The Shelf-life Of A Lettuce…..Practical Action….. Halloween…..

by Bernie Bell - 07:51 on 13 October 2022

The Shelf-life Of A Lettuce…..Practical Action….. Halloween…..


The Shelf-life Of A Lettuce…..


I sincerely hope so.


The 'Daily Star' reports that bookies are offering odds of 6/1 that a lettuce bought for 60p from Tesco will outlast The Truss as Prime Minister. Readers can follow the progress of both the vegetable's on the paper's website.


Gotta larf ain't ya'?


Practical Action….

While on the subject of food….

Rather than actually buy things for Christmas for people we know, we pay for useful things for people who need them or make donations to charities or causes which we support and let those who would have received the ’gifts’ know that that’s what we’ve done.

A good source of ‘practical presents’ is Practical Action… https://www.want2donate.org/charity-gifts/practical-action-practical-presents

And .... https://practicalaction.org/wishlist/

We received their most recent Newsletter which includes an item by Layla Kazim, presenter of Radio 4’s The Food Programme in which Layla shares one of her favourite recipes.  Folk do like to discover new yummy things to eat, so I thought I’d share Layla’s recipe – and it’s also a good way to give Practical Action a mention!  Here it is…..



I’m angered/saddened/ annoyed by what Halloween has become in popular culture.  The whole ‘boogy-boo’ idea is against what I know of those who have passed. Just because a person is dead they don’t immediately become ….horrific. If they were horrid in life they are likely to be horrid in death until/if they learn to be otherwise. Otherwise, they’re pretty much as they were - maybe having learnt a bit along the way from this life.  Mostly the same person - some even having found themselves again after losing themself while in the persona they had whilst in their last life here.  Either way, the same basic nature – for good or ill – while learning, learning, learning.

I dislike both how the original meaning has been perverted by popular culture and also this modern business of trick or treat rather than marking a celebration of a time of change - of life passing and renewed life - which is what it means to me.

When I was a child, and a young person, we used to bob for apples and have little parties in our houses. Echoing something of the ’old ways’. The whole ‘trick or treat’ thing is an American import which has got completely out of hand in recent years.

Trick or treat didn’t  used to be so  bad. When I lived in Wales the local children would call round and I would give them sweeties.   The ‘tricks’ didn’t really come into it.  One year a group of children knocked at my door and when I opened it they all shouted…. “Trick or treat or smelly feet!”  Then, a little voice from the back piped up “It’s all-right Bernie, don’t be scared, it’s me, Hannah.”  Then another one of the children admired my ‘Bat’ door-knocker – all very amiable and friendly – part of the fun of the evening. Now, it appears to be seen as licence to cause havoc.

To our Pagan friends it’s known as Samhain and, as I understand it, the focus is on looking back at your life and life in general - looking at life as it is now - and looking ahead to what’s possibly to come.  It’s  not just one night ( Halloween),  but more a time of year.

A few years ago, for me, a lot of stuff went on around what’s called Halloween which gave me a stronger awareness of what this time of year is about.  Even what I found myself doing in the garden fitted - though I wasn’t really aware of it.  We’d had the meadow strimmed and mown, and ‘put to bed’ for the winter - just waiting to burst into life again.  I’d been planting daffodils like nobody’s business – daffodils - little bits of sunshine that they are.  We went to the Rendall Harvest Home – end of the harvest, end of the ‘light’ time of year, going into the ‘dark’ time of year.  Only dark in terms of shortage of light - nothing else ‘dark’ about it at all - a wonderful time.  For a few weeks I’d found myself going out just as the light goes, wandering around the garden and just standing and looking around me at how all the different places and pieces of the garden and landscape fit together. Taking in the feel of it, the light, the smells, the sounds, watching all the birds wheeling about.  Brilliant.  It’s all there, for those who keep their eyes and ears and senses open, all six of them!

Thing is, also, these festivals are often seen as Celtic whereas what I was feeling felt like it went way, way, back, before the Celts - same times of year, same significant day, or days - but the folk then would have called them something different.  I just go with the flow, go with what’s happening, don’t worry about putting names on it.  I just work with it and see what comes out of it and through it - in this case a greater understanding, for me, of the time of year.

And it’s all still fermenting away there in the land and the sky and the sea and the people and the critters - it’s all still going on, and a good thing too - it’s always done so and if it stopped, where would we be?

Times of our life, and Times of LIFE.

All Hallows’ Eve


A time of wonder………..

Look back

Look around you


Look ahead



Strange after Samhain


A tumult of autumn leaves
whisks about my head,
thoughts take flight
as sharp gusts catch at birds
snatching them back and forth.
A cold splinter of sunlight
stabs through rusk-edged clouds,
which slide in unseemly haste
across grey-streaked sky.
 All is unsettled, disjointed,
nothing quite belongs.
I'm caught up in this upheaval,
churning, gestating, coiled
within, strangely skewed views
of past and future
create shifting perspectives,
a sense of differently being,
where old thoughts seem odd.
 As I lift and turn
in this jumble of leaves
I wonder just quite how
I will fall back

Wendy Alford – November  2013


Here’s one I made earlier………….. https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/12/06/islands/

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