Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Just bits and pieces


Our crow family visits faithfully, the parents now sometimes watching from a distance to give the children a chance to do things by themselves.  

Some of the young ones are bolder than others. A few days ago, the father crow brought one of his children to get some breakfast. Perhaps because I was nearby, the child was too scared to relax and eat. S/he stood on the wall, the other side of the dish from her/his father, while he ate. His idea was that he should eat, then fly away leaving her to eat. Each time he flew away, so did the child. On the few occasions the child stayed on the wall, s/he just stood stock still (Er… can I … should I…) It’s not that s/he wasn’t hungry. There were dried meal worms, suet with bugs in it, old scraps of cat food – in fact a delicious breakfast, almost as good as an eyeball. S/he just stood there, dribbling, wanting to eat but not quite sure … So I took pity on them and went in.

Each crow has his/her own distinct call, quite different from the others. The boldest of the young ones, very interested in us, has an erratic gargling voice – I love it.

Yesterday when I took out their supper, I couldn’t see them around so I took the crow call with me to let them know the food was ready. Then I saw one sentinel crow waiting patiently in the tree; but I blew the call anyway. He was dozing, and it woke him up - made him jump, poor thing.


We had a day without water last weekend – a burst pipe just north of the area where we live left our neighbourhood with no mains water, without warning. 

Happily, because it has rained a lot recently and our water butts are all full, and because of our various eco-practices, it made barely any difference to us. We just had to tie the taps in cloths to break the habit of going to turn them on. 

We did get some extra spring water (bottled), because I haven’t yet sorted out a system for filtering the roof water to make it potable – I could put it through the distiller, I suppose; the only problem with that is it loses its goodness then as well as its badness.


This is the day to send in our solar panels meter reading for the tariff the government pays us for the electricity we send in to the National Grid. 

Blessedly, my father died just before these tariffs began, under Gordon Brown’s under-appreciated and imaginative government. My father left me some money, enough to pay off our mortgage and put solar panels on the roof. The timing meant that because we were in at the beginning of the government solar scheme, we got the top rate (the amount offered went down year by year). We depend on it now. 

There’s something so pleasing about living in a house that pays its own bills – I mean, how sweet is that? The house contributes to the housekeeping! 

We are paid according to the quarter's meter reading , and part of last quarter’s payment went to buying a big stash of upcycled sawdust wood briquettes. They’re fantastic – they burn as hot as coal, kindle with immense ease, and though they are made of wood, it’s the sweepings, waste from the timber industry, so no cutting down extra trees just to burn. And there are no noxious fumes, they are made only through pressure, no glue involved. This quarter’s payment will buy the rest of our fuel for the winter.


I have been a bad girl and eaten what I should not, and given myself the most awful fibromyalgia flare-up. 


Tired unto death, and full of moving pains and stiffened joints. 

So I’ve gone back to eating Only What I Should, and it’s gradually easing. Emphasis on ‘gradually’! 

I am grateful for it really – it’s good to have a system sensitive enough to keep me on the strait and narrow; either I see to it that I stay extremely healthy or I’m prostrated in short order! 

What was it Thomas Cranmer said in the Book of Common Prayer (the General Confession)? “We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, And we have done those things which we ought not to have done, And there is no health in us”. 

Yep. That’s me at the moment. Still, onward and upward. 

The future (“But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us miserable offenders”) is in kale and organic free-range eggs.

*        *        *

Well, I think that’s it, really. I am reading Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning; today I will visit our beloved Granddad in the hospice, nearing the end of his life, and my beautiful Mama in her apartment that looks out over the hills and fields. And now I  must get up and feed the crows.


rebecca said...

I can identify with the joint pain - and aging loved ones. Sure wish OUR house was paying us! And no crows on our property for entertainment...only moles (to our great distress and aggravation).

Pen Wilcock said...

But I hope your joint pain is all better now? Do you still have problems, other than the slow recovery from surgery? xx

Amy said...

Pen-have you posted before your diet in regards to your fibromyalgia? I know you are a fan of Gerson....is it the same diet? I don't know that I have fibromyalgia but sometimes I feel as if I have a severe case of fatigue....and I do have conditions called spondylolithes and osteoarthritis...at the ripe old age of 49:-) Looking for relief.

Pen Wilcock said...


Max and Charlotte Gerson’s work has helped me a lot, but Gerson Therapy is really for extreme situations (though one can learn a lot from it.

I must stress that I have no medical or dietary qualifications whatsoever – just the results of trial and error in my own problem-solving.

I have quite a cache of health problems, all of which are fixed by right diet: weight gain, anxiety, depression, extreme fatigue and lassitude, lack of energy, comprehensive pain, joint stiffness, bowel problems, swollen ankles, disturbed sleep, restless legs, adrenal problems, candida, xanthelasma, thickened nails, tingling extremities – and no doubt others I’ve forgotten.

I was first put on to the root of the problem by Dr Christiane Northrup explaining that where there’s pain there’s inflammation, and where there’s inflammation there’s acidity – so you have to get the body more alkaline where there is pain.

To zap this current flare-up I need to cut out all sugars and starches, also tea and coffee.

I’ll see how I go eliminating stuff til I get good results, but if I can get away with still having fruit, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, carrots, and occasional sweet potatoes and regular potatoes, I will. If the pain persists I’ll cut those out too.

Once I’m well again, to stay well I must keep off sugar (that means honey, maple syrup etc, too), all baked goods (breads, cakes, pastries), and have no polished (white, refined) grains at all. I should also stay off high-sugar fruit like bananas, grapes, melon, dates. And no tea, coffee or alcohol. I’ll have butter and hard cheese, but not milk. A little yoghourt.

This will see off all my health problems.

I’ll list you the books and videos I’ve found helpful. Some of the books that explain the bio-chemistry of it are about weight loss – even if you aren’t fat, they can help to understand.

The best books I know of that you can get hold of are ~



Also Christiane Northrup is good.


On YouTube, Eric Berg’s videos are good.

I highly recommend this YouTube video ~

I don’t know if your problems would get better if you tried this route, but mine certainly do.


Amy said...

Wow.... Thank you....Thank you Pen for All of the info and the time you took to write this out! I will make use of it all. In addition to what I listed...I am an asthmatic and have hereditary IBS. I too have anxiety issues derived from a surgery that led to perimenopause at an early age. So I will give much of this a go. I do tend to eat rather healthy as I live on a farm and I garden and raise chickens. We drink raw milk and highly filtered water. My terrible weakness is my terrible sweet tooth. And from what you have written it seems that sugar is a main culprit. I will put my focus there and hopefully see some of the results you have experienced. I oil pull with good results and consume lemon water and Braggs Apple cider vinegar a couple times a day. These have contributed tremendously to reduce bloating and inflammation.
Xoxo....You are a Godsend.

Pen Wilcock said...

Raw, whole milk and organic free-range eggs are very good news - as is cider vinegar - and some of our household oil pull and find it very helpful. Yes - sugar is the arch-villain. Let us know how you get on. xx

Asta Lander said...

Hi Pen! I have missed seeing you around. I am sorry to hear that a loved one is nearing the end of his life, my father is also. He has pancreatic cancer and liver cancer (and it is spreading). Praying for the deep peace of the Lord for these two gentlemen and their (us) families. I share your pain.
Crows... I have a friend. He or she is an Australian Raven. He is magnificient with his large blue black feathers and eager eyes. I have to feed him when one of my greyhounds is not watching. This morning he stopped in for food, and surprised my other greyhound - Phryne (who just lifted her head momentarily) as he snatched his breakfast. He is so clever knowing whom he can trust.
Inflammation. All I can say is that my IBS all but disappeared with my vegan diet. If I am terribly tired (like no sleep the night before because I have been with dad) then the stress and tiredness make my stomach uncomfortable again regardless. It is also then that I might skip a meal or go too long between meals, and that makes me more vulnerable.
I wish you the very best of health. It really is everything.
Asta xx

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi Asta - lovely to hear from you. May angels watch over you father and give him safe passage in peace.
I have very, very few ambitions in life - one of them is to meet a raven.
Hooray for your improved health - the vegan way is a path of blessing.

For anyone else reading, Asta knows I've had a good shot at being vegan, and I love the concept. However the diet doesn't work for me, and can make some people positively ill - though many manage fine eating vegan.
I believe strongly in animal welfare, and what goes around comes around. Factory farmed meat is bad news for the health of those who eat it and hell on earth for the animals. For the good health of one's body and the planet one should eat loads of veg and fruit, nuts, herbs, spices, and then a restrained amount of eggs, fish, meat. The eggs I eat are organic and laid by hens free to roam. The fish I buy is sustainably sourced and either wild or organic. I get my meat from Eversfield Farm. It's either wild or pasture-fed, and is humanely slaughtered. They also sell organic cheese from cows husbanded along similar principles.
We buy organic milk for our household.
An important aspect of organic animal products is that the organic standards mean the animals have to be reasonably happy and free, because unhappy animals in unnatural surroundings get sick often, and their medication disqualifies them from being organic produce. So buying organic ensures both a higher standard of health for the animal and the person eating it, and better welfare standards.
I believe animals are people just as humans are, with souls, intelligence, complex lives and relationships. That I cannot manage a vegan diet saddens me greatly. On the other hand, without the demand for their bodies for meat, farm animals would not be born in the first place and I am glad they are in the world - noble, delightful, a source of joy. Everything that lives has to die, so in a way it's natural and not a tragedy that they die for us to eat - only I think the quality of their lives and the manner of their death is important. They give their very lives to nourish us, and we should honour that, taking care of them, eating sparingly and wasting nothing.

Eversfield Farm is here ~

Sandra Ann said...

Thanks for the reading list fibro flare at this end coupled with peri menopause symptoms and that drafted black cloud that appears from nowhere ... And I'm not talking meteorology here 😀

San x

Will catch you here as I'm taking a break from FB also known as face ache in our house! To much noise in cyber space 😁

Pen Wilcock said...

Yes, I have serious problems with Facebook - I connect with some dear friends made online there, and there is much that is beautiful and good to inspire, but the relentless doom-mongering, bitching and complaining gets me down and is hard to avoid.

May you be well, may you be happy, may you be at peace. May the black dog come to heel. xx

Sandra Ann said...

Thanks Pen. I meant to say that I too cannot follow a vegan diet it really does make me ill so I buy meat as and when I can within the budget x