Dancing flowers

As I was browsing through my archives, I came across some photos

Taken one lovely summer’s day at the botanical gardens.

It was a day of flowers and smiles (that’s my daughter in the background);

Purple smiles

When pink leaves dazzled

In the sunlight;

PInk leaves

And bee houses

Perfumed the air.

Bee houses

It was a time of

Dancing flowers,

Dancing flowers copy

And time to stop

And smell the vivid heart of a hibiscus.

Hibiscus heart

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May you never…

martyn_Little did I know it as I played a selection of songs from the three John Martyn albums I own that he had died a couple of days ago.

I first discovered John Martyn when I was still living in the UK. One of my more musically hip friends was a great fan. In fact, I think he bought me my very first CD. And that was that: I was hooked! Hooked by the lyrics, the music, his voice, the dazzling guitar play.

In my mind, John Martyn remained as youthful as he was on the cover of Sweet Little Mysteries. That was before the booze, the failing health, the wheelchair. What remains is the sweet music he has left to the world.

And that is how I will always remember him.

And may you never lay your head down
Without a hand to hold
May you never make your bed out in the cold.

(John Martyn – May you never)

Follow the link to hear the young John Martyn singing May you never.

The birds and the bees

Shock horror! Nicole Kidman claims: “It was the fertile water that got me pregnant!”

Er… the 41-year-old actress has just given birth, for goodness sake! And yet she still thinks that it was ‘fertile water’ that made her pregnant?

Wonder what her husband has to say about that?

Might be time for a little talk about the birds and the bees….

Crying over spilt milk

I am on the warpath – ready to cut down corrupt officials with a few withering looks. *In fact, when Lady Fi is angry, she resembles a demented Rottweiler (no offence meant, oh rottweilers) – claims Sir Pe. OK – that last part is not really true. I put in that comment for extra drama…

Still, there is no doubt about it. I’m angry, furious, in a rage and hopping mad.

Why? Because of the toxic milk scandal in China that is rocking the world right now. You know the scandal I mean: the one about milk powder used in baby formula containing melamine (a banned toxic chemical used in making plastics and fertilizers). About liquid milk and other dairy products that also contain contaminated milk.

It seems that the Chinese dairy industry is hard to control: it consists of many small farms with only a few cows each that sell their raw milk to collecting stations. These stations then sell the milk to the big dairy producers. The farmers want more money for their milk and the dairy producers want to keep prices down, so the middlemen – in this case, the milk collectors – came up with the brilliant solution of watering down the milk and then putting in the magic ingredient melamine so that – in tests – the watered down milk appears to have a higher protein content than it actually contains. Why? Because the milk collectors get more money for this ‘better’ quality milk!

Now, that’s a wonderful idea, isn’t it? Let’s poison the milk used to make baby formula, sweets, buns, yoghurt and ice-cream. Let’s make a few bucks and damn the human suffering….

OK. It’s not only the middlemen that are to blame. Apparently, tampering with milk in China is widely used and it is no secret that it occurs. The laws to prevent this kind of thing seem to have more loopholes than your average Swiss cheese.

And then there is the question of covering up the scandal because of the Olympics. The first reports of sick children started coming in at the end of 2007. And yet – nothing was done! What was the government doing during all this?

And the worst part of it all is that the victims are the poor: those Chinese that could not afford foreign milk formula because it is so much more expensive than the Chinese counterparts.

And why is it that about 90% of all Chinese mothers do not breastfeed? Well, the world’s largest companies are already in there – at the hospitals – telling them to give their babies milk formula because it is so much more nutritious than breast milk.

You guessed it: the milk formula market is a billion dollar industry!

Does any of this ring a bell?

Flashback to the late 1970s and all the way through the 80s. People around the world boycotted Nestlé because of their aggressive sales campaigns to promote bottle feeding in developing countries. And, as a result, mothers mixed the milk powder with contaminated water (the only water available) with disastrous results.

In fact, as late as 2005, Nestlé’s milk products in China were found to contain iodine…

Mmm… could it be time for another boycott of dairy products?

No matter what: we should certainly be crying over spilt milk. In fact, we should be raging!

Promises promises!

The global economic crisis has even affected this sleepy corner of the world.

Today’s headlines scream out:


Sir Pe looks up from his coffee and says:

“At last! A promise the government can keep.”

Coincidence – or not?

My last story complained about a certain Swedish newspaper ignoring events going on around the world, including the troubles in Georgia.

The very next day that same newspaper published a headline on the front news: War breaks out during the Olympic opening ceremony.

Had they been reading my blog or was it all just a coincidence?