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Spoilt Rich Ladies

Wednesday 6th July, the brief spell of fine weather broke last night, rain at 7 this morning, now cool and clearing skies, a fresh breeze.

Sunday 2nd we went walking, from Beeding Hill to Devil's Dyke along the South Downs Way, then down to Poynings and back along the bottom land, where the barley is in a parlous state, between the rows cracked clay in hexagonal patterns like pack-ice forming; seems like the year can't recover from that terrible long dry spring. But already it's July, and everything has changed, the grasses seeding, the trees in their heaviest green, purple hardknott, indigo bugloss, straggling bedstraw and coarse cow parsley in the hedgerows, scabious and bird's foot trefoil, selfheal and wild thyme in the cropped turf, a flock of shorn ewes lying and strolling, still lovingingly close to their plump full-grown lambs. Purple and yellow flowers, fizzing stars of Traveller's Joy it's Bold As Love time again. I realise I've missed a whole season, or at least the whole of June disappeared. Never saw the orchids, and that's a sharp loss, since the number of orchid seasons I have left is getting far too easy to count.

Sadly, the Royal Oak at Poynings is no longer the home of the best pub sandwiches in the world, ever. It has become a huge, bustling gastro-pub, teeming with sunday lunchers, cuisine school of TTFWYCG. I had the razor clams, a Great British Menu type delicacy (obviously favoured for looking cool, like rhubarb), just about edible on this showing, and I shan't be trying them again unless I really am a shipwrecked sailor. No bread, though they came served in a bowl of milky sauce, (bread has become a luxury trimming; which is an essay in itself). Anyway, serves me right, but what about those awful "baby ribs"?

I think Spoilt Rich Ladies is fair. We were spoilt rotten, my generation, born in a socialist Utopia: free health and education for all. But if we hadn't been spoilt, kids with cr*p accents from lower class backgrounds going to University instead of into factories or into service, leaving home on a sort of government funded mass-market Grand Tour, making our souls when we should have been learning a trade or buckling down to make babies and mind machines, how would we ever have imagined we could change the world? & some of the changes did stick, & became widely appreciated & are still rated as normal. As Charles Darwin himself would have agreed, fitness selection is a terrific insight, but this should not blind us to the fact that it's the survival of the unfittest that counts...or how would change ever happen? How would the spoilt girls who became feminists ever have woken up to the plight of women worldwide, and been open to join the struggle against appalling injustice, if we had not been arrogant and trusting enough to believe our own problems with patriarchy could be fixed?

Even in the US, according to Joanna Russ, Feminism was midwifed by economic growth boosted by WWII. Hence the bitterness of the generation of Squashed Women, who brought up feminist-to-be daughters determined Not To Become Their Mothers. I've had a correspondence about this with a Facebook friend of mine, Fariba Parvizi, when she was studying sf in Tehran: what's obvious is that young women, recruited for the war effort enjoyed formative years of economic independence and self esteem in the work place, felt demoted and dumped when relegated back to household duties. What's less obvious is that in fifties US the role of household manager was vanishing too, domestic skills commodified, housewives demoted to consumers, the Age of the Desperate Housewife was dawning, idleness & cheap readymade food going mass-market, so even the poor took the hit. Double whammy, as they say.

Anyway, so I'm not all that ashamed of being spoilt, and "not knowing I was born" as a young woman. Sometimes it takes privileged innocence to say, enough is enough!

Slightly ashamed of the razor clams, however.

More links. Watch this video from Fukushima prefecture, it's pretty startling.

This charmer's explanation for talking such insulting nonsense? He didn't want doctors to flee the area.

Miss Dynamite has joined the swamp. Jay-Zee sadly did not make it. That's seven.


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