Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In which I send Sir David King on a fact finding mission to Fukushima

High up along the cliffs in the white rocky places a small violet flower gently unfolds and a snake is uncoiling, or in this particular case a slow-worm. Slow-worms look like snakes but are actually lizards and I don't think they are as common in the UK as they used to be. I haven't seen one for about eight years and was just thinking about them on the day I encountered one again. The slow-worm above is a male I think and has come out to enjoy the pleasant sensation of warming the blood in the sun, and what a nice day for it. After such a long and cold winter most of us feel like warming ourselves in the sun and out we step, blinking into the unfamiliar daylight, shedding clothes and able to sit outdoors again without shivering. Such a simple pleasure and as yet untaxable.

Every month as I travel the internet reading news and attempting to keep up with current and maybe not so current affairs I collect images as I go, filing them away in a slightly anal way in folders with names for each month and year. Although this might seem a slightly boring activity, going back through them gives one an interesting overview or feel for a particular time or month. I must say looking over the photos that I picked up for March 2011 it looks to have been the worst month I have ever seen since I have been connected to the internet. Bloody revolutions, fake revolutions, no fly zones, chaos, confusion, death and of course the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdowns, and all in one month.

Looking at the video's that people recorded of the Japanese tsunami has been absolutely mind buggering. If video footage of such events didn't exist it would be impossible to believe such a thing could ever happen, or the terrifying speed in which it could take place.

Multiple nuclear meltdowns. What can anyone say about such a thing? Astonishingly Sir David King was on Radio Four this morning pimping for the nuclear industry and promoting the building of a new MOX plant in Cumbria in the UK. A report released today says that Britain should recycle used nuclear fuel to generate more power. He said, regarding events in Japan and the public perception of the dangers was that this was just "the somewhat irrational response to this" and in his words "The potential for exposing yourself to radiation if you take an air flight between London to New York is many, many times greater than the potential to suffer from radiation drinking tapwater in Tokyo or in fact walking around Fukushima"

If only I could afford to send him and some sort of radiation measuring equipment on a fact finding mission to Fukushima. I would be very interested to find out what the actual levels are. This is of course no laughing matter but it does seem to me to be verging on insanity that anyone at this particular time could be be pimping for the nuclear industry, but there we go.

Friday, March 04, 2011

welcome to the future


Greetings fellow travelers! The road is long and covered with hard flints and who knows where we will end up or what terrible things we may have to become involved in upon our way. All is unexpected as it should be. I for one am extremely grateful that I cannot see the future (apart from what is obvious.) Who would really want to know? I was once given a very nice silver sticker upon which was written in an attractive typeface: THE FUTURE IS STUPID and it now seems to be an accurate statement. I also like the phrase 'Welcome to the future - it's broken' This phrase comes in handy as pretty much everything that is manufactured now seems to work for about ten minutes before it breaks and has to be replaced. So if someone informs me that something is broken I now say to them: Welcome to the future! What fun I have.

I have spent some very dark days in the woods recently. Dark drizzly foggy darkness. I was up there late the other afternoon, scuttling about in the gloaming, and night seemed to fall so suddenly that I didn't have time to get off the hill in any light. Luckily it was so muddy that I seemed to slide right out of the place. A bit like being spat out really, but I don't take it personally.

Interesting things are happening in the woods of late. It looks very much like Spring to me. The green shoots of recovery or summink, but unlike the green shoots of recovery in the economy these green shoots are actually real. Does anyone listen to what politicians say anymore? I do sometimes, though usually to witness the unintended irony, such as Hillary Clintons speech about the Egyptian Government and the Egyptian peoples right to freedom of speech and protest whilst Ray McGovern is being bundled away and arrested in front of her very eyes. If anything Hillary appeared to be enjoying it.

In our own glorious kingdom we have a slice of smegma like William Hague warning Arab leaders that people have a right to peaceful protest. He says this is in a country where the government gets the police force to attack, arrest and also kettle protesters for many hours at a time in freezing cold weather (false imprisonment) and which also kills the occasional bystander (Ian Thomlinson) and then lies about the whole event.

The chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court has said that Muammar Gaddafi, and his key aides, will be investigated for possible crimes against humanity but for some reason they seem very slow around those parts to get Tony Blair and the other war criminal scunge into a court of any sort and this being about eight years down the line. Is there anything wrong with this picture? No this is normal service. Welcome to the future.

On a slightly nicer note, I can introduce you to the first Primrose of the year, which is a very welcome sight indeed and not broken at all.