‘Cancer forced me to dance with the shadow of fear’


Something that can affect anyone of us at any time.

Originally posted on Inside Croydon:

Susan Oliver Susan DavisOccasional Inside Croydon contributor SUSAN OLIVER, pictured left, has not written for us for a while. Here she explains why

Winter 2013 was lousy for me.

And then it got a whole lot worse.

The downturn started last November. I became disenchanted with Twitter. I had been an enthusiastic tweeter for a couple of years under the handle of @beesnbeans, so it was surprising when I started to lose interest in it.

I deleted my account. Then in a fit of “What have I done?!?!” I went back and tried to un-delete it, but it was too late: Twitter had taken me seriously.

I continued on living… but around January I knew something was not right. I started feeling massively sad. I underwent a lot of catharsis – a lot of emotional cleansing. Looking back, I think it was a mini mid-life crisis where some unhealed residue from childhood surfaced.

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Buddleia: The plant that dominates Britain’s railways


Surprisingly common these days

Originally posted on esngblog:

Gardening tips from the BBC website (edited)……

It’s hard to walk by a railway line in Britain and not see Buddleia.

Along fences by the tracks and almost any patch of waste ground, you will notice the long, slender clumps of flowers, usually lilac but also blue, deeper purple or white, at the end of long, arching branches.

BBC weather forecaster Peter Gibbs says the mild, wet winter will have improved germination and growth this year, especially in areas where water normally drains away quickly, such as derelict urban sites. “Buddleia is an opportunist that’s always ready to capitalise on any slight advantage.”

Sprouting from seemingly every derelict building, it stakes an increasingly plausible claim for the title of Britain’s national flower.

Buddleia at Willsden Junction

Buddleia at Willesden Junction

 The plant can cause damage to buildings, such as crumbling brickwork – its tiny wind-blown seeds can germinate in decaying mortar.

And the problems…

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Message in a bottle


Half a million bottles washed up on the shore i think the song goes

Originally posted on Open Jotter:

Message in a BottleYesterday I mentioned that I was finding it harder to write long form novels and had decided to give some short form work a try. Today I wracked my brains trying to think of what I could that was just a ‘little bit different’. Then it came to me. Something I’d always wanted to do as a child but never quite got around to. It would be an experiment, an adventure, I would send a message in a bottle.

Then it dawned on me. I’m not really that near the coast. So it wouldn’t just be a case of writing the note to go inside it and dashing out to send it on its way. This, it turns out, is a good thing. It has slowed the whole process down and rather than quickly leaping in and despatching the bottle, I have a lot more time to think it through.

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Social Housing and branding – Never knowingly sold anyone?


Social housing is definatly not appreciated – many people forget their roots!

Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

A flurry of very good articles about social housing as a brand have appeared in the last day or so and not before time. Unlike the John Lewis Partnership strapline of Never Knowingly Undersold, social housing is merely never knowingly sold.

Colin Wiles who is always thought-provoking covers most of the contributors in a piece in Inside Housing and cites Tom Murtha – who I suggested (in jest) on Twitter last week has had more influence now he has retired than when he was a housing chief executive – who is a key player in the SHOUT campaign to give good press to social housing and what social housing is which I said two years ago here is all about its economic benefits yet it is and has never been sold that way!

Tom Murtha has and is beginning to sell housing and get the message out there.  However…

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Naturelog: Leighton Moss


More of Petes lovely photos this time Leighton Moss

Originally posted on Pete's Favourite Things:

The RSPB reserve at Leighton Moss near Carnforth in Lancashire consists of a number of Reed-beds and lakes. It is famous as the breeding site for Bitterns and Marsh Harriers.





We came across this pheasant dozing by the path side and it refused to move even when we walked past it


We also saw red deer but regrettably not close enough to photograph them and so this is the only one which would pose for us.


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A Red Prairie


Saw this on the Bluebell last year, had to look twice to work out what it was!

Originally posted on Loco Yard:

2014 Bluebell Railway - Sheffield Park - GWR Small Prairie 2-6-2T Metropolitan Railway L.150 5521As part of the London Underground’s 150th celebration’s last year, prairie tank 5521 was painted in (albeit historical incorrect) Metropolitan lined red colours and numbered L.150.  Prairie tank’s were never owned or run by London Transport, which (to be fair) is something that has been made clear by all parties. 

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