Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Chelsea Flower Show 2007

Chelsea Flower Show
Chelsea Flower Show

Chelsea was quieter than usual and the show gardens not particularly special, apart from the Japanese moss garden (seen with its water window) and several of the tiny gardens hidden beyond the picnic area (see Le Jardin de Van Gogh above). But it's been the most perfect spring this year that most people can remember and the country's gardens are blooming early and spectacularly

Tuesday, 15 May 2007


People talk of world peace. But how can you ensure peace in the world? Here is the formula for it.

“If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character. If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.”
It may thus be seen that the first link in the chain leading to world peace is righteousness or dharma. Dharma is only another name for right action. But the prerequisite for right action is right thought. In other words, peace should start with the individual and gradually spread wider and wider right along the line - from the home or family to the village to the nation, etc., till finally, it encompasses the entire world.

Sathya Sai Baba

Saturday, 12 May 2007

What happens when our digital footprint suddenly disappears from the screen?

What happens when our digital footprint suddenly disappears?

I'm not sure that most people have thought of it - perhaps because they mainly communicate with people they have actually met and therefore have other links with. However, there are some practical things that we should be doing to help others deal with our affairs, now that almost all our business and much of our private lives are conducted on line. A note for your family giving them usernames and passwords for your computers, e-mail accounts, address books, (Plaxo is terribly useful here as you can access it from any computer from the web and it also copies address books and notes across different computers), bank accounts, PayPal, Flickr, Genes Reunited, websites like this blog, Facebook etc.

Send a copy to your executors as well so that they can rummage around easily if you don't make it down to breakfast one day.

Legally speaking, one should make a 'digital will' - to include things like your photos. You can even leave your iTunes collection to someone!

Happy days and pass the pinot!

Friday, 11 May 2007

Mother Teresa

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

Attributed to Mother Teresa

And more wise advice here

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Jane Austen

Jane Austen's house in Chawton

Chawton House, near Jane Austen's own house. Owned by the Knights for generations, Herry used to go to dances there

One of my favourite pieces of writing is Lord Grey's essay on Jane Austen:

Jane Austen is to me the greatest wonder among novel writers. I do not mean that she is the greatest novel writer, but she seems to me the greatest wonder. Imagine, if you were to instruct an author or an authoress to write a novel under the limitations within which Jane Austen writes!
Suppose you were to say, "Now you must write a novel, but you must have no heroes or heroines in the accepted sense of the word. You may have naval officers, but they must always be on leave or on land, never on active service. You must have no striking villans; you may have a mild rake, but keep him well in the background, and if you are really going to produce something detestable, it must be so because of its small meannesses, as, for instance, the detestable Aunt Norris in 'Mansfield Park'; you must have no very exciting plots; you must have no thrilling adventures; a sprained ankle on a country walk is allowable, but you must not go much beyond this. You must have no moving descriptions of scenery; you must work without the help of all these; and as to passion, there must be none of it. You may, of course, have love, but it must be so carefully handled that it very often seems to get little above the temperature of liking. With all these limitations you are to write, not only one novel, but several, which, not merely by popular appreciation, but by the common consent of the greatest critics shall be classed amongst the first rank of the novels written in your language in your country."

Lord Grey of Falloden - The Falloden Papers

Monday, 7 May 2007

24 Hrs of Flickr

Each person can post one photo to Flickr to make a composite image of the world on 5th May 2007. Mine wasn't a very exciting day.....