21 June 2008


Today is supposedley the longest day of the year and we have decided to celebrate Midsummer or the summer solstice. Being a bit of pagan myself it suits me to celebrate fire festivals and harvests and that sort of thing. It is a beautifully typical British summer day too - Grey, cold, raining mmmmm. We are gonna go to a pub in Long Itchington with our friend Katrina and pour libations to the pagan gods of merryment.

15 June 2008

Blenheim Palace

Today we drove down to Oxfordshire and Visited Blenheim Palace. The Building and grounds are spectacular and really are worth the drive and the exorbitant entrance fee. The palace itself is very grand and was built for the 1st Duke of Marlborough, a slightly effeminate looking man we saw in a few paintings. Eventually Big, Bad Winston was born and lived here (Winston Churchill of WWII fame). Inside the building is just like every other palace with lots of gilding, massive paintings, creaky floors, tapestries and marble busts. The gardens are even better and have some really beautiful, large old trees. Lots of good english trees like Oaks, Elms, Beaches, Elders, and also lebanese cedars, maples and onwards. The gardens are also very large and stretch on past the horizon in most directions. There are lakes and rivers, rose gardens, water gardens, a hedge maze, and a few temples and follies and of course some well built naked women statues.

We enjoyed our day and would recommend it to anyone in the area.


The Front yard of the palace


The Duke and duchess of Hunningham visiting friends.


Another view of the front entrance


The water Garden


Buxus hedging around the water garden


An angry naked man with sword and shield


A content and naked Lady doing her best to hold her hair and remain vaguely virtuous.


Winston got it on in this temple in 1908.


A fresh green field with some nice silver birch, purple beaches and oaks in the background.


A Grass snake, very uncommon to see any reptiles in the UK.


The Italian garden which is out of bounds for plebs.


A beech.

9 June 2008

Danny and Emma

Celebrations and libations to the Gods of Happiness,

Emma and Danny have survived there literally long and arduous trip through India, most people made it through their blog without expiring and now they are in Britain. Last weekend we caught up with Emma and Danny after they arrived from India. They are here to work and will be in Essex. We mainly spent time in a few modest beverage houses discussing veterinary interests and achievements and the effects the caste system still has on Indian society or lack of it.

Emma and Danny were in fine form and both looking very healthy and happy. we had dinner in China town and promptly went home as we all ate too much and the 7 hours of drinking was a bit tiring too.

Danny had bought himself the 50 best pubs in London book so we had gone to a few little hidden pubs like in the picture below. Not hidden but nice to stand outside in remarkably good weather.

On Sunday after parting with our dearest friends, we went to the British museum. It is very large and has some really fantastic collections. We concentrated mainly on the Classical section with the Greek, Roman and Egyptian displays.

The whole weekend was very enjoyable, mainly because we were reunited with some very dear friends of ours and also because it gave me a chance to try to write a similarly wordy (though not as many big words) as Emma and Danny did about India.


The second or third pub of the day, a pleasant outside area really lending itself well to discussions on the Punjab region’s many problems.


A happy, naked little stone man with his pet Budgie


A reconstructed or copied bit of something old.

7 June 2008


Here are some photos of our local Lagomorphs. I have a confession, when i see a rabbit i am torn between their cuteness and a happy little animal enjoying its environment and desperately wanting to shoot and then eat it. It sounds terrible but there is a cave man living inside me and sometimes he wants out. They live beside our driveway in the horse/sheep paddock and i often see them when i am coming and going from work. The little one on the right in the first picture is quite young and would definitely be veal. There are actually quite a lot of them living in the hedge row.



MMMMM, onoions, fresh thyme, garlic, pepper, paprika, olive oil, stock, some red or white wine, maybe a carrot, some cloves and a bit of braising time!