Author Archives: Jean

Suffering – why is there so much pain in the Universe?

Hold on! We don’t know whether there’s any life in the rest of the universe, so let’s just stick with earth. First question – do all life forms on earth feel pain? To make the answer easier we can put … Continue reading

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Unseen Manchester

We walk Manchester streets, eyeing shop windows – not noticing that just round the corner is the hidden gem of St Mary’s, the oldest Roman Catholic church in Manchester. Originally built in 1794 in a poverty stricken slum area, it’s … Continue reading

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Native Australians in Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens

A haven in the middle of this busy city! You can wander quiet paths among mature trees watching the birds and insects busy about their lives. Or go down to the water’s edge and look across to the opera house … Continue reading

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Christmas Roses

Very early long-lasting flower, 2 to 3 inches across, many shades of whites, greens, pale yellows, maroons.  Friend of early pollinating insects. Clumps of attractively shaped bright leaves, the whole about 18 inches high. What’s not to like? The Christmas/Lenten … Continue reading

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My Dinosaur Tree

I now have a Gnome in my garden. No, not plastic or terracotta with a fishing rod!  My gnome is Ginkgo biloba ‘Gnome’, a dwarfed variety of the dinosaur’s tree which can grow up to 40 metres in height – … Continue reading

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Bardsey Island – near but not near enough

Bardsey Island, the Island of Bards.  In Welsh, Ynys Enlli, the Island of the Tides, often called the island of saints as 20,000 are reputed to be buried here.  A pity the weather was too poor on my visit to … Continue reading

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How Charmingly Sweetly We Sing

Here’s our ladies’ choir getting ready for a performance in the local church hall. Yes, we’re mainly a bit long in the tooth, but that doesn’t affect our tone – we’ve been charming all kinds of groups for over 40 … Continue reading

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Snowy Mespilus

A small and beautiful tree!  Mine has been stunning this spring, covered with white flowers with five petals.  At the same time the young leaves unfurl, a mass of copper-pink among the white.  Glorious! Now the petals have fallen like … Continue reading

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Pudding Norton – Lost Village

A lonely ruined tower – all that remains of the deserted village of Pudding Norton. Its strange name is lost in the mists of time – it was called Nortuna in the Domesday Book, and no one knows where ‘Pudding’ … Continue reading

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Norwich is England’s First UNESCO City of Literature

Here I am at the Lord Mayor of Norwich’s celebration of the award of UNESCO City of Literature – we’re the first English city to gain this, and one of only six cities worldwide – the others are Edinburgh, Dublin, … Continue reading

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