Friday, May 25, 2018

Pangolins, VHS Player, Cheshire and the Pennines, Ultra Sound,

On Wednesday night we watched a Nature film all about Pangolins. I knew what they were, but didn't know much about them. What horrified me was the pictures of thousands of them dead and being shipped to the East where they use the Pangolins' shells for medicinal purposes (the shells are made of the same thing as our fingernails so, of course, have absolutely NO medical benefit). They are the most endangered animal in the world, more so
than elephants and rhinos, they are also eaten in Asian countries and are considered a delicacy. From the documentary we learned that they are very friendly little animals and basically live solitary lives. The sacks in the picture are of their scales which are removed and then shipped in bulk and fetch more money than ivory. There are 8 types of Pangolins, four of which live in African countries and 4 in Asian countries, the
Asian ones have been absolutely decimated  so now the smugglers are starting on the African ones. There are places which are now working hard to effect preservation of these animals before they completely disappear. One of the top film stars in China has made a documentary in aid of Pangolin preservation and hopefully, because she is such a celebrity, it will have some effect. I guess you will realise I was very affected by this programme and their nearness to extinction. If you ever get a chance to see it, I highly recommend it.

Bowling today, not bad, not great. Then when we came home the guy came to pick up our VHS player to see if he can fix it. Dummy me, I had disconnected it and of course we lost the signal but I couldn't, for the life of me remember what I had to do to fix that. Screw the cables into the box of course. Duuuh.

I came across a couple of pictures taken a few years ago when we visited a friend in Marple, Cheshire, England, which is where I was born and which I knew nothing about. I had never realised it wasn't flat country before, not sure why I thought it was mind you.

That could be snow covered hills or mountains in the background. No idea which.My geography isn't too hot I'm afraid. There is a ridge of mountains running up the middle of England - the Pennines - and looking at the maps, I think I am pretty safe to assume those snowy ridges in the distance are, in fact, the Pennines.

I am ashamed of what I don't know about the country of my birth. Matt used to cycle all over the country so was much better informed than I.
Being Friday, I have an appointment for an ultra-sound and X-ray on my legs this morning. Let's hope this will help find out something worthwhile.

This salad is one of my favourites. Not made it this year yet, but I can assure you I will soon.

Asparagus and Endive Salad

1 lb fresh asparagus , trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 tsp grated orange peel
1 Tbs Juice, orange, fresh
2 Tbs seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs small shallots , minced
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp black pepper
8 oz Belgian endive, fresh, head , cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips (2 heads)

1. Place 1/2 inch of water at the bottom of a 12 inch pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add in asparagus and cook until tender yet crisp, about 2 minutes. Place in strainer, rinse under cold water, drain, and pat dry with paper towels.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the orange peel, orange juice, vinegar, oil, shallots, sugar, salt, mustard, and pepper until well combined.

3. Add the asparagus and endive to the bowl with the dressing. Mix well to evenly coat and serve.

Servings: 4

Source: dLife

Author Notes
Light and elegant salad combining asparagus and endive in a homemade orange Dijon vinaigrette.

Try using a sugar substitute instead of regular sugar.

Have a great day


  1. The nature show is on the DVR. I spent the evening sitting outside in the beautiful weather and talking with a good friend. We re in for some very hot and humid weather here so I doubt that I will go outside much, lest it triggers an asthma attack.

    1. Do watch it Denise, it was interesting as well as horrifying. Not sat outside yet. Matt gets skin cancers so don't want to encourage him.

    2. I have lots of shade and rarely sit in the run. Only problem was mosquitos have appeared.

    3. In the afternoon Denise we have no shade on our balcony unfortunately. We don't get mosquitoes however.

  2. What is with Chinese and other Asian cultures that they have to eat or make into medicine every animal in existence? Education of the people is what's needed.
    Beautiful shots of the English countryside.

    1. I don't understand why they think totally useless stuff can be medicinal Alex. Both rhino horn and pangolin scales are just keratin, same as nails. Education is important. One thing the programme did say was that it would be the young people who would stop this trade.

      They are lovely. Matt took them.

  3. Good luck at your appt today! Hope it goes well. I am heartbroken to hear about the pangolins. Why do the Chinese do that stuff? Ugh.

    1. Thanks JoJo.

      So was I JoJo, the oldsters must have been very gullible.

  4. I saw this was on TV but I would be too upset and depressed to watch it. I do not understand the Asian culture wanting to decimate and exterminate an animal population all in the name of what? Better sexual prowess, so-called health benefits which don't exist, it tastes good (to them). They need to wake up and be educated. We need to place huge laws to stop the smugglers even if it means death because they would not understand anything less. I hope your appointment went well

    1. You should have Birgit, it would have introduced you to the cutest little critter. One of them, which had been brought up from babyhood, was called Honeybun and hung on the shoulders of the people he/she liked.

      Actually it was great, got there early and was in and out in no time.

  5. Replies
    1. And this from a woman who lives in a country with the Platypuss!!

  6. Why don't they start raising them if they like to eat them? Eat them all now there will be none for later. (Though I could never eat one if they're friendly. While Caleb was in China, he said horse was on a lot of the menus, which grossed him out. He said he could never eat a companion animal. I agree!)

    In your defense for not knowing much about the area of your birth, you were raised all over the globe. For people like me who stayed within a few hundred miles of our birth, it's much easier to know the place completely.

    1. Actually, I love horse meat Liz. Met it first in France when I was about 18 or so, thought I was eating the best steak I had ever tasted. It was delicious. But, you're right, they should raise them for food.

      Travelled a lot outside England that is true. But I lived there for some 30 odd years.

    2. I despair of humanity sometimes, Jo. We are so destructive. Short sighted and stupid may well turn out to be our species' epitaph if there isn't a humanity wide change in attitudes.

    3. Unfortunately I agree with you Helen. I think you should add uncaring there as well. Glenda Larke said she thought the next war would be about water and that too is something which might well be right.

  7. Jo, some say we are entering the sixth mass extinction and mankind is helping expedite the process. Soon some animals will only be able to live in zoos and such.

    1. I can believe that Stephen. Once read a science fiction novel where there were no animals and not much flora except in zoos. One person had an animal, a cat I think, and had to keep it hidden.

  8. We're off to Kenya in a couple of weeks ... I wonder whether we'll see Pangolins. I read that being caught in possession of Pangolin scales in Kenya carries a Minimum find of 1million shillings (around £7,000) and/or 5 years imprisonment.