Day 51 – VE Day Activities Foraging and Local Wildlife

Seventy-five years ago World War II ended. I must admit I don’t know that much about war history, Barry, on the other hand, is intrigued by everything about it.

My dad was 25 in 1945 and wasn’t able to join anything but the Land Army Home Guard (thanks to David for correcting my ignorance in the comments) due to his rather unusual feet (his third toes on each foot crossed over his second), and the RAF was out due to his astigmatism. He’s in the photo below, top row, second from the right.

Donald Walsh in the Land Army
Donald Walsh in the Land Army Home Guard

Barry’s dad Frank fought for Britain in the Second World War.

Frank Teutenberg

And my brother-in-law David’s dad John fought in the second world war. He’s in the photo below, in the foreground.

It’s unimaginable to me, war. I despise conflict. However of course I’m grateful to all those who fought. I just wish other ways had been, and will be, found to resolve conflicts.

Here are a few shots of the VE day 75th Anniversary efforts from around Hurleston Junction today …

Local Wildlife, Foraging and Nature

It’s been a splendid day today. Hot and sunny. Calm as anything. The birdsong has sounded like a symphony. Kim spotted a Goldfinch on the towpath outside her cabin this morning, and I saw a bright red beetle on my walk around Hurleston Reservoir this afternoon.

I was visited by a suspicious swan, rather green on the underside from the murky canal-water …

Have you noticed how magnificent the colours and scents are at the moment? Around here the hawthorn hedges are in full bloom. The towpath is lined with buttercups, violet flowers, daisies and a prolific white flower. What is it? I’m trying to learn more about plants and flowers.

Kim bought me a set of pdfs called ‘Foraging in Spring‘, so today I went in search of ‘garlic mustard’.

Garlic mustard
Garlic Mustard

I thought I’d seen lots of this plant on my recent walks, but today I found the clump above behind a railing that wasn’t accessible, and a few plants not too far away. I picked from the accessible ones and will give it a go with our tea tonight.

COVID-19 Symptom STUDY – No Longer Called ‘Tracker’

Have you read any of the ridiculousness of the NHS COVID-19 tracker App? From what I’ve read, they’ve declined to go with Apple and Google, who know what they’re doing and have privacy policies in place. Instead, in their infinite wisdom (yeah right!), NHS England thought they’d do their own. Apparently there are hidden reasons for this. I shan’t speculate, there’s plenty of that going on elsewhere. Though today they’re now saying they may ditch their efforts! Oh for goodness sake, how much public money will they waste??

Anyway, to stop any confusion, the COVID-19 team at Kings have changed the name of their ‘tracker App’, to the COVID-19 Symptom Study. Far more sensible. What an amazing team of scientists they are. All working with no funding. Which is probably for the best – because their results are far more reliable as they’re far more authentic than some that are funded by dubious means …

I made time to listen today to yesterday’s webinar – ‘Why Might Men Be More Affected Than Women?’ Reporting today there were new questions for women about periods, menopause, and hormonal treatments. Fascinating. The points I gleaned were:

  • They’re gaining older and younger people – probably through the use of the ability to report for others
  • They believe that women’s immune responses are generally stronger – so ‘man flu’ could be real! Maybe they’re not making it up 😉
  • Oestrogen and progesterone levels could make a difference. Lots of research going on around this now.
  • Blood group could have an effect – the team are working with the Blood Transfusion Service.
  • Obesity seems to definitely increase the risk to f a worse outcome
  • Next week’s webinar will delve deeper into the role of Vitamin D. Tim still feels that most people should get sufficient from their diets and sunshine, but he’s open to investigating this further.

I reported feeling a bit of a headache and fuzzy lightheadedness this morning. It was interesting to go through the list of questions having ticked a different box for the first time. No temperature. A slight cough, but probably more the higher pollen levels than anything. I took two paracetamol and have been taking Echinacea, had some fresh air and exercise (I’ve been far too slobbish recently!), and been drinking plenty of fluids. By lunchtime I was feeling like myself again so I think it’s something and nothing.

Fingers crossed!

12 thoughts on “Day 51 – VE Day Activities Foraging and Local Wildlife

  1. I have been amazed by the sweet smell of the hawthorn along the A51 outside our marina. I have walked it many times in years past but the aroma must of been obliterated by the fumes from the heavy traffic.

    • Awesome 👏 yes that’s a definite possibility. Every sense seems heightened at the moment. Maybe we’re all just more aware of our surroundings? But I suspect the reduction in pollution levels must also be part of the change 😉

  2. All fingers crossed for you. 🙂
    A bit of info I’ve picked up about vitamin D – Once upon a time every hominid on the planet had black, or very dark, skin which was perfect for where we lived, Africa, so we wouldn’t get sunburned. As we traipsed north our skin colour lightened because we didn’t need as much protection from the sun, less sunlight available at higher latitudes …
    We get about 70% of our vitamin D needs from the sun and the rest from our diet (this was in the pre-‘vitamin-supplement’ days of yore – gazillions of hundreds of thousands of years ago)
    Fun fact – darker skin absorbs less vitamin D than lighter skin … so as we paled up as we moved north we also evolved the ability to absorb vitamin D a lot more efficiently.
    anyway, to the meat of the sammich … Vitamin D has been clinically shown to increase our resistance to viruses. John Campbell did a great couple of videos, detailing the science, with links to the research etc … well worth a squizz … here’s his latest one with all the links listed underneath the video.
    Which, apart from socio-economic factors, may be a part of the reason why people with darker skin are more likely to have trouble with this disease.

    • Awesome thank you! Fascinating to dig deeper into our past.

      The challenge that Tim has though is with people being ‘advised’ to take supplements. As with all medications, it’s possible there’s more adverse effects than benefits. The risk/benefit ratio needs to be quantified. He totally agrees Vitamin D is if benefit. Just not through supplements 😉

    • Aha yes, just re-read the bit at the bottom. Now that’s a thought worth sharing … can I use your comment in the blog?

  3. HI Sandra, I think your prolific white flower is Cow parsley, sometimes known as Queen Anne’s Lace.

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