Thursday, 3 September 2015

Garden Centre Photography

Bit niche this one, I admit. For many years I wouldn't step foot in a Garden Centre, being a bit of a nature purist and with an allergy to the ol' sell sell sell. But times change and in a whorl of Garden Glasnost I went for a jungle walk.

North Utsire

Tylwyth Teg

The name for the fairy race in Wales. means 'The Fair Folk' and Their name they are extremely attractive to look at ways , dressed in white and having al  According fair hair. ng to long some accounts, they are ruled over by the underworld god Gwynn ap Nudd, while others say that their master is the magician Gywdion. In the past, these fairies were considered dangerous and children were brought up to fear and respect them. They especially liked to steal babies or older blonde children and leave a changeling called a crimbil in their place. Their own children are said only to mature at 100 years of age, when they leave to up communities of their own. They are especially fond of singing and dancing in fairy rings, though a human should be wary of joining them. Tylwyth Teg are visible only at night, and visit human houses after dark. For this reason, country dwellers in Wales used to tidy up and stoke their fires before retiring, so that the Fair Folk could make themselves comfortable. If they were pleased they might leave a present for the family, though this would disappear at once if spoken of openly. The Fair Folk used to visit markets and exchange the money in farmers Pockets for their own, which disappeared when the farmer got home, or turned into dry leaves. The folklorist Edward Davies, writing in 1809, related the story of a lake near Brecon associated with the Tylwyth Teg.

An island rose from the middle of the lake, and it was observed that no bird would fly over it and that sometimes strains of music could be heard drifting from it over the water. In ancient times, a door in a nearby rock would open every Mayday, and those who entered would find themselves in a passage that led to the island. There, to their amazement, they discovered an enchanted garden full of the choicest fruits and flowers, inhabited by the Tylwyth Teg, whose ethereal beauty was only equalled by their courtesy and affability. Each guest would be entertained with music and told of whatever future events the fairies deemed right to tell them. The only stipulation was that the island should be considered sacred, and nothing must be taken away. One day, an ungrateful man pocketed the flower he had been presented with. This did him no good, for as soon as he touched the shore the flower c vanished and the man himself fell senseless. The Tylwyth Teg were so angry at this sacrilege that the way to the island was closed for-ever. One man tried to drain the lake to see what was there, but a horrible figure rose from the water and commanded him to stop.

From: The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures by John & Caitlin Matthews
North Utsire

Brenin Enlli, King of Bardsey

The name derives from Ynys Enlli – Bardsey, at the western tip of Llyn, and the Brenin Enlli was the Bardsey King. A hundred years ago, there was a 200-strong community of fishermen and crofters on the island and as is customary on many islands, they elected their own ‘king’. The last king was Love Pritchard, here seen wearing the crown of the island.

It was tradition for the island to elect the King of Bardsey, and from 1826 onwards. He would be crowned by Baron Newborough or his representative. The crown is now kept at Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool, although calls have been made for it to return to Gwynedd. The first known title holder was John Williams; his son, John Williams II, the third of the recorded kings, was deposed in 1900, and asked to leave the island as he had become an alcoholic, it is said because of the spirits that came ashore following shipwrecks in the First World War.

It is said that a cairn of empty beer casks was built on the mainland to attract John Williams as a kind of decoy- bait. He unwillingly crossed the Swnt to the Promised Land and was soon taken to the workhouse in Pwllheli where he died. At the outbreak of World War I, the last king, Love Pritchard, offered himself and the men of Bardsey Island for military service, but he was refused as he was considered too old at the age of 71. Pritchard took umbrage, and declared the island a neutral power.  This refusal did not please him and "probably" explains why Enlli remained neutral during the war and that it allegedly supported Kaiser Wilhelm II.  What a surprise, a Royal supporting German nationalism like that. In 1925, Pritchard left the island for the mainland, to seek a less laborious way of life, but died the following year. 

North Utsire

Master Yu Choob

Master Yu Choob is everywhere and yet he is nowhere. He does not have physical form and yet he is a teacher of influence and Wisdom. Seek Master Yu Choob and you will undoubtedly find. There are four 'standard' forms of Qigong generally recognised; Muscle-Tendon Change Classic (Yì Jīn Jīng), Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi), Eight Strands of the Brocade (Ba Duan Jin) and the Six Healing Sounds (Liu Zi Jue). I can get to grips with the first three forms, but making noises like hoot, squeak, squelch and belch on a regular basis doesn't appeal so I have substituted Master Chia's Iron Shirt Qigong for the Six Healing Sounds. These are quite advanced representations of the forms and there are simpler versions out there for beginners.

North Utsire

Protein Synthesis Dance

Directed in 1971 by Robert Alan Weiss for the Department of Chemistry of Stanford University and imprinted with the "free love" aura of the period, this short film continues to be shown in biology class today. It has since spawned a series of similar humorous attempts at vulgarizing protein synthesis. Narrated by Paul Berg, 1980 Nobel prize for Chemistry. If you're not interested in the sciency bit at the beginning (and I don't blame you), you can skip the vid to 3:10 to see the dance.

North Utsire