Good Insects need Good Plants

Marmalade Hoverfly

Marmalade Hoverfly

Good insects (those that feed on pests) need good plants if they are to help in your garden.




The insects mentioned in the audio include:

Ladybirds: there are several species, see

Have fun spotting them, and join the Ladybird Survey




Adult Lacewing

Lacewing larva feeding on aphids

larva feeding on aphids

baby spiders

lovely baby spiders














Calendula officianalis


California Poppy













Spring bulbs

Spring bulbs

foeniculum vulgare : venkel

foeniculum vulgare : venkel: to test your German!














Poached Egg Plant

Poached Egg Plant




willow – make a den

USA’s Future

I’m in two minds about the United States of America. The people can be very nice, their philosophy and approach to life can be very confusing, and dangerous.

With Presidential elections coming soon can I make a suggestion?

That we spin back to 1776 and give up the idea of Independence. Its not worked very well so far, has it? You’d be better back into an Empire where other people could bring reason to your decisions, and stop you being hated everywhere. It will also save you money.

Some changes will be necessary that will need your cooperation. The right to bear arms has been taken too far. The Second Amendment suggesting bearing arms was a cheap means of creating a citizen’s defence force, to be used against enemies. Not to prevent your neighbour’s cat from polluting your flower beds. That’s created in you a belief that aggression is the way to win arguments. It isn’t – leastways, not the way you do it. In the last 100 years you’ve engaged in dozens, if not hundreds, of arguments with other countries. You must understand you’ve not won any of these conflicts – except Grenada (well done). The rest have cost you billions of dollars, killed countless people, including your own citizens, and now very few people like you very much. It hasn’t worked.

Independence means you need to be capable of negotiation. Too often you’ve seen that as a fight, and used sneaky tactics. We saw through your demand to scrap the gold standard, and to use the dollar standard instead. We’ve seen you creating weasel words, such as ‘globalisation’ and trade deals such as TTIP. All will come back to bite you. Corporate capitalism cannot last. Eventually all the ‘Aren’t we Great’ slogans will be seen as false as the inequalities in your society become too much. Beware that the detention camps, plastic coffins and guillotines now waiting to be used are not used against you! How long can 1% of the population hold over 40% of the wealth?

Who would be your best partners? That may not depend upon your choice. If Yellowstone erupts – it does that every 600,000 years, and that last happened 600,000 years ago – none of us need worry. If China decides to call in the debt you owe, if the Middle East really erupts, and if the Great Bear of Russia finally decides you are too much to tolerate then they may all take actions you can’t avoid. North Korea looks good.

The European Union is an option. You could even decide to make German the national language this time, although it looks as if Spanish is already in the lead.

I’d suggest that rejoining US/UK flagthe United Kingdom could be the safest. Help us rebuild the Empire (we call that the Commonwealth now, as a temporary title).

We, the UK, come with advantages: we speak English (note that your corrupted version will need to be modified). We understand how to fight (as a last resort), we manage finances (for other people) very well, and our television is so much better than yours. Our laws are more compliant. We don’t use guns, which means we don’t have so many violent deaths.

We have a National Health Service (hopefully) and many other attributes. We could cooperate very well. We’ve got lots of suitable people who’d live with you, an rarely cause trouble.

Don’t be fooled by my altruism. I want you to join us so you can stop turning us into a slave colony.

BBC Schedules

BBC Schedules getting worse

Russian uniforms 18122016 already. As a grumpy old man I’d promised to change my ways this year People tell me I’m always moaning. They misunderstand me of course – I’m doing no more than pointing out some of inconsistencies around me. Don’t panic no-one ever responds to me except companies trying to sell me their expert services.

I’ll stop pointing out anomalies when people wake up, or start to conform to my way.

Today’s topic is the BBC. It’s a revered institution. Allegedly free from political influence we pay an annual fee to gain access. Fail to pay and the Thought Police will harass, the Courts will fine and the huge gates of a prison will threaten to incarcerate.

That’s been OK for 80-90 years but it is slowly changing.

It’s controlled by a Charter, which is to be renewed this year. The present government has seized its chance, believing the BBC to be a dark cave wherein lurk ‘lefties’ whose principal aim is to undermine and weaken the government, and (more importantly perhaps) offer a subsidised platform that prevents commercial cronies from making profits.

‘It’s unfair competition they all shout.’

Changes are already taking place. The BBC is now forced into the tawdry world of money. Programmes must reach the widest audiences. Lowest common denominator is now very desirable.

In about 1973 the BBC produced 21 episodes of War and Peace, each 45 minutes long. It was absorbing, well acted, and probably representative of the times (French invasion of Russia in 1812). It can be found on YouTube

We now have a new version – just six episodes now, so it races along from one absorbing scene to the next. The plot remains (sort of) but too many of the young actors are coquettish, leaving little to the imagination. That’s understandable the BBC no longer employs experienced costume, set or production designers. Most are just out of college, overjoyed to have a job, and far too compliant.

I feel sorry for everyone involved, almost as concerned as I am for the viewers who are forced into the modern malaise; if anything lasts more than six seconds it’s judged boring. The greatest crime is audiences that switch channels.

I could go on. I will just make one more point:

The Christmas schedule was littered with repeats, most seemed to be out of copyright they were so old, or (aah!) American films and TV.

Moaning about all that must wait until I have strength.

Russian ladies 1812 - very discreet