s the most influential book in China. Most families have a copy of the revered book of wisdom because they feel it brings them good health and prosperity. The I Ching, also called “The Book of Changes”can be traced back as far as 7,000 B.C. when a sage by the name of Fuxi (please don’t try pronouncing his name if you’re in an office full of people.) had many lessons to share about fishing, hunting and marriage. He began to use mystic symbols that...
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  387 Hits

'I've lost me mum!'


There is an expression in Latin that the mother determines  the destiny of a child (hence the reason we blame our parents for f.... g up our lives). I was reminded as I found this fledgling probably out learning to fly on his mum's instructions and trying to go incognito from the hound and I as we walked past tonight and what was really going through his mind was 'where's mum? Help!'. I hope this little mite found his mum and she taught him how to fly. I still wish I had a mum. Photo copyright  SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  279 Hits

The Mysterious Clover


Clover grows wild where I live and only once have I ever found a four-leaf clover (in twenty years!). Clover seems to grow in straight lines and will run all around the periphery of a field. I often marvel at the design on the leaves......Although all the leaves appear identical, they are not. Look closely. A good lesson of how nature can't clone itself. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  397 Hits

Divided We Fall

Divided We Fall
Democrats and Republicans. It’s nasty. Partisan wars. Character assassination is the glory of media. Good and evil. The other party is evil. The other party is never good. Satan’s trap has been laid for our own self-immolation. Debate is no longer an art. It is Schifty accusation with the twinkle of self-righteousness in the eye. What can we do? Pews are being asked to choose sides outside. Inside the message of the pulpit remains the same. Serve one another and serve the poor. Cherish the Truth of the Word. Don’t change it to suit the morays of the times. Forgive sinners, but don’t validate their sin. Agree to disagree so you can still hold hands and pray together. Tradition is not evil. Ma...
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  301 Hits

Rams in the mist.


The sheep have been shorn of their Winter coats and the lambs are still frolicking in the fields. Every day I think they will be gone to market but they're still suckling at three months and always staying close to mum. Despite there being a couple hundred ewes and hundreds of lambs, even when separated, the lamb will run to his mum when she calls. The rams are kept in a separate adjoining field and now they are shorn, look quite ethereal. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  315 Hits

Do your own thing.


Each of us is unique. Why not discover how. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  264 Hits

The start of Summer.


Having emerged from what seemed like the longest Winter I have ever known, the frenzy of summer has begun. Nature is literally abuzz: apple trees have been pollinated, hedgerows are speckled with Hawthorn flowers, for one short week in Spring, sloe  bushes erupted in bloom, wild birds have already given birth. Nature is in a hurry now and we are reminded that time waits for no one. These are elderflowers and according to folklore herald the start of Summer, the season of abundance, a time where nature is seizing every opportunity and so should we. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  161 Hits

Not an ordinary miracle.


The Winter wheat crop is bolting in our current 'hot' weather. Having survived sub zero temperatures and frost, usually known as the Grim Reaper of agriculture, I am reminded however as I walk past everyday that the crop is weed-free and this thanks to the farmer's once-weekly chemical spraying. I find this image of not a single weed to be quite sad and a reminder of what the planet has endured for us. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  270 Hits

A Tasty Serving of Amazing Authors!


 Three Dog Night for background music When it comes to reading, I enjoy a little variety. After all, isn't it the spice of life? Though I've never been to Spain, I understand they eat dinner with small, tantalizing appetizer-type plates called tapas. A little plate of olives, another of cheese and a plate of cold-cuts or fish, alongside a basket of bread, a plate of marinated peppers, capers and sun-dried tomatoes, with a serving of chilled Sangria. In other words, a little something for everyone. Yummy.  That's what I love about The Diamond Valley Writer's Guild. No, I'm not talking about their cooking, although that might be good too. I'm talking about the amazing variety of creative books...
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  286 Hits

No better friend.


My darling doggie. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  278 Hits

Happiness is...


...finding newts in the pond. Photo copyright  SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  396 Hits

Breaking News From Pinky and Fiona


WILDOMAR- -We woke up early today, from a magnitude 4.5 earthquake, and are dog-tired. Daddy woke up five minutes before the shaking began. Go figure, maybe he has ESP. We were up like lightening and glad to go outside.   Like most of our species, we enjoy routine, not some bizarre bed movements before five o’clock in the morning. It was dark and cool outside. In fact, mommy rock and rolled back inside to get her coat during an aftershock. Later, someone said that even National geographic photographers who have camped out for days, tracking certain types of wildlife, have rarely witnessed such serene moments as the two of us cuties napping by an open window. Mom didn’t even use a tranquilize...
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  375 Hits

Follow Up About Seeing Things Clearly


This is a follow-up story to a post I wrote in January about the Sterile Eye drops or bottle of tears I saw on a walk with my pooch. Click here if you want to see the original post:  Amazing Grace Post From January Last week, while out and about with the same dog, on a different street, I bent down with the plastic bag to pick up Pinky’s business. Next to her doody, was a small bottle buried in the soil. I pulled up the cap and saw it was an old, empty bottle of Clear Eyes by Visine for redness, irritation and burning eyes. Strange, that this neighborhood has all these eye issues, I thought. Or perhaps, it’s still part of a message from beyond. The first bottle made me think I need to see cl...
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  525 Hits

Cloud spaceships and lambs.


On my walk this evening. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  362 Hits

Things that make me happy...


Today in my garden. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  191 Hits