Saving Grace – Humour

Now for a bit of fun – with food. Or about food. Specifically about factory farming pigs. Too good to miss animation

The video features the story of a farmer seduced by profits into large-scale unsustainable and unhealthy farming practices who decides to go “back to the start”, ridding the farm of its factory machinery resulting in happier and healthier animals.

And there is more fun as you scroll down the page to see other creative takes on grub. I particularly like the Embroidered Toast….

Clearly I am, as my mother would say when I’d scream into the night, you are over tired dear! (Which made me scream louder!) Enjoying these wacky takes on food this evening is my adult equivalent of letting off some steam – with laughter. Always good to remember how humour can be a saving grace.

Yes, I am tired and the plan is to rest. Hopefully this will include hiking, if the weather holds.

All That Remains

The remains of Iain that didn’t make it into the fire box

And still there is the going on.
Train driver

Going on.
What is there to say? What left to say? What remains? What is next?

For me it is to rest, for Edera it is to fly back to Japan and resume her life there. Did we have a footplate ride on that big black monster, day before yesterday? Did we hear the whistle blow as the last of the ashes were thrown into the fire box? Was that winter rain this afternoon? A chill in the air this evening? Yes all of that, and more.

How quickly what has happened, even in this day, fades in the face of a dawning tomorrow. This is as it must be. All that remains is the echo of the whistle, the sight of a falling tear.


To Boldly Go

This afternoon I took up Iain’s ticket on a most improbably double-decker bus tour to Stainmore Summit and Belah Viaduct at the head of the Eden Valley. As the can-do driver said, often, this is probably the first double-decker to come up this road. That road was actually a single track lane winding it’s way up the valley between unfenced fields with cows and sheep gawping at the spectacle as we lumbered upwards. In true British fashion, when in adversity, the passengers became jolly, bright and participatory. Cheering the driver on through narrow gaps and rounds of applause too for other major achievements along the way. We were on this trip to view the now defunct Belah Viaduct, a major jewel in the Stainmore line linking Barnard Castle and Tebay. A most ambitious project in its’ day.


Earlier in the day we scattered a portion of Iain’s ashes on Tailbrigg hill. This was the same spot he had scattered his grandfathers ashes many years earlier. We got a fine dusting of our friend in the swirling wind!

Into the air Iain. You would have loved to-days trip. I was quite scared in places yet glad to be there in your stead. The new Stainmore Summit sign another grand achievement. It replaces the old one taken down after the line was closed in 1962.


Iain’s grandfather was a signalman on the summit.

The other day I was making light fun about the seeming obsession of these railway enthusiasts restoring the station and line. Mike the chairman of the railway company opened his eyes wide and said with good humour, It is your heritage my dear! Duly chastened, I now have a renewed appreciation of what the age of steam brought forth.

Life Passes as Quickly as a Flash of Lightning

Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple Inc. Here is an extract from a commencement speech he made back on 2005.

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. [Stanford commencement speech, June 2005]

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. YES!

A Touch Of Fairyland

What ever Edera might say about my special qualities I have to point out that it was pure luck and a measure of inattention on my part which had us sitting in the Tower Ballroom Blackpool yesterday afternoon. I’d always wanted to see it live having watch Come Dancing on TV back in the 1960’s. O the glamour, the thousands of sequins. The frothy frocks. At that time it all seemed like a million miles away from where I sat. I’d not have contemplated wearing anything like what I saw, nor would I have danced ballroom either. I was far too shy for that sort of thing. Yesterday there was quite a show of fancy frocks as it happened. A BBC film crew were in house making a documentary about how people entertained themselves between the wars. Melvin Bragg, no less, was doing on-camera interviews while the lovely couples danced away in the background. Ah, a touch of fairyland amidst all that we have been dealing with.

Days have been full, night turns into morning, as now. Soon Edera will be winging her way back to Japan. Sad. Our mission these past weeks has, among many other things, been to walk boxes of stuff to the ground floor of the house. And then out of the front door and into the car! Iain’s belongs will not be lonely. The charity shops are happy to receive donations.

After Goso died, my ordination sister mentioned earlier, all of her belongings were brought to the monks common room. We all had the opportunity to adopt her things, I particularly remember the pair of bright orange gaiters I used for years afterwards. Always remembering her as I tied them on. She had walked with them in McKinley National Park, as it was called then. Rev. Master said at the time that a persons belongings shouldn’t be lonely.