On Feeding Our Children …

What are we doing to our children? Is money more important than a healthy child who feels good about themselves? To some, it seems to be.

Filosofa's Word

Imagine you are a child in school.  The lunch bell rings, you head to the cafeteria with your friends, stand in line, select your lunch, and when you get to the cashier, you are told that you cannot have your lunch, for your parents haven’t paid your lunch bill.  You are handed a sandwich … or worse, the cashier throws your lunch in the trash and tells you to move out of the line.  Your friends … they are looking at you … you feel as if every single kid in the cafeteria is looking at you.  You are so embarrassed you wish the ground would open and swallow you.  You run to the bathroom in tears.  This is happening all over the United States.embarrassed-child.jpgSome children are eligible for free lunch, but those who are not must rely on their parents to keep money in their school lunch account. …

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Wheels within wheels

Part I of a witty tale about the inventor Stillitoe Cloudwiller and his marvelous invention. For Part II, follow the link.

Tallis Steelyard


If ever a man was an innovator, it was Stillitoe Cloudwiller. Others would have been happy to bask in the relative success of the aquatic tripod. After all, whilst this was limited to one prototype, it did at least work, came in under budget, and he managed to sell it and recover his investment. Many, more prestigious projects, have not managed to achieve even this.

But Stillitoe was an argumentative man prone to making wild claims. Just as the aquatic tripod had been developed because of an argument with the ferry company, the Commendable Monocycle came into being when he had an argument with a pair of sedan chair bearers. He swore that not only would he never hire them again, he’d give people a method of travelling swiftly and in comfort that put them out of business. In reality such a method already exists, the horse is reliable and…

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Organic and artisan!

First, Jim Webster discusses the nettles available on his land and prices them. Next, he has another witty book on offer about the animals and people he deals with in his life as a farmer in the northern U.K.

Jim Webster


In all candour it was not me that spotted the potential market. My daughter pointed out to me that this country now imports Italian nettles. Obvious, post Brexit, the nettle market will collapse, and it was at this point I felt duty bound to step into the breach!
I did my market research and discovered that they are indeed available. For £22.95 you can get a kilo of nettles!

The problem is that there are ‘nettles’ and ‘nettles’. Take those growing in this picture.


Well, actually don’t take them, they’re a valuable crop. As you can see, here we have a mixed planting with stitchwort. Even if you don’t pick any of the stitchwort with the nettles, we believe that grown together it adds a number of subtle notes to the flavour of the nettles which you’ll find tickle the cultivated palate. I would recommend that you use these…

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Every so often they let me travel

First, Jim Webster tells of a trip to London and situations there. Next, he has a witty book on offer that tells of country and farm life in South Cumbria, U.K. There’s a good review for it also.

Jim Webster

You know what it is, every so often somebody leaves the door unbolted, and before they know it, I’m away.

Actually with me it’s more a case of every so often people remember me and ask me to come down to London for a meeting. Therefore my aim is to ensure that I attend the meetings and then get to view the finest sight in London. This is a Virgin Pendolino destined for Glasgow. Best viewed from the inside of Coach B as it pulls out of Euston.

Still I got to London and had to stay overnight, so got to mooch about and discover various things. One was Golden Turmeric Latte. Who ever knew it was even a thing? I confess to not actually trying it, the sign was outside a coffee shop rather more exclusive than I am. Still, it’s good to know that London, apparently the one…

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On the road

First, a walking adventure Jim Webster takes to a nearby island with pictures. Next, a book by Jim about how to kill an Urlan. A good review follows.

Jim Webster


Today was one of those days when I just escaped. I put a couple of butties and a bottle of water in a bag and just set off. The weather, which has been pretty cold and grim for the last week or so, finally broke, and it was glorious sunshine.

It was one of those days when I set off, not entirely sure where I intended to go. But I knew I did have to call in at a shop in town to drop something off. So that was the first part of the journey, the hour walk into town. Once there I decided I’d hit the path that runs up the side of the channel, and then perhaps swing in a wide circle east around the north of the town, and perhaps down through the Abbey. Instead as I walked along the channelside path, I noticed that the tide…

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The ascent of Mistress Maljie

First, an adventurous tale of a woman who experiments with printed money without much success and ends up with a pirate. Next, a book of entertaining tales told by Tallis Steelyard and written by Jim Webster. A good review follows.

Tallis Steelyard


It was with some strong emotion that Mistress Maljie commented that, “Had I drunk less wine I’d have doubtless told Tallis Steelyard fewer stories.” As a friend of hers rather tartly commented, “Had you drunk less wine you’d doubtless have fewer stories to tell him in the first place.”
The discussion was then side-tracked when another of the friends asked, somewhat pedantically, whether, given the number of stories there were, whether it was correct to say ‘fewer’ stories, or whether there should have been ‘less’ stories. At that point I withdrew. It was obvious that the ladies were content, they were relishing the party and could be safely left to enjoy themselves in happy bickering. My duty lay in bolstering the flagging self-esteem of a group of younger ladies who’d discovered that they’d turned up somewhat underdressed for the event, having misunderstood the coded hints in the invitation.

But it…

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The sweet remembered ghosts of the past

First, a lively tale of a senior lady who did in no way lead a boring life when young. Next, a book by Jim Webster of the tales of Benor Dorffingil. A good review follows it.

Tallis Steelyard


Sometimes I feel the need to be discreet lest my tales cause embarrassment or disillusionment to those who remain. In this case my discretion is based on a justified suspicion that if she thinks I’m taking notes, the stories that she tells will be even more scandalous.

If you are lucky you will doubtless know ladies like Maljie. Of indeterminate age, but unlikely to see sixty again. Indeed, given the quoted ages of their daughters and grandchildren, they were obviously child brides.

Maljie is one of those ladies whom I meet at the various soirees and entertainments I am asked to organise here in Port Naain. Sometimes she is present at one where I merely turn up to perform. She is rarely a friend of the hostess, instead she is a friend of the mother of the hostess and has been invited at mother’s insistence so that she does at…

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Valparaiso Open Air Art II~

Cindy Knoke’s lovely photos of the stunning art of Valparaiso, Chile.

The city of Valparaiso Chile is full of over a thousand large scale open air art murals, some like the one above, cover the walls of multi-story buildings.

The first murals were painted by art students from a local university in the 1960’s and 70’s, in an area of the city called Cerro Bellavista.

This area is now a landmark named El Museo a Cielo Abierto (The Open Air Museum).

Valparaiso in entirety was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.

Walking in this city wide open air art museum, one is struck not only by the talent of the amazing artists,

but also by their appreciation of the beauty,

joy, and humor of life.

To this day, artists are continuing to add their talented contributions to this remarkable city.

Valparaiso is a magnet attracting artists of all kinds. Their artistry makes visiting here a pure joy.

Cheers to…

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