Friday, 24 November 2017

This Cat And Dog Love Travelling Together, And Their Pictures Are Absolutely Epic


Avid hikers Cynthia Bennett and her boyfriend adopted their dog Henry back in 2014. At first Bennett was going to pick a golden retriever mix, but then she came across Henry at an adoption event. He was only 14 weeks old, but already five times bigger than the other puppies of the same age. When she entered Henry’s pen he just curled up into her lap, went belly up and flipped his head over her arm. That was when she knew he was the one.
“I think we only had him for three days when we took him on our first hike,” Bennett told The Dodo. “He found the steepest, tallest rock around, and he ran up to the top of it to look over the edge.” That’s why they started calling him their “little mountain goat.”
A few months ago the couple decided that they’d like to have another pet in their family. Bennett really wanted a rescue kitten, and after five months of searching the shelters they finally found a Siamese kitten mix named Baloo. They introduced the kitten to their dog and Baloo just fell in love with Henry – all he wanted was to play and snuggle with him.
It wasn’t long until Baloo started going on their first trips together. “I get a lot of questions about how we got him used to it. But he really loves it. He really wants to go outside,” Bennett said. “If I touch Henry’s leash, [Baloo] will start screaming at the door.”
More info: Instagram

Unbelievable Provençal bake


Unbelievable Provençal bake

Ingredients

  • 600 g ripe plum tomatoes
  • ½ a bunch of fresh basil , (15g)
  • ½ a lemon
  • red wine vinegar
  • 125 g Comté cheese
  • 125 g Gruyère cheese
  • ½ a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley , (15g)
  • 200 g handcut higher-welfare wafer-thin ham , (I like a mixture of smoked and cured
  • WHITE ONION SAUCE
  • 2 onions
  • 1 large knob of unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 700 ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 teaspoon English mustard
  • 1 whole nutmeg , for grating
  • CRÊPES
  • 30 g unsalted butter , plus extra for cooking
  • 120 g plain flour
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 70 ml semi-skimmed milk
  • Method

    1. Score a cross on each tomato, then carefully plunge them into a large pan of boiling water for 45 seconds, then drain in a colander and place in cold water. Peel away and discard the skins, then deseed the tomatoes and chop the flesh into 1cm chunks.
    2. Pick and finely chop the basil leaves, finely grate the lemon zest, then toss both with the tomatoes, a good splash of vinegar and a good pinch of sea salt.
    3. To start the sauce, peel and finely chop the onions. Melt the butter in a pan on a medium heat, add the onions and cook for 15 minutes, or until soft, stirring regularly.
    4. For the crêpes, melt the butter and let it cool a little while you pile the flour into a bowl with a pinch of salt. Make a well in the middle, whisk in the eggs, then gradually whisk in the milk and 70ml water until smooth. Stir in the melted butter, then leave to sit while you finish the sauce.
    5. Stir the flour into the onions to make a kind of roux, then gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Stir in the mustard and a few scrapings of nutmeg, season, simmer for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat.
    6. Put a 26cm frying pan on a medium heat with a tiny knob of butter. Once melted, add just enough batter to coat the base of the pan, gently swirling to cover. Cook until lightly golden, then flip and cook on the other side.
    7. Repeat with the remaining batter, wiping out the pan with a ball of kitchen paper and adding a tiny knob of butter each time – you should end up with 6 crêpes.
    8. Meanwhile, grate and mix the cheeses, pick and roughly chop the parsley leaves, and tear up the slices of ham.
    9. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
    10. Get yourself a deep ovenproof pan, 26cm in diameter. Repeat layers of crêpe, sauce, tomato (leaving any juices behind in the bowl), ham, cheese and parsley until you’ve used up all the ingredients, finishing with a layer of just sauce and cheese.
    11. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 40 minutes, or until golden and bubbling, resting for 10 minutes before serving.
    12. Delicious served with a mixed garden salad with a French dressing made with walnut oil, and I also like to shave some walnuts on a box grater over the top of the salad for added crunch.

The Watchmakers Shop

A street in our town
Has a queer little shop
With tumble-down walls
And a thatch on the top;
And all the wee windows
With crookedy panes
Are shining and winking
With watches and chains.
(All sorts and all sizes
In silver and gold,
And brass ones and tin ones
And the new ones and old;
And clocks for the kitchen
And clocks for the hall,
High ones and low ones
And wag-at-the-wall.)
The watchmaker sits
On a long-leggèd seat
And bids you the time
Of the day when you meet;
And round and about him
There's ticketty-tock
From the tiniest watch
To the grandfather clock.
I wonder he doesn't
Get tired of the chime
And all the clocks ticking
And telling the time;
But there he goes winding
Lest any should stop,
This queer little man
In the watchmaker's shop.
by Anonymous
Art ANTON PIECK



Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Home

~Dachaigh~
(Scottish Gaelic meaning: Home)
Ancestors whisper sweet songs on the wind
Calling us home
Calling us home
Awakening wisdom and magic within
Wilfully calling us home
Sunlight pours over the heart of woods
Calling us home
Calling us home
Lighting a pathway that leads to our roots
Hastily calling us home
Pockets and pebbles and dreams turn to dust
Calling us home
Calling us home
Dreams of a child that now wither and rust
Urgently calling us home
Stars twinkle wishes released to the night
Calling us home
Calling us home
Hope yields a promise within candlelight
Speedily calling us home
Under the moonlight, a wolf shares his woes
Calling us home
Calling us home
Beckoning mankind to unfurl his toes
Hurriedly calling us home
Stories unfold by the light of a hearth
Calling us home
Calling us home
Yearnings are met in the arms of the earth
Calling us lovingly home
© 2016 Amelia Dashwood.



Sunday, 19 November 2017

Fair Maiden Of Autumn

With tresses of crimson and lips of the rose
She moves through the meadows as artistry flows
Surrendering beauty to life set below
She moves through the meadows as autumn winds blow
She scatters her wishes into the wild air
And upon every being, she whispers a prayer
From the orchards and valleys to the fox and the hare
She moves through the meadows revealing her wares
Fine clusters of claret and blankets of gold
Wild cradles of russet and layers of old
As the earth gently slumbers, she recovers threefold
As above in the skies, so below as foretold
She moves through the meadows conveying her spells
To a wealth of creation, her sorcery tells
Of a tale set in darkness as life waves farewell
With a promise of rebirth as roots break her shell
With a heart made of passion and ruby-red hair
She scatters her blessings into the wild air
From the forests and oceans to the fox and the hare
Fair maiden of autumn, deliver your prayer
© 2016 Amelia Dashwood, All rights reserved
Art Wendy Andrew




Friday, 17 November 2017

Poppies

“But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, it's bloom is shed;
Or, like the snow-fall in the river,
A moment white, then melts forever.”
― Robert Burns, Tam O'Shanter
Art https://katerodrigues.deviantart.com/



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The Secrets of Medieval Castles: Stairs are built in a clockwise fashion for a clever reason


Medieval Castles were more than just large fortresses with massive stone walls. They were ingeniously designed fortifications that used many brilliant and creative ways to protect their inhabitants from attacking enemies.
Guest Blogger Will Kalif from the website  All Things Medieval takes us through The Secrets of Medieval Castles
A lot of thought, ingenuity, and planning went into the design of Medieval Castles. Everything from the outer walls to the shapes and location of stairwells were very carefully planned to provide maximum protection to the inhabitants. Here are some of the unique and lesser-known secrets of medieval castle designs.
The Moat – A moat, which is a body of water that surrounds a castle, is often thought of as a water obstacle that had to be crossed; but this wasn’t the primary function of a moat.
One of the biggest concerns of the inhabitants of a medieval castle or fortress was the fear that an invading army would dig tunnels under the fortification.
This tunnelling could either provide access to the castle or cause a collapse of the castle walls. A moat prevented this because any tunnel under the moat would collapse and fill with water.
It was a very effective deterrent against tunnelling. Often times the moat wasn’t even on the outside of the castle. It was on the inside between the outer wall and the inner wall.
Concentric Circles of Defense – This was an extremely effective method of defense for the inhabitants of a Medieval Castle. It was a series of obstacles that started on the outside of the castle and worked their way in.
It was usually a progression like a cleared field, an outer wall, a moat, an inner wall, a keep and then a strong hold tower. An attacking army would have to overcome each of these obstacles one at a time. And this took a lot of time and effort to do.

The Main Gate as a Death Trap – The main gate of a castle was often the most dangerous place in the castle because it was also a deadly trap.
It often opened into a small courtyard that had another main gate at the far end. The forward main gate often had an iron portcullis that was held in the open position and if the main gate was broken through and attackers made it into the small courtyard the portcullis was brought down and the attackers were trapped in the small courtyard.
The walls of the courtyard had small holes called death holes where the defenders could fire arrows and other projectiles at the trapped attackers.
You can see more of Will’s work here All Things Medieval 

source

Photo credit: WyrdLight.com Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.The hidden secrets of Stairwells – Stairwells were often very carefully designed in Medieval Castles. Stairwells that curved up to towers often curved very narrowly and in a clockwise direction.
This meant that any attackers coming up the stairs had their sword hands (right hand) against the interior curve of the wall and this made it very difficult for them to swing their swords.
Defenders had their sword hands on the outside wall, which meant they had more room to swing. Another ingenious design of stairs was that they were designed with very uneven steps. Some steps were tall and other steps were short.
The inhabitants, being familiar with the uneven pattern of the stair heights could move quickly up and down the stairs but attackers, in a dimly lit stairwell, would easily fall and get bogged down in the stairwells.
This made them vulnerable to attacks and slowed their attacks down significantly. You can see more of Will’s work here All Things Medieval 
Secret Passages – What Medieval Castle would be complete without secret passages?
Many castles had secret passages and they served a variety of purposes. Some passages were designed to open up a distance from the castle so inhabitants could escape during an attack or get supplies in and out during a siege.
Secret passages also led to secret chambers where people could hide, supplies could be kept or a well for water was dug A medieval castle was more than just a large glamorous palace with massive stone walls around it. A medieval castle was a structure that was totally designed right down to the last detail with the protection of its inhabitants in mind.
If you ever visit a medieval castle and you notice that the stairs are very uneven you will know that it wasn’t because the builders couldn’t measure out steps evenly.
It was just that this is a little secret of the builders of the castle.