The steps


A light from the sky settled gently on to the field at the back of the housing estate. The sound was muted. No one would have heard it if they had been more than 50 metres away.

But on that night Sam had been looking up at the sky from a corner of the field on the local footpath. She had been struck by the beauty of the Milky Way and the clarity of the night on this chilly evening. She had been about to leave when she saw the light from the corner of her eye. A meteor? Too slow. A plane? The flashing lights were not there, just one spotlight. A helicopter? No sound …. She stood still as it landed. The classic ufo shape that she had seen on many old black and white films.

She was surprised at how calm she felt. She didn’t know whether to move toward the object or run away. Finally she noticed a yellow ramp with steps lowering down to the ground.

Why not be the first? Why not make contact? She walked slowly up the slope of the field and came to the base of the steps……

International Women’s day


A date to remember. Its international women’s day and also one hundred years since the suffragettes’ fought for the vote for women in Britain. The colours of purple white and green were used to signify their struggle.

It should be remembered that when they finally did get the vote it was only for older women who owned property…

International women’s day means freedom to me. The freedom to vote and be part of a democracy. The freedom to control your body and not be forced to do things you don’t want to. The freedom to own your own property and to earn equal pay for work of equal value.

As a woman I have seen years of inequality. I have seen mysogeny and misanthropic behaviour. But not everyone is like that. At the end of the day we need to learn to respect one another. After all women are not another species. Equality is still some distance away, people shouldn’t be judged on the way they look or act. Life can be hard work. With age comes experience. Women don’t need patronising it’s time for equality.



This is a form of Broccoli, the pattern seems fractal, where it repeats in smaller and smaller forms but in the same pattern. Another example is the Mandelbrot set. The now famous pattern that constantly reveals and renews itself the deeper you look into it.

Have you heard of Fibonacci numbers? They relate to the spirals on this Broccoli plant too. There are two spirals if you look closely. One is more curved than the other. It’s based on prime numbers. Like 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, and so on.

Now this is where I have to admit only a slight knowledge, I only know about Fibonacci because of programmes I have seen about him and they were based on art. I have also heard of the golden section, which is based on another spiral, and is said to allow you to place objects in a painting into the most beautiful composition. But I am no mathematician.

If you look up Fractals, Mandelbrot and Golden section, you should find interesting information about them all, and Chaos theory which seems to link them all. They are all fascinating.

There are several books out there about Chaos theory. It’s worth reading around the subject.

Two suns

IMG_20190225_002113imagine a world with two sun’s. Both about the same size as ours. You are on a planet orbiting both of them, luckily half way between the two so it never gets too close to either of them and far enough out so that it doesn’t get too overheated by twice our suns power.

Instead of winter the North and South poles of the planet get almost continuous sunlight. At the equator two shadows are cast at almost right angles to each other. There is no ice at the poles. In fact there seems to be almost permanent summer there. If the world has water perhaps plants continue to grow all year, like our tropics. The weather would be affected by heating from the suns and any magnetic fields may interact so I imagine a liquid iron core like ours would be an advantage.

I used to read old science fiction stories which imagined all sorts of life forms, crazy plants, strange animals based on different gravities. But I guess because of TV Sci fi we now think that all intelligent life will be bi-pedal with oddly shaped foreheads or ears….

There is an infinite universe out there but we are too parochial.

One of my favourite films is Galaxy Quest. It is a spoof sci-fi film based on the old TV cult classics. I wonder if we will ever move on from those ideas?

After the panto


This is me in panto costume and makeup. I have not published photos of other cast members as I don’t have their permission. What a brilliant time! Two full shows today. That’s 8 hours in the hall. Trying to look serious , happy, perplexed, confused. Changing from being a villager to a Scottish villager, supporting Robin Hood in a wrestling match, capturing Robin Hood in Scotland. Visiting the court of Prince John and the Sheriff of Penkhull and being in the presence of King Richard. Squabbling with other villagers and getting into fights. All while watching the action as Robin tries to rescue Maid Marian when she is actually quite capable of rescuing herself. Add a mad sketch which shall not be revealed at the start of the second act, and large and small Loch Ness monsters chasing the cast round the hall.

So much more goes into putting on a show than the people acting. There is the stage crew who make and place props as they are required, including a mocked up wrestling ring. There is sound and lighting. There are the amazing people creating the costumes. The make up artists trying to paint the faces of almost 40 members of the cast. The people selling tea and drinks  Mostly though it’s down to a local woman who wrote and directed our version of Robin Hood. How she kept all the adult and junior cast going and persuaded us to put it on is beyond me.

So after  4 performances including 2 yesterday, that finished about 4 hours ago … Well all I can say is I’m glad I was in it and congratulations everyone. We’ve had really great feedback from audience members. I want to do it all again!