Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Off to Whitby

Taken from the Daily Mail article.
Another Goth weekend has gone by with all its incredible costumes and people.  From  this link on the Daily Mail, you can see so many interpretations on the old Dracula story, that you begin to wonder if the British are mad ;), young girls like the sexy side of it and men trail round in deep black, often with bloody faces and old fashioned goggles seem to be the new thing.  Gandalf and other various members of the cast of 'Lord of the Rings' made an appearance, though someone argued that it was Saramand dressed in white.  I believe the cottage must have hosted Goths as well, hopefully Mary was not too upset.
We are going to Whitby this weekend, my love is already packing the desk into the car so we can judge how much room is left for everything else that needs going down.   I am busy knitting the little things Lillie requires for her beloved (hideous) doll at the moment, bread and apple pie made this morning and worrying about my plants.  The chill nip in the air first thing in the morning is not good for cucumber and courgette plants, but they will have to be left out.
We are also making plans to stay with a cousin of LS down in Cornwall in June, and doing some megalithic tours with a friend, who also an expert on border collies, training and writing about them, and has 10 dogs, sadly I can't have one of the pups though.

Here we all are, except LS cos he does not like appearing on the net and is probably taking the photo, about three years ago, Tom the eldest is at university at Hendon now studying criminology, whilst Matilda at front is still into her dancing and drama.  Little Lillie, wants a purple wig, like the one she spotted at the festival, when she grows up and my daughter and husband are planning a move to Todmarden, which is on the other side of Yorkshire.  Todmarden citizens are growing their own food in public places, along the canal, outside the police station and even in the graveyard, a good green enterprise.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


As I was writing about the river Ter yesterday I shall add George Monbiot article in the Guardian about the cleaning up of the River Wandle in London and the return of trout to its waters.  To be honest I think the fish in the Ter are graylings and have been fished out over the years, for I saw none this time.
But it reminded me of childhood, staying on a farm in Wales, at a place called Ffarmers I think and fishing for trout as children.  We even tried 'tickling' trout, and the farmer would come down  and catch a trout for tea, even sometime eel.  This poor eel wriggled around in his bag as we made our way home through the fields and even when chopped up and put in the frying pan, managed some spasmodic moves... The joy of fishing in a beautiful small Welsh river with the farm dogs and the pig for company is not to be missed!

Both Monbiot and Thomas  are bleak writers,  but are obviously able to write in a more happier mode.

 a snippet from - Song for Gwydion: by R.S. Thomas 

When I was a child and the soft flesh was forming
Quietly as snow on the bare boughs of bone,
My father brought me trout from the green river
From whose chill lips the water song had flown.

Dull grew their eyes, the beautiful, blithe garland
Of stipples faded, as light shocked the brain;
They were the first sweet sacrifice I tasted,
A young god, ignorant of the blood’s stain”

Friday, April 26, 2013

River Ter

Last sunny day yesterday, so we went out to the pub for a ploughman's, it was also a treat for me, knitting and finishing a sweater for my love! This little river always calms my soul, the old giant willows lining its banks and then toppling across as old age finally gets them.  The first thing to strike driving along the lanes is how much water is still coming off the land, there has been no significant rain for about three weeks now.  Many of the fields are still brown soil not sown with seeds, I suppose because of the late cold weather.
What draws me to this insignificant river heaven knows, compared to a Welsh river tumbling over the rocks there is no comparison, I suspect it is the graceful willows and the old oak, still not in leaf, though driving in this limited countryside that beautiful fresh pale green flush can be seen everywhere, spring has truly arrived.
Blackthorn blossom strides through the hedgerows like lace, and in the field we heard our first skylark, rising up to the sky with its beautiful indignant song as we must have disturbed its nesting place in the field, as always, higher and higher till it seems to disappear into the blue.
The garden birds have settled to nesting, our noisy male blackbird sits quietly in the maple now, his mate found and presumably sitting on some eggs, and the collared doves bill quietly there.  Bumblebees have arrived thank goodness, hunting for nesting places in the shed or woodpile, they love mouse holes, that little bit of hay in the mouse's nest seems to make them happy.  Sadly we have no mice, but do have a hedgehog under the shed, who is out and about this last week or so; not seen him/her but  leaves traces behind, this is the one I rescued from the public footpath in Autumn, although there has normally been one living under the shed for years, so it might one and the same, very young though....

The Ter, you can see in the distance flooding of the field

Blackthorn blossom

The view from the Cats pub, across an oil seed rape field
Emerging White deadnettle 
I love white deadnettle, it has a creamy white texture and its hooded flower is loved by bees, so on looking it up in The Englishman's Flora (this by the way is the book I would take to my desert island) I find Grigson whittling away on dead/dumb/deaf nettles, of course we all know why because it doesn't sting like its superior cousin Urtica/nettle - devil's playthings. 
The naming system of such wildflowers devolves often from a religious background, wicked stinging plants are assigned to the devil, useful/pretty plants become 'angelic.
Well in  Grigson's tale of this common wild plant we have it called 'Adam and Eve in the bower'
turn the plant upside down, and beneath the white lip of the corolla, Adam and Eve, the black and gold stamens, lie side by side like two human figures.
Grigson goes on to describe the flower....But the flowers also have a great charm of shape, colour and texture, from the time they lie like soft knobs within the long green teeth of the calyx.  The knob is formed by the upper lip, curled over before its expansion.  When it does expand into the hood. look at it with the bare eye or with a lens, see how it is felted and fringed with soft white hairs, like a moth.
A beautiful botanical description, not quite before the time of television but it does teach us to use our eyes more.
Whilst writing this, a poem came to mind it is by Edward Thomas and called 'Lob' a mythical figure.  The poem is very long and written in 1917 but captures that dusty chalk Wiltshire during WW1 and before, the simplistic naming of the landscape, the old English history that runs like a thread through the landscape and the minds of the country folk, picking up different coloured threads and stitching them into the tapestry of fields and woods.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Tackling words; An interesting discussion has been going on a board elsewhere, basically it is do with paganism, in the  'new' sense (note I do not use neopagans) to qualify its term as part of a religious belief of today.
Paganism was a term used to describe (latin paganus) a country dweller or rustic, taken from the Romans as they converted to Christianity from their old ways, and was probably used up to 410 AD in its truest form (according to Wikipedia??,)  which if you know your history was the time that the Romans left Britain.  After that of course stamping out paganism in the cause of Christianity made it usage somewhat different, it became a term of abuse and set out a new rule of religious war. 
 Arguments have always revolved round Druids and Pagans, their place in history. Very difficult to define old druidism because they did not believe in writing things down, so the only evidence we have is through Roman writing, who of course following today's trash news paper would take the story and expand in a dramatic way.  So we are left with the visions of blue-painted harridans and men on the Anglesey coastline line baying down the brave Roman centurions whilst behind are the blood soaked groves of the sacrificed, not forgetting the mistletoe and sickles!  Druids do appear in later writings, mostly Irish if I remember correctly, and of course through the writings of the British Celtic Church which came to an untimely death in the 6th century.  So that they existed there is no doubt, but that their belief system has only been partly recorded by the Romans.
The argument I originally referred to came about because of the use of the word 'ritual' in archaeological terms to describe various finds and the ceremonial aspect of many of the megalithic structures.  Well ritual of course covers all aspects of our lives, whether it be tea drinking or going to church and observing the ritual there, but as we know we can draw the line between the practical use and the religious use.  So had archaeologists been taking the easy way out by describing many things in the sacred  whilst ignoring the practicalities?  This fine line can be seen by the different approaches archaeologists take when writing up articles or books, do you appeal to the general public with vivid illustrations from the past or do you take the more scholarly dull road of accurate writing.
So to return to the new Paganism which is part of the new wave of religious belief in this country, small but strong, and with different belief systems for many of the factions, (think of the Christian church with all its factionalism in the 19th century) how should we welcome this new religion.  For me with open arms, celebrating the natural world can only be good, and new thought never does much harm. Allowing their ceremonies, mostly to do with the 'old stones' to go on at least livens the festival season up, take Arthur Pendragon - neo-Druid in his regalia at Stonehenge.

Arthur Pendragon at Stonehenge 2010

Or on Silbury Mound, where I have seen him, calling to his gods, an interesting spectacle, these are his own beliefs, and English Heritage is quite happy to have the Solstices ceremonies at Stonehenge with Arthur sitting at the table in discussions as to how the ceremony will be undertaken, so already legitimised by the bureaucrats. 
So what ever you put on your Xmas cards from the list below, religion or belief systems are best remembered as a personal belief system to be respected.....

1) May your God go with you.
2) May your Deities go with you
3) May your Deities and/or Belief Systems  go with you
4) Yer on yer own, pal 

Beaker Burial

Example;  Funnily enough a piece of news slightly over the top yesterday in The  Independent about a Bronze Age Beaker burial of a woman is retrieved by a more measured assessment from Wessex Archaeology


note to myself buy Blood and Mistletoe - Ronald Hutton

the argument about Celts

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spring at Hyland House

A flawless blue sky, and Hylands House garden. Noting the insect and plant life in this 500 acres of fields and garden.  The pulmonaria or lungwort bed had bumblebees but none of the pulmonaria bees - Anthophora Plumipes which have appeared in our garden on the lookout  for the flowers of the Bowles Purple flowers.  Pulmonaria belongs to that 'sympathetic' medicine of the middle ages, the spotted leaves look like diseased lungs, not really though, but the  hairy footed, long proboscis little bee just loves lungwort, and each year I always look out for it. Cherry blossom was full of honey bees and the tattered peacock butterfly, I have never seen the brimstone round here, but note the small blue through the garden.
There are some issues between dogs on this 500 acres and people, most dogs run free in the grounds but as we passed an old golden retriever who came over to say hello in that usual friendly way, a small incident occurred.  Two young parents and their toddler told the owner to put it on the lead, which was their right as we were in the garden but then the father as he passed us was phoning up and reporting the owner, which made me cross and I remonstrated with him, gently of course and we parted on good terms but such small minded pettyness is very cross making!

For the story of the marsh marigold or kingcups see this blog.

Cherry blossom and peacock, plus plenty of honey bees

Exceptionally neat bedding of crocuses and primroses

Canadian geese

Ducks galore and marsh marigolds

Friday, April 19, 2013

Happy Moon Bear

They say she is smiling in this photo
Falling in love with Moon Bears....

This is Buddha, 10 years caged for bile production, she is taking her first steps out from her new 'den' into the enclosures at Animals Asia sanctuary, which I think is in China. Encouraging news is that there is a Chinese animal welfare organisation also highlighting this terrible cruelty.  The person who founded this charity 20 years ago Jill Robinson won an award last night the first 'Animal Honours' in this country for services rendered. Buddha is very timorous in taking those first steps, you can almost feel the bewilderment and joy perhaps to find another world.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

16th April 2013

I shall never be as good a photographer as Em (Dartmoor Ramblings) but capturing an instant in a garden can be caught by any camera.  Yesterday snapped up the only lemon balm at the nursery, along with other herbs.
lemon balm, love the crumpled appearance of the leaf .

Pretty pansy faces, ride through winter and still produce their flowers

Gold laced polyanthus, flowered throughout the snow

Buddha smiles down on primroses, he has become out of focus , a photographic term is 'bokeh'  (the aesthetic blur) something new learnt every day!

Violets (must check other violet places) notice how the wind shakes them

Among the grasses,
An unknown flower
Blooming white.
―Zen Haiku

Monday, April 15, 2013


Watching Victoria Woods two fascinating programmes about tea, unfolded for me a whole spectrum of memories.  We drink tea every day, it is a ritual in the truest form, it is the companionable drink we offer when someone comes to call, it heals for a moment those times when we are shocked by some unexpected news, that first morning cup of tea shakes our system awake. During the day I drink 'Yorkshire' tea, not because it comes from Yorkshire but because it is a strong brew and the thought of tea being grown in  the cold North makes me laugh, but my morning cuppa is now Twinings's Breakfast Tea for its gentler awakening.

Why Chinese mountains at the top, well tea (green) originally came from China, those tall straight sided mountains have always fascinated me since childhood and that is where the tea plants were grown on the shallower slopes  and came from. Like fairytale strongholds these mountains with waterfalls and trees clinging to their sides,  unreal and exotic.  Growing older I became fascinated by Tibet, those high uplands with Buddhist temples seemed again somehow unreal, here of course they drank butter tea specially made in butter churns. Their tsampa, an essential part of Tibetan diet, a dough like food was mixed with the tea and eaten with your fingers

Butter churns from Sera Monastery, Tibet.

Herbal teas are of course fashionable now, the 'tisanes' of the continent, Poirot is always to be found drinking one, a great selection will greet you on the shelf at the supermarket, some are too bitter for my liking, and if you try the herbs from the garden they can also 'bite' the tongue.  Raspberry leaves for women before birth is said to help, whilst mint is a good digestive tea, and pleasant to take. Apparently blackcurrant leaves are used in teas, probably only a few as the strong cats pee taste is slightly unpleasant, but it is full of vitamin C and good for you. Catnip tea, again  I remember it as strong tasting, though you can mix it with some lemon balm leaves, is good for migraines, as is feverfew, though I must admit it never cured me. Camomile tea to relax of course and to smell, always fancied a camomile lawn but they are not very practical.
For these leaves from the garden you need a little metal tea holder, like a ball it unclasps in the middle and you put the leaves inside, not always easy to find, but a good deal cheaper than buying herbal teabags.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The' Wild Horses' of Newbury

The maze carved into Solsbury Hill to remember the widening of the A46 Batheaston road.
There has been so much news about the death of Maggie Thatcher, that perhaps I should not write about it, and I will not, but there is a political aspect of her tenure that I got involved with 20 odd years ago as a member of the Green Party.  It brings to the fore in my mind the legacy of what she has left behind. Bath the town in which I lived, is, always was, a liberal place, we had Chris Patten (conservative) for our member of parliament, he lived outside Bath in a glorious rural village  called I think Conkwell, it overlooked the beautiful valley of the Avon.
He was brought down as many would remember by the infamous Poll Tax. Belonging to the Green party at the time I was roped in to hold our banner beneath him as he made his speech on the steps of the Guildhall in Bath to the many hundreds of protesters that stood in the dark.  We had made sure that there were wardens to hold back the crowds and deal with the more violent protesters coming from Bristol, so an orderly group.  The day before I had been in the Guildhall Market and noted well dressed security men inspecting every inch of the place, seemed so strange for this peaceful tourist city that it sent a cold shiver down my spine. Next day driving past to the speech at night, passed Victoria Park; parked were two large coaches full of helmeted policeman who were lit up by the lights in the coaches, it was surreal!
There was not much trouble, the protest went off and the consequences were to be felt and we ended up with no Poll Tax.
I liked Chris Patten, but he was voted out in the next election and Bath ended up with Don Foster the Liberal candidate still in the seat today.  One of the things that also happened around this time was the Solsbury Hill campaign against the widening of the Batheaston A46 and which I wrote about here, in fact this road widening scheme was to go across the river and through the Avon valley, this plan has never gone through though and the destruction has never been implemented, and I expect Patten would have been happy as well.  The heavy handed security that had been seen at the Newbury Pass scheme, and note the behaviour of the two'wild' horses in the video below, was also to be found at this widening scheme and can be found in the many photographs taken at the time.  It halted road building for a while and changed the government thinking on transport.

And so to the video of the Wild Horses of Newbury, amateurish, hand held, with a naive voiceover, and all those 'terrible' protestors that receive so much harrassment in the likes of the Daily Mail, etc, the young fought the cause and lost, the horses are but a romantic image in their efforts to stop the felling of the two giant oaks, but look at those yellow coated men, this was Thatcher's England at the time!  The Wild Horses of Newbury  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Birds and gardens

Taken from the Icknield Way by Edward Thomas, in unreconstructed mode.
The book is online at Google, thanks to BB can now read it..

Today is a true spring April day, sun and gentle showers.  Spied a blackcap in the trees, the starlings are busy collecting nesting material and even the dove is making efforts.  Yes she/he wanders round with large non-nestable twigs in its beak, so I do as I did last year, break up the fronds of the bamboo dead shoots into more manageable lengths to build the nest.  Skinny cat has just finished his/her biscuits, under marching orders if the cat pounces on one of the birds.  Did some gardening along the long front border under the laurel hedge yesterday, it has somehow filled itself this two foot of earth with, red valerian, wallflowers, interspersed with lavender, which has all been cut back due to old age. Rue which also has been disposed of due to its cruel habit of causing rashes, then a variety of other stuff that has lingered on from the past.  Yesterday clearing what looks like grass, but isn't, think it is that little purple-blue flower (can't think of the name) that appears this time of the year.  The soil has never been dug, you can only go down about 4 inches, and of course the hedge stops the rain from getting to and absorbs all nutrients.  I do not like laurels, once planted one and from a baby grew into a 20 foot monster in no time, like Leylandi conifers do not plant unless you want to keep trimming them back forever.... So corn poppies and nasturiums seeds have gone in, I hope to encourage hollyhocks as well, one plant has been put in to seed.
Waylands Smithy long barrow, of which I have written so much about, nags at the back of my mind, the long walk along the dry chalky Ridgeway path is probably evoking memories of hot summer suns and dryness but here are a couple of photos taken in autumn.  It has such class this 'restored' long barrow, the photos were taken in autumn, another time I went was for the scattering of ash of a 'megalithic person', i.e. those that love the prehistoric stones. I remember taking a handful of lavender from the garden and we all sat under the trees because of the rain, it was a strange but happy day, I took my son to let him see a 'natural' funeral.
Another April shower darkens the room as I write, I sowed the seeds of cut and come lettuces as well in two big plant pots this morning, so late for starting seeds this year, wonder where this climate change will take us?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Sandford Mill on 30th April 2011
On Monday had my first bid on Ebay, this was for a pedestal desk for the cottage, I didn't get it the price shot up at the very end, but I now know the system, bid maximum about 30 seconds before the bid closes!
Luckily I won't be having to do this, because I found another reproduction desk on Ebay, it is just up the road, so phoned and can have it. It is to go into the attic for working up there and the laptop, one bed has to be removed so that will have to be got rid of.  The cottage figures quite a lot in life, a cleaner phoned up this week, went round to the cottage and noted there was no vacuum, which, to add to the story, had burnt out the day we had left, it was fairly new.... After certain surprise as to why she was there (agency) I began pondering the wisdom of having a key safe (next to the front door) with a number you type in for retrieving the key. Still there is nothing of value in the cottage, apart from furniture and if it does get a bit like Piccadilly Circus I cannot complain.  Frasier our next door neighbour there has not been in touch either, could be because I refused to pay his rather large library bill, when he gave me his books to take back as he was leaving for Ireland ;) yeah well!

Also decided to re-cover a small rocking chair, not English, I used to use it in the garden for my morning coffee.  The girls love it but it has a tendency to slip along the carpet when they rock putting the television in peril of being smashed. I am quite used to upholstering chairs, but the material on this chair has been glued down, waiting for material from Cottonpatch the patchwork people.  Finding material was difficult, no longer do we have shops with curtain materials or for making clothes round here.  I used to sew/embroider tapestry seats for the dining room chairs but of course left them behind due to no room here.  Anyway at this funny little antique place (stables) out in the country there were pretty little Victorian chairs which I coveted but  must harden my heart against.

My fingers are busy at the moment, knitting large jumper for my love, and here is another moan, knitting a small doll's dress for the youngest last week, - £2.77 postage and we have to drive now to find a post office.
We hardly go out because the weather is so miserable but have had a couple of days of sun, the garden flowers survived the snow, the birds are hungry though, and I feel I must go to a nursery and buy some plants, for the nurseries are really feeling a downturn in sales as people are not buying plants for the garden. Photos are from 2011 and show how green it was.....

April 30th 2011, the old boat 'Susan'
Old farm waggon at Sandford Mill
Sandford Mill weir

Monday, April 8, 2013

'Let the morning time drop all its petals on me'

Something that made me smile this morning from Animals Asia and brought an old song to mind...

Taurus a moon bear in Vietnam, sniffing the 'rice' flower from the tree from which it fell, did not eat it but placed it carefully back on the ground....
Feelin Groovy, the old Simon and Garfunkel song, Hello lamp-post, what'cha knowin', I've come to watch your flowers growin'

Friday, April 5, 2013

Shaking The Tree

This I think was a cast at the front of the entrance,  but now I have the book

A certain spring is in my step the last couple of days, could be that the weather is set to improve, could be I have walked out  a particular forum due mostly to bullying and cruelty demonstrated by a couple of contributors.  Then this morning the rather expensive catalogue for the Ice Age Exhibition thumped down on our doorstep, a gift from our American friends for looking after them,  they had noted that we had not bought said catalogue (£25), trips to London are expensive, even if you do take your own sandwiches;). So my music has been playing, on this all dancing, all singing computer on which I am now typing.
Firstly, 'Shakin the Tree', by Peter Gabriel and Youssou Ndour, a very young Gabriel performs,  in a joyous upbeat dance of a song.  If I dedicated it would be to my daughter and two grand daughters, all spiky individuals.  Gabriel lives just outside Bath and has his studio there, at a village called Box, famed of course for the Box tunnel and Box Villa, which formed part of a former acquaintance's garden, she had her typically Georgian Bath home decorated in Roman style.
Gabriel has collaborated with Ndour on a number of occasions, his historic Biko song with the beat of the drum is pretty uplifting as well.  Youssou is Senegalese I believe and sings in French but is an all time favourite with me, my son compiled a couple of Cds which I occasionally play.
So what else, a David Inshaw painting appears on my facebook page today, spooky as I had already mentioned him yesterday. But the painting is part of an exhibition/sale in a gallery, but James Russell, writer on Eric Ravilious (he is in the right hand corner of my blog) put it up.

David Inshaw

The photo is rather dark, the symmetry of the tent is echoed in the swifts/swallows? flight as they fly past on the look out for insects. This was one of the treats up on the downs, the swallows in summer chasing rings round you, swooping past your nose oblivious to a human walking by.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Falling artists - Graham Ovendon

David Inshaw and Silbury

An article in the Guardian caught my attention yesterday it was about one of the artists in the Brotherhood of Ruralists.  I will not judge on moral grounds whether Graham Ovendon, was guilty or not of the crime he was prosecuted for - Artist Found Guilty of Historic Child Offences - this lies in the hands of judge and jury but what sparked my interest was the art critic's view Picture of Regressive Decadence by  Jonathon Jones, who explains that by the 1970s when Ovendon was starting to paint, his group (his wife Annie Ovendon, David Inshaw, Peter Blake, and Graham Arnold )  had rejected the forward-looking movement of the 1960s pop art and had turned inwardly or regressively into an "ironic Victorianism" which of course can be seen in the play on words aping The Pre-raphaelites in their choice of naming their group Ruralists. 
My interest was sparked when I went to see an exhibition of their paintings, fell in love with Annie Ovendon's work and Paul Nash at the same time, so have always kept an eye out for news, and the fact that when they had formed a group they lived in the village of Wellow in Wiltshire, but had never painted the famous long barrow up there - Stoney Littleton - were they too lazy too walk along the little lane I wonder.  Silbury features quite a lot in their work,
David Inshaw and an Aerial View of Silbury

Well punishment has been swift at the Tate, Graham Ovendon 34 pictures have been removed, I am  not sure whether they had any of his more salacious paintings of drawings done for 'Lolita' but here are two cloudy landscapes...

May Day by Graham Ovendon

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bluebells 2011

I make no apology for bringing up these photos, my love said this morning we have been stuck in this house for 6 months because of the cold, not strictly true of course but let us allow a little leeway.  So some photos of Blakes Wood 2011 April 30th...  The leaves on the trees this year have not even started to green up, cherry blossom is out in places and a bit of blackthorn, and gorse has its yellow flower, and the garden flowers make a brave show but the countryside looks distinctly winterish and bleak.

Star wort and bluebells



Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sheep and Bears

When I started this, my mind was on the terrible tragedy that has evolved in Wales, with dead sheep and their lambs being dug out of the horrendous snow drifts that claimed those uplands in Wales.  The cost to the farmers is enormous, some will not survive this calamity, this cruel weather has taken many animal lives there are probably many thousands of dead sheep,

But there is always hope in other parts of the world, the sick, cruel things done in the name of 'human health/superstitious nonsense', extraction of bile from bears is being fought also, and common humanity sets up organisations to save and nurture such creatures, gives one hope.

Moon Bears  this is a seven minute Youtube video of bears being rehabilitated from their sad lives as bile bears.  They have never known freedom, even the space of their new den is large, eventually they will go out into the open and enjoy freedom once more.  Animals Asia  is a charity in Vietnam that provides rescue and sanctuary for these rather beautiful creatures.

This is Urwin Junior ,  rescued as a small cub from a smuggler on a bus he has got style now posing for his photo to be taken, a million miles away from that frightened little cub rescued some while back.