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Summer, summer

Wednesday, 11th of May. Still morning, neither warm nor cool, a quilt of gilt and grey cloud. Tantalising feel of water in the air.

Both the yellow roses are in fine bloom, Chris the climber and The German Rose. These are nicknames: Chris was bred by a man called Chris, the German has a fugitive scent like fragrant German wine. The pears and plums have set, pears already decimated by cursed tree rats. Greenhouse is a wilderness of desperate seedlings, triage well overdue. I vow I will, will, save some of their lives today.

Where have I been all this time? Well, I was on holiday, and it was very nice thank you, but then other things happened, for instance my cat Ginger has been poorly, which means a lot to me. She's better now & I hope she stays off the sicklist. Also Brighton Festival previews, inc a private view last Friday, over the hill and across the Park in leafy Surrenden, where I actually bought a painting! (Ha, no I didn't, I couldn't afford the painting, but am now proud possessor of a short-run print of Lost In A Rage, by my friend Jacq Aris.) & the world has changed dramatically, of course. Not. You will have noticed that Osama Bin Laden has been offed, unfortunately rather not James Bond style (in the sixties, these things were managed so much more discreetly); and the response of the US President will have chilled some. We must conclude that it takes worse, darker times than the spasms of our current global politics, to wake the spirit of humanity. It took the Thirties (which were not nice!), six years of war, and an industrial scale genocide in the heart of "the Developed World" to get to Nuremburg. Shall we congratulate ourselves that the evil is no longer "banal", it's all exciting and video-gamey these days? Don't think so.*

May I draw your attention to Fukushima Prefecture? One of those inconvenient wars that has been purposefully forgotten, eh? So, if I'm so clever, do I have an answer to the awful energy gap? YES I DO. USE LESS ENERGY. That's not a sackcloth and ashes austerity programme, it's a wide open field for investment, enterprise, ingenuity.

Enough of this frivolity. My freebie-sheet for "How The Light Gets In" turned up in my inbox yesterday (or maybe last week? Things have been a little slack at this desk). I never know what to do, am I supposed to ask for one small piece of cake, like a good girl, or should I check a variety of boxes, on the assumption that most of the talks/events will already be subscribed by paying customers. Anyway, I've chosen The Islamist Inquisition Maryam Narnazie (really keen to hear her) (Event 307); Cyborg Nation Kevin Warwick (Event 309); the Shooting Star Party on Saturday night & following DJ night; a Platonic breakfast walk along the Wye on Sunday morning (Event 341), and Genes, Memes and Temes, Susan Blackmore, (Even 339). & me, I'm only scratching the surface of the second weekend. I think you can tell from this greedy buffet plate how spoilt for choice you will be yourselves, if you decide to add this fest to your summer plans.

*Eerie thing about the Nuremburg sites, they all home in on the "banality of evil" quote (which used to drive me nuts when I was a young writer and it was very popular in uksf circles). And then they go on to make the German war criminals sound so much more like Barrack Obama, David Cameron than say, any Feudal Despot nutcases of North Africa and the Levant, ostensibly perfectly normal, decent men, "they couldn't fully appreciate the human consequences of their career motivated decisions". Ouch!

And the swifts are back. They arrived here last Friday.

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kay wooller jones on :

It's so lovely to be reminded that the swifts are here... I grew up in norwich and we always kept track of when they arrived, usually first week of May of course- but here in London I haven't heard the delicious summer sounds yet and I think perhaps I'll have to get out of London soon to catch it! Really pleased you're looking forward to so many events at theis years festival. We're certainly looking forward to yours! See you then. Kay

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