Sunday, 26 June 2016

Sorry, kids.

Cartoonist Dave Walker has just suggested that one thing we can do following the Brexit vote is 'apologise to a young person'. Most under thirties voted to stay in, and it's their future at stake. So today I told a couple of lads from church - lovely kids whose parents discuss issues with them, so they understood about the pros and cons of the referendum - that I had voted Remain, but nevertheless I was sorry for what my generation had done to their generation.

They were very nice about it. Then the younger one brightly told me that they have Irish passports, because their mum is Irish. Thank goodness for that. The Irish have far more sense that to leave Europe. And Ireland is beautiful. So is the music and the culture. Irish people really get it about books and poetry.

I wonder what the lads would charge to traffic me to Dublin?

Friday, 24 June 2016

Not In My Name

I haven't been around much lately. I've been to York, to Oxford, met some lovely people, and wanted to tell you about it.

But today I woke up to see that a dishonest campaign based on exploiting greed, fear and ignorance has led to a marginal vote in favour of leaving the EU. The fabric of Europe is being ripped apart. The world's egotistical leaders and would-be leaders are crowing. Wise guides weep. I am distressed, I am angry. On behalf of the many friends who share my grief today, let me tell you -

Not In My Name.

Monday, 13 June 2016

The Man Who Couldn't Stop

I came across this book by accident. It's The Man Who Couldn't Stop, by David Adam.

For those who are into Celtic Christianity, this is not the David Adam who used to be Vicar of Lindisfarne and wrote all those excellent books on what we can learn from our forebears. This David Adam is a science/medical journalist who found his life turned inside out and upside down by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

It's not just people with OCD who need to read this. If you live with someone with OCD, if their obsessions and compulsions infringe on your life, please read this. This will tell you exactly what your friend/relation can't begin to explain, but longs to. It explains how an obsessive thought can completely take over a life. People with OCD behave in ways which everybody finds ridiculous and annoying. But if you're there, in that position, it seems that if you don't check this/clean that/make sure of this, the consequences for everyone will be catastrophic.

And David Adam, eventually, came through.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Why did...?

We've just had a few days away, firstly at a wedding in Yorkshire and then a few days in the sun - honestly, the timing couldn't have been better - in North Wales. We were driving home today when a sheep shambled across the road in front of us. Fortunately we weren't moving much faster than the sheep, so no harm was done. But it got me thinking.

Everybody asks about why the chicken crossed the road. Nobody asks about the sheep. Or the cow, the cat, or anything else, but today I'm thinking about the sheep. (There is a joke about why the hedgehog crossed the road, but it's not suitable for repeating in front of Mistmantle animals, and besides, they wouldn't get it.)

I was telling Fingal about this. First I had to explain what a chicken is. The idea of a bird that clucks, scratches about in the ground, and can't fly is so funny to a Mistmantle otter - well, Fingal anyway - that he ended up getting underwater hiccups and very nearly caused a high tide, not to mention capsizing Corr. Then, 'road'.

"What's a road?"

"It's like a path. But bigger, harder, and sometimes they have lines drawn down the middle - yes, Fingal, I suppose it's hilarious."

At this point I gave up and left Fingal doing chicken impressions, then rolling over in the sand laughing. And suddenly all the tower animals are telling variations on 'why did the squirrel fall out of the tree?'. Why indeed?