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Monday 28th September, mid-morning, cool and still, unbroken grey haze

Golden Age pictures in the Glypotek. These pictures were one of the reasons I wanted to go to the Copenhagen con (there's always an ulterior motive, I'm afraid). The ones I like are usually very small, very rural; almost always very quiet, very still. The subject is the least important thing, portrait of a roadside peddler, portrait of a cow or a horse, given the same respect. I was sorry not to see more Hammershoi, but very interested to learn more about the women painters of his period, in the Hirschsprung

Of course I also paid my respects to Kierkegaard. & here, in rough form, is the Either/Or presentation posted online:

Greetings to old friends and new, not forgetting Charles, Feorag and Fluffy, Many thanks for your hospitality and conversation to Lea, Jesper, Flemming, HH Loyche, Michael Kamp & to all.

Climate Change Wake Up Call...!

Friday 25th September, warm and clear.

Spider weather has settled in, apparently not likely to break for us before 2nd week in October.

Here's Avaaz report on Monday's Climate Change Wake Up!

Watch the video, then scroll down for the other one where a Parliament Square flashmobber gets Gordon Brown on the phone.

No one can predict what will happen in any detail. It isn't predictable. But we can be sure of sort of general things, like Africa fries and Bangladesh drowns, oh, and pity about Australia

The masses, the rich poor, with their ruinous "cheap" foreign holidays and "cheap" industrial farmed meat diet, are only doing what they're told. This will be their excuse should there ever be an accounting, some time when the world has decided their behaviour was wicked (cf rank and file of Hitler's Germany). And how different are their choices from the choices of the important people (I don't mean celebs!)? The rich-rich, well, the rich we have always with us, as dogs have fleas, one could do with fewer, but no use blaming Posh. I blame the people who know better. The ones who will say, Climate Change isn't really happening; or it's greatly exaggerated; or it's not man made; or Big Tech will fix it, so bleeding heart emission cuts are pointless. . . when all the while you can see in the back of their eyes that they know perfectly well what's real, only they have also spotted that they most likely they will not be affected. Africa fries, Bangladesh drowns, a few hordes of displaced persons have to be driven from the gates. Where's the harm? We have a global population problem don't we? So I'm going to carry on regardless.

Sadly I don't think giving Gordon Brown a much-desired video opportunity on the Avaaz site is the answer. Are you going to cancel the third runway, PM? No? Not even vaguely think about it (cf the fourth Trident)? Then what the devil is the use of making speeches, and why are we even paying the fares for your trip to Copenhagen? I just can't see him turning.

Maybe he'll develop a crush on Hu Jintao.

Sit Down For Five Minutes. . .

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.

How To End Airport Torture, Air Transport Terror: It's Cheap And It Would Work

9th September, clear and fine, promising to be a warm day.

Actually, the plotters never got near an airport, but that's not going to protect you from the way you get treated in the security queue. There's ancient experimental evidence about what happens to people given work of this kind, instructions of this kind. If you are reading this you've got to have heard of the Milligram Experiment. Think about it.

So if it's so dangerous to be in the air, and so unpleasant to get there, don't fly. Have some self respect. Protect the security staff from becoming brutalised, protect your country's future from a brutalised internal control culture Is your journey really necessary? If not, DON'T FLY.

Found Object, Oracles

Tuesday 8th September, cool, sun and pale streams of cloud.

Unshouldering my bag to put on my rain jacket in Brighton station car park last Wednesday, I saw a very small Totoro, standing at the foot of the taxi rank post. Was I right to take him home? What if he was waiting for a bus? Peter says don't worry, that's how he gets around. Anyway, he didn't have an umbrella & I didn't have one to spare.

He stands in for photos of Copenhagen not yet uploaded. The gloomy family grave of Soren Kirkegaard (in English that's Grim Graveyard, isn't that nice to know), in the gloomy, rainy, tree-filled cemetery in the inner city; infested with red squirrels. The Little Mermaid, very little (tho' somewhat larger than Totoro). The North Sea. No pictures from the National Museum's stunning Ancient Denmark exhibit, I think they were allowed but snapshots not appropriate. Stunning exposition of the Sun worshipping culture we know, further south, mainly through incommunicative vast traces like Stonehenge and Carnac. Bog graves, the Egvet girl, in rich-coloured stylish cut clothes one could wear today and feel pleased (supposing one was young, and had good legs). I suppose they had underwear with those short cord skirts? Or maybe they were just hardy.

Anyway, Gabriel's birthday over, term has begun. Save The Green Planet, unexpectedly good bonkers Korean sci-fi, need I tell you many scenes of gruesome bizarre torture? Broken Embraces, hugely enjoyable melodrama, possibly a bit shallow; and on Sunday night the first episode of an airhead US version of Agatha Christie's 10 little n*****s. Self-obsessed wedding party guests on an island, very poor at finding corpses. Jupiter still in the sky, provokingly big, expansive, and jovial and pleased with self (roll on January 2010 when this transit ends: I can't think it's good for us), but for me the season has changed: now back to work, taking Totoro as my totem. Ancient, hidden, wise and childish. I like the sound of that.

Forgot: Comments closed, as I need to fix my spam filters. Something's gone wrong with them.