Sunshine and sunflowers from Olhao Portugal to London UK

My Life as an Artist (2)

I have returned from a very hot and sunny Olhao Portugal to a very hot and sunny London…and so thought sunflowers would be appropriate today.

I took this photograph at the Olhao Saturday market…..


rapid watercolour/gouache

This was the colour of the sun today….


I am just catching up with e mails etc. and so will start blogging again next Monday with news of Olhao and lots of images.


A Bientôt

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The Hungry Grandma

James' Funnies

A young teenage girl was a prostitute and, for obvious reasons, kept it a secret from her Grandma. One day, the police raided a brothel and arrested a group of prostitutes, including the young girl.
The prostitutes were instructed to line up in a straight line on the sidewalk. Well, who should be walking in the neighborhood, but little old Grandma. The young girl became frantic.
Sure enough, Grandma noticed her young granddaughter and asked curiously, “What are you lining up for dear?” Not willing to let grandma in on her secret, the young girl said that some people were giving out free oranges and that she was lining up for some.
“Mmmm, sounds lovely,” said Grandma, “I think I’ll have some myself,” and she made her way to the back of the line. An officer made his way down the line, questioning all of the prostitutes. When he got…

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Europe’s Migration Crisis: “Not Giving Us Like in Germany”

One migrant was asked why he doesn’t want to stay in Hungary. He replied: “[Hungary is] not giving us like in Germany… a house, money…”

“It’s not 150,000 migrants coming that some want to divide according to quotas, it’s not 500,000, a figure that I heard in Brussels, it’s millions, then tens of millions, because the supply of immigrants is endless.” — Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary.

Only 20 of the 12,000 people who crossed the border during the weekend of September 5-6 applied for asylum in Austria. The rest have already moved on to the more generous Germany.


Sneaky Cross-Border Farming Keeps Produce Coming Into Israel From Jordan

As a group of ultra-Orthodox rabbis approaches the Israeli-Jordanian border, the knotted tassels of their Jewish prayer shawls are discreetly disappeared inside their trousers, out of sight. Jalabiyas, loose robes traditionally worn by Arabs, are swiftly whipped out of a bag and pulled over the shirt and trousers. Palestinian keffiyehs follow, carefully draped around the shoulders like a cape.

Suddenly, the rabbis no longer appear to be Jews, but rather Arab farmers. Guarded by Jordanian police, they are escorted through passport control toward an armed convoy of four-by-four jeeps with reflective windows. Within minutes, the disguised rabbis drive away, vanishing into a cloud of dust.

Far from prying eyes, at the Israeli-Jordanian border, this unusual kind of religious hocus-pocus has been taking place for the past 12 months. But the Jews would say it is the opposite of hocus-pocus—to them, it’s observing biblical laws to the letter. Enabled by agreements between private Israeli and Jordanian businesses, and sanctioned by the religious rabbinate, going to the Hashemite Kingdom enables deeply religious Jews to observe shmita—the year when farming land in Israel must not be cultivated by Jews— without losing a year of profit.

According to the Torah, every seventh year, the agricultural lands in Israel have to lie fallow. The latest shmita year began in September 2014 and ended this week. So, over the past 12 months, rabbis and kashrut supervisors have been traveling to Jordan on a weekly basis—to cultivate crops, and keep the profits coming, all while ensuring that religious laws are obeyed.


Will Western Europe Survive this Population Gamble?

Beyond the Cusp

European nations, largely the Western European nations with Germany taking the lead are taking a gamble that the influx of refugees with a drastically different ethos and background will assimilate sufficiently well to offset their declining populations and not prove to be the next great revolution spelling an end to western civilization in Europe. A rapidly falling population percentage under twenty-five coupled with the longer life spans has settled into a demographic time-bomb which had all the indicators that it was only going to grow worse with time. But is Europe playing with demographic fire by allowing almost en-masse unchecked hordes of refugees from the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) nations with Syrian claimants given near complete approval to aim for the Western European nation of their choosing with Germany expected to take in close to a million this year and a half a million each year going forward…

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