At the end of a curious, arduous and odd series of adventures Candide and the people who have become his friends by sharing his life he shares theirs conclude that for all their speculation about the meaning of life, the satires on politics and the experience of evil, the best option is to tend the garden. It is an acceptance of how things are, while ignoring how things should be. They raise a white flag of surrender in the struggle against the complexities of life. Continue reading
History is written by the victors and when the defeated have no writing history becomes mere propaganda. For example the Americans who today live the American Dream (whatever that may be) do so by dancing on the bones of the aboriginal peoples that once walked the continent. Old habits die hard; when you have built a nation on the oppression of the aborigine there is little chance of changing your habits. Continue reading
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A few generations ago a feature of England was its great elm trees; they provided wood for people’s furniture, even for coffins, shelter for animals and beauty in the countryside, but Dutch Elm disease turned groves of elm into very rare things. memories reside in ash; you look up to the tree that looks down on you. Today in Britain we face losing or decimating another one of our traditional species of tree – the Ash tree. Continue reading
Recycling is important; if we do not recycle waste we bury it or burn it and both activities cause environmental harm, so we have recycling targets. Indeed the UK government described the recent London Olympic Games as the greenest ever because it recycled a great deal of waste and it used recycled materials in the construction of the park. Continue reading
I sat around a table and there were eight other middle aged men around the same table. We sat in chairs that were unfussy and had no arms and I noticed that all the middle aged men slouched back in the chairs and as they slouched back (it was summer and they had removed their jackets) their ties sprawled over their rather fat bellies. I looked down at my own rather fat belly over which my tie sprawled. We were nine middle aged fat men. Continue reading
When the vessels of the Royal Navy relied on wind power, and not on coal, oil or nuclear power, the sailors thought that when the equinox arrived would come gales and strong winds. It was thought that the shortening of daylight by a minute less than twelve hours was a recipe for autumn gales. If we are wise we know now that we know very little about weather except what we experience and in Britain, true to the sailors’ theory we have seen many parts of the country subject to gales and extraordinary rainfall. Continue reading
The same mistakes that we have made have been made many times before. We are a fragile species living in a robust world, but with all our fragility and with all the strength of the world we can by our sheer weight of numbers make such changes to the world that it will no longer support us. Thus whimpering we shall leave this place and as time turns for as long as it needs to turn, some new lives shall make the same mistakes that we have made and while making them look upon all our triumphs and all our destinies and all our discoveries and all our pleasures which shall be no more than curiosities for those that will not understand them, and to those it shall matter not.
I suppose that it will not matter to what lies beneath the surface of this small mass or which life lives on the outside. But for a time, a time that I cannot tell, and ending time for us is merely the start of time elsewhere.