Summary of the Green New Deal: “The Green Party is no longer the alternative, the Green Party is the imperative”

March, April, May . . . part Two (and a bit of June)

 

Hard to believe this was what we saw on 06 May this year, isn’t it? In 2014 the last snow was on the sixth of May.

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Below is the bus stop when I went out for groceries.

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And here are some pictures of my CAL (Crochet-A-Long) blanket. This is the second of three that I started back in early January. It’s finished now. I did try adding a single row of red along the border, and then I tried adding it just down from the edge, but in the end I decided it really was ‘gilding the lily’ and took it out again. You may notice that there is a band of light mossy green, white and a darker, more bluish green near each end. I thought the light moss colour would work, but then wasn’t happy with it. Rather than undo it, I simply turned the blanket around and began working from the beginning,, creating matching odd bands. I rather like it now, as the odd bit doesn’t stand out so much and looks as though it may have been planned. Oh, well, it will be warm anyway.

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When my CAL group were learning ripple stitch, I was still working on the CAL blankets, so instead of beginning a new blanket, I made a pillow cover for a pillow I already had. I rather like it! I made a fancy edge for the closing (it’s folded and stitched to form an envelope), then realized the dark burgundy wouldn’t stand out at all, so I added the white section. There’s always a solution, isn’t there?

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I love this tree so much! It stands just outside the patio doors and this is what I see from where I sit on the couch. I have now seen it bare of leaf, covered in snow, then covered in blossoms. I have no idea what this tree is, but it’s wonderful to look at. Below are photos of the flowers. They have a nice scent, not too strong and not really perfumed.

IMG_9339 IMG_9338 IMG_9369I chanced upon this photo while looking for something else (and isn’t that always the way?) Turns out these are called ‘lenticular’ clouds. I was particularly interested because I only ever saw them once in my life. It  was the day that we buried my Aunt A and Uncle P’s ashes (in the grave of my uncle’s father. He was my dad’s father, too. My dad and his brother married sisters, so their son is my closest cousin). Later that day, my cousin and his wife, one of my brothers, one of my sisters and her daughter plus myself went for supper at a local restaurant. When we came out, it was just sunset and the sky was full of these. None of us had seen them before and, of course, none of us had a camera along. (That was before smartphones and the like). I hurried to the pharmacy, but they were closed already; the usual thing in small towns. So we simply stood on the street corner and looked for as long as the light allowed. There were seven large ones and a bunch of smaller ones and to me it felt like a message from beyond the veil. One of the most beautiful moments of my life and one I will never forget. I was so pleased to find out there was a name for these clouds, after years of asking people and trying to look them up.

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Does anyone have any idea why a good friend would post this on her Facebook page?

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Lately I have felt that I was receiving messages from the Universe . . . I was so startled when these began appearing on our pancakes once I turned them over. Then, sadly, I figured it out . . . the pattern is caused by the way I pour the batter into the hot pan. They are lovely, though, aren’t they? I just had to share these with you . . .

The smiley one had an actual slit forming the mouth and a day later it looked like this:

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. . . and then I ate it! Mmmmm   these are a variation of the Norske egg pancakes that my sister in New Mexico sent me; we have them a couple of times most weeks. Of course, being me, I had to mess around with the (perfectly good and delicious) original recipe . . . but they are still yummy . . .

IMG_9459 IMG_9458Another sister, the one who lives on BC’s Wet Coast, recommended a book called “You are not your Brain” and I ordered it, and a few more in that vein, from our library. She gets an email called the Brain Bulletin and sent me one of them that had fascinating information about our brains; how if we hold negative thoughts we damage our brains physically and how the scientists think it’s related to some forms of dementia, memory loss, etc. I really needed to hear all that. These books had a cursory glance from me and look quite promising, but I showed them to a friend and now they are at her home for a while. I’ll let you know if I learn anything helpful from them. And if any of you are interested in the Brain Bulletin, let me know in your comment and I can give you a link to sign up for them. Another book that came in is for children with OCD. It’s called “What to do When Your Brain Gets Stuck”. I thought it might have some useful information in it.

IMG_9463I don’t know where this originated, but a good friend sent it to me. I’m working on the lists now because I thought this was good advice, especially for me, as I tend to put off doing the things that make me happy, then feel a bit ‘down’ or discouraged. Crazy, eh?

IMG_9471 IMG_9469I have now cooked up two pots of beans (one pound each of black and pinto) and they are in one-cup bags in the freezer waiting for inspiration to strike me . . . I did eat some cold, right out of the pot . . . It’s so nice to have an second refrigerator; I keep extra veggies in it, as well as extra bread.

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I am still working on the third CAL afghan that I began back in January, but two are finished now. While I’ve been working, I’ve been thinking about possible uses for the leftover yarn; there’s quite a bit of it (this is the yarn I bought so I could use up two balls that I already had; this was back last summer, when I first became excited about the Bavarian afghans). Nothing like downsizing, is there? So I decided to make myself a granny square afghan. Of course I began with what might have been a traditional square, but, as you can see, that didn’t last too long . . . This is what I have done so far. Turns out I’m going to have to make two afghans to use up that yarn; one with these colours and some grey that I think will go well with them, and another with the more vibrant reds and blues, purples and white. When I’m done I will have memory afghans from the times I sat working and chatting with my Aunty, whom I still miss every day.

I made three traditional squares so far from the reds and blues, but don’t have a picture handy to share. Next time , , , one of the squares was begun before my Aunty died and finished the following week, so it will be in the centre, along with one for my Mum and one for me. It may take a while, though.

On a completely different note: I’ve taken on some computer work, formatting pages for a huge contract that my sister here is working on. Her company does a lot of that sort of work and it’s good for me, as I can work from home and fit the time in around my Mum’s schedule. It’s a bit of a learning curve, as I’m using a new laptop and the latest Windows program, where my familiar icons and buttons, etc., are gone and I now have to hunt for much of what I used to use on automatic pilot. A glutton for punishment, I have taken two books out of the library that deal with writing apps for iPhones and iPads, but have only glanced at them so far. I have to say, in my defence, that I ordered them before I knew I’d be working again. Not sure if I’ll do anything in this line, but I was curious.

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Some days I feel like a child again; the sun comes in through our north-facing windows around five am every morning. Child-like, I was holding my hand in front of the light to keep it out of my eyes and I noticed how it made my fingers nearly translucent. Just had to get a photo , , ,IMG_7364[1]

My friends the Crafties have begun bringing me some of the projects I had stored in their attic, as well as a box of yarn from the container on their property north of the city. Yes, more yarn . . . Once I have all the Décor yarn here, I plan to catalogue it by colour and amount of each, then I’m thinking I may be making some of those Cosy blankets that Lucy from Attic 24 makes. She started this whole CAL craze, at least in my world.  Above is my not-quite-finished Bavarian afghan that I call “Violets in the Snow”. It’s here in the condo now and I’ll be back to working on it soon, I hope. The hot pink Barn Cardi will be coming soon, too. Now I just need to plant me a lot of thyme . . .

Have a wonderful week, everyone. the laptop is set up for internet now, so I should be able to catch up on comments soon. (I’m using Mum’s computer for this post, though; it’s easier to type on and I’d already done half this post over the last few days, so thought I’d just finish here). I’ll be dropping in on you in the Virtual Village again, too. I’ve been sort of ‘ghosting’ through, reading as much as I could, clicking ‘like’ to let you know I’d been by, but often not able to leave comments easily. one finger typing on a phone isn’t my favourite thing, really. I’ve been thinking of all of you; those in the midst of winter and those out working in your gardens; and especially everyone who’s been affected by the droughts, storms and flooding. I was speaking with my cousin this week (the one I mentioned above) and where he lives (and where I spent my last few years at home) the temperatures have been up to +35C . . . it wasn’t like that when I lived there, back in the early ’60s. Global warming, indeed . . . Big hugs to all of you.

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My sweet Aunty, patiently modelling the Barn Cardi for me.

And, like Columbo, just ‘one more thing’ . . .

I was lucky to catch this on TV recently, in time to record it: I’d never heard of Brit Floyd,, but they were great! I haven’t listened to much Pink Floyd for many years; what a blast from the past:

Brit Floyd Live at Red Rocks

. . . and that’s all, folks . . .

 

 

 

Bishops Call on G7 to Enact Global Bankruptcy Process to End Poverty

Linne:

Instead of bankruptcy, why don’t we have something like the Year of Jubilee as the Hebrews used to have? I think forgiveness would go farther than bankruptcy, with its association with shame, blame, etc.

Originally posted on Eslkevin's Blog:

At G7 Summit Trade and Debt Policies Take Center Stage; Bishops Call on G7 to Enact Global Bankruptcy Process to End Poverty

By Sophia HarG7

The upcoming G7 summit focuses on global economic issues and conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East. Pending international trade agreements and ongoing debt crises around the world will dominate the ‎conversation.

“Debt, tax and trade issues will take center stage at this year’s meeting,” noted Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network. LeCompte was in Dresden, Germany, for last week’s G7 Finance Ministers gathering. “It’s right that economic stability is a priority on the agenda. Inequality and poverty drive conflict and instability around the world.”

Prior to the summit, G7 Finance Ministers met in Dresden, Germany, to address debt and tax issues. ‎During the finance minister meetings, Jubilee Germany organized a prayer service led by Dresden’s religious leaders that…

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Permaculture Brings Hope…before and after images!

Linne:

One woman CAN make a difference! If you are not familiar with Colette’s accomplishments, this post illustrates some of them well. She is one of the people who inspire me hugely. ~ Linne

Originally posted on Bealtaine Cottage:

It’s been almost nine years since I began planting this smallholding in the west of Ireland. Before permaculture. Bealtaine CottageMany of you are familiar with the landscape as it looked then.

The picture above shows Bealtaine Cottage after a lot of cutting and clearing, around the time that the planting began. June 2011 permaculture cottage 021

This picture shows the same view today.

As you can see, the cottage is obscured…melting into the gardens of intense production.

Bealtaine Cottage before and after

The lonely, abandoned cottage on the first day I saw it.

Bealtaine Cottage driveway

Disappeared into the Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage…nine years of planting by one woman and a spade!

Installin permaculture pond at Bealtaine CottageThis picture shows the Bog Garden after the first pond was created and the surrounding land cleaned up for planting.

Photographs taken at the time depict a barren looking, rushy, wet landscape that offered little hope or sanctuary for gardeners, growers, wildlife or Nature.

Permaculture Cottage July 2011 016The same view down to the pond is obscured…

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March, April, May . . . part One

Wow, do I have a lot of catching up to do . . . but Mum’s computer is hooked up now and I can use it when it’s free, so here goes . . .

First of all, thanks to all my lovely readers for your comments, especially on the death of my much-loved Aunty. A loss is always difficult, even when expected. We seem to expect death to come; just not ‘today’ . . . I’ll catch up with replies to comments soon, now that things are settling down to some degree.

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Can’t remember if I posted a picture of this sweet bunny. I think I did, but he’s cute enough to share twice. Selma from the Eclectic Home and Life blog posted the pattern. Very quick and easy, they make lovely ornaments, bunting, etc. This one will be attached to the project in the following photo. I haven’t done any more on that project, ’cause it won’t be used ’til next winter . . . and you know, I’m all about the deadlines . . .

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While I was staying with the Crafties back in February, March and half of April, I ‘appropriated’ this cup for my morning coffee. Here it is, sitting on the coffee table while I work on one of the CAL blankets. I was struck by the colours of the cup, scissors and the table, as seen in the morning sunshine.

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Mrs. Crafty scored a huge box of assorted dollies and every day there would be a few sitting in the sink for  a bath and shampoo. Quite fetching, aren’t they?

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Below is the hand of the youngest Crafty granddaughter, busy working on something for me, to be part of my project that will travel far from here. More on that once I have the rest of the makings . . . Young Miss C was helped by her lovely big brother Master Z. The creativity seems to have skipped a generation, but is alive and thriving in the grandchildren. Wonderful to see!

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I finally finished CAL #1, and here is the second row of the edging just being finished.

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The third row of edging . . .

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This wee Scotty dog sits on a small table outside the room that I slept in at the Crafties’. I took the picture to share with Selma after she posted a pattern for a sweet little Scotty brooch. Isn’t he cute?

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This is a gallon jar, probably once holding pickles or mayonnaise; sometime later it was decorated by a talented folk artist. It found its way to the Re-Use-It Centre, and leapt off the shelf into Mrs. Crafty’s welcoming hands . . . For now it sits on a shelf at the foot of the bed I slept in. It’s so nice to be surrounded by handmade, home-made items. I can just feel the love, can’t you?

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Below you can see how I finished off CAL #1 – with a lovely hot pink ruffle!

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I rather like it and I do hope the little girl who will receive it likes it, too. It’s large enough to use on her bed even into her teens. She’s not very tall, so that was easy.

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Above, the house where Doc Martin and the lovely Louisa were to spend their honeymoon; I’m SO tempted to move to Cornwall and take over this place! It reminds me in some ways of a couple of the homes I lived in as a child.

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I borrowed this from a friend’s post on FaceBook; nice to know I’m safe :-)

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One of the middle Crafty granddaughters; this is the girl I was teaching to knit. She’s been doing quite well with it and her piece was quite a bit longer when she left for home the next day.

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In the last couple of weeks I stayed with the Crafties I interrupted my  work on the three CAL blankets to follow the project that Selma’s class had moved on to: a ripple stitch item; for some, it was a blanket, but a couple of us chose to make a pillow. Mine is actually a pillow cover, for the pillow I used behind my back when I sat in the old recliner at my Aunty’s place. I ended it with a border of my own design, then realized the border wouldn’t show up once the piece was folded and stitched. So I added the white rows at the other end and now the border stands out just right. I’ll have to take a picture of the finished pillow; I rather like it.

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Two of the  antique dishes owned by the Crafties’ son and his fiancée. The brown lustre dish is meant to hold develled eggs around the edge and I assume a bowl of something in the centre (or crackers? or ???). The clear glass is a beautiful dish, probably meant to hold sweet treats at a ladies’ tea.

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A bottle of root beer, whose cap (and another) I have saved for Narfie7’s wall for Stevie-Boy. I hope root beer counts as a ‘beer’ . . .

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Thanks to Jess the Rabid Little Hippy for this section. She shared a picture of a waffle pattern baby blanket she had made (I think it was her first ever crochet project, too!); She kindly included a link to the pattern site and I just couldn’t resist . . . So this is part of one of the CAL blankets now.

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My Mum found this gorgeous towel in her things when she moved here after staying with my youngest sister for two and a half months. It looks rather old, but not antique. I’m planning to write out the pattern, once I find myself with more thyme . . . Thank heavens for spring and summer, eh?

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Some of the best banana bread I ever made! (and I’m not exaggerating, either!) I used a recipe from my Mum’s old Women’s Institute Cookbook, published back in the ’50s to celebrate British Columbia’s 100th anniversary. Most of the recipes have the ingredients in no particular order, so I missed something important when I started mixing things up; I saw ‘3-4 bananas’ at the end of the list, and rejoiced because I had exactly four that badly needed using up. So I mashed ’em and smashed ’em and mixed them with sugar and all the other good things. I had the wet items mixed and the dry items stirred and before I began melding them, I decided to go over the ingredient list one item at a time, just to be sure I hadn’t missed anything . . . and there in the middle was ‘one cup mashed ripe bananas’.

Oops!! Now what? I definitely had more than one cup; still, undeterred by fate, I mixed it all together, then added another half cup of flour or so, plus a spoonful more of baking powder. When I took them out of the oven I turned them out on a rack, as you can see by the clever pattern of indentations on the tops. Once cool, I cut into them, buttered the slices (no law against gilding the lily, is there?) and both Mum and I declared them the best ever!  If anyone is interested, I would be happy to post the recipe. Just let me know.

I’m going to stop here, as I have quite a bit more to go and I really don’t want to leave you all exhausted by such a huge post after the long months of drought . . .

Much Love and many Blessings to each of you; you are always in my heart and mind. More soon . . .

A sad update . . .

First, thanks to all of you for your patience and support during the past few months. I’m still way behind on responding to comments, so I appreciate that so many of you are still dropping in . . .

As those of you with experience with people affected by dementia will know, moving from a familiar home is extremely difficult for them. It has been hard for my Aunty, in spite of my efforts to create at least some continuity.

We moved to the new place two weeks ago today (Monday the 13th of April) and yesterday my Aunty simply let go and left us at 1.00 pm. I’d been sitting with her on the couch, holding her hand. I got up to move a couple of things in preparation for my Mum’s planned visit in the afternoon. I was up less than ten minutes, then sat down with her again. At that time, or just before, she went home. Just the day before, she had told me she was frightened, but couldn’t articulate the cause. I asked her if she was afraid of dying and asked if she knew what happens when we die. She said, “what?”, so I reminded het that we are met by those who love us and added that her Mother and Dad would probably be among them. She was calmer after that. She was only 10 when her mother died and that loss affected her and her siblings all their lives. I like to picture her ‘home’ again with them and all the others who have gone on ahead.

My Aunty reminded me of a Bantam rooster; she was tiny, not even five feet tall. But feisty enough for ten average people! I have inherited some of the same spirit, in a much more subdued fashion, so we had our clashes. But she always reminded me that she loved me and that she appreciated my being here and willing to help. And she knew I loved her, too. I’m so glad I didn’t leave that unsaid.

Those of you who have followed the Random Harvest for a while may remember my photos of my Aunty, happy to model a shawl or hold up an afghan for me. I miss her already, even though I had no wish to hold her back.

My mother has moved here now, so starting today we will continue unpacking and getting settled. It’s good to be with her again.

By the time Mum arrived yesterday, I had taken care of my Aunty’s body and she looked so peaceful, lying in her bed wearing a lovely pink blouse and powder blue skirt suit. She had made her clothes a while ago, as usual. She had a hard time finding anything suitabke that fit her. She became a fantastic seamstress as a result and when she was young turned many a head.

She learned to knit from her Mother and maternal Grandmother, both born in Norway. When my Aunty was young, all the socks, mittens, scarves, tuques, etc. were made by the women and girls in the fsmily. The men in my Great-Grandmother’s family had been fishermen. Away for weeks, sometimes months, at sea, they passed their evenings knitting socks, etc. for themselves. My oldest uncle, born in 1912 (the year the Titanic went down), learned to knit his own socks, too. Their Grandmother or Mother would start the cuff and the child would knit until it was time to turn the heel or make the thumb. The adult would do that, then the child would continue until it was time to decrease abd finish off, which the adult would do. After a while, the child learned to do it all, start to finish. My Grandmother crocheted, too, but my Aunty never did. She didn’t take well to her oldest sister trying to teach her after their Mother was gone. Older sibs (like me ;-) ) can be quite bossy!

Like my Mum, my Aunty learned to do Artex painting, a form of liquid embroidery. Living in separate provinces, both taught classes and made a bit of pin money selling supplies. A couple of years ago, my Aunty gave me her large container of Artex paints and all the pictures she had created. She sold some of her work, too. She was especially proud of one set of pillowcases she decorated; instead of ‘His’ and ‘Hers’ on them, as was common in those days, hers said, ‘Mine’ and ‘Yours’! She sold several sets of those . . .

As a girl, before the War, she had a penpal in India. The women in that girl’s family crocheted doilies to support the family. They would send a package to my Aunty, who would sell them, then send a money order back to India. She told me about tgat family so many times. She lost touch with them once the War broke out, followed by the Revolution, then Partition. My Aunty always wondered if they received the last money order she sent; it wasn’t acknowledged as usual and she never heard from them again.

After their mother died, my Grandfather kept the family together on the farm. The oldest son stsyed home for years to help with the farming (mostly wheat for income and hens, cows and pigs, plus two gardens just to feed the famkly, with extra butter and eggs being traded at the general store or given to family and friends. The ‘Dirty Thirties’ were very hard years if you lived in southern Saskatchewan. The nine remaining children ranged from nearly three to twenty years of age. The second son left home early and it wasn’t long before the oldest sister married and went to live with her husband’s family on their farm. So the housework, cooking, baking, laundry (by hand in a washtub) was split up by the three girls who were lmd enough: my Aunty, another Aunt and my Mum. Baking was not only all the bread for ten people, but also cookies, cakes, pies, loaves, etc.

My Aunty was too small to knead the bread well, but she baked many of the desserts. The other two girls did most of the laundry, although she helped, and she did all the mending, socks and clothing. It was a hard life for youngsters, but it formed them into strong, resilient, creative women and men. This why I feel so strongly that they deserve lovibg care in their final years.

I could say so much more, but I’ll save some for another day.

I’m doing ok, if you are wondering, but these next days will be busy as Mum and I settle in here. I hope to have a computer set up later this week.

I nearly forgot to tell you of the additional craziness yesterday . . . Shortly after my Aunty died, I had a phone call from the new caretakers in our old building. They live in Mum’s old suite. There was water pouring out of my Aunty’s old place, her son was still in Fort MacMurray and no-one had a key! In the end, they got a locksmith to open the door and then spent several hours vacuuming up over an inch of water (not much in the living room; mostly in the bedrooms and storage room. It was ‘dirty’ water from a burst drainpipe serving the kitchen sinks. The water backed up through my Aunty’s sonk, then spread across the floor. The caretakers drove here just before midnight to collect a key so they could let in the workmen today. I wad SO glad Aunty and I were not there; or, even worse, that she was there alone.

A lot for my cousins to deal with this week, for sure.

Have a great week, everyone; I’ll be back on a regular basis soon.

Sorry there are no photos; for some reason, my phone isn’t allowibg that today . . .

A sad day for music-lovers . . . in the golden shadows of joy . . .

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/mar/27/john-renbourn-ceaseless-explorer-of-song-pentangle-folk-appreciation

I was sorry to hear of the passing of Leonard Nimoy and Terry Pratchett, but John Renbourn’s exit leaves the world a darker place. Pentangle’s music, and later John’s solo work, was a strong and golden thread in the musical tapestry I was so lucky to live in. I took it all for granted then, as so many did.

I am sad at this loss, but also filled with gratitude for the many hours of delight I have been so fortunate to enjoy.

It was an added delight to read of his lifestyle in the Scottish Borders; I can’t imagine anything more perfect!