The flower that refuses to die

Last November and December I went through an orchid spending spree. It was the combination of the grey, miserable British winter and the ability to buy beautiful plants for excellent value. Orchids are a particularly robust plant, which excel on calculated neglect.

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The only trick to growing orchids is not to over-water them; don’t leave them standing in water. Apart from that, you can water every 5-14 days; so even if you go away for two weeks, they will barely look out of sorts.
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Photos of England

Some photos capturing aspects of England. Many of the photos are from Oxfordshire and Yorkshire.

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Road through old wood of Wychwood Forest, Charlbury. Wychwood is derived from an Old English name Huiccewudu meaning ‘wood of a tribe called the Hwicce – an Anglo-Saxon people. Due to traditional woodland, it is a site of Special Scientific Interest.

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The power of synchronicity

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I was cycling in the  Yorkshire Dales. The roads were surprisingly quiet for such an idyllic August afternoon. But, despite the breathtaking rural scenes, my mind was ruminating over economics; in particular, I was thinking deeply about UK labour market regulations and the National Minimum Wage. I was a little bit annoyed with myself for being so taken with economics, when I felt I should be enjoying the scenery.

My mobile phone in my back pocket started to ring and, unusually for a cycle ride, I decided to take the call.

“Hello, is that Economics Help?” (in strong Scouser / Merseyside accent)

“Er, yes”

“Can I ask a question on economics?”

Usually, when people ring up asking me economic questions, I abruptly say I’m too busy – especially if I am cycling. But, for some reason, perhaps because I was thinking about economics, I persevered. Continue Reading →

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Yorkshire panoramas

The Yorkshire Dales has some great scenery. These pictures show the landscape in panorama format, allowing a wider angle than usual. Click to enlarge photo.

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Panorama of Lower Wharfedale, near Bolton Abbey.

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Panorama of Middle Wharfedale – looking towards Barden Fell. Continue Reading →

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The hedgehog in the road

I was walking down the road when I heard a loud, impatient beeping from a car. It was stuck behind another car which had, for some reason, stopped in the middle of the road. The first instinct is to sympathise with the car which was impatiently beeping. But then, on closer inspection, I saw a very small hedgehog scurrying across the road. The hedgehog looked frail and tiny compared to the scale of the motor cars.

The careful driving of the first car had prevented a squashed hedgehog.

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Hedgehog escaping to safety

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A Moment’s Peace at the Olympics

At the 2012 London Olympics, I participated in an event “A Moment’s Peace” – it was an event run to celebrate the true Olympic spirit – promoting the ideal of peace, unity in diversity and the hope for creating a better world.

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The London 2012 Olympics was a special time. There was so much good energy and positive feeling across the country. I attended the mens Olympic road race and felt a unique atmosphere amongst the crowds watching by the side of the road. After watching the road race, I went to this ceremony at University College London. The ceremony involved unveiling a bronze sculpture of Sri Chinmoy holding an Olympic style peace torch. Tegla Laroupe said:

“This statue embodies the same spirit of oneness, brotherhood and friendship which has infused the origins and traditions of the Olympics, both ancient and modern, and which to this day gives the Games their unique appeal,”

I have written an article on the inner significance of the Olympics at Sri Chinmoy Races.

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One night in 2012 – Remembering the London Olympics

One night in 2012 is a documentary about the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. It is available on iPlayer for a short time.

London Olympics 2012

The London Olympics of 2012 seems a long time ago now. But, I do remember the wave of optimism and positivity which swept across the nation for those balmy three weeks. The nation caught the Olympic spirit, and it was a wonderful occasion.

Part of the success of the London Olympics was putting ordinary people at the heart of the movement and organisation. It wasn’t committees or powerful people, but volunteers freely giving their time which made the event  special.

The Olympics is also a wonderful opportunity for the world’s nations to come together and – through sport – remember we have much more in common than that which divides. Continue Reading →

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Wildflowers by the roadside

I am continuing with my cycle training this month, but am paying as much interest to the wildflowers by the side of the road.

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A field of wildflowers near Charlbury.

I caught a glimpse of this field through a gap in the hedge. Continue Reading →

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Photos of sunsets

Some selected photos of sunsets, mostly from Oxford.

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An early summer sunset giving a warm glow over South Parks.

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Three spires.

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Further up the hill, the magic twilight moment.

 

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The start of a magical sunset. Continue Reading →

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