Contents 10 December 2012
Stephen O’R’s Sydney
Burma: Tonia Matthews
A Greek Beach: Joselyn Duffy Morton
Mitch’s India: Mitchell Morton
India: Vivienne Chandler
10 December 2012
This was a slow unsteady posting. Even today, I had barely got going when I had to stop and go outside to give directions to the charming young man driving the Semat lorry, as to where he should plonk the stuff he was delivering to us. I had thought Roger, Mitch and I would be forming a chain gang (me the weak link of course). No, none of that - his lorry had a big crane on it and once he had positioned himself to miss our car and table tennis table whoosh up in the air went the load and ever so gently it was then lowered to the ground to sit calmly beside the last of my fading chrysanthemums. Smart crane.
The sun has even come out, so we should be able to get it all undercover before any damaging rain arrives. Hope so because it cost 630 euros and it is stuff that won’t be seen - it’s the new guts for the old attic in which we are going to install a bathroom. I predict we won’t be spending 630 euros on a long comfy bath – one in which one’s shoulders and knees can be under the hot water at one and the same time. Alas, by the time everything has been bought for the walls, the ceiling and the floor we will probably be mooching around to find a bath for a measly 77 euros, or some such paltry amount.
Actually I am trying to convince Roger to keep the old existing floorboards. He thinks they are manky, skanky, mingin even – which they are. Consequently I have promised to scrub, scrub them and rub them with whatever it takes until they meet with his antiseptic approval. This is because I want the (non-existent, imaginary ‘floor’ money to go towards the non-existent imaginary ‘bath’ money.)
Last night we drove for 2 hours in a thick terrifying fog. Luckily there were few cars on the road. No one else daft enough to venture out. I think I’ll stay home today to let my frayed, flapping nerve ends twang back into place.
I’m pleased to note that the press have finally picked up on the fracking and fucking with the earth that is going round the globe. ‘Bout bloody time. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch a documentary called Gasland. You will then be prepared to do anything you can to stop it, as I am.
Somebody we admired tremendously, New Zealander Marcia Russell has just died, after being diagnosed a few short months ago with lung cancer. Life! Why don’t we just call it ‘Death’ and be done with it?
Let’s hope David Cameron doesn’t get it into his head to start cutting cancer research funding. I don’t know where Obama is placed on medical research. I am hoping Francois Hollande won’t make cuts to the Health budget and I am proud of the way he stood up to billionaire steel magnate, Lakshmi Mittal who had previously promised to guarantee the long-term future of the steel workers.
There are around 100 French industrial sites in which this firm employs around 20,000 people. Let’s face it – employment promises are important, as is Francois Hollande’s promise to reverse France’s fortunes. So, the big smoking gun threat of nationalisation has appeared. And those in support of privatisation are furious.
State-owned or billionaire-owned; Pretty fucking simple isn’t it? Do people want profits ploughed into the community to fund roads, health care, education, libraries, theatres, sports stadiums bla,bla, bla or do they want them in the tax-avoidance bank accounts of blowsy billionaires who can grandly spend £300million on a daughter’s 3-week wedding.
So Francois Hollande, good luck in your contretemps with the richest man on the planet. It’s not a no-brainer, it’s a no-boner. Talking of boners. A cartoon this morning stated ‘Retour de la Momie’ (Return of the Livng Dead) The figure potrayed was clearly Berlusconi.
Already I’ve been to a few marchés de noel. The little villages around have got their stars and trees lit up. I’ve even been in the storage attic and found our Xmas box.
Whatever the origins of Xmas - it is a great excuse for parties and makes the cold winter nights go faster. But if I am being utterly honest, I find it astonishing (or an example of a world-wide marketing exercise that any international conglomerate would be proud of). What I find so astonishing (in a world rift with wars in the middle east) is that a 30 year old Middle Eastern man called Jesus, wearing nothing but a long cotton robe and leather sandals is the person worshipped, revered and followed by right-wing bigoted Americans, British, Germans and so on and so on. They might not give an Arab, a Jew or a Muslim the time of day and yet they worship someone like them who was alive just over 2,000 years ago. He clearly could not be white or European. It is pretty weird. These followers of Jesus Christ call themselves Christians and they can be powerful and influential.
Have they not thought it through? They know all the place-names – Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Nazareth, Damascus. Yet these Christians worshiping afar in Sheffield or Ohio or Frankfurt or Rome would most likely never think of setting foot in the Middle East. What a charade. Mind-bending manipulation.
Look at the facts: He didn’t speak English. His mother was not married – in fact, not only was there no husband, there was no conception, no bloke at all involved. No sperm, the Angel of the Lord organised this immaculate conception. Jesus’s Dad was God. Put that on the birth certificate why don’t you?
We swallowed it whole. It is a bit mind-teasing, don’t you find? (In a society obsessed by swearing on the bible to ‘tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ how did this fanciful, tale get believed?)
On a more pedestrian note, Elise Benjamin (ex-Lord High Mayor of Oxford) posted the anti-MP’s grocery allowance poster on fb. It does stick in your craw, doesn’t it?
I am going to try and do another posting before xmas, but as the silly season is already in full sway, I can not guarantee my chances, being so weak-willed, I could get side-tracked – so in the meantime bonne chance avec your lists, present-sourcing and family-preparations. Don’t stress, have fun.