Posts for everyone!

Malvern 2010 Show Garden – Losing Control, Releasing Nature

When Cesca first showed me the drawing plans for the UCS garden at RHS Malvern, I knew that it was going to be special. But nothing could prepare me for the final result. More a large scale high-art installation than a garden; it is playful, fun and definitely sending a message that we can all understand. I have been reading a book recently, called “The World Without Us ,” in it the author, Alan Weisman, writes of how nature – that pervasive force – would take over after we are gone. Concrete would fall down, buildings would crumble under vines and the remains of humanity would disappear; and quicker than you would imagine. Of course, for us Daoists we don’t see the human and so called “natural” worlds as different at all. They are all parts of the same thing; and it is only human arrogance that distinguishes us and our achievements. When we see metal and we think that it is not a “natural” substance, we forget that we stand upon a 50 trillion ton ball of the same stuff. Given the size of the Universe, our small scratches on that metal ball amount to a glint of light in a million years of sunshine, but we don’t see it that way. We still think we are in control. As Weisman shows in his book – that is the ultimate illusion. And so it is with the UCS garden, losing control leads to organic growth and non-human cycles of birth and decay taking back the ground. Returning to the rhythm all of its own. It wont be rushed, it is like the blowing playful wind, and as gardeners we might conduct this orchestra briefly, but we hardly could claim control of it. We work with it. […]

New Basho Artwork

Dear all, A couple of weeks, Cesca and I went to a very strange cafe. It was a cafe where not only do they serve food, but also ceramics! The supplied ceramics were all unpainted and the task was to adorn the item before it was fired. Here is my attempt at a Coffee Cup, which I have given to my mum. Before firing: After firing: […]

Basho’s Roast Lamb Shoulder Recipe

This is a recipe based on one by the great Jamie Oliver and the original is available online at his site. I love well cooked lamb, the way the juices flow from the intensely flavourful meat together with the texture with real bite, well roasted is simply the quintessential British dish. This is my idea of cooking on a Sunday; instead of sitting there basting meat, sweating over potatoes or cutting up veg, this dish is entirely prepared in advance and then just left in the oven for four hours. That’s four hours down the pub, entertaining your guests or making love to your wife. Four hours well spent! After which, you will be presented with a lamb dish fit for a king and tasting succulent enough to entice even the most ardent beef fanatic. I have made this dish many many times and there is a knack to it and a few simple rules that can really help turn this into something special. […]

Short Jolly Swagman Backpackers Review

A copy of my review: Jolly Swagman Backpackers, Sydney, Australia 25th Jun 2008, 3 nights Nice location.  Fine interior. Not really for our age range, lots of drunk kids. WIFI/internet costs a rip-off in 2008!  We moved on to Eva’s on the 28th (much nicer) […]