Monday, 14 August 2017

Click, click, click. Snip, snip, snip.

They came today.  The grass mowers that is.

They came with their noisy, behemoth-like mowing machines.  (I am told that these machines are banned in most cemeteries because the noise is sure to wake the dead).

They came with their edgers, trimmers, and leaf blowers.  A veritable festival of noise and gas/petrol fumes.

Then my very good and pleasant neighbor across the street decided to trim his bushes. (He is somewhat obsessive about this).  Of course he used those noisy electrically operated trimmers).

Not to be outdone, another neighbour  ( a truly arrogant jerk in the opinion of many of us), could not resist the use of his electric leaf blower to blow bits of dust off his prized Camaro.

NOISE POLLUTION invaded my ears today.

Oh my dear friends, I live a very quiet life.  I never play music, listen to the radio, or watch T.V.  at home (though I did tune into C.N.N. for an hour last Saturday as the dreadful events in Charlottesville, VA unfolded.)


The noise today caused my mind to enjoy memories from many a long day ago.

Across from our home lived a very respectable couple, Mr. and Mrs. Hurkett.  They were very private people and I knew next to nothing about them, save that they had a tenuous connection with the Plymouth Brethren denomination in which I was raised, and that Mr. Hurkett had once been a tinker - which made him very mysterious in my young mind.

(My twin sister and I used to sing carols for the Hurkett's at Christmas-tide (we had sweet voices) and we were often rewarded with half a crown (two shillings and sixpence), a princely sum in those days).

The Hurkett's had a big back garden, reaching all the way  to the old London, Midland and Scottish Railway line.  Mr. Hurkett was an avid gardener, and should a Police Horse, or a trader's horse and cart pass by he would rush out with a shovel and bucket to look for horse manure which perchance had been deposited in the street.


But what I remembered most today was the soothing and gentle sound of an old fashioned lawn mower when Mr. H. cut his grass in summer time.It was a early evening sound.

Click, click, click forward.  Then back, and click, click, click forward again.  

Respectable  working class folks often had a Privet hedge to establish a boundary in their small front gardens, or bigger back gardens.

Another comforting early evening sound was when they used hand shears to trim the Privets: "Snip, snip, snip" it went.


I love modern life.I am by no means a Luddite.  But I wish that modern life were not so darn noisy.


Hand driven grass cutter. Click, click click.

Old fashioned hedge trimmer/ Snip, snip, snip.

Privet hedge

English lawn with daisies ("Bellis  Perennia")

Saturday, 12 August 2017

We need a President who will......? We need preachers who will....?

We need a President who will......?

Without equivocation or obfuscation condemn racism, white supremacy, white nationalism, the resurgent KKK, and neo-Na-ism.

Don't hold your breath.


We need preachers who will....?

On Sunday August 13th  resist the temptation to utter pious pablum about "God Loves Everyone", or "We must strive for reconciliation".

Rather, they should without equivocation or obfuscation condemn racism, white supremacy, white nationalism, the resurgent KKK, and neo-Na-ism, noting that such beliefs are incompatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Again, don't hold your breath.


I won't be in any Church tomorrow, nor will I listen/watch the Talk shows.  I cannot hold my breath that long.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Roosevelt. How many Americans know this?

Field of Roses/Roosevelt

Having just waded my way through a a comprehensive biography of Alexander Hamilton (see my earlier blog) at

I am now enjoying a biography (published in 1992 and written by Nathan Miller) of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Published by Quill//William Morrow1992
I'll bore you later with details of the book, but for now here is a bit of trivia.

The surname Roosevelt is Dutch by origin,  It arises from the town/area from which the family grew.

Roosevelt, and its alternative spellings,  means (in English)  FIELD OF ROSES.

Makes sense n'est pas?

But I wager that many Brits, Americans, and Europeans (apart from the Dutch) have never made this connection.

(I saw my Dutch/South African friend Pal Van D. this afternoon and he confirmed the meaning/origin of the Roosevelt name/)