Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.

Gypsy skipping song – My mother said, I never should .. Play with the Gypsies .. ƸӜƷ

“My mother said,
I never should ..
Play with the Gypsies
In the wood; ƸӜƷ
If I did, she would say,
Naughty little girl to disobey.
Your hair shan't curl,
Your shoes shan't shine,
You gypsy girl,
You shan't be mine.
And my father said
If I did,
He'd rap my head
With the teapot lid.
The wood was dark,
The grass was green, ƸӜƷ
In came Sally
With a tambourine. ೋ
I went to sea -
No ship to get across,
So I paid ten shillings       (shillings pronounced shillins)
For a blind white horse,  (horse pronounced hoss)
I up on his back,
And was off in a crack -
Sally, tell my mother
I never shall come back.”



When I was a little girl my favourite pastime was skipping. Sometimes it would be with a skipping rope and sometimes it would be without. My mother was forever telling me to stop as I would hold her hand and skip alongside of her as we walked up the very long lane to what was known as the corner shop.

My mother would tell me mainly the first part of this particular skipping rhyme and if I stayed outside the corner shop which meant I could climb in the very old Yew tree, she would wag her finger and say very firmly - ‘now don’t you go talking to any strangers.’  Talking to strangers or going off with strangers was the very worst thing any child could do and it was every parent’s worst fear!

Polly “Are you listening Polly?”

Drone and worker bees

Today I went to the hive to make a quick inspection and quite by chance, as if awaiting me I spied a drone and shortly afterwards a busy worker arrived. This gave me a chance to take a few quick pictures so that the size of each could be appreciated.

Drone 1

Drone 2

Drone - large

  The Drone – large eyes and rounded bottom – no sting

Drone and worker 1

Drone and worker 2

Drone and worker 3  

Drone and worker 4

The Drone alongside the Worker Bee

A little secret fact: all worker bees are female and if the Queen of the hive is placed in peril and dies the younger worker bees will become fertile and lay eggs. These worker bees have never mated and so any offspring that is produced will develop into male bees (bees that are drones). Drones do not have stings, they cannot harm anyone. The more healthy a hive is the less likelihood there will be for any or at least more than a few of these drones will be spotted. 

Adam’s apples

The simple compost that finds its way onto our verges, rest areas and pull-ins that line the roads are producing some very interesting finds. Every time someone either tosses or throws an apple core from a passing vehicle, if the core bounces onto the ground then many of the apple pips or seeds germinate and form new apple trees. Each pip produces a slightly different tree to the parent apple tree plant. Some are sweeter, some more tart but each one of these new seedlings offer the chance for a new variety of apple tree to sprout.

Commercial trees are almost a clone as they are all grafted plants onto wild strong root stock. Although this method is suitable for supermarkets so that people are able to buy all of one variety of apple at a time it means that much natural wealth of goodness and taste of our planet is lost to us.

A whole new group of people who call themselves forages are now taking the opportunity to gather these free offerings to give them a wider choice in their fruit bowls.

You must admit that it is very tempting to take an apple core from your favourite apple and push it gently into the ground and see what emerges from these humble beginnings.


Baby apple copy

Creating new apple varieties by planting apple pips

It is alleged that figs were once called apples and that the fig tree was the tree of knowledge. So Eve tempted Adam not with an apple but with a fig. Figs are low in calories and contain manganese, potassium, calcium and Vitamin B6 as well as being a good source of fibre. It is also believed that figs are quite good for the eyesight.

Difficulty: difficulty rhyme

When I was a little girl my mother would often think of ways of helping me to remember things and one that is probably the best are little rhymes.

The English language is full of pitfalls but there are many ways of remembering information that are probably no longer taught today that have always stood me in good stead. The difficulty rhyme being one of my most favourites:

Mrs D copy

here’s how it goes ..

Mrs D,
Mrs I,
Mrs Ffi,
Mrs C,
Mrs U,
Mrs Lty.


Mrs D, Mrs, Mrs Ffi, Mrs C, Mrs U, Mrs Lty  .. which of course spells difficulty.


Mrs D copy

The rush to Winter

The bees are almost crashing into the hive at the moment to pack as much pollen as possible and add to their Winter stores. There are still several colours and types of pollen being collected and it is fascinating to watch each worker leave the hive and see which pathway into the sky she takes. Once a bee has a favourite direction they appear to choose the same route. This only became obvious through observing my white hourglass ladies which still appear to be finding their precious Himalayan Balsam flowers.
Here are two videos of the honey bees: