As ye sow so shall ye reap

I’ve been thinking recently about why people do the things they do; monsters like Amin, Mugabe, Karadzic, Hindley. What is it them that drives their hatred? Is it something outside of their control, or is it their only means of pleasure?

Not being a great lover of poetry, I seldom read much apart from Betjeman or some of the WWI poets, but a friend sent me this yesterday, and I thought it was rather special:

Tenebrous shadows congregate
and murmur surreptitiously.
About the vagaries of fate
and who or what they used to be.

Once powerful now powerless.
They complain interminably
but to the world have no access.
No power on earth can set them free.

They are condemned for their past sins
and all must serve their sentence out
But then of course new life begins
another chance of finding out.

Where they went wrong, try to amend
for hurts they caused deliberately.
Impossible now to pretend.
They see with renewed clarity.

That as you sow so shall you reap.
This simple law can’t be repealed.
That’s why the shadows wail and weep
because their sins lie unconcealed.

Each act recorded faithfully
there is no way that you can lie.
Although you acted furtively
you can’t escape the watchful eye.

Of your own deep subconscious mind
Recording what you did and why.
A monitor that’s well designed
to bring to light what you deny.

Yours is the only evidence
that karmic law will listen to.
No one can speak in your defence.
The faults are clearly down to you.

You are the jury and the judge
and you impose your own sentence.
No legal niceties to fudge
and no pretended penitence.

You join the other shadows who
wait in the dark impatiently.
To be reborn as someone new.
Your role selected carefully.

To give the opportunity
to undertake the tests again.
The tests you failed so miserably
by causing other people pain.

You’ll suffer as you caused them to
Their agonies will be redressed
your wickedness rebounds on you
Until the lesson is impressed.

If you succeed you can move on
It is entirely up to you.
Each life can teach a new lesson
as each life is intended to.

No one’s condemned eternally
you always get another chance.
Some learn their lessons easily
according to their circumstance.

But others find it very hard
and fail the test repeatedly.
A life of misery their reward
but they will learn eventually.

That what you give is what you get.
The scales must balance perfectly.
All other laws you can forget.
All men are treated equally

It’s written by a gentleman named Ivor E Hogg, and there is a free download of 200 of his poems in the form of an e-book from this link


Any of you who have read this post may recall that the beautiful Vladimir was in urgent need of an operation to save his life.

£900 had been raised towards the costs, but sadly Vladimir died suddenly last Friday. The money raised will be used towards paying his outstanding veterinary fees of £1,250.

For an insight into what it is like to run an animal sanctuary, there is an interesting new post on their blog, here.

How low will they go?

I like to have a quick look at various online newspapers every day, in the vain hope that there may be some good news hidden in their columns. The Times, Telegraph, Independent and Daily Mail are the ones I usually read and I give them about ten minutes each. For all its negativity and focus on boring minor celebrities and their weight and/or love lives, the Mail does often have some interesting articles, particularly about wildlife, which is why I keep reading it.

But today they plumb the depths of journocrap with an article regarding the inside of Victoria Beckham’s ears, including a blown-up photograph. The suggestion is that she has not cleaned her ears. Not that long ago they did a similar “expose” of Helena Bonham-Carter’s teeth, and somebody else’s hairy armpits.

I try to imagine what the intention is of publishing these personal details of people who probably haven’t done any harm to anybody, and I fail to find an answer. And then I wonder whether I really want to read this newspaper any more.


Until this morning I thought it was a font or typeface, but after my earlier post about the lady who swallowed the nail, I did a little investigating into strange things people swallow deliberately. The urge to do so is known as “pica”, and while it’s mostly practised by small children, who swallow things like pieces of Lego and beads, here are a couple of examples of things removed from the stomachs of adults:

From the stomach of a 62-year-old Frenchman: 5 kilograms of coins worth $650

In a Serbian man’s tummy: eight nails, a knife, a pen, a screw, a spoon, and a clothes-pin

Then I came across this story, not a case of pica, but one of those horrible tales that I can’t help laughing at – and yes, I put my hands up to having a rather distorted sense of humour 😉

A hippopotamus has swallowed a dwarf in a circus accident in northern Thailand. “A dwarf, nicknamed Od, died when he bounced sideways from a trampoline and was swallowed by a yawning hippopotamus, which was waiting to appear in the next act,” the Pattaya Mail reported. “Vets on the scene said Hilda the Hippo had a gag reflex which automatically caused her to swallow.” The vets said it was the first time the hefty vegetarian had ever eaten a circus performer. “Unfortunately, the 1000 plus spectators continued to applaud wildly until common sense dictated there had been a tragic mistake. Police said the trampoline has been sent for forensic analysis.”

When I’d finally wiped away the tears and was able to sit on a chair again, I found this one. Please watch it in amazement, and don’t worry about the goldfish – it comes out OK. 🙂

Value for money

You can’t beat the Tesco value range of food products, especially if you’re involved in a bit of DIY.

A young lady called Rebecca Shorten is in hospital after swallowing a 1″ inch nail that was living in her macaroni cheese together with two of its companions. Rebecca is on morphine while she waits for the nail to make its way through her system and out into the world. Poor girl, let’s wish her better very soon.

When cereal manufacturers include free gifts with their products, they mention it on the packet, but it seems that Tesco forgot to tell their customers about the nails they were giving away in their macaroni.  Nul points, Marketing Department. Very careless.

Tesco Value meal

Still, with the price of nails these days, you have to admit that it IS good value for money.

Rebecca is due to be married on 6th September, so I wish her a speedy recovery and may the sun shine on her and her husband. I hope somebody gives her a cookery book, and if she feels in need of iron, then it comes in easy-to-swallow capsules from any chemist. 🙂

What happened?

23rd August, and one of the highlight’s of my social calendar- Agnès and Danny’s annual party. It kicks off at 6.30 with apéros, served from their stylish “bar”, which is a vintage English milk float painted pillar box red. TOH sips an orange juice – he has been on the wagon after an unfortunate incident in March, but the rest of us sip a cocktail of champagne and Cointreau. Agnès’ brother and his wife entertain us with their music, and I renew old acquaintanceships, all French.

As usual, one of the barns is beautifully decorated and the tables set for a sit-down meal for 30.  The food is sublime, the wine St Emilion, the company lively, but OMG – the weather! Where normally all the doors are open wide and we wear small stringy tops and short sleeves, tonight the men are in jackets and the women wrapping themselves in shawls and cardigans. Even TOH, who is normally impervious to extremes of temperature, is shivering in his jacket and looking decidedly uncomfortable. After lavish helpings of an extraordinary chocolate cake, we take our leave. My car, in the moonlight, seems to be covered in frost.