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Recessional

God of our fathers, known of old--
Lord of our far-flung battle line
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe--
Such boasting as the Gentiles use
Or lesser breeds without the law--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard--
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard--
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy mercy on Thy people, Lord!
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Ode on solitude

Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest! who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most doth please,
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me dye;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lye.
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Sunday morning musings.

If you can detach ‘Britishness’ from Whitehall and Westminster, the case for the Union will be lost. If this is really to be a faux debate grounded in the emotion of identity then the opportunity it presents to future generations will be lost. And the politicians will have taken their people for fools.
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Turkey tagliatelle with asparagus and peas

Ingredients
225 g Pasta, White, Dry, (spaghetti or tagliatelle)
5 spray(s) Cooking Spray, Calorie Controlled
225 g Turkey, Breast, Skinless & Boneless, Raw, cut into strips
70 g Spring Onions, (bunch) trimmed and chopped finely
100 g Asparagus, Raw, trimmed and chopped
100 g Peas, Petits Pois
200 g Fromage Frais, Very Low Fat, Plain
200 g Cheese, Soft, Medium Fat, garlic and herb flavoured
3 leaf/leaves (large) Basil, Dried, torn into shreds, plus extra for garnish
1 pinch Salt
1 teaspoons (ground) Pepper, Black (Whole, Cracked or Ground)

 

Instructions



  • Cook the tagliatelle or spaghetti in plenty of boiling, lightly salted water for about 8-10 minutes, until just tender.

  • Meanwhile, heat the cooking spray in a large saucepan and saute the turkey strips for about 5-6 minutes, until golden. Add the spring onions and cook for another 2-3 minutes, then add the asparagus and frozen peas. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.

  • Add the fromage frais, soft cheese and basil leaves to the saucepan. Heat, stirring gently, for about 3 minutes until melted and blended. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Drain the pasta well. Add the sauce and stir gently to mix. Transfer to four warmed plates and serve at once, garnished with basil leaves.

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Intermittent Fasting

I watched Dr Michael Mosleys recent TV program with a great deal of interest due to having recently started a diet/training program that would get me on course to regain some of the youthful fitness Id let slowly slip away in the years since I turned 30. The BBC trailed the program with this article on the BBC website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19112549

Now, 3 months later and 12 fast days on, Im happy to say that, whilst each fast has been a mild challenge of my discipline and my dedication, it has for the most part been a really positive experience. There has been only one lapse and that came during the school holidays when I made a plate of Italian style meatballs in tomato sauce for my son. This would have been a challenge all of its own to have to deal with the sights and smells of making such a delicious meal however having only just come through that challenge with rumblings coming from down below, when my son decided the meatballs were too spicy for him and placed the hardly touched plateful back in the kitchen the game was up.

So I fell off the wagon once, not because I was too hungry to stick to the plan but simply because my desire to quit overcame my desire to hold firm. But, for the most part and through the 36 hours of each fast "day", I have resolutely stayed on course. Lets face it, its not so desperately difficult to go without for that long. The habit of eating is what usually presents the most challenges. During each fast, despite drinking plenty of water and training reasonably frequently throughout, I have been losing approximately 3 - 4 pounds. Granted it does mostly come back on the following day but not all of it does. The trajectory throughout the 3 months this experiment has taken place has been of consistent weight-loss and I place the  weekly fasts as a core part of this.

I sometimes ask myself why bother fasting. Is it for the weight-loss or the detox? For me the answer is neither. Its partly an allusion to the disciplined routine of the diet I have been trying to follow through the rest of these weeks but its mostly because of all the softer reasons suggested in the BBC program mentioned previously. For those who haven't seen the documentary, it is claimed that short bursts of intermittent fasting have the capacity to kick the body out of gear and into a mode whereby the processes of repair and rejuvenation take centre stage. These effects and my perception of them may be placebo in nature but I certainly feel that my periods of abstinence are doing something good in there. Its almost an uncanny feeling of strained well-being that takes hold when the fast is in full swing.

So, in conclusion, as I lie in my bed with my laptop, 24 hours into my latest 36 hour fast, getting ready to go to sleep and dream about potato crisp forests and boats sailing across oceans of tikka masala bordered by pilau rice beaches, I feel sure that what started as an experiment brought on by a passing interest in a compelling BBC TV documentary has now become something that I may well be participating in this time next year or who knows even further down the line. So if you're reading this post feeling bloated and full after a late evening meal, why not consider for yourself if the benefits of Intermittent Fasting might be something that has a future in your weekly routine.
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