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Past, Present and Future

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Have you ever given thought to the age that you would like to achieve? Believe me, folks, when you are about to hit the seventy-year milestone it might start to creep into your thought processes - as it has into mine. I have a target of around eighty-six in mind - possibly beyond that if I'm relatively sound in body and mind. The news is that I have a 15.13% chance of suffering cardiovascular disease in the next ten years. That's official. Computed by the QRISK2 algorithm after the doc received the results of my annual medical tests. I don't know what to think. Is that good, or is it bad? What I do know is that I can reduce that risk, which is associated with high blood pressure and excess weight, by diet, exercise, and relaxation techniques. Well, we all know that we ought to be doing.

In the run-up to my medical, I had been following a low blood sugar diet for a couple of weeks. The diet is aimed at reducing the risk of diabetes but a side benefit is that, because it'…

The White Horse in Wiltshire

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Good morning! I've been in Wiltshire this weekend. During a brief respite from atrocious weather my brother-in-law and I made the steep ascent (by car, I hasten to add!) to the White Horse, which is a mile or so from his home. Very blustery up there and I had to make an undignified scramble over a stile to reach the Iron-Age earthworks but it was so worth it for the spectacular views.


King Alfred defeated the Great Heathen Army of the invading Danes on this site between the 6th and the 12th May AD 878. The White Horse was carved out of the chalk hillside many centuries later, to commemorate the Battle of Ethandun (Old English name for the village of Edington, where my family lives).

Had planned to move on the Dorset coast for a few days but the weather, with storms coming in from the West, has been very unpredictable (it's said that we may be getting the effects of the tail-end of Hurricane Irma later this week). So after getting soaked to the skin on Sunday at Cliveden, on t…

Why Drink Decaf?

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What, you may ask, is the point of denuded, decaffeinated coffee? Well, there isn't one. If you don't mind the prospect of a future of addiction, shot nerves, insomnia, high blood pressure and headaches. Ever wondered why some European nations are so excitable? It's the ritual of the early morning espresso, so thick that it may be possible to stand a spoon in it, and so strong that it has to be washed down with a glass of water by the unaccustomed and unwary. OK, I exaggerate. But I do have difficult-to-control high blood pressure; and caffeine doesn't do anything to abate my insomnia. So I have been drinking  decaf for a long time - possibly longer than you have been alive.

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Friday Blog Hop: Celebrate

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Good morning

Firstly, let me thank Alexa Cain and her trusty assistants for maintaining the Friday Blog Hop. If you want to find out more, or even participate, click the link on the right of this page to be redirected (though hopefully you won't do so before reading my ramblings).

I loaned my car to resident son for the past week as his is in dry dock, and therefore I have been quite restricted in terms of adventuring. Luckily, Sconce and Devon Park is only a short distance from here, so I was able to amble around there on Sunday. Here's what was happening -











Bemused? Regiments of Cavaliers and Roundheads, members of the Sealed Knot Society ,  mustered over the weekend to re-enact the sieges of Newark.

The walled medieval town was loyal to the King during the English Civil War (1642-1651) and was besieged three times. The Sconce was one of two defensive earthworks that were constructed outside the walls of the town. It is said that during the seiges the starving townspeople wer…

Friday Blog Hop: Celebrate the Small Things

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How did I get by before I discovered rice cakes? Yes, they look and taste like polystyrene but they are the answer to this girl's dreams. I'm a grazer. Put me in the vicinity of my kitchen and I'm likely to dive into the fridge for a hunk of cheese or raid the cupboard for a handful of nuts. And these are the least of my sins! So a rice cake (whole grain, in a nod towards healthy eating) at 18 calories a slice is something to be celebrated. I've already eaten five and it's only just 9 a.m.

The best adjective I can come up with for my past week is gentle. English life as experienced in my childhood. On Sunday I drove out to one of the villages to meet up with friends for a visit to a cottage garden and nursery, followed by a guided tour of the village church. (The tour was meant to last for half an hour but went on for an hour and a half, so I was becoming a bit fidgety toward the end).



 Saint Lawrence was a Christian martyr who was roasted alive by the Romans.
Even…