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Monday, 23 June 2008
Papaver rhoeas


It’s almost the end of the poppy season now, but I found a field with a few still going strong. While these poppies are not narcotic, there are fields in the UK devoted to producing opium.

According to the BBC:

The wild field poppy enjoys cultivated, disturbed soil, which is why swathes of scarlet blooms often appear in cornfields. The basic form has scarlet, single flowers, each petal often marked at its base with a black blotch. Size varies according to the soil in which plants grow, the poorer the soil, the smaller and paler the blooms… Plants self-seed readily.

Wikipedia has some information about the history of this plant:

It is known to have been associated with agriculture in the Old World since early times. It has most of the characteristics of a successful weed of agriculture. These include an annual lifecycle that fits into that of most cereals, a tolerance of simple weed control methods, the ability to flower and seed itself before the crop is harvested. Like many such weeds, it also shows the tendency to become a crop in its own right; its seed is a moderately useful commodity, and its flower is edible[citation needed].

Its origin is not known for certain. As with many such plants, the area of origin is often ascribed by Americans to Europe, and by northern Europeans to southern Europe. The European Garden Flora suggests that it is ‘Eurasia and North Africa’; in other words, the lands where agriculture has been practised since the earliest times.

Posted by bigblue on 23/06/2008 at 11:55 PM
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Sunday, 22 June 2008
I think therefore I am… a feminist


Bluemeanie’s wearing a new t-shirt today.

Posted by bigblue on 22/06/2008 at 03:42 PM
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Saturday, 21 June 2008
And there was light


And the people did beat their drums, and scream and shout, and dance and celebrate. Because it was the time of sunrise on the longest day of the year, and they were at the sacred site of the stones, and they had been up all night.
And they were pissed or stoned out of their minds. And then they went home leaving a great mass of litter behind.

Posted by bigblue on 21/06/2008 at 09:49 AM
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Summer Solstice


I arrived at Stonehenge about one hour before the 4:44 am sunrise and made my way to the inner circle. This was a privilege (shared today by many thousands of play pagans) as normally the guardians of the site (English Heritage) restrict access to the footpath which runs around the perimeter of Stonehenge. There was an eclectic bunch of people there, all choosing to experience and interpolate in one of many different ways.

The glow beyond the stones in the photograph is provided by the artificial lighting provided by English Heritage: “ambient light ... in the interests of public safety”. Most thoughtfully, the lights were “systematically turned off as dawn approached”.

There was not to be a dramatic (Hollywood-style) dawn with a ray of sunlight cutting a shaft into the stone circle. I have my doubts that this would occur in the best of weather, despite the endeavours of the man next to me to demonstrate the principle using his fingers. As it was we attained enlightenment through the ambient glow of clouds and rain.

Posted by bigblue on 21/06/2008 at 06:22 AM
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Friday, 20 June 2008
London Eye from Hungerford Bridge


As I wait at Clapham Junction rail station for the train to work (and it’s turning into quite a wait) I was looking through some photos I took last night. I think I should have taken my photos earlier before the light faded so. I’m also feeling weak and hungry, but it only became noticeable when I had left home. Bastard next to me is drinking coffee. I’m now amused that my phone dictionary doesn’t have the B-word in it.

Posted by bigblue on 20/06/2008 at 08:09 AM
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Thursday, 19 June 2008
A Shower


The walk on Saturday took us past the French Street Stables, where we saw this magnificent sight. The tail of the horse seems to be kept unusually long. I just missed a shot of the woman holding the tail and squirting water up the horses behind. The horse seemed remarkably relaxed about this (compared to say how you or I would feel about having this done to us).

It was a warm sunny day. This morning the weather forecast predicts more of the same but looking out the window I see it’s overcast with rain. This poses a dilemma: after work I am going into central London for drinks with friends. Do I dress according to what the forecast predicts or what I see outside?

Posted by bigblue on 19/06/2008 at 07:19 AM
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Wednesday, 18 June 2008


Another photo taken near Toy’s Hill. These plants are also known as Polypodiophyta. The photo actually shows a fiddlehead - the young unfurled frond.

Fiddleheads of some ferns are eaten, as are the roots. Don’t try this at home - they are poisonous plants and some specialised knowledge/preparation is required.

Posted by bigblue on 18/06/2008 at 12:03 PM
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Tuesday, 17 June 2008
Without Shame


Walking past the Toshiba shop in Ashford on Sunday I was struck by the bare-faced cheek of this company. After pioneering the HD DVD format they announced earlier this year that they were pulling out. They may have had sound business reasons for doing so ($$$ cough! $$$) but their customers may wonder why Toshiba sold them HD technology when a “better technology” was around the corner.

Posted by bigblue on 17/06/2008 at 05:49 PM
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