Monkey Puzzle and Gum Drops

As was expected, the weather turned to cactus. A lot worse than I expected actually, it’s cold and windy and rainy. Boo Hoo.  Still it was nice to have an excuse to not be in the garden and to get some inside work done.

Even got a couple of chapters read of a book about Shamanism written by an anthropologist.  He has had some spectacular experiences whilst researching – and taken some interesting drugs. Not that it is compulsory to take drugs to go on shamanic journeys apparently, in fact most cultures don’t use them at all, utilizing music – drums etc.

The other book I am reading is caller Buried Treasure – Travels through the Jewel Box by Victoria Finlay, an absolutely fascinating story about all the different precious and semi precious stones, so far I’ve read chapters on Amber, Jet, Pearls and Opals. Did you know that Jet is the fossilised remains of millions of years old, Monkey Puzzle trees? Cool huh?

The story of the Amber Room was interesting to. It is a complete room decorated with amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors. Built in the early 18th century it was looted by the Nazi’s and hasn’t been seen since. A recreation was started in 1973 and was inaugurated  in the St Catherine Palace in St Petersburg in 2003.