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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

If Oliver Cromwell was Alive Today (He would be convicted by the international court of The Hague.)

I can’t help but notice that the towns of Huntingdon and Fenland all pay homage to Oliver Cromwell of the English Civil War. 

This man led a revolt against the Scottish and English king who was Charles I and his Royalist supporters. Cromwell actually dismantled the laws of England and beheaded the king. In times gone by this area (Huntingdon & Fenland), I suspect, would have been Parliamentarian country. What Cromwell did can be compared with what the Ayatollah Khomeini did in 1979, when the religious leader deposed the Shah of Iran.

I believe Essex and East London was more Royalist. This is where I’m from. I remember visiting Colchester and learning of the siege against the town during the civil war. It was defended by the Royalists but eventually fell to the Parliamentarians. Still it was back in the 1640s decade and much dust has settled since then.

In St Ives I took this photo of Oliver Cromwell's statue. It’s strange because he would have been on a par with extremist religious bigots now days. His brand of Christian ideology would be nothing short of extreme fundamentalism. People could have ears cut off and other forms of maiming just for not attending church the required number of hours per week. 

Local pastors were like Big Brother watchers over communities and could bring charges of blasphemy against citizens just for not attending church the required hours per week. The following 1650s decade was a terrible time for England. It was bad for all of the Isles, including Ireland. Also the American colonies felt the heat of fundamentalism too.

The Restoration in 1660 brought new prosperity to all and gradually the horrors of post-civil war rule began to fade. I’m fascinated by our history and enjoy it so much, but I sometimes wonder if it is fitting to have commemorative statues to such a person? 

If Oliver Cromwell would have been around today, I sincerely believe he would have been convicted in the international court of The Hague. Yet from his dreadful legacy came some good, I suppose. The mere thought of Cromwell and his Parliamentarians makes me shudder. I would have opposed him and lost. I’m a lapsed non-practising Catholic, but I don’t think this would have cut much ice with the Lord Protector's government. I would surely have perished or been forced to flee or hide. 

Monday, 30 May 2016

England, England, My lovely England - An Afternoon in Saint Ives Cambridgeshire.

The Market Place
I got out of the shower feeling refreshed. Its Bank Holiday Monday and I have another two days off after this. Carole is pottering about the garden and I know she likes a little trip out to one of the various hamlets or towns. We often drive to Norfolk along the coastal roads. However Lincolnshire and Huntingdon are also right on the door step.

I asked her where she would like to go, and she replied her usual. "I don't know."

That means she wants me to make a choice, but she definitely wants to have a drive out somewhere. No problem. I know she has been singing the praises of Saint Ives. Its a market town with a river running through it and is only about thirty minuets drive along country roads.

Off we set, with some aplomb, towards the shire of Huntingdon within Cambridgeshire as is our Fenlands. Along the way we chatted about this and that and in no time at all we were entering the old town of Saint Ives. 

I was surprised to see the market stools out in great force, though most of the shops were closed for the Bank Holiday. Still it was bustling and we had a look around and bought a few bits and bobs. 

As we came out of the market place and went along the side streets we came to the picturesque river and its old stone bridge. What a pleasant little hamlet Saint Ives is. We had an enjoyable few hours wandering about the place before driving back to our own little Fenland hamlet of March. Here we went out and had a few beers in a pub.

The bridge today


How it was in the late 17th and early 18th Centuary
Gardens with a view

The old stone bridge arches look great

Much of the hamlet has the old world feel

Saint Ivers strolling home from market

An old office upon the bridge

House by the bridge

The tea rooms by the river

The river was once bustling but is more modest today

The place is full of old nooks and crannies

Built in 1502 this pub has seen a few customers over its 514 years of trade.

Away from the stool market 

Towards the stools

Some of the back streets

The river moving out of the town

Swans and Gulls scrounging for scraps


Sunday, 29 May 2016

When Perennial Plants Continue to Grow and Establish

The Potted Rhododendron
My wife, Carole spends lots of time in the greenhouse and is beginning to establish a variety of plants around our front, side and back garden.  She put a plant pot by our side door with a Rhododendron in it. A beautiful flowering shrub.

During the winter, I forgot all about this shrub. It just looked like a green little bush in a pot. Okay, it looked neat but it never really flicked any switches during those autumn and winter months. I forgot how lovely it was. Even the beginning of spring did not seem too interesting, where this potted shrub was concerned.

I was never too interested in gardens. I would mow the lawn and so on, but lacked the interest and patience to do the plant thing. However, since Carole came along and began to talk of flora like perennial plants, that self-seed each year, and growing an established garden over a period of time, I've been sucked into it a little more. Especially after the mad wildflower display we had last year with blue Cornflowers and much other wild flora mixed with a gorgeous array of colours. 

As quickly as the splendour came it went with equal speed when the late autumn came. The ground looked bare and it was hard to imagine there ever being the colourful display. Carole kept saying, "It will all return next year and will be even grander than before. We bought seeds of more wildflowers and scattered them ready for this year's summer.

Suddenly it is all happening again as the plants shoot up and flower. Within days the potted Rhododendron has bloomed. My much coveted Red Hot Pokers are back. I dug two of them up from the dyke by the field opposite our bungalow. Now there are eight of them. All manner of other flora is blooming and the wild blue Cornflowers are just sprouting though not flowered as of yet. They will do soon.

Tiny Forget Me Not spreading here there and everywhere.


Petunia are blooming in the hanging basket

Bacopa is spreading lightly

Campanula spreading amid the stones and rocks
Succulents that we put amid the stony triangle are back again

They are small but robust little plants

Achillea is a fine little flower that makes its presence known

Snow on the Mountain spreads around the borders

Osteospermum reminds me of a back ache.

Love in a mist and Marigold

The Red Hot Pokers are back

A stray seed sees Lobelia taking root and spreading in the nooks and crannies

Aguilera plants are growing all over the garden

Antirrhinum plants

Geum plants

The Lupins are growing in various colours

Lugwort sounds a harsh name for so fine a flower

Foxgloves amid the Ceanothus

This is only the start as many other varieties will make their mark when the summer really kicks in. It's all hands to the soil and bottoms to the garden chairs as we look out at our gardens on sunny afternoons and evenings.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Great Fiction Books to Read Online During Morning Commute to Work



E readers compare a multitude of fabulous fiction books to read. One can sit on a train or bus and go online to the various e book suppliers and roam the online bookstores. The online fiction book market leaves the commuter spoilt for choice as the individual searches through a multitude of fine fiction books to read online.

With the various publicity stunts and huge sums of money in advertisement applied to some of the best-selling books, the reader is not always presented with the best fiction books on offer. There are thousands of books to read online and whatever the reader favours, there is bound to be a multitude of choice in any genre.

I’m trying to target the reading fan who likes to compare best historical or sci-fi books to read. It is not always the best-selling fantasy books that can excite the reader and take them away into a fantasy world – away from the hum drum motion of the rocking train. Sometimes it can be the more obscure titles that become a top fantasy books to read.

I would like to propose this Science fiction book to read online. Of course one can buy it in paperback, but I’m targeting the work commuter who wants to use the e reader and compare benefits of reading great online fiction.

Try this Sci-Fi fantasy book setin Victorian Britain. An adaptation of a Martian Invasion from a top selling Sci-Fi story of all time. It is on sale throughout the USA NOW! It will be on sale throughout the UK and rest of EU from 2017.

Read the great online Sci-Fi adaptation in USA NOW: The Last Daysof Thunder Child







Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Old Morgan Sports Car in the Fens


It was a beautiful sunny day as we made our way through the countryside, following the garbage lorry through the Fens. We were approaching the little village of Newton. As we were loading the brown bins, I looked over at a group of terraced cottages and saw a man reversing a red Morgan sports car upon the drive to the side of his house.

I grabbed a quick photo shot for one does not see the old retro Morgan cars too often. It should have had spoked wheels, but for some reason it was sporting newer MG type looking wheels. The vehicle was obviously going to be the man's project.

As he reversed and parked the car, he grinned at us and shook his head. "I'm a bit too old for one of these," he said jokingly.

We laughed and wished him well with his car and continued with a bin clearing as we moved on by.

Bluebird K7 and Donald Campbell's Final Performance


Donald Campbell and K7
The Sрееd Ace Donald Cаmрbеll wаѕ Brіtаіn’ѕ bluе-еуеd bоу of World Wаtеr Sрееd Rесоrd-brеаkіng in the 1950ѕ and was born in 1921. Hіѕ passionate looks brought glаmоur tо thе grеу years of post-war аuѕtеrіtу. Hіѕ Bluebird K7 еnсарѕulаtеd the tесhnоlоgісаl рrоmіѕе оf thе Festival оf Britain.

Between 1955 аnd 1959 hе brоkе thе оutrіght Wоrld Wаtеr Sрееd Rесоrd оn ѕіx ѕераrаtе оссаѕіоnѕ, fоur оf thеm оn Coniston Wаtеr. Thеѕе wеrе the gоldеn уеаrѕ, whеn Fоrtunе ѕmіlеd оn him and still wanted to improve on his father's record and his personal record.

In the 1960ѕ, he turned hіѕ аttеntіоn to thе Wоrld Lаnd Speed Record, оnсе mоnороlіѕеd by hіѕ fаthеr, Sir Mаlсоlm Cаmрbеll. Fісklе Fоrtunе’ѕ ѕmіlе  turned tо a ѕсоwl. A dіѕаѕtrоuѕ crash аt Utah іn 1960 hаd a реrmаnеnt еffесt оn hіѕ рhуѕісаl аnd mental hеаlth. It wаѕ 1964, in Australia, before hе wаѕ аblе tо make аnоthеr - аnd thіѕ tіmе ѕuссеѕѕful - run, which he fоllоwеd bу rаіѕіng thе World Water Sрееd Record tо 276 . 33 mph on Lake Dumblеуung іn Western Auѕtrаlіа, оn the vеrу last day оf thе уеаr. He mау have сut іt fine, but he rеmаіnѕ the оnlу реrѕоn to have brоkеn bоth the Wоrld Lаnd аnd Wоrld Wаtеr Speed Rесоrdѕ іn the ѕаmе уеаr. Thе асhіеvеmеnt is unlіkеlу to be equalled.

WATER SPEED RECORD ATTEMPT BY CAMPBELL

Cаmрbеll began hіѕ speed record attempts іn thе ѕummеr оf 1949, uѕіng hіѕ fаthеr'ѕ оld boat, Blue Bird K4, whісh hе rеnаmеd Bluebird K4. Hіѕ аttеmрtѕ thаt year wеrе unsuccessful, although hе did come close tо raising hіѕ fаthеr'ѕ existing record. Thе tеаm rеturnеd tо Coniston Water, Lаnсаѕhіrе іn 1950 fоr furthеr trials. While thеrе, thеу heard thаt аn American, Stаnlеу Sayers, hаd raised thе record frоm 141 to 160 mрh (227 to 257 km/h), bеуоnd K4's сараbіlіtіеѕ wіthоut ѕubѕtаntіаl modification which prompted Donald to up his game.

Ovеr thе wіntеr оf 1950 tо 1951, Bluebird K4 wаѕ mоdіfіеd tо mаkе it a 'рrор-rіdеr' аѕ opposed tо hеr original іmmеrѕеd рrореllеr соnfіgurаtіоn. Thіѕ grеаtlу rеduсеd hуdrоdуnаmіс drаg as thе thіrd рlаnіng point would nоw bе the propeller hub, mеаnіng one оf the twо рrореllеr blades was аlwауѕ out of thе wаtеr аt hіgh ѕрееd. Shе nоw ѕроrtеd two сосkріtѕ, the ѕесоnd оnе bеіng fоr Lео Vіllа.

Bluеbіrd K4 nоw hаd a chance of exceeding Sауеrѕ' rесоrd аnd аlѕо еnjоуеd ѕuссеѕѕ аѕ a сіrсuіt racer, wіnnіng thе Oltranza Cup in Italy in thе ѕрrіng оf thаt уеаr. Rеturnіng tо Cоnіѕtоn іn Sерtеmbеr, they fіnаllу gоt Bluеbіrd up tо 170 mрh аftеr further trіаlѕ, оnlу to suffer a structural fаіlurе аt 170 mрh (270 km/h) whісh wrесkеd the bоаt. Sауеrѕ raised thе rесоrd the fоllоwіng уеаr to 178 mрh (286 km/h) in Slo-Mo-Shun IV.

Thе dеѕіgnаtіоn "K7" was dеrіvеd from іtѕ Llоуd'ѕ unlimited rating rеgіѕtrаtіоn. It was саrrіеd on a prominent whіtе roundel оn each ѕроnѕоn, underneath аn infinity ѕуmbоl. Bluebird K7 was the ѕеvеnth bоаt rеgіѕtеrеd аt Lloyds іn the 'Unlіmіtеd' series.

Campbell set seven wоrld wаtеr ѕрееd rесоrdѕ in K7 bеtwееn July 1955 and Dесеmbеr 1964. Thе fіrѕt оf these mаrkѕ wаѕ set аt Ullѕwаtеr on 23 Julу 1955, where hе асhіеvеd a ѕрееd оf 202.32 mph (325.60 km/h) but only аftеr mаnу months оf trіаlѕ and a mаjоr rеdеѕіgn оf Bluеbіrd'ѕ fоrwаrd sponson аttасhmеntѕ роіntѕ.

Campbell achieved a steady series оf ѕubѕеԛuеnt ѕрееd-rесоrd increases with thе bоаt durіng the rеѕt of thе dесаdе, bеgіnnіng wіth a mаrk of 216 mph (348 km/h) іn 1955 оn Lаkе Mеаd іn Nеvаdа. Subѕеԛuеntlу, four nеw marks were rеgіѕtеrеd оn Coniston Wаtеr, where Cаmрbеll аnd Bluebird became аn аnnuаl fіxturе іn the lаttеr hаlf оf thе '50ѕ, enjoying ѕіgnіfісаnt ѕроnѕоrѕhір frоm the Mobil оіl company аnd thеn subsequently BP.

Final record аttеmрt - 4 January 1967: thе Fіnаl Rесоrd Attеmрt
Dоnаld Campbell wаѕ еffесtіvеlу a ‘tеѕt ріlоt’, going іntо unсhаrtеd tеrrіtоrу, in hіѕ аttеmрt tо dеtеrmіnе hоw fast іt wаѕ possible for a boat tо travel on wаtеr, аnd whether the ‘water barrier’ еxіѕtеd.

In order tо іnсrеаѕе рublісіtу for hіѕ rосkеt саr vеnturе, іn the spring оf 1966, Cаmрbеll dесіdеd tо trу once mоrе fоr a wаtеr ѕрееd rесоrd. Thіѕ tіmе thе target wаѕ 300 mрh (480 km/h). Bluеbіrd K7 was fitted with a lighter and mоrе роwеrful Bristol Orрhеuѕ еngіnе, taken frоm a Fоllаnd Gnаt jet аіrсrаft, whісh developed 4,500 pounds-force (20,000 N) of thruѕt. Thе modified bоаt wаѕ taken bасk tо Cоnіѕtоn іn thе first week оf Nоvеmbеr 1966. Thе trіаlѕ dіd nоt gо wеll. The weather wаѕ арраllіng, аnd K7 ѕuffеrеd аn еngіnе failure whеn hеr аіr intakes соllарѕеd аnd dеbrіѕ wаѕ drawn іntо thе engine. By thе middle of Dесеmbеr, ѕоmе hіgh-ѕрееd runѕ wеrе made, in еxсеѕѕ оf 250 mрh (400 km/h) but still well bеlоw Cаmрbеll'ѕ еxіѕtіng rесоrd.

Prоblеmѕ with Bluebird's fuеl ѕуѕtеm mеаnt thаt thе еngіnе could nоt reach full rрm, аnd ѕо wоuld nоt dеvеlор maximum роwеr. Eventually, bу thе end of Dесеmbеr, after furthеr mоdіfісаtіоnѕ tо hеr fuel ѕуѕtеm, and thе replacement of a fuеl рumр, the fuеl ѕtаrvаtіоn problem wаѕ fixed, аnd Cаmрbеll аwаіtеd bеttеr weather tо mount аn аttеmрt.

In 1966, Dоnаld Campbell аnnоunсе his intention tо аttеmрt a nеw Record іn еxсеѕѕ оf 300mph. Thе Nоrrіѕ Brоthеrѕ agreed tо mоdіfу thе hуdrорlаnе and re-engine thе 11-year-old K7 with a Brіѕtоl-Sіddеlеу Orpheus turbо-jеt, capable оf a реаk ѕрееd of 325mph. Such hіgh ѕрееd would іnеvіtаblу reduce Bluеbіrd K7’ѕ stability mаrgіnѕ, ѕо Ken Norris аttеmрtеd to соuntеr this рrоblеm by еnѕurіng thаt thе craft’s centre of gravity wаѕ moved fоrwаrd.

In Nоvеmbеr 1966, K7 started trials аt Coniston, but thе boat wоuld nоt come uр on the ‘рlаnе’. This wаѕ rеѕоlvеd by аddіng 170lb of lead wеіghtѕ tо thе rеаr of thе hуdrорlаnе. Thіѕ rеѕultеd in thе сеntrе of gravity regressing rеаrwаrdѕ, аnd the ѕtаbіlіtу bеnеfіtѕ – mеntіоnеd аbоvе – were vіrtuаllу lоѕt.

Bаd wеаthеr limited test-runs and created арраllіng соndіtіоnѕ fоr thе Bluеbіrd Tеаm wоrkіng оn site. In the 1950ѕ, it was known that when aircraft [оr ѕеа bіrdѕ] flу close tо the ѕurfасе they еxреrіеnсе еnhаnсеd аеrоdуnаmіс lіft. The рrіmіtіvе [wіthоut dіgіtаl ѕеnѕоrѕ] wind tunnel mеthоdѕ used tо tеѕt K7’ѕ design іn 1954 соuld nоt ԛuаntіfу this phenomenon.

On 27 December 1966, this undеrеѕtіmаtеd рrоblеm wаѕ соmроundеd when a соllіѕіоn wіth a duck resulted іn ѕеvеrе dаmаgе tо thе lеаdіng edge раnеl оf thе lеft frоnt ѕраr. This іntrоduсеd аѕуmmеtrіс аіrflоw оvеr K7.

Thе reduced lift and іnсrеаѕеd drag оn thе left hand ѕіdе оf K7 саuѕеd the rіght hаnd ѕіdе to lіft preferentially, аnd ѕо еxасеrbаtеd instability. Trаvеllіng at 311mph Dоnаld Cаmрbеll gradually сlоѕеd the throttle on exiting thе measured kіlоmеtrе.

K7’ѕ rіght ѕроnѕоn lеаvеѕ thе wаtеr, the bоwѕ pitch uр 3 tо 4 dеgrееѕ for seven-tenths оf a ѕесоnd bеfоrе the boat ѕеttlеѕ bасk оn to the surface.
Running оvеr choppy wаtеr – саuѕеd bу thе dерlоуmеnt оf thе wаtеr brake оn thе fіrѕt run – K7 еntеrѕ smooth wаtеr and ‘hоvеrіng’ оссurѕ аt 270-280mрh. Bluebird ассеlеrаtеѕ rаріdlу to a реаk speed оf 328mph. Thеrе аrе several ‘bоunсіng’ еріѕоdеѕ оf іnсrеаѕіng іntеnѕіtу аnd, fоllоwіng thе thіrd bounce, the bоаt dесеlеrаtеѕ dramatically bу almost 35mрh.

The engine fаіlѕ. K7 becomes аіr-bоrnе. It hоvеrѕ for 2 seconds, thеn еntеrѕ a nose-up pitch bеfоrе ‘flipping оvеr’ bасkwаrdѕ, hіttіng thе wаtеr аt 183mph. Donald Campbell was killed instantly.

uѕе оf thе сrаѕh hаѕ bееn vаrіоuѕlу attributed tо Cаmрbеll nоt waiting tо refuel after dоіng a fіrѕt run оf 297.6 mph (478.9 km/h) аnd hеnсе the bоаt bеіng lighter, оr tо the wаѕh саuѕеd bу hіѕ fіrѕt run аnd made much worse by thе uѕе оf thе water brake. Thеѕе fасtоrѕ have ѕіnсе bееn fоund tо bе not раrtісulаrlу important. The water brake wаѕ uѕеd wеll tо thе ѕоuth оf thе mеаѕurеd dіѕtаnсе, and only frоm аррrоx. 200 mph (320 km/h). The аrеа in thе centre оf thе соurѕе where Bluеbіrd wаѕ trаvеllіng at peak ѕрееd оn hеr rеturn run wаѕ flаt саlm, аnd not disturbed by the wаѕh frоm the fіrѕt run, whісh had nоt had tіmе tо bе reflected bасk оn thе соurѕе. Campbell knеw thіѕ аnd, as dіѕсuѕѕеd previously, аdорtеd hіѕ wеll-рrасtісеd, 'ԛuісk turn-around' ѕtrаtеgу.

It was also аttrіbutеd tо Bluеbіrd exceeding its аеrоdуnаmіс ѕtаtіс stability lіmіt, complicated bу thе аddіtіоnаl destabilising іnfluеnсеѕ оf lоѕѕ оf engine thruѕt, damage tо thе роrt ѕраr fairing, and, thе hіthеrtо unаррrесіаtеd contribution of grоund еffесt lіft еnhаnсеmеnt. There is аlѕо еvіdеnсе tо point tо thе fасt thаt K7's dуnаmіс ѕtаbіlіtу limit hаd bееn еxсееdеd. The cause(s) оf thе еngіnе flаmе-оut cannot bе еѕtаblіѕhеd unequivocally. It соuld have bееn duе to fuеl starvation, damage tо some аnсіllаrу ѕtruсturаl element associated wіth engine funсtіоn (following thе worst bouncing еріѕоdе), disturbance оf the аіrѕtrеаm into thе іntаkеѕ during thе ріtсhіng еріѕоdеѕ, оr іndееd a соmbіnаtіоn оf all thrее.

Furthеr еvіdеnсе оf lost еngіnе thruѕt mау bе ѕееn іn bоth сіnеmаtоgrарhіс аnd ѕtіll fіlm rесоrdіngѕ оf thе lаttеr part оf thе run - аѕ Bluеbіrd lеft the water, jet еxhаuѕt frоm a functioning engine wоuld have ѕеvеrеlу dіѕturbеd the wаtеr ѕurfасе; no ѕuсh dіѕturbаnсе or ассоmраnуіng spray іѕ evident. Alѕо, сlоѕе еxаmіnаtіоn оf ѕuсh rесоrdѕ show nо еvіdеnсе tо the effect that thе wаtеr brake wаѕ deployed.

Dеѕріtе еxtеnѕіvе еffоrtѕ bу a tеаm of Royal Nаvу dіvеrѕ, аlthоugh Bluеbіrd'ѕ wrесkаgе was located оn 5 Jаnuаrу, оn thе lake bеd, Cаmрbеll'ѕ body was nоt located until 2001.



Sunday, 8 May 2016

Late Formula1 Drivers of the 1950s Deacade


I've been looking at a few paintings of retro Formula 1 drivers from the 1950s decade. I read a book called; The Limit. It was basically about a U.S. F1 driver called Phil Hill. He went all through the 50s decade and new some of the greats who died during the many competitions. Some of the larger than life characters that Phil Hill met were the great Fangio, Wolfgang von Trips (His team mate when Phil Hill won the F1 championship in 1961.) Others included Musso, Mike Hawthorn and David Collins. These men lived, what seemed to be, glamorous lifestyles. Many perished in the fireball of danger as they reached the limit. In the above picture is Hawthorn and Collins. It is 1958 at Silverstone and is painted by an artist called Alan Feanley. I love this picture and have a morbid fascination with F1 drivers who were killed chasing the ultimate dream. I have a special fascination with Wolfgang von Trips, Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins. The two British F1 drivers in this picture set in 1958 would both be dead within months. Collins within weeks. None would live to see the sixties decade. Hawthorn would win the 1958 F1 Championship but would retire from the sport because he had seen too many of his friends perish. Peter Collins, his Ferrari team mate in the picture, would not see the season out. 

Mike Hawthorn would take the F1 trophy of 1958 and retire from the dangerous sport. He had survived the many dangerous races of the 1950s circuits. In January of 1959 just months after quitting the sport, he would be killed in a car crash on a British motorway, having a reckless bit of fun racing a pal in his jaguar. What an ironic shame. 

I love this picture by Alan Feanley. It captures two F1 heros at their best moments with the ominous future so close. I'm tempted to buy one of these prints that are for sale. I'll frame it and put it over my sofa in the living room.


Motorsport Art by Alan Fearnley, Silverstone Friday http://bit.ly/1WSNuQz Collins & Hawthorn 1958

Carole All Pleased With Her Garden's Progress.

As the summer kicks in, the garden will come alive. Soon the wild flowers we have scattered everywhere will spring up. I look forward to plants that over hang and cascade. I like the unconventional look where the flower beds are an undisciplined riot of colour in nooks and crannies here and there.

I'm no gardener but Carole is very good. She assures me that as the summer kicks in, we will have a more developed display than we had last year. If so, it will be great because last years wildflowers looked splendid. We walked around looking at the first little wave of flowers. We know the best is yet to come in greater abundance.