Friday 18th September, unbroken grey skies; cool, still air
Unable to be a professional writer in my own mode at the moment, due to pressing concerns in the soap-opera of my life, suddenly I behave like a real writer with a newspaper column about it, for the first time in my career. Friday morning, do a small amount of housework. Pick flowers. Dawdle around the garden, rubbing the seed-paper off honesty pennies and colliding with spiderwebs. Think about a short story, waste time on a blog post. It's the creative mind, we hate to be driven, hate to be pinned to a desk. (Like hell). Must get on with a scrap of proof-reading the index for that book of essays. . . I see that When It Changed
, ed Geoff Ryman now has a launch booked for 24th October in Manchester. Is that anthology finally out of the woods? Hope they make it.
How powerfully the charm of young eyes, young voices, young lives censors me. Last week at that sci-fi event, thing, in the Old Operating Theatre (The Butcher's Shop
), I couldn't bring myself to say one pessimistic word, I only tried to bring the topic down to earth, a little bit. We don't need a Kurzweil type "Singularity". Future humans don't need a different place to keep their expanding consciousnesses, the human brain is incredibly malleable, takes to add-ons like a duck to water, we learned to read and write without Ascending like that bad Mayor in Buffy, didn't we? (And by the way, if you want to dream about going to heaven and becoming an immortal superbeing, there's already an app for that). What future humans need is improved feet, improved gut flora; teeth that aren't vulnerable to caries. Plus consensus-tending welfare state government, to make the population vaccination programmes for it all workable.
I think my neighbour (Ian Watson) might have been feeling the same in his own way. I know he started a thread that would have injected a note of darker realism at one point, and stopped himself. You don't have our historical perspective, kids. Don't look at the scary portents, accept your world as normal, the way children do. There's always something, we'll scrape by, off you go and do your best. There comes a point where you'd rather shut up than keep hearingy yourself sound like a dyspeptic H.G.Wells (remember what he wanted on his gravestone? I told you so, you damned fools
). Save me from grumpy old arrogance.
And last Saturday, a long day out from Findon to Washington and back, putting the summer (this uncomfortable, arid, grey, blustery summer) to bed. It's become a bit of a trudge, this particular walk, thoroughfares of chalky track, the only beauty is the wide view of sea and downs and coastal plain. Maybe it always was, even three (five?) thousand years ago, when Cissbury first stood up, a towering monster mass of gleaming white chalk, dominating the countryside like a Norman cathedral, and no doubt with exactly the same political intent. An apple on Chanctonbury, very tasty, Early Red Windsor, the housemartins swarming like the bees, getting ready to leave; a grove of cedars like a chapel, in the woods under the scarp slope. Sky-gazing yoga in the hedgerow, watching clouds.The picture (not v good) is of an enclosure of bee hives at Findon, fascinating to see them swarm in the air, crossing and recrossing, creeping in and out in little crowds of furry backs and shiny wings. Oh, God, the bees. If you haven't done so, please sign this.
It's worth it, the French banned the stuff and it's working.
Enough of this frivolity.
Fixed the spam filters by the way.