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Showing posts from May, 2014

Foxgloves that squeak and apple trees that squirt

"Me!!!? A thief ! - what a scurrilous suggestion. Don't believe anything you've heard. None of it's true! It's just eating. Not stealing. If it's dangling there, conveniently at muzzle height, or at muzzle height when I leap off the ground, then having a nibble is just ... just .... well, it's being generous! And kind! And charitable! Yes ... charitable: after all, if I fill my belly with lots ... mmm, lots and lots ... of free apples, and gooseberries, and rhubarb, then I won't need the usual never-vast-enough-quantities of dog food that mum gives me. So I'll save her money. And we'll both be happy. Except, she isn't. She's very not happy, in fact, in a shouty "Leave it!" sort of a way. Which kind of shocks a sensitive young dog, particularly when he's eyeing up a free strawberry. But the shock of an irate gardener yelling "Leave it!" at you is nothing compared to the shock of discovering that helping

Man's best friend

William Shakespeare - “Words are easy, like the wind; Faithful friends are hard to find.” Friends - noun; plural - 'people' bound by a bond of mutual affection. Origin: Old English freond and German freund , both derived from a common root meaning 'to love.' How many friends do you have? - not social media 'friends,' not work colleagues, not the casual acquaintances you bump into at other friends' parties, not the butcher who asks after the dogs and wonders if they would like a bit of marrow bone, not anyone whose name you sometimes forget, nor anyone whose partner you have never met. A real friend is someone who knows you inside out, who allows you to be an ass at times and doesn't care, who argues against you but never stops loving you, and who is there to listen when you need to be heard. Humans can be fickle and they change as they age, and with change and passing time, friends come and go. This is put rather better by Alexander McCall Smith -

Musings on mice and a walk on the bright side

Sometimes there is satisfaction in discovering research that proves that what we knew all along is in fact correct . Or rather, that what we thought we knew to be correct, and would have argued in favour of, using words such as "Surely, it must be" and "Almost certainly" - neither of which are winners - can now be written in stone. Being proved right vindicates our actions and makes us more evangelical in our pursuit of whatever it is that has been confirmed - suddenly our tenuous opinion is no longer tenuous and we can terminate every argument with the simple, winning statement, "It is!" I love it! Not that I am an argumentative person nor that I fixate on small victories, more that it just feels good and is a licence to apply confidence to our actions. Whatever and however ridiculous those actions may be. I love too, that there is funding for this "it's starting you in the face" genre of research. Perhaps, scientists have a sense of hum