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Numbers 283/84: Everyone Out!

Sunny weekend and warm with it … … which is why we have the pictures below. It started on our porch-by-beach at The Lodge wearing my Old Reedonians' tie …. and that gave a WhatsApp fillip to images from Lorna in Tooting [centre below - looks like blackthorn?] and Natasha and Elliot in Richmond [is that cherry blossom from her top flat window nr. Thames]. P.S. From Ilkley came an image not shown of the exposed lawn area where once the abandoned trampoline stood for well over a decade .. word is that they are determined to create a sun drenched pebble beach outside their gazebo. Will they still need to venture to Weymouth?

The pictures next are again from Milton - Julian had to replace the Salix Caprea Pendula that Sylvia and Tony Porter had gifted to Avril and I then to Jules; it's here seen after felling as his umbrella. The replacement Salix Caprea Pendula Kilmarnock* seen in the foreground is safely planted .05m west of the original. There's no end to Jules' outdoor good endeavours even though he is seen centre assisted by his Landroid Worx Brushless lawn mower. Final image right shows him in labouring mode dragging his gravel leveller/ rake over his now extensive beach area. Avril even walked the village whilst I took an afternoon nap after a fine Roast Chicken lunch.

On even date 1986 … Olof Palme, Prime Minister of Sweden was assassinated in Stockholm. He was a pivotal and polarizing figure domestically as well as in international politics from the 1960s onward. He was steadfast in his non-alignment policy towards the superpowers accompanied by support for numerous liberation movements following decolonization including, most controversially, economic and vocal support for a number of Third World governments. He was the first Western head of government to visit Cuba after its revolution giving a speech in Santiago praising contemporary Cuban revolutionaries.
In 1953 on even date Cambridge University scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick 'discovered' the double-helix structure of DNA. In reality this is not quite the case! DNA was first identified in the late 1860s by Swiss chemist Friedrich Miescher and in the decades following Miescher's discovery others - notably Phoebus Levene and Erwin Chargaff - carried out research that revealed additional details about the DNA molecule including its primary chemical components and the ways in which they joined with one another. Watson and Crick built on these scientific foundations.

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* Kilmarnock after James Smith who was born in Ayrshire around 1763 and established a nursery at his home on the Monkwood estate near Minishant along the River Doon which eventually became the Monkwood Botanic Garden. Kilmarnock is 20 miles to the north of Minishant. There he amassed thirty-five hundred different species of both exotic and indigenous varieties. Passing through Monkwood poet Hew Ainslie wrote in his A Pilgrimage in the Land of Burns [1820] that Smith's garden was "paradisiacal", where plants "of all nations were seated most brotherly together, drinking of the same dews, and dancing to the piping of the same breeze". Smith is credited with the discovery of Primula Scotica, Veronica Hirsuta[illustrated] as well as the Kilmarnock Weeping Willow - Salix Caprea Pendula. He died aged 84, his admirers describing him as the Father of Scottish Botany. Sadly by the end of the nineteenth century both house and garden had gone although many of his rare plants remain on the grounds.

Published Date: February 28th 2021


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