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There just is not the drive to post new material, but all the same i value highly what i have created of my interests 2006- 2014 ... so therefore its time for some 'housekeeping'....

I certainly regret not calling an expert in to help me store safely all this material, ie many hundreds of mvi which already is proving valuable in that it shows the incredible amount of change at the pit heap ponds ie   http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTYwOTI3OTYw.html?firsttime=0   ... which is not even linked to in any blog post, at times my reach for anonymity was extreme. For instance the above film seems only able to play 60%, thereafter it freezes, i've noticed this before, and it is my intention i can view these in 20/ 30 years time.... looks like I've trouble ahead.

My penpal Shiela in the States was often the reason to make and post material, its been a long time since we were in contact, the push is not there any longer to upload and edit and post as before.

So I imagine that this page will be the result of my working and annotating thro whatever material remains on the Chinese sites I used to host (free) my films, stupidly much original material has been deleted there by youku themselves, stupid because these films and posts will be valuable material for me when i get older/ senile etc .....

Starting with the earliest material i can find on my first youku/richardyingren.com ie Chinese vid hosting site; but catastrophically approx 50 films on imageshack have gone AWOL .. (they went fee-service only) .... they exist somewhere here on this m/c in unplayable format. A sad catralogue of not realising the worth of what I had .....

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTYwOTI3OTYw.html?firsttime=0  ... 25th March 2010 .. pit heap toads
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The low light from beneath the huge grey canopy that had provided rain all day was exquisite.

In fine weather we can see the west coast flight path from here, estimated from the map as sixty miles.


There are lots of birch around, many are very old having multiple trunks emenating from what would have been one tree.





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... are very rare. These are here because of quarrying and hopefully after many decades will continue to remain as they are. I might introduce bullrush, handy for dragonflies and damsel to emerge tho in a location such as this am sorely tempted to leave as is. Perhaps i might plant some bullrush on the lower more plant filled ones along with yellow flag iris, though again tempted to leave 'as is'. Above is one of the two lower ponds. Perhaps my best eptaph would be "He introduced plants".

Above is the upper pond. A lovely stretch of unimproved land drains down into this.


Above is the middle pond. This afternoon a Sunday we encountered at least four hares and hope they can cope with the coming winter cold and wet. Up at W. Moor abt four years ago at the gated entrance to the rocks we found a hare curled up in the snow, dead. I asssume it curled up to pass the night and the cold and wet had got the better of it. Quite heart rending to see and something that will stay with me a long time. There was plenty of gorse to shelter under at the other side of the fence, which is often dry when open ground is wet and snow covered, perhaps the mesh fence was impassable. Another instance to hate mesh fences, when parallel wire ones would suffice. Gorse is good for cover in snow, sheep often shelter under it at night when snowfall is bad, their droppings indicate this. 


The frailty of this gate impressed me !  Bits 'o string and hey presto a 'secure' gate.

Heres the track to the local farm, a lovely woman lives on the let property to the right, she gives her time, resources and energy to riding for the disabled. As I've mentioned before working with horses was the only thing that could 'get through' to shell shocked men of the first world war. Its a shame we no longer use such therapy for those unattached and disconnected to the soil.


An excellent patch, regarded as less then common ie round leaved mint, Mentha rotundifolia. I wonder how many years its been there??  A long time perhaps. Theres no other patch near it, in fact in all my rambles only seen one other and that is now washed away due to a stupid monoculture of conifer forests upstream twenty miles north. I will soon be taking a spadeful for somewhere else, my fee for helping reconsolidate after the ditch digger was in operation last year. An excellent late season food source for bees and suchlike.

Its difficult to get a good horse pic, being a bringer of food might be the reason they are so keen on me. 

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http://www.archchinese.com/ArchMemo.html   has a very good flashcard resource, various levels and to various formats, HSK, new chinese reader etc. very useful. 



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How did they view the seasons, their success in obtaining food, longevity, the need for offspring. 

To look at two thousand years ago we have the Bible as a mirror of thought, at least for the Middle East. I read recently that after the Romans left Britain circa AD 450  we went back to utilising hill forts and defended enclosures. Yet by then trade had been established for many centuries even before the Romans, Welsh gold, Cornish tin, iron from the Sussex Weald, glass from Sunderland (possibly), axes from Langdale even way before all that. 

Yet its before then that interests me, say 4k BC plus and minus 2k years which I guess is centred at Neolithic (new stone age) and includes early Bronze Age.  We have carved rocks up here that figure in that era and there is much speculation as to what these very clever and repeated motifs signify. That apart, my way into them is to ponder on the outlook of such people and the context of their location.

How did they view the passage of the sun and the altering seasons? Did they take it very much for granted that each year repeated itself with absolute certainty? Stonehenge and suchlike constructions allowed them to fix with dead accuracy the high and low points of the year, their solidity and permanence of construction verifying the exactly repeated year ( they will have known to work into the arithmetic the idea of leap years) perhaps this is the main points of a construction like S'henge, to verify and prove the need of this leap year / four year correction that otherwise would throw out their calendar. Many generations of scholar priests would have been steeped in this knowledge and observation.

I assume that by the Romans arrival we were already steeped in festival and ritual. So telescoping back 4k years I wonder to what degree they were thankful for their good luck and full belly and that poor hunting and bad weather might jeopardise all that.  Its at this point the builders of S'henge were dead certain of the astronomical alignments and must have known for some time. Only a people dead certain of their facts would erect such a massive structure. If only we could see a Stoneage webcam !

So at 4k BC did our hunting man leave his dwelling and pursue game and fully expect to be sucessful, or was he more timorous and realise certain things had to fall in place before a good result was obtained. Did the countryside teem with food? And I wonder to what degree they were good cooks, probably good ones, they may not have had our modern technology tho there was no lack of brains. if you can make a crude clay pot then theres noreason why some bird or animal could not be simmered for twelve hours. Also as well there would be competition and great pride in cooking a better meal. 

I have never seen it stated WHY ancient man started to till the land and raise crops. My uneducated guess is that they wanted barley for beermaking and winter feed for some stock.   After all, it would be easier to go and catch something, though perhaps they conciously thought lets widen our diet; was it a voluntary thing or was it through neccessity?

mmm .. nice mental exercise to ponder these things.

Pics are all tonight, field one is short of two or three inc the dappled grey one, I had these last few weeks made special effort to feed her from the bucket. She seemed a bit too good natured to participate and win in the hierachy game.


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I always find this a great lift, never listened to The Fall since around 1988 when I would taper off listening to John Peel, found them again now !
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I was first there a week ago, wifelet in to see her uncle S in hospital, so a chance for Smud n me to explore. Interestingly found a gravestone with my name carved on the side, the makers mark. We had an idea stonemasons were somewhere in the past with this surname, all part of a group circa 1860.  While I was there filming digital cine a flydumper turned up and etc. Oh dear. 

Particularly touching was the area I assume for stillborn babies, none had ages on though many stated 'stillborn'. I was in tears last week when I saw this, this week i thought how loving and lovely were the little graves marked with white gravel, fenced off with mini fencing and with toys around as needed. What was sadder were those tiny plots that had nothing, neglected. Perhaps parents had moved away and were not able to keep things smart. Perhaps time moves on and desire to maintain no longer occurs. They then only reside in someones memory.  

And of course, all the poor people have no stone to mark them at all. Not that it really matters, its the life you lead while you are alive that is important, values, intergrity. I try to imagine all their hard work and pain and hopefully a quick and easy release from their suffering at the end. I am very aware of how in times gone by life could be so hellish for poor people working or otherwise.  

My own auntie A is ninety two now, two years older than my dad if he was still alive. I have no idea if he has a stone or not, cremated and that was it. Yet I often feel he is with me, I use his tools and lathe daily since a kid and basically built a thirty years span of self employment from them.  Being brought up to work and make an effort was his best gift. I have always had this feeling, that the dead are all around us. I had it strongly when first g#rd#n#ng four years ago, my maternal grandfather standing next to me, a very strong feeling, not a man I thought of very often.   Possibly he was encouraging me in breaking out of the circular rut I was in. I now wonder if he is aware of the pain i have, yet diet and a four hour g' day help ease this.

Not having kids sometimes bugs me, yet its not all plain sailing and we do not live in the pastel coloured Ladybird world of order and balance. My income has always been precarious to say the least so kids without any support network may have been too much for me. We certainly wouldn't have been able to live in this house with its good sized garden. We had good times with our niece so we didn't really miss out at all.


Jasmine, honeysucle, crocosmia, dahlia, all are late season delights.




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Cheating a bit, the above is from just below the cubby hole where we park, the 'robins pincushion'.

Late season and dahlias are very important to so many flying insects.

I had a shocking pink one too, though only one tuber and it succumbed to rot, over-watering on my part.



We have two apple tres in 'standard' form, its vital we spray with Bordeaux mixture. Saffron (commonly mis-termed the autumn crocus) is always leggy and seems so weak, would probably be happier in a higher light level, I will dress them with bonemeal which should help as it does all bulbous plants.


Bees are having such problems, we need to help them all we can. Looking around, there are so few people that are in tune with the need to provide flowering plants over as wide a season as possible. I particularly abhor the moronic spread of block paving and gravel.


The canterbury bells are from Mrs N who passed away eighteen months ago. I now have white as well as the blue form and they are thriving here. I tend to keep the cyclamen to the edges of the garden, these last few days in an often recurring wonder at how we will fare in old age, by the time we are old this garden will be stuffed full of bulbous and corm like gems, snowdrop, crocus, erythronium, fritillaria, cyclamen. Nerine are at the front tho are not thriving, perhaps as they have only been in a year its too early to tell.  It would be tragic if the owners after us were blind to these wonderful things (which will probably be the case) I've been thinking instructions and a map would help.  


Meconopsis cambrica the welsh poppy can so easily be so troublesome, yet i like to see a few around and in this case the actual colour is better in reality. The cyclamen to the right generally are in flower just after Christmas in the most incredible shocking pink. i will have to sometime split this group as it is several different plants. I find this year that a light watering with 'Miraclgro' a couple of months ago when most cyc were dormant has helped flower production.


On the left is my slug control technique, house bricks turned cavity down, fortnightly rounds of snipping keeps 'em down. Also function as stepping stones, thereby minimising any trampling down of the friable earth.


The harts tongue fern comes from pre-war garden in our nearby city, they thrive there as its shaded heavy soil and wet.


On the left is a not very good pic of american pokeweed ie Phytolacca americana. This one flowers red, I used to have the white version too. And on the right is a common polypody, P. vulgare I assume.

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Mandarin (Hanzi) is .... 黃土地; pinyin: Huáng tǔ dì

Sis in America cannot get to see the classic Chinese film 'Yellow Earth'. So here it is on a better Chinese website in one complete section, no chopping up.   The music is heart rending, the visuals are stunning, a great film on so many levels. Warning, there is an occasional annoying animated bra advert featuring a womans 'boobs' .... just scroll your page down and hey presto it is gone, my apologies for this.


Postscript. The above does not have subtitles, so to help along heres a rough idea.... a soldier is detailed to roam the countryside to collect folk songs. He encounters a wedding party, they are poor, the fish course is a symbolic one, bits of painted wood shaped like fish. He finds a family to stay with, poor people and living an ancient way. The girl is stunning and she is captivated by the soldier who seems so educated. Sidenote, we must remember that for all of Maos failings he ended a sometimes oppressive fuedal system and made possible basic education for the masses. Back to the story,  in short she has been given in marriage to a frightening and unsuitable suitor to clear a debt incurred in her mothers funeral. The girl takes a small rowing boat and attempts to cross the huge Yellow River, she drowns. Its probable she wanted to anyway rather than face her future husband. The last couple of minutes are most strange, the villagers resort to ancient pagan ritual in desperation for rain.


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Great song and great fun to watch. The film maker has a good eye for what is attractive to watch, as well as being a talented modelmaker.
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