We went for a walk on the east pier in Dun Laoghaire this morning where it was overcast and spitting rain as sailors got ready for the day’s racing.[Read more…] about Thirty Minute Exercise
We have a problem in the back garden this afternoon. A pair of Magpies have gone on the prowl. The one was lurking all afternoon in and around the garden. The other patrolled on the roof, often throwing an ominous shadow onto the granite slabs that pave our back garden.[Read more…] about Garden Birds
I put some personal waste into a postbox recently. And a few weeks later I received a summary analysis of my DNA and microbiome. I’d thought it sensible to get an understanding of any potential genetic health risks especially since they might affect our children and theirs. And a check on the health of my second brain, my gut bacteria, was long overdue.
Privacy surrendered, I learned many things, among them that I need more inulin. I need to eat things like Jerusalem artichokes and root chicory to get it. The advantage that might accrue from the soluble fibres in inulin could well be a decreased risk of diabetes. Maybe so, maybe worth a try, I thought. Prebiotic and indigestible in the small intestine, inulin is thought to feed the bacteria in the lower gut. A common side effect of inulin is flatulence, since re-confirmed even though I introduced the inulin scientifically. Jerusalem artichokes have always been a windy challenge, so I tried and failed to de-sensitise myself with tiny doses. Cooking them in lemon or vinegar didn’t neutralise them either. Now I’m too scared to try chicory root.[Read more…] about Post Waste
The coffee percolator was on the hob for the second time. We’d watched the morning news on two channels between 8 and 8.30 and I’d moved back to the kitchen to read the yesterday’s Irish Times newspaper. The sun was shining on the back deck, dappled through the trees that line our southern fence. Beams of light brought different items into perspective while pigeons continued their cooing. They added a base note to the unusually loud dawn chorus that started around 5 am today and were still at it. I was reading about nightingales singing in Berlin, the no malice-aforethought surge of Covid-19 in nursing homes and the obvious need to rebase existing national debt and double it. Pigeons and nightingales aside, I needed a diversion.[Read more…] about Exercise Nine
I gave myself a simple photo challenge. I was to sit for one hour facing out to the garden and take photographs. I could use my Canon DSLR and the 70-200 lens with the 2X extender. And at the end of an hour, I had to post my favourite six. For the technical folk who might read this, I decided it had to be handheld too; no tripods. And I’d be indoors, behind a newly double glazed ‘French’ window. All photos to be taken from a seat in our living room.
We have very purposefully built up our front garden over many years. There’s about 100 square metres at the front and we converted it all into a rockery about 15 years ago. We got a lot of criticism from passers-by for returning granite boulders to a garden where they recalled a lot of granite had been blasted, broken and cleared to make way for our house. Our garden rises up quite steeply from about a metre beyond the window, running up ten metres to a road. This has a southerly aspect that has reduced direct sunlight because we are in the shadow of Roche’s Hill and surrounded by many ornamental but mature trees. So we selected plants as a botanical screen against views from the road, which is level with our first floor. And we selected plants that could survive with the benefit of indirect light reflected from the windows and white walls.[Read more…] about Wabi Sabi Challenge