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Dear Colleagues,

Slept short last Friday - of course.  Just missed 'Sailing By' - a peaceful, synthetic music lullaby, the best of the BBC.  Shipping forecast - recalling the exquisite science of meteorology, the skills of the merchant marine and the courage of fisher folk.

Woke to World Service, funded still by the execrable FCO, 'The Real Story'.  Excellent.  Ecological scientists patched in from Norway, Germany, Spain, Britain and the US - Richard Roberts Nobel what? the stain.  The most informative and stolid - Doug Parr, Chief Scientist of Greenpeace.

Then the switch at 5.20am BST to the black propaganda.  Houthi 'rebels' withdrawing from the 3 ports - Hadeida + as per a peace agreement forged in December!!  No mention of £4+billion BAe arms sales to the current decapitators of 47 dissident voices.  A UN woman spokesman - in tune with prop.  But later, the great uplift.  A black bird's song at dawn -

Philip Blackledge‏ @FrPip May 11

I'm on radio four doing prayer for the day this week (beginning today). If you didn't know there was such a thing as prayer for the day on radio four, that's because it's on at, ironically, an unGodly hour.   simple, wonderful words - not the more usual anodyne.

Later in the finest of mornings to the Coppice, one of three woodlands planted in Combe-in-Teignhead, south Devon by me with help.  Sue and I, with our two adopted children, lived there.  At times, 14 foster children (not altogether!) joined with us whilst for 25 years I served as a specialist orthopaedic and trauma surgeon at Torbay hospital and at the wonderful Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Hospital Exeter where I trained.  The latter, where I served with some distinction, was bulldozed for an up market housing estate by political diktat and by local medical jealousy.  The three parcels of 'derelict' land, were bought cheaply with a legacy from my mother, Cecelia.  She bore me first, 14-04-40 - three siblings to follow.  The coppice was planted with ash and sweet chestnut, with a little oak and hazel, and with a catch crop of Norway Spruce for Christmas trees!  The ash for fuel and tools, the sweet chestnut for fencing stakes - no need for softwood stakes with the now useless Tanalith as prescribed by the EU?  I will be stripping the bark off the latter later, felled as the sap surged upwards.  This in Celia's wood - steep to the sun, all broadleaf species and prize winning for the thinning.  Across the valley, and 'back sun' in Devon, the Pasture Woodland.  18 acres of broadleaf pasture woodland, mostly English Oaks, and 7 acres of pasture, all let to a good lady shepherd and her 40 hoggetts.  A linhay, a barn, built in cob by us and a very good mason.

But I digress.

The coppice, the grass in the ride growing as you look.  Suddenly, a roe deer springs across the path.  Further ahead I see her yearllng half her mass, faltering in fear.  I walk on.  There, in the tall grass the fawn.  Crouching in symmetry, back alone showing, with white linear spots on fawn, still as stone.  Polly and Trixie, a 12 year Jack Russell 'pup' passed within inches and with no sensing of another creature.  No musk for them, but the roe deer will come back.

We are dominated by cliques of psychopaths, 'elected' by unknowing polities, who do not grasp that psychopaths have the characteristics among about eleven (Blair the symbol) which make the greasy pole the certain climb.

PLEASE READ THIS and see how one small de facto state dictates the ''news'' in GB and the world.  The Israeli government changes a BBC headline about a fraction of the Israeli killing pf Palestinians in Gaza.  Do not mention the Great March of Return   and thank you Margot in SA

and join the honourable in this this

'Do your best to heal and not to harm' - derived from a surgical maxim, and above all else agree that 'no mother and child should be in the least harmed anywhere in our still beautiful world.'

The sun is now lighting the light green of the beeches to their feet.  Thank you for reading this.

David Halpin FRCS