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New Herbs #2

Tuesday 14th January, bright and clear blue sky, a touch of ground frost in the early morning. Exhilarated at having finally extracted my Old Venus payment from PayPal (what sticky fingers!) I have otherwise achieved absolutely nowt so far today, except stare out of the window at goldfinches, bluetits, starlings and the Lonesome Squirrel, single returnee from the mysterious Squirrel Purge of 2013. Not very varied bird action in the garden this year, so far. Maybe they'll appear if it gets cold.

Have I mentioned what a fantastic winter we're having? England's afloat, and in all the fuss about flood precautions, David Cameron let slip he thought the extreme weather probably WAS, on balance down to climate change?*and did you see those space pictures of the ice storm (not really a Polar Vortex, as we all now know) over the USA, looking exactly like stills from that silly Day After Tomorrow scare movie? Bizarre! *He quickly realised he'd misspoke himself, and got the Met Office to issue the old "no single extreme event can be attributed to global warming aka climate change" line. Absolutely right, of course!

But they all can.

Ah well, no point at all in yelling DO YOU GET IT NOW! No use suggesting people put a pan of water on the hob, add heat and see what happens to the fluid... Of course everyone gets it.


Department of Never Say Die Continued
(My Fracking Round-Up Jan 2014)

The first trial of protestors, arrested at Balcombe last summer, began at Brighton Magistrate's, Jan 6th. I couldn't make it, but here's the account (entertaining):
All defendants were acquitted. The Judge remarked that the police seemed to have poor memories, and concluded that the protestors' actions "were reasonable in the circumstances and that they acted with dignity" Our judges are still like that, here in the UK. They tend to uphold the law. They haven't had any death threats yet; haven't had their children snatched and terrorised on the way to school, or any stuff like that. Give it time. I'll definitely be at the trials in March.

Meanwhile, Total has become a player in UK fracking, with a massive public boost from David Cameron. Bad news, and yet the story made it big on the BBC newsite, close on 2000 readers thought it worthwhile posting a comment (at close of play, the Editors' Picks rather favoured the objectors than otherwise), and there followed an actual forum on the to frack or not to frack issue at">Barton Moss. Which is a first. A crack in the wall of silence.

Please, if you're a UK resident, consider submitting an objection to the Celtique Energie application to frack for shale gas in the South Downs National Park.The current deadline is 22nd January. Frack free Fernhurst has more information.

submit an objection

You can also still">submit an objection to Celtique Energie's application to drill at Wisborough Green, as WSCC has asked Celtique to supply more information (their planning application really was a disgrace) & the deadline has been extended until March.

for more information see: WSCC councillor ransley's blog
the sad story of West Chiltington

Keep chipping away. Never say die.


Went to see the Katniss Everdeen show #2 (I mean The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) for our Christmas outing, in the basement of the Odeon on the seafront (luckily it was a calm night). Much better than the book, good idea to ditch all the "Peeta has talents!" business, not needed when you have real actors, and boost the revolution. I was never really planning to, but I don't know if you'd get me inside a Center Parcs now. I'd never be able to enjoy the fencing or the tree climbing, I'd be waiting for the poisonous fog and the mad mandrills the whole time.
Desolation of Smaug (the B choice) will have to wait for the small screen.

Also The Bridge on the tv. (Saga show ~2) Same monochrome, same nightscapes. The thriller plot seems a bit pointless, this is no Edge Of Darkness, but it's fun trying to follow the ramifications of the soap opera


Joanne Harris's Gospel According to Loki, of which more later, and Robert Hitchen's The Garden Of Allah. A suspect character, he definitely had issues, but I got fascinated by his sultry stories & intrigued by his fascination with Islam. I used to collect Edwardian bestsellers long ago: I'm rediscovering them since we cleared the loft. I thought the Garden Of Allah, his really big one, was slow, florid and talky, forty years ago, but I'm loving the languid pace and the over-the-top colours now. The movie (I've only seen the Marlene Dietrich one) is a long way off the book.


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Michael Helsem on :

R. Hichens (no t) made up for having foolishly mocked Wilde (The Green Carnation), with his later forays into orientalism in which, one might say, he let himself hear "the call of the minaret"... Unlike the movie, which survives on the (Briareus) strength of its campiness, its book has real depth.


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