The Anonymous Widower

Crushed Walnuts Everyone?

Around the corner from me is a walnut tree.

Crushed Walnuts Everyone?

Crushed Walnuts Everyone?

It looks like there has been a good crop this year, but most have been crushed or eaten.

September 23, 2013 Posted by | Food, World | , | Leave a comment

Through St. Paul’s To The Tate Modern

I went for a walk this morning, starting on the North side of St. Paul’s Cathedral and then over the Millennium Bridge to the Tate Modern.

I’d actually never been in the gardens of the cathedral before, which connect the two sides of the building. As it was fairly early, it would have been a pleasant place to sit around for thirty minutes or so.

There’s more on the blue trees here.

July 21, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

I’ve Got Catkins

The hornbeam outside my house has got catkins.

I've Got Catkins

I’ve Got Catkins

At last we’re beginning to see flowers on the trees.

April 25, 2013 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Palm Trees In The Snow

I should have taken this picture of the palm trees in Hackney, a couple of days ago, before the snow started to melt.

Palm Trees In The Snow

Palm Trees In The Snow

Although, it’s cold January day, the flowers are already out.

January 23, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Jon Snow Is Everywhere

It’s a good cause and I agree with the charity’s aims.

Trees for Cities Advert with Jon Snow

Adverts for Trees for Cities are everywhere on the Underground and they feature Jon Snow.

I was at Liverpool University, just before Jon Snow organised the protest against Lord Salisbury, who at the time was Chancellor of the university. There must have been an earlier protest, as I remember something about 1968. In Engineering, who didn’t take too much of a political stance. the reasons were a bit above our head.  Although, we did think that Lord Salisbury was not the sort of old right-wing political buffer, who should hold that position. Wikipedia says this about the protest in 1970.

Apart from his political career Salisbury was Chancellor of the University of Liverpool from 1951 until 1971. In 1970, students at the university staged an occupation at Senate House to demand his removal, over his support for apartheid and similarly reactionary views.

I think it is true to say, that today, anybody with those views wouldn’t hold such a position.

In the end Jon Snow was rusticated for organising the protest, but the University did later award him an honorary Doctor of Letters in 2011.

C’s tutor at the University was Robert Kilroy Silk.  He was also one of the organisers of the protest against Lord Salisbury, but I have read that at the last minute he didn’t turn up. It couldn’t have been because he was giving a tutorial to C, as she had graduated from the university in the previous year and we were living in London. Obviously, no punishment was handed down to Kilroy Silk.

C always found him odious and I can remember her stinking with tobacco smoke after she had been to one of his tutorials, where he chain-smoked Capstan Full Strength all the way through.

He obviously left the right impression on her, as once we were standing next to him at Newmarket racecourse and no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get her to approach him and speak of her times at Liverpool under his tutelage.

So now I think justice has been done. Kilroy was here, briefly and Jon Snow is everywhere.  Sadly C is no more, but I still have her memories of her tutor in my mind.

January 20, 2012 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bonkers Conkers

I took this picture in Bermondsey yesterday on the walk.

Conkers in July

I’ve never seen conkers on the trees this early.

July 28, 2011 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

The Boners Conkers Notice

I just had to go and see the notice in the Abbey Gardens in Bury St. Edmunds.

The Infamous Conkers Notice

 Everybody was eitherlaughing at the notice or photographing it!

October 9, 2010 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

A Load of Old Conkers

I thought that we’d seen the death of Health and Safety warnings over conkers.  But we haven’t according to this story.

Surely, St. Edmundsbury Council have been things to do, with my Council Tax.

October 8, 2010 Posted by | News | , , | 1 Comment

The Return of the Elm

Look at the paintings of John Constable and you’ll see lots of English Elms.  Sadly most of them are no more as they were devastated by Dutch Elm disease in the 1980s.  At our previous house, we had several large specimens and I can remember the day they all came down.  We’d tried everything that we could to save them, but you can’t resist nature.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about the English Elm.

Ulmus procera Salisb., the English Elm or Atinian Elm was, before the advent of Dutch elm disease, one of the largest and fastest-growing deciduous trees in Europe. A survey of genetic diversity in Spain, Italy and the UK revealed that the English Elms are genetically identical, clones of a single tree, the Atinian Elm once widely used for training vines, and brought to the British Isles by Romans. Thus, the origin of U. procera is widely believed to be Italy, although it is possible the tree hailed from what is now Turkey, where it is still used in the cultivation of raisins.

But, we still have some English Elm in this country and they seem to be resistant to the disease.  This seems to be surprising, if they are all genetic identical, so perhaps they are not, or there is another factor.

The Conservation Foundation is now distributing elm saplings to schools, that have been grown from this possibly disease-resistant strain of English Elm.

This is the sort of initiative that we should all support.

Incidentally, some years ago, I met David Bellamy, one of the founders of the Conservation Foundation.  One of my companies had won a green award.

He was not as I expected, in that many media experts are full of their own ego and never listen to your point of view.  I found him to be very much a listener, who made some extraordinary incisive points, that many would not accept. 

He is very much a maverick and we need more thinkers like that.  They may not always be right, but challenging them often produces a train of thought and a result, that is infinitely better than a conservative approach.

I always describe myself as scientifically green. 

The English Elm project ticks all the boxes, as those children in thirty years time will want to take their kids back to their school to show their children, their elm trees.

September 9, 2009 Posted by | News, World | , , | Leave a comment

Horse Chestnuts

Everybody in the UK, is familiar with conker trees.

Horse Chestnut Trees

Horse Chestnut Trees

This is a row that my late wife and myself put up several years ago, when we bought the house.  They have done particularly well and you can see some conkers in the picture. 

Interestingly, one was planted on top of the grave of one of our English Setters and that is the healthiest and biggest.  Perhaps, when I go, I’ll get someone to put a tree on top, so that I can do my big for combating global warmings.

But the trees are suffering from horse chestnut leaf miner damage.  This is a moth that is ravaging horse chestnuts all over Europe.

Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner

Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner

Note the damage in the leaves.  This is only minor, but I couldn’t find a really damaged one to photograph.

The jury is still out on whether the moth will lead to the loss of some or all of our horse chestnuts, with Wikipedia saying no and my tree man saying yes.  But at least it appears that some birds are taking a liking to the caterpillars.

July 19, 2009 Posted by | World | | 2 Comments

   

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