MARIGOLDS AND TOMATOES

SATURDAY 30th MAY 2020

  I worked extremely hard today potting our tomato plants into their final pots. I have 30 really healthy plants sited in our back garden. I can never believe the size these large healthy plants have grown, when I look back and consider the tiny black seeds I planted. Although Margaret is unable to eat tomatoes as she’s developed an allergy to them we both enjoy growing them.

  Our geraniums are looking splendid this year, I always find these wonderful standby plants so easy to grow. Geraniums require the absolute minimum of attention and they come in some glorious colours.

There is a suggestion that geraniums are a beneficial companion plant to tomatoes. I got this information from  https://modernsurvivalblog.com>

Companion plants for tomatoes include Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Carrots, Marigold, Geraniums, Petunias, Borage, any type of Onion or Chives.

When ‘companion plants’ are applied throughout the garden, they can be an effective form of pest management, allowing nature to do its job.

‘Companion planting can discourage harmful insects and pests in your garden without harming the beneficial ones.

Many plants have natural substances in their roots, flowers, and leaves that can repel or attract insects and can enhance the growth and flavour of other varieties of plants.’

Written by John Yeo

MARGARET’S BLUE ROSE

FRIDAY 29th MAY 2020

MARGARET’S BLUE ROSE

These photographs show our beautiful blue tea rose. I bought this rosebush as a present for Margaret 12 years ago and it has rewarded us with a multitude of magnificent blooms, year after year. This is certainly the most successful floral present I have ever bought for her. The blooms get bigger and better as the years go by. The blooms have an extremely delicate perfume, so fresh and enticing to easily intoxicate any passing bees and insects to promote pollination.

   However in my experience, roses are one of the hardest plants to grow in the garden and need a great deal of tender care and protection. In Spring the shrubs need to be pruned and all the dead wooden branches removed and a good measure of rose food needs to be applied around the roots. They need careful, regular examination to detect any attacks by pests, in the shape of greenfly, black fly or aphids. A good quality bug spray needs to be applied at the first sign and regularly throughout the season. Then there is the dreaded rust-like fungal disease that looks unsightly and causes the leaves to discolour and drop off. A regular spraying with a fungal deterrent is the only method I know to counteract this. 

Regular watering in the dry spells is essential to encourage the buds to swell to produce new wonderful blooms. Another measure of rose food should be applied halfway through the Summer.

Sometimes spurs pop out from well down below the bush, I always remove these as they take energy from the bush that could go towards promoting the flowers. Finally at the end of the flowering season, which can last through to the years end, I have to prune the branches right back to prevent wind-rock. The winter wind blows fiercely and rocks the plant, loosening the roots in the soil, causing weakness or in extreme cases, death.

  In my mind looking after my roses is simply a replacement for taking care of small children, keeping the roses fed, watered and protecting them from predators. The reward of my labour is the smile on Margaret’s face when she picks a perfect rose to photograph and view again year after year.

    I took this brief paragraph of the origin of roses from Wikipedia, there is a lot of information, myths and information there.

  ‘Ornamental roses have been cultivated for millennia, with the earliest known cultivation known to date from at least 500 BC in Mediterranean countries, Persia, and China. It is estimated that 30 to 35 thousand rose hybrids and cultivars have been bred and selected for garden use as flowering plants. Most are double-flowered with many or all of the stamens having morphed into additional petals.’

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

NOT HOMELESS, JUST HOUSELESS

WEDNESDAY 27th MAY 2020

NOT HOMELESS ~ JUST HOUSELESS

by John Yeo

   Saturday night, the stores in the mall put the shutters up for the night. The last shoppers made their way to the exits, joined by the last of the mall staff. The night security staff arrived and manned the CCTV cameras continuously filming the whole of the shopping area. Joe and Pete were night security men who did regular foot patrols outside the mall.
    The Saturday midnight patrol was always eventful, many a time they came across drunks arguing with each other or young lovers canoodling in the rear doorways and entrances to the mall. This Saturday was different, one Joe would remember for the rest of his life. The two men came upon, what looked like a bundle of rags heaped in a shop doorway.
    Pete, a large stocky man with a shaved head, and a tattoo on his right cheek  noticed it first.

       “Hey Joe, look at that! Someone has dumped a heap of rags in the doorway. No, wait, it’s moving, someone is asleep under there. We will have to wake them up, we aren’t allowed to let people sleep on the mall property.”

     “You’re right Pete, I will just shake the bundle with my foot, to get a response!” Then without thinking he kicked the edges of the rags gently. Joe was the shorter of the two men with dark, greasy hair, he was the most aggressive of the two.
    Both men stepped back, extremely wary, as the bundle of rags came to life with a squeal and a thin, unkempt woman, began furiously attacking them with a tatty umbrella.

    “Please leave me alone you ignorant sex-starved animals, I have no money and I am afflicted with an STD, that will infect you instantly.” The lady screamed.

   “Now hold on,” said Pete. “What are you doing here? You can’t sleep here, you should go home and sleep! We are security officers, doing our job. What’s your name?”

    “Mary,” said the lady, now noticeably calmer. “I have tried all the night shelters and hostels, even the Salvation Army hostel is full. I knocked and the duty security man just said.   “Sorry we have a full-house, there are no beds available.”

      Joe said, “You can’t sleep here, it is more than our jobs are worth to allow that!”
    Mary started sobbing uncontrollably. The two men were both taken aback at this turn of events.

       Pete turned to Joe and said, “We may be jobsworths, but we are not made of concrete.” Then he turned to Mary and said, “Come and have a cup of tea with us, we have a storeroom you can use, for tonight!”
      Photographs Mary carried, revealed she was Maria Popova, a famous ballerina who had been missing for weeks. Joe gained her confidence and informed the authorities. It turned out Maria had suffered memory loss, becoming isolated from her family.
  Joe and Pete became her personal security guards, both men were substantially better off for their kindness to a stranger in distress.


Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~All rights reserved

UNITED IN MERCY ~ DIVIDED IN FEAR

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TUESDAY 26th MAY 2020

UNITED IN MERCY ~ DIVIDED IN FEAR

by John Yeo

    My picture today reflects the turbulent sea. I recently became aware of the still prevalent problem of refugees and people- smuggling, that is still happening, in spite of the current pandemic that is raging around the four corners of the globe. I’m sure the last thing that springs to mind when one is frightened and desperately searching for a new life in a new land, is social distancing. These unfortunate travellers are crammed together in small dirty boats, or sealed into the backs of lorries using every inch of available space. Many of these people are caught and escorted back to where they came from. Sadly a high number die on the journey. The hidden,  unknown, almost unthinkable side of this ongoing situation, is the thought of the uncountable number of people who actually get through and melt into the population. The incalculable risk of the spread of Coronavirus by this means is something that can never be included in the Scientific data.

UNITED IN MERCY ~ DIVIDED IN FEAR 

by John Yeo

Many  official vessels from different navies

United in a common cause, 

To stem a very sad tide. 

A tidal wave of unfortunate people.

Fleeing their homelands 

Through fear and persecution.

~

The United forces of the comfortable world, 

Come together to save the lives

Of the refugees from oppression.

Crammed into unsafe vessels 

Preyed on for profit by cheats and thieves.

Led to Death by drowning in cruel rough seas. 

~

Divided by cause, culture and strife,

The refugees from hard pressed lands

Arrive to find salvation in a makeshift camp.

To ask for asylum and begin a new life

The saviours argue the point, 

Divided by the situation of overpopulation.

~

United in mercy and compassion.

They discuss going to war to stem the tide. 

Of hopeless humanity on the cruel rough seas.

Divided by the morality of taking life

To save the lives of the unfortunate few.

The disunited, divided impossible solution.

Can this worldwide situation really be true?   

Copyright © Written by John Yeo  ~ All rights reserved 

THE CAREFREE DAYS

SATURDAY 23rd MAY 2020

 

THE CAREFREE DAYS 

by John Yeo

 

  These photographs bring back a lovely memory of a time in March 2017 when we attended a wonderful concert performance by Andre Rieu and his wonderful orchestra. I can’t help thinking that these days are over now for the foreseeable future.

 

 

    I remember we entered the crowded arena, where our bags were screened and we joined a throng of people attempting to locate their seats. I must admit there was order in the chaos and the security people were very helpful in locating our seats, we were soon seated comfortably awaiting the show to begin.

 

 

    A spectacular colourful musical extravaganza followed, featuring the orchestra, a female choir, three tenors and three diva sopranos. This was professionally overseen and put together by Andre Rieu, a showman and a character supreme. The female musicians in full length colourful ball gowns and the smartly dressed male members of the orchestra made for wonderful entertainment. They all seemed to be enjoying the experience enormously, which added a wonderful flavour to our evening’s entertainment. 

 

 

 Then the stunning scenery and dramatic effects added to the occasion and brought out the wonderful timeless music. The audience were invited to dance in the aisles and sing to the popular strains of well known songs.

 

 

 The show seemed to go on forever, with encore after encore. People were dancing in the aisles and still singing to the music, as the security people were trying to establish order and safety.

 

 

 I have to look back on these unrepeatable photographs and think how sad it is, we will probably never again feel the unabandoned exhilaration of being a part of thousands of people crammed together just enjoying a musical extravaganza such as this. 

 Life for everyone has changed out of all recognition since the arrival of the Covid19, Coronavirus pandemic. Some changes will be permanent. Although the current social distancing measures will certainly be eased in the future, I doubt if the memory of the ease of this sort of disease transmission will ever be forgotten and crowded arenas such as the one shown in these photographs will surely be a thing of the past.

 © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

 

FRIDAY 22nd MAY 2020

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FRIDAY 22 MAY 2020

 

We had a busy day yesterday on the allotment. Having completed preparing our three Bean wigwams, we went on to transplant some Beetroot plants and water some of the existing plants in the beds. Our Rhubarb hasn’t done particularly well this year and a good friend who has a surplus kindly gave us some impressive stalks. Margaret has them in the photograph ready to transport them home. Our friend gave Margaret a good idea for a recipe for a Rhubarb and Strawberry crumble, something we haven’t tried before. Our Strawberries are still in flower and we look to be expecting a good crop around the beginning of June. Hopefully with another donation of Rhubarb stalks we will try it out.

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AFTERNOON TEA

AFTERNOON TEA

by John Yeo

MONDAY 18th MAY 2020

AFTERNOON TEA

I thought I would display a photograph of a varied bone china tea set that we were served with, in a delightful little tea shop In

town. We love the authenticity of drinking tea from bone china.

The presence of a tea strainer suggests there are authentic tea leaves in the pot. This is another aspect of the ritual having tea that has sadly gone to the dogs with the universal introduction of tea bags.

Looking closely at the tea set, it becomes clear that not one of the pieces actually match. They are obviously a mismatch of various tea sets that have been put together randomly. I love the teapotwith the birds and butterflies, this was probably from an expensive tea set that suffered breakages of individual pieces over the years and it now lives with the remains of several other tea sets. I wonder if the proprietors of this tea shop rescued these individual pieces from charity shops and jumble sales.

I hesitate to think how many people have enjoyed afternoon tea from these separate pieces over the years and under what circumstances. There must be a thousand gallons of water and washing up liquid and gallons of tea that have passed through and gently caressed the delicate surfaces. Every cup tells a story.

THE MIRACLE OF LIFE

by John Yeo

A tiny spark of dormancy waits for revival,

Encased in a fuzzy cloud of mundanity.

When time and the mixture of conditions allow

Growth begins from within the uncertainty.

A creation of beauty is coming slowly together.

~

The beauty and the perils that await the entity,

As a fragile life becomes stronger with time.

The magical moment when a muddle of words

Takes a solid shape in a rough draft outline.

A creation shaped slowly with poetical guidance.

~

Words encased with fine vibrancy, line by line.

Ringing through the portals of the poets mind.

The entity that grew from a shapeless design.

A thing of beauty with strength and fluidity

Produced and nurtured from a tiny seedling.

A vision; then the growth of beauty in words.

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved