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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Topical caption, anyone?

July 18, 2017 4 comments

Vive the difference

July 17, 2017 7 comments

 

The recent cringe-worthy visit of the First Man to France demonstrated the qualities of Gallic behaviour. Larger than life, self-satisfied and fundamentally hypocritical. Excusez-moi? Did you say those adjectives describe their No. One Visitor? Oh, yes, I hadn’t noticed. By all accounts the French populace were less than impressed.

Meanwhile, back in the real world (London) his demands for a ‘better reception’ when he deigns to grace us with his ineffable presence, were met with a straightforward, ‘Well, you know the British press’. So he should not hold his presidential breathe.

Says it all really.

 

Tell me about it

July 15, 2017 17 comments

On my last visit to the Green and Pleasant Land in May, I had lunch with three cousins whom I see frequently – all oldies like me. One of them volunteers, in between some winding-down work projects, at a local food bank and had just finished a shift when we met.

I asked him what he saw and felt about the charitable work and received the following reply: ‘Well, five youngish claimants turned up in a taxi together and many of the ‘destitute’ people are obviously chain-smokers and stand outside using their smart-phones. That’s how I feel.’

So my hackles are still descending – very slowly.

Time for others

June 7, 2017 7 comments

By coincidence, after I’d seen many reports of people going the extra mile during the latest terrorist outrages, I saw an article in the Beeb’s travel pages about a Greek word nobody, even Greeks, can translate satisfactorily. It’s ‘philotimo’ (from the ancient Greek φιλοτιμία which appears in Homer and Pindar). Down the centuries the meaning segued from ‘ambition to impress’ to ‘altruism’ and ‘doing the right thing’ and these days seems to hover somewhere in between those apparently contradictory concepts.

Did the ancients see a connection there, I wonder. Did they reckon acts of kindness might be motivated, perhaps subconsciously, by a desire to appear virtuous, a wish to deserve praise?

Anyway, see what you think! Just askin’.

http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20170605-the-greek-word-that-cant-be-translated

Categories: History, Nature, Techo stuff

Theresa was right

June 3, 2017 47 comments

TV debates between political party leaders are meeja ambushes. The organisers, including the so-called impartial BBC, make the most of the opportunity to rig the audiences and ask questions from the ‘when did you stop beating your wife’ school of interviewing. The aim is to evoke scandalous replies, crowd pleasing and maximum embarrassment for the debaters.

Theresa is not a street-fighter. Maybe 200 years ago (had women participated)she would have acquired such skills for the hustings or remained in the shadows. Bojo is, but he cannot be trusted to behave. So should a PM be pilloried for refusing to take part? Not in my book – horses for courses, I say.

The election result will turn on other issues. The size of the turn-out, especially among the youngest voters; the actions of former UKIP supporters; the strength of feeling about security and defence; the reliability of the leadership. So stick to your guns, MS May – it’s one of your strengths.

‘Frightfully goof for you’ *

May 1, 2017 15 comments

Our favourite future King is a smart cookie (© Don the One), preparing for the sponsorship of the monarchy – the Waitrose Organic King Charles III.

* sic, according to the delicious Daily Mail today.

Now that’s what I call a grandfather clause!

April 19, 2017 28 comments

The Grauniad claims an exclusive – the story that the Danish gubmint plans to oppose Britain’s bid to reclaim control of its coastal waters to the exclusion of ‘traditional’ fishing partners. Apparently the Danes will present a legal case based on custom and practice dating back to the 1400s which will permit DK to continue net 40% of their catch in British waters – and the whole EU fleet to source a third of its fish there too.

Shades of Kirk Kent and the Viking invasion in 1983? Yes, which suggests the true precedent is the status quo prior to that, whereby Britain was in control! Since then the EU ‘accord’ has decimated the British fleet and allowed all and sundry to fish around our islands.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/18/denmark-to-contest-uk-efforts-to-take-back-control-of-fisheries

Palm Sunday in the beechwood

April 9, 2017 5 comments

The path is strewn with wood anemones this morning.

A good read

April 6, 2017 3 comments

I frequent the English/American section of the local public library, which offers an apparently random selection of novels of every genre. And a couple of weeks ago I spotted this – not a name I recognised -and gave it a try.

The story reveals the complications arising from the young lives of two brothers brought up near Calcutta; one of whom moves to New England.

I particularly enjoyed the author’s insights into relationships, expressed fluently and never dull, each character revealing their take on the dramatic events they experience.

I’ll be looking out for Jhumpa’s other titles.

A master’s voice

April 1, 2017 2 comments

Categories: Creativity, Gardening, Nature