Well I am just coming to the end of a week off work, had an eclectic mix of things that I have done, went and caught up with some friends that I have not seen in over a year at a barbeque I made time to sort my home out a little too, taking out some stuff to the recycling centre and also some charity donations to the Oxfam shop.
Also made time to go to a friend’s birthday which was a great quite night in a local bar on a Monday where said friend was running around in a dinosaur suit, I have not laughed that much in a long time, a good night was had by all.
So I will be back in work tomorrow and a little nervous because I am so darn tired today and have not left the flat since Thursday. I have no idea why I am so darn tired. It’s been a great week though.
I have not lost any weight this week though but I think that is down to the drinking of Guinness on a couple of nights out and also eating larger meal sizes than I have been used to of late. I did not put any weight on also which is good.
Still in two minds presently about the unlocking of lockdown, it’s lovely for us all to be catching up with people we have not seen for a long time and also be just around people in general. But you just hope that the vaccines continue to work their magic and we get on top of the virus in the long term.
A day of mixed emotions today I have been advised that I no longer needed to shield and so stepped out of my home and walked to work this morning and returned to the office. Its the first time I have walked into Exeter since I had my coronovirus jab, so things on the up for me personally.
But the lives taken of two young people in Exeter were also weighing on my mind. Firstly Lorraine Cox who was murdered in the Summer of 2020 had a jury find the murderer guilty of killing her and he is due to be sentenced next Wednesday. On the night she was last seen she was drinking in a local bar I drink in which is a lovely and friendly place, always welcoming to people who come through its doors and little did the people drinking with her on her last night know when she left what would next happen to her that terrible night in August 2020. It really has been deeply dark time for some of her friends and family that know and love her.
Secondly there is a wonderful young man, younger that is than me that very recently died in Exeter and his funeral was today. His name was Trevor Garman and he was a local legend within his lifetime. He had such a warm and worldly way to him and when we would get talking he was always very welcoming, kind and a great teller of stories and a champion of social justice to boot. Plus he made a great pirate and ran the most awesome karaoke night in town, where even I would occasionally get up and sing. He was always so warm and welcoming to the people that got up and sang and really made you feel supported up on the stage and was always making you want to go back for more.
Sadly after posting this page I have another soul to add to the list of the lost humans
I was lucky enough to meet and work at the Devon Wildlife Trust with a wonderful woman called Emma Parkinson some 20 years ago. We used to chatter in the office, go camping on Wildlife Nights Out for School groups and also go out with the rest of the crew at DWT for an occasional beer or two. When I moved away from Exeter she was one of many wonderful people that I lost touch with and hoped to one day meet again. So I was trying to see if she had a facebook page this week and sadly came across her memorial page I don’t know how or under what circumstances her life was lost but it happened a couple of years ago another real tragedy of a good person taken before their time.
So all in all a sombre day for many Exetonians today.
Andy Edwards – Paranormal Investigator, Father, Brother, Friend and Son.
It will soon be Halloween then November and then 1 month from today on November 29th my brothers birthday. Andy loved this time of year when he would do ghost tours down a mine in Cornwall as well as paranormal investigations in old buildings across the county.
He took me on a guided tour one year where we walked around a mine possibly Poldark Mine and then after closing time off to an old pub in Helston for a further taste of paranormal investigating. This really was his passion and on the night that I went out with him a lot of fun for me too. I am sure his enthusiasm for the supernatural and his ability to seek out friends and fellow supernatural enthusiasts did very much help get him through some very dark times in his life and for want of a better description help keep him sane, in a crazy world.
As mentioned already in other posts he was a medium with the gift of being able to talk to the dead and a paranormal investigator intent on proving to us mere mortals the existence of life after death and the supernatural realm.
I don’t share his gifts for the detection of the supernatural nor would I want to. Those gifts that he had would really scare the bejesus out of me, if I could do what he did. I have often believed though that the spirits of the dead can if they choose to visit us in dreams and Andy has been visiting me a lot recently. Mostly just to see what the hell I am up to or dreaming about. Not to pass judgement or haunt me but just sometimes even to play as brothers so often do. And as the seasons turn and the years add up it sometimes feels as if every year I grow older and the bugger that is my big bro gets younger.
This year has reinforced more so than ever a hope and belief in the power of a good God to triumph and succeed where us mere mortals would fail. I would like to think I am more at peace with my belief in and hope for the almighty than I have been in many years. Just because I don’t understand what Gods divine plan, hope and dream is for us little hummies that is not to say that God does not have hope’s, dream’s and plans for us as individuals or as a species or planet.
As for God’s plans for my brother or even my brothers plans for himself I feel this year more so than in others how much good he could have contributed and achieved so much had he still been here. So on the one hand I find comfort in God and in the other there is discomfort and remorse for no longer having Andy in this plane of existence.
Not left Devon since December 2019 and even when I do make it away I take the ever so little leap to the county next door to visit my mum for her birthday. We make it out to a Farm called Travaskis that serve amazing food which I have not been to before where we treat ourselves to a lovely meal.
There was going to be a new Covid-19 announcement made by Boris when I was in Cornwall and so was not 100% sure how long I would be allowed to stay and wanted to get back to Exeter to have a little break on my own and also catch up with some people and places in Exeter too.
I also had my annual GP appointment where the doctor tells me how much weight I have gained and also whether I have been diagnosed with Diabetes yet. They are doing no diabetes tests this year though and luckily I have only gained about 2 kg so considering all the cakes I have eaten during lock down it’s not too bad. I think the walk to the cake shops helped a little. I also went to Specsavers and picked up my first pair of reading glasses since I was about 5 years old. I had some glasses when I was a child to correct my sight and managed to avoid having another set up until now.
So they have now announced that they are going to shut all pubs at 10pm each night. I must admit some of my favourite joys this year have been catching up with people in some of the local pubs in Exeter although I miss my friends that I used to drink with pre lockdown at the Angel Bar.
Well where to start. Like all cities, towns and places people call home Exeter, Devon in the UK, has taken a bit of a beating this year. Shops shut, people staying at home and all that Jazz. As for me on the other hand I’m now working in the city again that I love to call home, at the heart of the city council in for want of a better word a pandemic planning room.
I work now for the environmental health team answering phone calls and emails for the team directing them to where they need to go to or sometimes I am even able to answer the questions myself.
Business is booming in the office lots of environmentally unhealthy things to deal with, listen to, act on and treat. Though I don’t really want to or cannot go into too much detail because the calls we take emails we get and things we act upon are all really related to people’s lives and are personal to them and strictly confidential!
So during this pandemic when most people are stopping going into the city, I on the other hand turn about face and do the opposite. I sometimes catch a bus to the city centre, sometimes walk (less than I should), sometimes stop in a bar for a beer on the way home (possibly more than I should under a pandemic year but less than I would in a normal year).
I go out to a bar about twice a week and this feels too much like I am taking my life in my own hands with regard to the potential picking up of Covid-19. I am very overweight have a borderline diabeties diagnosis and am nearly mid 40’s so I am not exactly in the young and just passing it on bracket of the pandemic population.
Though I do think that if I get used to not socialising I might permanently not go out. I instead continue to go out and love doing so more for company really than Guinness. I don’t drink at home and still love to meet people and watch punters when sitting in a local bar. My social lockdown beer drinking acquaintances have been one of the joys of this year.
My original group of socialising friends that I used to drink with in a local pub has really gone tits up though. Some are social isolating, some have had mini meltdowns, and others like me are just getting on and making the most of it. Our little group were like ten pin bowls knocked down very quickly by the bowling ball that is Covid-19.
My favourite drinking den and social outlet is still in lockdown as are some of my favourite people. It feels like we might be just about 9 months away still from returning to what I would love to call normal.
A normal Wednesday night for me was when the biggest dilemma might be heading back from the bar after having bought another pint of Guinness, while listening to some tunes from a local musician playing a guitar and waiting to find out whether I had the luxury of sitting in a seat or had to face the slightly more uncomfortable situation of stand up in the outside smoking area. Now I have not had a cigarette for what must be nearly 10 years now and have not missed those pesky nicotine sticks either, but it’s still socially preferential to stand or sit out with the smokers because that’s where all the cool cats hang out in the local pub.
What was once normal I now crave like a nicotine junkie waiting for his next inhalation of a smoke!
So week three into the new job it’s going well lots to learn and lots I still don’t know. I work mostly on the phones and then try to book in what the callers need or take the callers’ information down so that another member of staff can sought out their question for them. A part of me is thinking I am mad to start a new job during covid-19 lockdown wackiness and another part of me knows I would have been even crazier not to.
Back in March I was only sleeping about 2-3 hours a night and I was absolutely wired into finding out all the latest shenanigans in the news, in my head and about life in general were. Working at home at the time was the perfect time to kind of have a blow out and over do things a tad mentally. Now on the other side of that I’m on full battery recharge mode with most evenings and weekends I am snoozing at any given opportunity whilst attempting to top up lost sleep vouchers.
One of the rare gifts of this pandemic has been having the chance to reach out or have people reach out to me from past and present, new and old friends and that has been some of my favourite times.
For those that reached out to me I am very grateful and I hope to those that I have reached out to that they appreciated it too.
Tonight I had a real need to reach out so been phoning some friends and family seeing how they are. Most are doing ok in a lockdown kind of way. But still 9 months or more of this, well thats a might long time in any stretch of the imagination.
The UK Government has a quirky way to not dealing with a pandemic, first telling us to go home and trust the government while bucket loads of UK citizens die and now telling us to come out and spend, spend, spend so we continue to pay for the economy crawling forward on its belly prior to part two of this little smeg show continuing to unfold.
Well I hope you are well wherever you are reading this from and your God or Gods are smiling down on you. I hope we make it to the other side.
Beekeeping is a most enjoyable, fascinating and interesting hobby – and you get to eat your own honey too. Every year local beekeeping associations run courses to help new people to take up beekeeping and even help them find the equipment they need and a colony of bees. Training programmes continue to allow enthusiasts to become Master Beekeepers. For information on courses visit the British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) website
2. Help to protect swarms
Swarming is a natural process when colonies of honeybees can increase their numbers. If you see a swarm contact the local authority or the police who will contact a local beekeeper who will collect the swarm and take it away. Honeybees in a swarm are usually very gentle and present very little danger. They can be made aggressive if disturbed or sprayed with water. Just leave them alone and wait for a competent beekeeper to arrive.
In areas of the country where there are few agricultural crops, honeybees rely upon garden flowers to ensure they have a diverse diet and to provide nectar and pollen. Encourage honeybees to visit your garden by planting single flowering plants and vegetables. Go for all the allium family, all the mints, all beans except French beans and flowering herbs. Bees like daisy-shaped flowers – asters and sunflowers, also tall plants like hollyhocks, larkspur and foxgloves. Bees need a lot of pollen and trees are a good source of food. Willows and lime trees are exceptionally good. the BBKA has leaflets on bee friendly trees and shrubs.
4. Buy local honey
Local honey will be prepared by local beekeepers. This keeps food miles down and helps the beekeeper to cover the costs of beekeeping. Local honey complies with all food standards requirements but is not mistreated to give it a long shelf life. It tastes quite different to foreign supermarket honey and has a flavour that reflects local flora.
5. Ask your MP to improve research into honey bee health
Beekeepers are very worried that we do not have enough information to combat the diseases that affect honeybees. Pollination by honeybees contributes £165m annually to the agricultural economy. Yet the government only spends £200,000 annually on honeybee research. Beekeepers have costed a five-year, £8m programme to secure the information to save our bees during which time pollination will contribute more than £800m to the government coffers. Even the Defra minister, Lord Rooker, who holds the purse strings to finance this, has said that without this extra research we could lose our honeybees within ten years. Write to MPs in support of the bee health research funding campaign.
6. Find space for a beehive in your garden
Many would-be beekeepers, especially in urban areas, find it difficult to find a safe space for their colony of bees. If you have some space contact your local beekeeping association and they could find a beekeeper in need of a site. It is amazing what a difference a beehive will make to your garden. Crops of peas and beans will be better, fruit trees will crop well with fruit that is not deformed and your garden will be buzzing!
7. Remove jars of foreign honey from outside the back door
Believe it or not but honey brought in from overseas contains bacteria and spores that are very harmful to honeybees. If you leave a honey jar outside it encourages honeybees to feed on the remaining honey. There is a good possibility that this will infect the bee and in turn the bee will infect the rest of the colony resulting in death of the colony. Always wash out honey jars and dispose of them carefully.
8. Encourage local authorities to use bee friendly plants in public spaces
Some of the country’s best gardens and open spaces are managed by local authorities. Recently these authorities have recognised the value of planning gardens, roundabouts and other areas with flowers that attract bees. Encourage your authority to improve the area you live in by adventurous planting schemes. These can often be maintained by local residents if the authority feels they do not have sufficient resources.
9. Learn more about this fascinating insect
Beekeeping is fascinating. Honeybees have been on this earth for about 25 million years and are ideally adapted to their natural environment. Without honeybees the environment would be dramatically diminished. Invite a beekeeper to come and talk to any local group you support and give an illustrated talk about the honeybee and the products of the hive. They might bring a few jars of honey too Honeybees are a part of our folklore and are one of only two insect species that are managed to provide us with essential services.
10. Bee friendly
When kept properly, bees are good neighbours, and only sting when provoked. Beekeepers wear protective clothing when they are handling bees. If a bee hovers inquiringly in front of you when unprotected, do not flap your hands. Stay calm and move slowly away, best into the shade of shed or a tree. The bee will soon lose interest. It is worth remembering that bees do not like the smell of alcohol on people, the “animal” smell of leather clothing, even watchstraps. Bees regard dark clothing as a threat – it could be a bear! Bees are sometimes confused by scented soaps, shampoos and perfumes, best avoided near the hive.
Well I have met a homeless man on my visits to and from the shops in St Thomas recently and have been buying him food or giving him money. We got talking and I find out his name and that for at least nine months including through winter he has slept outside and he says it was very cold during winter and he does not want to do that again if he can help it.
I told him that due to corinvirus he might be able to be housed now and he said that yes he had been offered accommodation but has refused it as does not want to be sleeping amongst smack heads (drug takers). He does have a point as there are illegal drug takers in the community and I have seen a used needle in a place where they hang out.
I said that he should still get some housing advice so that he knows what his rights are and possibly get registered on the housing list. I was temporarily made homeless when I had to leave my University course due to ill health and because of that I have my own flat which I can afford to pay both the bills and rent without having to pay the commercial rate that the private sector would charge.
I told the homeless chap that I would print out advice for him and give it to him the next time I see him. So I have a sheet ready for him now.
I know nothing of where he is from, where he grew up or even if he is local. Maybe I will find out one day.
Afternoon of 13th May 2020.
So I met up with him today he now has the information I printed out on a paper for him and I hope he calls the number.
So there is a friend and author that I have been sending message s through on Facebook she has one of the biggest hearts for nature and the environment that I have ever witnessed in my life. Her book is called Babs2Brisbane and can be bought on Amazon and is all about her traveling to Australia by none flight method in order to get to a wedding and it’s a wonderful read.
I wont spoil it for you and let you know if she got to the wedding you will have to buy the book to find out.
The image above is from her travels many years ago. Not long after she met me I think. I had no idea I would meet someone that would run off to Austalia just after we met.
Why Babs has put up with me off and on over the years I really don’t know she is a very kind soul. She is also a good musician.
I told Babs I would get some views of the Historic Exeter Quayside near to where I lived to look at.
My old office for where I used to work for South West Widlife Fundraising before the Heartless Bastards sacked me.
Devon Widelife Trusts Cricklepitt Mill Head Office
Me and Babs both worked for Devon Widlife Trust at different times and I got made redundant by them after the Foot and Mouth outbreak while I was having a Psychosis, what’s known in the trade as kicking you when your down.
Well Babs you have not been to the Quayside in Exeter yet and I hope you like the little guided tour I did for you.
Thank you for being a good friend and I am sorry I am a little scaty I am not always this bad honest. Lots of Love Huw x
This song is by Emily who runs the Angel Open mic in Exeter on a Wednesday night she is a living Legend and her band are great. She also has a night on the Quayside once a fortnight. Hope you like.
Another one of Exeter’s folk – I last saw Rosie Eade sing at the Bowling Green Pub in Exeter back in 2019.
I have just seen on the news and now also read on the NY Times oil article about oil. I signed up to a NY Times subscription this week and also pay my BBC subs online so feel ok posting this article. I can’t believe black gold or oil is now in negative equity in the USA and people will pay you to take it away. It’s a market working in the new environment. Not many cars on the road, not many planes in the sky and not many industries pumping out pollution. I knew that this was theortically profitable and possible, but genuinly never thought I would see it happen in my life time let alone to black gold or oil. During the 90’s the theory was about peak oil pricing and that it would be worth more than what people could afford to pay but negative equity! The brain boggles. So I have just searched for an article on the internet that I can post about it and found a good old BBC page.
“This is off-the-charts wacky,” said Stewart Glickman, an energy equity analyst at CFRA Research. “The demand shock was so massive that it’s overwhelmed anything that people could have expected.”
The severe drop on Monday was driven in part by a technicality of the global oil market. Oil is traded on its future price and May futures contracts are due to expire on Tuesday. Traders were keen to offload those holdings to avoid having to take delivery of the oil and incur storage costs.
June prices for WTI were also down, but trading at above $20 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent Crude – the benchmark used by Europe and the rest of the world, which is already trading based on June contracts – was also weaker, down 8.9% at less than $26 a barrel.
Mr Glickman said the historic reversal in pricing was a reminder of the strains facing the oil market and warned that June prices could also fall, if lockdowns remain in place. “I’m really not optimistic about the prospects for oil companies or oil prices,” he said.
OGUK, the business lobby for the UK’s offshore oil and gas sector, said the negative price of US oil would affect firms operating in the North Sea.
“The dynamics of this US market are different from those directly driving UK produced Brent but we will not escape the impact,” said OGUK boss Deirdre Michie.
“Ours is not just a trading market; every penny lost spells more uncertainty over jobs,” she said.
The oil industry has been struggling with both tumbling demand and in-fighting among producers about reducing output.
Earlier this month, Opec members and its allies finally agreed a record deal to slash global output by about 10%. The deal was the largest cut in oil production ever to have been agreed.
But many analysts say the cuts were not big enough to make a difference.
“It hasn’t taken long for the market to recognise that the Opec+ deal will not, in its present form, be enough to balance oil markets,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axicorp.
The leading exporters – Opec and allies such as Russia – have already agreed to cut production by a record amount.
In the United States and elsewhere, oil-producing businesses have made commercial decisions to cut output. But still the world has more crude oil than it can use.
And it’s not just about whether we can use it. It’s also about whether we can store it until the lockdowns are eased enough to generate some additional demand for oil products.
Capacity is filling fast on land and at sea. As that process continues it’s likely to bear down further on prices.
It will take a recovery in demand to really turn the market round and that will depend on how the health crisis unfolds.
There will be further supply cuts as private sector producers respond to the low prices, but it’s hard to see that being on a sufficient scale to have a fundamental impact on the market.
For US drivers, the decline in oil prices – which have fallen by about two-thirds since the start of the year – has had an impact at the pumps.
“The silver lining is, if you for various reason actually need to be on the roads, you’re filling up for far less than you would have been even four months ago,” Mr Glickman said. “The problem for most of us is even if you could fill up, where are you gong to go?”
Meanwhile, concern continues to mount that storage facilities in the US will run out of capacity, with stockpiles at Cushing, the main delivery point in the US for oil, rising almost 50% since the start of March, according to ANZ Bank. “We hold some hope for a recovery later this year,” the bank said in its research note.
Mr Innes said: “It’s a dump at all cost as no one, and I mean no one, wants delivery of oil with Cushing storage facilities filling by the minute.”
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