Weightless in water, swift as the wind

I live in a town on the confluence of rivers. Water is a significant part of my local landscape and so is rowing.

In any weather, the hardy rowers can be found ploughing a furrow through the Thames.

We are a nation of rowers and Surrey is in the heart of rowing country.

We like to do well at rowing in international competitions. This year, there is a small sporting event taking place on home soil, and water. You may have heard if it.

Hopefully, we will do well. But however we do, the rowers will still be out on the Thames, doing their thing, every day.


“How fared it with the wind,” I said, “when stroke increased the pace?
You swung it forward mightily, you heaved it greatly back.
Your muscles rose in knotted lumps, I almost heard the crack.
And while we roared and rattled too, your eyes were fixed like glue.
What thought went flying through your mind, how fared it, Five, with you?”
But Five answered solemnly, “I heard them fire a gun.
No other mortal thing I heard until the Race was done.”

R.C. Lehman

The devil in the dark


Regular readers will know that I have been following the antics of some speckled bush cricket nymphs in my garden.  From cute first hatchling through inquisitive early instar stages to greedy adolescence and approaching adulthood. And what do I get as a reward for bringing them fame and adulation?  Plants with holes!  I counted at least 25 of the devils out there yesterday, nibbling away at my carefully nurtured dahlias.  Have they no gratitude?  The youth of today (sigh)!  So a suitably more sinister image of one of the little monsters today. And now I have a dilemma…

Whoever struggles with monsters might watch that he does not thereby become a monster.  And when you stare into an abyss for a long time, the abyss also stares into you.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil (1886)

I won’t reblog very often but wanted to share this lovely post from one of my favourites. Enjoy. Normal service resumes soon.

Travels with the Blonde Coyote

After I finished college, I gave away everything that wouldn’t fit in my Volkswagon and hit the road West, determined to see the Mississippi, the Grand Canyon and the Pacific. Thus began my love affair with the lost art of the Road Trip. Back then, gas prices were just starting to flirt with the two dollar mark and almost everybody who heard about my cross country road trip plans tried to talk me out of it.

When I left home I wasn’t sure where the road would lead me, if I would return or where I might end up if I didn’t. I never would have guessed the end of the summer would find me on an Oregon seed farm, toiling through a grueling harvest season and absolutely captivated by organic agriculture. I found the combination of ecology and genetics that lies at the heart of natural farming inspiring…

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Blue skies


I was blue, just as blue as I could be
Ev’ry day was a cloudy day for me
Then good luck came a-knocking at my door
Skies were gray but they’re not gray anymore


Blue skies smiling at me


Nothing but blue skies do I see


Never saw the sun shining so bright


Never saw things going so right


Noticing the days hurrying by


When you’re in love, my how they fly


Blue days, all of them gone


Nothing but blue skies from now on


Irving Berlin, ‘Blue Skies’

The images:
Chesterman Beach, Vancouver Island, Canada
Northumberland Coast, UK
Moab, Utah, USA
Northumberland Coast
Sorrel River Ranch, near Moab
Desborough Island, Surrey, UK
Arizona highway
Lake Mead, Nevada, USA
River Wey, Surrey, UK
Zion National Park, Utah

Intrepid explorer

After hacking through the forbidding jungle, the intrepid explorer finally came upon the mighty river.

“…les jeux d’enfants ne sont pas jeux: et les faut juger en eux, comme leurs plus serieuses actions.”
Children at play are not merely playing; their games should be seen as their most serious actions.

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)