Flower of the Day: 29.01.2017 Aechmea Fasciata/Urn Plant

Urn plant

Now and again I see one of these, so decided it was time to give it an appearance. I actually did not know what its name was and after some investigations in Wikipedia found that one of the common names is Urn Plant, probably because they are usually planted  in urns, although I though an urn was a resting place for something else. Anyhow, here is it, and another member of the bromelia family. That is some family.

Flower of the Day: 29.01.2017 Aechmea Fasciata/Urn Plant

Speechless – Furious – Upset

Can anything be done to stop this madman?

The happy Quitter!

muslims in america.jpg

“It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help,” he said. “If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.” Pope Francis, 2016

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Daily Prompt: Daffodil Yellow

Daffodils in the garden

Daffodils are basically yellow, although they can also appear in white or orange, but yes, they are yellow, which reminds me of my school days. No, they did not grow at school in the playground, but we were encouraged by the school to grow bulbs for a spring show.

Growing up in London, the only yellow flowers you might see were dandelions, because dandelions grow everywhere, even on the bombed sites left from the war, which were my playgrounds. This was actually the only contact I had with mother nature as a kid. So the educational system in London had a bright idea, let’s encourage our kids to recognise what a daffodil is.

I was then at primary school, and at the age of 10-11 we were eace given one daffodil bulb in Autumn.The intention was that we took them home, planted them in a pot and would look after them until they began to grow and flower. Soon Spring arrived, and if we did everything as we should we would have flowering daffodils. Mum was not really the Capability Brown of the landscape gardeners, and dad even less, but she like a nice flower around the home. We always had geraniums in summer in the window box on the kitchen window sill. I remember once, she was not feeling well, and so she sent dad to the flower market to buy geraniums. Dad did not have a clue what a geranium looked like, so she had to give a full detailed description and we were all surprised when he returned home with geraniums. Mum must have described them correctly.

So back to the yellowness.  Mum planted my bulb in a pot, using the earth from our back yard. Actually it was a wonder than anything grew with that earth, as the main part of it was composed of coal dust, because we had our coal bunker in the back yard.

I suppose I looked after the daffodil bulb now and again and gave it water, but I think mum did most of the gardening work. Spring arrived and a date was set by the school to bring the results of our daffodil bullbs. We kids were now excited and I remember the day when we all carried our pot with the daffodil to school. Our school hall had many empty tables, and the daffodils  were placed on the tables. Naturally we were all given some sort of label where we wrote our name and class. I think it was our teachers that did the judging. They would examine each grown daffodil. Some were quite majestic, and some were just happy to have survived he battle of producing a flower, but for us East End kids in Bethnal Green it was the event of the Spring.

The bulbs were judged and the successful and the best were given a certificate to prove it. The best you could do was a first class certificate. I remember them as if it were yesterday. They had a photo of daffodils, in black an white on them, and the words “1st Class Daffodil” with a signature from the head misstress. There was then visitors day when the parents were all invited to inspect the various daffodils.

Some came up yellow, some were looking as if they really wanted to be yellow and there were those that had only managed a few green leaves. Who cares, it was so long ago, sixty years approximately, but it was my first success, thanks to mum. I think they would have died of thirst were it not for mum’s care.

Daily Prompt: Daffodil Yellow

Good Morning, صباح الخير

The greeting is in arabic (copy paste of course), so just showing off my knowledge of a foriegn tongue. Actually I did learn Arabic for a year, and could even read and write it more or less, but it is not easy. I noticed that only children in school write with the vowels in the letters, the adults understand the outline of the word without vowels. This was nothing new to me because I write Pitmans shorthand, and it is also only the beginners that insert the vowels (with dots and dashes something similar to Arabic). With time you leave that out. Today shorthand is not longer so important, due to computers and all that jazz. For the arabs their written language is important, because it is their language and they write in arabic. Something else I discovered that pure arabic is mainly spoken in the gulf states, most of the other arab countries have their own dialects to such an extent that amongst themselves speaking their dialects, they do not always understand each other. For that you have the pure form which is/should be universal in the Arab world. As a basis for learning the language most teachers take Egyptian arabic, which is one of the basic forms. At least that was what I gathered when learning the language. Another strange thing for me was the word “wa” meaning “and”. We say a list in our language and the last word is said with “and” in front. The arabs use the word “and” between every word in the list. Other languages other rules.

So now back to normal.


The sun is rising again over my part of the world. In other parts it has already disappeared because of the appointment it had it Europe to appear. You cannot have the sun shining everywhere, it is just not done.

I did my usual tour of Internet this morning, and one of the first places I stop at is Facebook, just to put me in the picture. I do not often write things in Facebook, because a lot of the stuff I read is not really my thing. I also do not show photos of my family and print messages of greetings. Admittedly we have news stations to put us in the picture of what is going on in the world, but the stations print their own versions of the truth, and so you have to be careful what to believe. Perhaps what the people say are also their own versions, but suddenly I am getting to know my colleagues and some have strange ideas of what is sense and what not. I try not to get involved in politics, but at the moment it is becoming increasingly difficult when I see a threat looming on the horizon.

I see things I never thought I would ever see in this day and age, things that usually happen in other countries with their dictators, things that were once eliminated through war and common sense rightly so. It seems people forget, and a new threat to world peace and stability is rising. I can only hope that this will soon stop.

I paid my last visit to England last year travelling on a Swiss identity card, because my english passport had expired a few months before, and it would have taken too long to have organised a renewal. I also knew that a new english passport would no longer be necessary. My last visit was combined with my father’s funeral and I had a few financial matters to settle in England. There were two banks involved, one a joint account with my father – no problem. I could transfer funds and within a week they had arrived on my Swiss bank account.The other was more problematic as it was my personal account and I had residence in a different country. The bank only accepted a passport, according to EU laws. England are now leaving the EU, but are still there. I managed to find a loophole by making three transfers for less money each time than one big transfer where my Swiss identity card was accepted. This of course cost me expenses, no big problem, but I felt I was being cheated.

However, they let me into England with my Swiss identity card and let me out again, self evident really. Even this in some countries is not so self evident, I see horror visions of a future – no wonder that 1984 by George Orwell is reaching record sales.

And now to leave my soap box. I do not want to begin a political dispute, argument or whatever, but I am not ashamed to say on which side I am. I deleted one colleague this week in Facebook, because of his constant stupid comments, I was sure this person was intelligent. There will probably be more deletions, because it is all I can do in my little world. My voice does not carry so far with influence, but I feel better afterwards.

And now to go. I was hugging my bed too long this morning, did not sleep as well as I would have like to, alway have sleep problems after injecting my medicine in the evening before. No pain, just an unrest – perhaps it is all in the mind.

I now want to begin cooking my veal on slow cooking method, otherwise nothing exhausting on a Sunday moirning.

See you around – some time later.

Blackbird 28.01 (2)