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Greatness in small things 
Greetings from the garden bar...
Cheers to you and yours.
The sun has been here for more than a few moments. And now something inside me has started to bud, I’m not comfortable with the thought it might go away again.
Thankfully my COVID has gone. But now it’s my daughters turn. She was the last one standing.
While looking after her this week I still managed a few escapes. My MOT for the bike was a little late due to me being out of action but it’s done now and I have another year of stress free riding ahead of me.
I’ve also been trying to leave the screens behind and have lunch in different places. I’m still not going to cycle till I’m back to full strength, but when the weather is like this the motorbike does just fine. While I can afford the fuel.
This little beach is a five minute ride away. And it is never the same.
Outside of enjoying the weather I have had confirmation for a project in the US. Really excited to be working with a team that I have not hung out with for over 5 years.
Caught up with the first series of Picard. Quite enjoyed it. I don’t consider myself a Trekkie as Star Wars was and still is my thing, but I appreciate any decent Sci-Fi storyline. And there has been quite a few in Star Trek. Over the years I watched a fair few on TV. Not so many of the films but I caught some of The original series, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager.
Picard reminded me of the series Firefly
12 years ago my little cactus buddy Pedro featured in this video.
I was experimenting with the app Reel Director on the iPhone. it was ahead of it’s time back then. There is a Reel Director 2 still in the App Store but It hasn’t had any support or updates for three years. LumaFusion is the best iOS video editing app now Anyway. More on Pedro later.
I’d like one of these heaters for the shed. Perhaps with a spring loaded candle holder so the flame always stays close to the pipe. You will know what I mean if you watch the video.
Should you be after the cinematic effect on your iPhone and don’t have one of the more recent iPhone models that offer a decent shallow depth of field, then this video might help you.
I had a minor flashback this week when my daughter asked me if I had ever got really angry at school. I could only remember the one incident. I’m sure there were many, but all the other times pale in comparison to this one time. The fact I can still remember it is testament to that.
My Mum was not well but still insisted on making my packed lunch. We had little back then, but I knew she put all her love and energy into making sure I had enough to eat.
There were a few troubled kids at my school. Those who found it easy to be malicious or violent. But I was pretty good at avoiding them. Apart from on this one day when in the dining room someone leaned over my shoulder at lunch and took my sandwich. Not to eat. But to throw in the bin. For no reason that I could fathom.
It made me so angry I shook. It wasn’t that he’d ruined a perfectly good sandwich. Or that I was going to go hungry. It was that my sick mother made my lunch shortly before going into hospital.
I was livid. But not stupid enough to get my head kicked in. I took a deep breath but hadn’t learned to consider what kind of upbringing others had. I just momentarily internalised my rage and waited to get my revenge. Which I did. More than once. With the help of the original version of this book. This is a later updated version.
It was easy to find the bully’s address, and access to a typewriter. It was quite therapeutic.
This video also involves a stolen sandwich and captures a little of my mindset back then.
It may not look much but I can safely tell you this is the best meal I have cooked this year. I’m pretty sure the family would also agree.
The ingredients to serve 4 people are:
1kg of sweat potato - 1 chopped onion - veg oil - two cloves of garlic crushed - 3cm of ginger grated - a teaspoon of chilli flakes - 1 tin of chopped toms - salt to season - 50g of peanut butter - 500 ml of veg stock. Plus chopped fresh coriander and some chopped peanuts for garnish. Serve with rice.
Toss the sweat potato, garlic, chilli flakes and ginger and chopped onion in the oil and place in a preheated baking tray in the oven at 180 degrees C (fan).
Cook for 45mins.
Mix the peanut butter, stock and chopped toms and pour over the roasted veg. Mix it up and cook for another 15mins while preparing the rice.
When the rice is cooked take out the tray and season with salt and add the chopped coriander and peanuts before serving on the rice.
This image via @lyledal on Twitter got me wondering why a thing does not exist. Maybe it’s that two dogs exceed the average mouth size. But baguettes seem to be doing ok.
I’ve been working my way through this amazing China White tea.
It’s super light with a slight sweetness and might be the most expensive tea I have bought. (Although a friend got me 50% off the RRP which brings it down to a more sane price point.) After this all other tea tastes like floor sweepings.
This week I’ve had more than a few thoughtful moments of leafy meditation while staring over the brim of a mug.
Other little things make me happy... Bargain buys.
My purchase of the week was this mug from a charity shop for £2.
You might also notice a similar one in the photo above this one. That was my favourite mug till I grabbed this one. Although also marked as a 0.35l it’s slightly bigger than my original Le Creuset. The company will be 100 years old in 2025. Coffee and tea always taste better in a favourite mug.
This is Echinocactus williamsii or ‘Pedro’ for short. We have been together for well over 20 odd years. I picked up Pedro sometime in the 90’s.
Procured from an old man at a fete in Hillmorton, Rugby, I paid £1 for the single small cacti. It sat in the same plastic pot you can see in the photo on the left. Since then Pedro has ‘pupped’ and things were getting crowded so I though it best to finally repot him.
You may also know Echinocactus williamsii by it’s other name, Peyote. An entheogen that for over 5500 years has been used to induce altered states of consciousness engendering spiritual development during shamanic or spiritual practises.
I doubt I will ever ingest my little buddy. We have been together for far too long. But experiencing mescaline is still on some unwritten to-do list of mine. And if I do, I’ll let you know how it goes.
Although I’m pretty sure that will be a supporting subscriber post.
The screw in coffin is a novel idea I’m not sure will catch on.
I must thank the paying subscribers that pay $5/month to get all the content I share into this feed. If you are able, please upgrade to become a paid supporter. Sadly Strip have up their fees which means I’ll get even less of the subscription fee. If buy me a coffee it also goes through Stripe now.
But if you Paypal me $55 I’ll give you a year of subscription. Bargain right? Just let me know your subscription email address the you send it. Failing that I’ll also add a month of full subscription for every $5 you PayPal.
(This message will self destruct on a day or so.)
Nine female adventurers.
When did everybody start calling themselves content creators?
There is no one from the state of Texas on the Documentally community map and I might there next month. Best get some stickers printed.
I’m still using Freetrade. If you are yet to get an ISA or like to dabble in penny shares then it’s a simple enough app. Obviously I don’t want you to lose all of your money so invest carefully. I’m not working for them but this link means that if you do get involved we both get a free share. No idea what you might get but my last one shot up to £50 and I sold it to buy wine. Good wine.
Bacterial ‘Leather’ from food waste thankfully has other more marketable names.
RIP Stephen Wilhite
Thanks for reading.
Hope all is well in your part of the world.
I’ll be out on the road working for some of next week.
Somewhere near The Wirral.
“When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment.” ~ Muriel Barbery
See you out there.