This flower is an orchid, there’s a commonly held view that growing orchids is difficult and best left to horticultural OCD’s.  Not true, all they need is a cool well lighted window sill,  occasional dilute food and regular water[weekly]

I bought this plant at Costco about 3-4 years ago, it looked just like that when I bought it, actually it is 3 plants in one pot consequently it cost a bit more than singles, I paid $18.

Supermarkets and suchlike have started selling potted orchids at their checkout lines – impulse buys, and it’s become a big business over here. I suspect that it may be similar in UK. What amazes me about this orchid is how easily and constantly it flowers. For example, it put out several flower spikes in about March this year and it looked like this by April. It flowered continually until about two weeks ago, five months!   I pruned off the dead spikes and this week there are five new flower spikes and three of them already have several buds; I guarantee that by the end of this month they will all be in full bloom and they will also last through Christmas.

I believe this variety is called Kaliedoscope, it comes in a variety of colors plus the supermarkets are selling a range of different varieties, I have about 5-6.

So if you like to have flowers in the house look out for these, you can’t beat ’em for longevity and easy maintenance.



Sidney de Paris.

At this stage in my life I find myself writing short pieces about events in my life, they’re not intended for publication, they’re just intended to keep my mind active. I’ve previously posted a couple of them here and they were well received, here’s another.


In the summer of 1963 we were in England after having spent the winter and spring traveling around the Mediterranean in our red VW Beatle but it was time to return to the US. I saw an ad in the Observer for a ‘student charter’ ship sailing from Southampton to New York within a week or so, the price was very reasonable. So we booked passage and on the scheduled day arrived at Southampton docks having already shipped the VW to NY. We were informed there that we wouldn’t be boarding the ship at the docks but would be transported in small boats out to where it was anchored, this was apparently for the charter organization to avoid docking fees. And so it went.

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I’m reading, and enjoying, ‘The Road to Little Dribbling”, Bill Bryson’s latest book, it’s a sequel to 1996’s  ‘Notes from a Small Island. I found myself Googling his name and there among the results was his participation in Desert Island Discs, a program that I used to listen to many years ago. Listening got me thinking, which seven titles would I choose were I ever put in that predicament. I could trawl through near 10,000 titles in my iTunes picking ‘possibles’ and then editing that list down to seven, that would take weeks, or I could just pick ’em off the top of my head; I chose the latter. And then I thought this would be an interesting post for the Spill, we have a group of dedicated listeners all with very clearly defined musical tastes, so the question is, were you to be confined to a desert island for the rest of your life, which seven titles would you take with you?

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Let me just make a comment on today’s headline, “Jeff Bridges Lists California Compound for $29.5 Million.”‘ First off that compound was in Montecito, possibly/probably the most exclusive, most expensive location for serious ‘old’ money’ in Southern Califorornia. If you made your money before  the ’29 crash you invested in Montecito. The Kennedy’s had their honeymoon in Montecito.  The place is nothing but mansions and palaces all the way from the Pacific to to the mountain top.

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Earth image

I recently found myself thinking about the changes that have occurred during my lifetime, not the personal changes though there’s been quite a few of those, but the big ones, those that have changed mankind. The industrial revolution had that effect on civilization, nothing was ever the same after that. The changes that I’m thinking about are on that scale, world changing events that have all  happened during in my lifetime. It’s unbelievable that the world could change so dramatically in such a relatively short period. The photograph above couldn’t exist before WW2.

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Once I’d been bitten by the reggae bug I started buying anything with that word on the label, LP’s, CD’s, Singles – 7″ 12″,  whatever, I wasn’t usually concerned with who the artist was, I just wanted the music. So I quickly accumulated a sizable collection and playing ’em was a total learning experience, I helped that along by making mix tapes which I played at work, at home and in the car. So that collection also grew and in later years I’d use them on the air, nowadays I listen to ’em in bed in the early hours, it’s such a treat to hear long forgotten pieces that I once knew intimately. Such is the case with this lot, I came across them at 3am a couple of nights ago, I played ’em twice, I thought they’d make a nice treat for the Spill in these hard times, so here we go. Listen to the lyrics, they really relate a lot of what was happening in Jamaica in the 60’s through the 80’s.

What the world needs now is a lot more reggae, Brexit, Trump, Climate change, Drought, Flooding and the burning landscape, and all the stress that comes with it,

Lighten up, move your legs, dance!



Paul Simon

Paul Simon has a new album coming out next week, I’ve listened to it and I think it’s great, his best since Graceland, it’s called Stranger to Stranger.  There’s a very interesting piece on the NPR website, the entire album plus an extended interview with him about his composing process, well worth a listen.

Here’s the title cut from the album : 

and here’s the interview: