Monday, 15 January 2018

~ Peace Lives In The Forest~

Sometimes, when life suffocates me
And I can't see the wood for the trees
My head and my heart swell with sadness
And I long for the land of the free
When everything stands on my shoulders
And leaves me with such little hope
I look to the trees for condolence
And the stillness they offer my soul
I walk through the realm of the forest
A mystical, magical place
I study its perfect existence
Whilst feeling immersed in its grace
I breathe in the essence of living
A carpet of life on the ground
I overhear birds singing love songs
And witness the beauty of sound
I ponder my woeful existence
Where greed overlooks charity
I look to the trees for direction
They offer my mind clarity
I am but a soul in life's ocean
Where man sleeps beneath the rough tides
Not noticing beauty surrounds him
Declining to open his eyes
Swim up to the top and inhale life
Endeavour to open your eyes
Life doesn't have to be savage
If we all pull together and try
Harmony lives in the forest
Peace trickles down from a stream
Love is the hand that heals nature
And freedom is oh, but a dream
~ © Amelia Dashwood.

Saturday, 13 January 2018



Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Sweet and savory pan-seared salmon topped with sautéed shrimp in cajun butter sauce. Salmon New Orleans is an unforgettable 30 minute meal your family will crave!

  • 4 6-ounce salmon fillets
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 8 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons honey
cajun seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • heaping ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  1. In a small bowl stir together all cajun seasoning ingredients and set aside.
  2. Season salmon with salt and pepper to taste. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add honey and whisk to combine (mixture should be bubbly). Add salmon fillets to pan and cook for 5-6 minutes, then flip and cook another 7-8 minutes until salmon is cooked through, flaky, and browned. Transfer salmon to a platter and cover to keep warm.
  3. Add remaining butter to the pan over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted, stir in cajun seasoning. Add shrimp to pan and saute until opaque, about 5-6 minutes.
  4. Serve salmon topped with shrimp. Drizzle any extra pan sauce over the top and garnish with chopped parsley if desired. Serve immediately.

Friday, 12 January 2018

The Fox

Little black buttons in the snow,
I see them over there,
But as i look ever closer,
I see that there is hair.
I continue to watch this creature,
And then i see this pink,
It leaves me with a question,
i dont know what to think.
I cant help but to keep looking,
The question in my mind,
What is this I'm watching,
I've never seen his kind.
To me this is amazing,
Black buttons in the snow,
The hair the pink i question,
This creature i must know
He stands and gives a shake,
A smile comes to my face,
To show that i respect him,
I give this fox his space.
by Joan K Fleming
Art Snowwolf

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Call It Nostalgia

Space Hoppers, Power Cuts, Texan Bars & Playschool,
Record Players, Tiny Tears, Ford Capri’s (I thought were cool),
Bag Puss, Mrs Thatch, Wonder Woman, Rainbow,
George, Zippy, Rod & Jane, Bungle - have I got them all?
Dial A Disc & Rotary phones, Vinyl Records, Space Dust,
John Travolta, Happy Days, Dolly Parton’s HUGE bust
Tape Recorders, TDK’s, Top 40 taped on Sundays
(Chatting ‘bout what’s Number 1, when back at school on Monday)
Baby Cham, & Chopper bikes, lava lamps and Spangles,
Fondue Sets, & Mateus Wine – (you tried your best to wangle)
Nitty Nora (the bug explorer), Izal toilet tissue -
(was unforgiving on your bum, and gave you ‘other’ issues)
J.R., Dallas, Dynasty, shoulder pads & bitching,
AIDS, the brand new STD, much more than just an itching
Grange Hill, Zammo, Heroin, ‘Just Say No’ they sang
Jools and Paula on The Tube, with up and coming bands
Rubik Cubes, & great big hair, Roller Boots & Pac Man,
New Romantics everywhere – Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran
Frankie Says, & Ra Ra Skirts, odd Fluorescent socks
Red Hot Chillis, posing nude, (‘cept socks upon their c**ks)
MADchester & Afflecks Palace, Bez in Happy Mondays,
Shaking his maracas - (looks like every day’s a fun day)
Acid House, illegal raves, yellow smiley faces
The strangest craze in 89? – Grolsch tops on Brosette’s laces
So many happy memories, you took for granted then,
A shame you can’t go back in time, and live it all again,
Will our kids look back in time with fondness like we do?
It seems that culture lost its way some time in '92...
Claire Bowl © 2014
Art Peter Davidson

Tuesday, 9 January 2018


Swords flash with a mystical brilliance
For enemies, it only means demise
Bright blue eyes that look into the distance
Deep as the sea and bluer than the skies
Skin, like ivory, paler than the moon
Hair, that is almost like woven sunbeams
From light rose colored lips come Elven tunes
Perfect armor over his shoulders gleams
His aim is never off--he hits his mark
Whether it be enemies or my heart
There is no one sweeter--it flees--the dark
If ever we should meet, we would not part
This is Legolas, of the woodland realm
When I see him, my heart, he overwhelms.

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Friday, 5 January 2018

Cranberry bakewell

Cranberry bakewell

“This Christmassy take on the buttery English classic has a subtle tang from the cranberries and orange. ”


  • 375g sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 1 handful cranberries , fresh, defrosted or dehydrated
  • 1 orange
  • 375g cranberries , fresh or defrosted
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla pod , or 1/2 a teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 300g ground almonds
  • 2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs , free-range
  • 1 splash calvados or Cointreau
  • 1 orange
  • 100g icing sugar
  • Method

    1. To make the jam, finely grate the orange zest into a pan and squeeze in the juice, then simmer with the remaining ingredients, until thickened, stirring occasionally. Taste; if it’s too sour, stir in a little more sugar. Cool, then remove the star anise.
    2. Roll out the pastry to line a greased, 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill in the fridge for an hour.
    3. Meanwhile, split and scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod (if using), then combine all the frangipane ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge with the pastry for 30 minutes.
    4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4.
    5. Once the pastry case is chilled, line it with greaseproof paper and fill with dried beans or rice, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and firm to touch. Remove from the oven.
    6. Once cool, spread the pastry with the jam, then evenly dollop over the frangipane and sprinkle with the cranberries, pushing in a little, then scatter with flaked almonds.
    7. Bake in the oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the tart to cool while you make your icing (if using).
    8. For the icing, finely grate the orange zest into a small bowl, add the icing sugar, and squeeze in enough orange juice to give a drizzling consistency.
    9. Serve the tart slightly warm with crème fraîche, or at room temperature, drizzled with icing.

AbeBooks' Most Expensive Sales of 2017

Literary icon J.D. Salinger wears the crown as AbeBooks's most expensive sale of the year. The American author scores extra points for appearing again at number 11. A signed poster - not a book - comes in at number two. Notable sales also included Dali and Picasso, three helpings of wizards and orcs, some vicious plants causing mayhem, ruins in the Middle East, a catcher (and not the baseball variety), and a book containing the first mention of 'I think, therefore I am'. It was another great year for collectors.

The Top 20

1. Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger - $22,500
A unique edition of Salinger's second work, this was Little Brown & Company's only file copy. The publisher's penciled word count calculations (61,823) and pasted label stating 'Sample - return to manufacturing department' can be seen on the rear free endpaper.
Publisher's file copy of Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
2. Warhol vs Basquiat Exhibition Poster - $20,700
The sale of Jean-Michel Basquiat's 1982 abstract painting of a skull for $110.5 million in May 2017 shocked the art world. Only 10 other artworks have sold for more than $100 million. The record-breaking Basquiat auction sale immediately sparked the sale of this remarkable poster on AbeBooks featuring Basquiat and pop artist Andy Warhol.
Warhol vs Basquiat Exhibition Poster
In the Fall of 1985, the two artists staged a joint exhibition at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in New York and a color poster was created to promote the event. Both Warhol and Basquiat donned boxing gloves and posed for boxing bout-style photographs. This particular one was signed by both artists, which turned it from being simply special into exceptional. Unsigned copies are priced up to $5,000. Sadly, Basquiat died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27 in 1988. His art is now worth millions and his signature is worth thousands. Warhol died in 1987, and his art and books (especially the cat-related ones) remain highly desirable.
Basquiat started in graffiti art in the late 1970s. At the time, he was regarded as the 'enfant terrible' of the New York art scene for his artistic interpretations of wealth, class and race in 1980s. The show displayed collaborative paintings that Warhol and Basquiat worked on from 1984 to 1985.
3. A Voyage Round Great Britain, Undertaken in the Summer of the Year 1813, and Commencing from the Land's-End, Cornwall by Richard Ayton & William Daniell - $19,300
Eight volumes, published in 1814, with an autograph letter by Daniell to painter and printmaker William Hogarth tipped in to front free endpaper of volume one. This book is famous for its engravings of the British coastline - for some, this is the most important color copperplate book on British topography.
4. Speculum Historiale by Vincent of Beauvais - $18,900
Published in 1473, this was a major encyclopedia during the Middle Ages, written by a Dominican friar Vincent of Beauvais (ca.1190 - ca.1264). The "Speculum Maius" (Great Mirror) was composed of three parts: "Speculum Naturale" (Mirror of Nature), covering natural history; "Speculum Doctrinale" (Mirror of Doctrine), dealing with the arts and sciences; and "Speculum Historiale," containing the history of the world up to Vincent's time.
5. Les Passions de L'ame by Rene Descartes - $17,500
Published in 1649, this first edition in bound in full vellum. This book (The Passions of the Soul) was the last work published during Descartes' lifetime and offers a brief psychological treatise on human nature. The first edition was written in French, printed in the Netherlands, and distributed simultaneously in Paris and Amsterdam. Descartes examines the relationship between the consciousness of the soul and the mechanism of the body, and makes important observations on how this duality effects the nature of voluntary and involuntary actions. This book contains the first description of the reflex function.
6. Songes Drolatiques de Pantagruel by Salvador Dali - $16,840
The Pantagruel Dreams are a series of 120 engravings published by Richard Breton in 1565 under the name of François Rabelais. They depict monstrous and grotesque figures. Published in 1973, Dali adapted 25 of the images and printed them as lithographs, limited to 250 copies printed on Japan paper, complete with a red presentation case.
Songes Drolatiques de Pantagruel
7. Quadragesimale Aureum by Leonardo de Utino - $16,016
A collection of 42 sermons published in 1471, printed in Venice.
8. Ueber die vierfache Wurzel des Satzes vom zureichenden Grunde. Ein philosophische Abhandlung by Arthur Schopenhauer - $15,000
The German title translates as 'On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason. A Philosophical Dissertation'. This is a first edition from 1813 of Schopenhauer's first philosophy book. Only 500 copies were printed and most were pulped after going unsold.
9. Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien - $14,546
First editions of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King.
10. Principia Philosophiae + Specimina Philosophiae by Rene Descartes - $14,535
Two books bound in one volume. Published in Amsterdam in 1644 and bound in vellum, this is a rare first edition of Descartes' main work on physics, the seminal "Principles of Philosophy". It is in this groundbreaking work that the "Cogito ergo sum" ("I think, therefore I am") appears for the first time in the form in which we know it today.
11. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger - $14,000
A 1951 first edition first printing of Salinger's famous novel.
Catcher in the Rye (item pictured not exact item sold)
12. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham - $13,844
A 1951 UK first edition of this classic science fiction novel featuring killer plants wreaking havoc, published by Michael Joseph and in near fine condition complete with its dust jacket. Inscribed by Wyndham. The book belonged to Jim Burch who was a science fiction fan and co-organizer of the 1951 Science Fiction Convention in London.
13. Actes and Monuments (Foxe's Book of Martyrs) by John Foxe - $13,000
Two volumes bound in one, printed in 1753. This is the sixth overall edition of Foxe's Protestant history first published in 1563. Outside the bible, no other book influenced Protestant life more than this one. It's famous for depicting scenes of martyrdom at the hands of Catholics.
14. The Ruins of Palmyra, otherwise Tedmor, in the Desart Robert Wood & James Dawkins - $12,926
A rare first edition showing the ruins of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in 1753. The book features numerous illustrations, including a stunning folding panoramic plate offering a dramatic view of the ruined city in the 18th century. It contained valuable historic information even before Islamic State forces destroyed sections of Palmyra in 2015. One plate oddly shows Wood and Dawkins arriving at the ancient site dressed in togas - the Romans were one of the later civilizations to take control of Palmyra. There are three full-page engravings of inscriptions in text and 57 full-page engraved plates. This copy once belonged to the Marquis of Stafford and contains his bookplate. There are many images of this gorgeous book to see on the AbeBooks Flickr account.
The Ruins of Palmyra, otherwise Tedmor, in the Desart
15. Carmen des Carmen by Prosper Merimée & Louis Aragon, illustrated by Pablo Picasso - $12,650
Five original plates by Picasso, three aquatint etchings, one drypoint etching and one colored lithograph all numbered in pencil. Aragon was a French poet and one of the leading voices of France's surrealist movement.
Carmen des Carmen
16= To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - $12,500
A first edition first printing in fine condition of this novel that seems to appear every year on our most expensive lists.
16= Sword of Honour Trilogy by Evelyn Waugh - $12,500
Waugh's outstanding trilogy is Men at Arms; Officers and Gentlemen, and Unconditional Surrender. These are all first editions and Men at Arms is inscribed by Waugh to fellow author, J.F. Powers. The trilogy is largely about World War II and based on the author's own experiences as an army officer.
18. Chocky by John Wyndham - $11,443
A science fiction story about an alien, first published as a novella in 1963 in Amazing Stories. This copy was a scarce 1968 signed first edition of the book format published by Michael Joseph, and in near fine condition. The BBC adapted Wyndham's story for radio in 1967. Chocky was Wyndham's last published story during his lifetime - he died in March 1969. British author Wyndham is best known for his novels, The Day of the Triffids (see no. 11) and The Chrysalids.
19. Collected Works by Samuel Beckett - $11,485
The scarce second edition from 1813. Three volumes, bound in contemporary green calf with embossed details, and raised bands.
20. The Whole Works of Homer - $11,437
Privately printed in London for Nathaniell Butler circa 1616, translated from Greek by Geo Chapman.

More Notable Sales

An original drawing by Franz von Bayros - $11,485
Franz von Bayros (1866-1924) was an Austrian artist, best known for his controversial erotic drawings. Part of the Decadent Movement sweeping through Europe at this time, von Bayros' book Tales at the Dressing Table was explicit enough to have him arrested. This particular drawing is pretty tame compared to some of the artist's other work.
An original drawing by Franz von Bayros
Oxford Night Caps Being a Collection of Receipts for Making Various Beverages Used in The University by Richard Cook - $10,000
A pioneering book for all drinkers and bartenders. First printing of the first known cocktail book to be published in the English language from 1827. Designed to help students at Oxford University mix beverages for their busy social life. Just 38 pages. Very scarce. You will find another copy in Oxford's Bodleian Library.
The High Window by Raymond Chandler - $10,000
First edition, first printing of the author's third Philip Marlowe mystery. One of 6,500 copies.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - $9,500
Published by Chapman & Hall in 1843, a first edition second issue of the book that turned Christmas into the holiday we know today.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (item pictured not exact item sold)
Signed Etching of Albert Einstein - $9,500
Engraved bust portrait by Emil Orlik. Inscribed by Einstein in German, "To Alice sending it to her as a remembrance Albert."
Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut - $7,500
A fine 1967 first edition in a fine dust jacket, signed by Alfred Hitchcock with a large self-portrait and inscribed by Truffault.
Ornamental Map of the US and Mexico - $7,000
A lithograph map from 1848, issued as a broadside in the wake of the American victory over her neighbor during the Mexican-American war.
The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay - $5,900
Australia's most famous children's book. A first edition from 1918, this copy belonged to poet Dorothea Mackellar, who wrote 'I love a Sunburnt County.'
The Phone Book 1998-2002 by Martin Parr - $5,000
The Phone Book reflects the world's relationship with mobile phones (in the early years of mobile before smartphones took off), and mimics a real phone book. It's printed on newsprint with six stiff card dividers that fold out to cascading tabs. The tabs organize the book according to region: Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, United Kingdom, United States, and Rest of the World. A signed deluxe edition that includes a set of 12 signed photos.
The Phone Book 1998-2002 (item pictured not exact item sold)