The musician on the left is playing a cittern. And the one on the right? I think what they're holding is a bladder pipe or bagpipe- and that the carving has been damaged, then restored and painted misleadingly to make it seem as if the bag is a rigid form with its flat, smooth face towards the viewer. The giveaway is the chanter poking out at the bottom.
When did the trees break? It must have been this summer- early- because the fallen branches have leaves on them. I've let them lie until now because I didn't want to be sawing and chopping and carrying in the midsummer heat, but now I've got underway.
I don't use a chainsaw because I can't trust myself not to amputate a limb; I use a small handsaw- for the little branches- and an axe for the big ones. The branches are in both of our fields and I've very nearly cleared the top one now. By the time I've finished I'll have the mother of all bonfires.
What I haven't figured out is how to get rid of the very large boughs that are still propped up against the parent trunk. Should I leave them for Matthew? Probably. But, on the other hand, perhaps I could use rope to pull them clear. I can at least try- and I've got as long as I like to do it in...
I was unhappy when Trump appointed John Bolton as his security advisor and correspondingly relieved when the news came through that they'd parted company. Bolton says he resigned, Trump says he was sacked- both of them playing power games to the bitter end.
Trump and Bolton never seemed that good a fit. Bolton is a Bush era war horse who thought international problems could be solved by dropping bombs all over them; Trump, on the other hand, is a used-car salesman who believes in the "Art of the Deal". It may well be that Trump hired Bolton in the first place not because of what he stood for but because he liked his style as a Fox News commentator. Bolton, with his Mark Twain hair and moustache, certainly stands out in a crowd.
Say what you like about Trump, but he's not a war-monger. And waging war is the greatest crime any human being can commit. It subsumes all the rest. Send in the troops and you've granted license for murder, theft, rape, arson- the works.
There may be such a thing as a "just war"- but the longer I live the less convinced of it I am.