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The Black Snake

Saturday 9th February. Cold and grey. Mouse ice, cat ice, mouse ice again on the ponds this week, but the native daffodils are in bud, far more buds than there were last year, also five crocuses in bloom, two gold, two mauve, one creamy, and you little know what a triumph that represents. Finally! I have beaten the squirrels! (I will tell you how, if you do not know, on request). I feel almost as proud as when I beat the twentyfive letter sort minigame.

Post-WWII Epigenetics

A glimmer of good news for the bees since I last wrote, and a glimmer of good news for fish stocks, with the MEP vote on the discarding of "bycatch". So little, so late. . . But never say die, nobody expected England to survive through the summer of nineteen forty, either.... If we are marked for life by the stresses our parents suffered and the joys that buoyed them up, as the science now seems to say, then my particular cadre, (whose parents fought the war against fascism, and then founded a socialist utopia on the rebound), was born infected with the belief that unlikely victories can be won, if you can just tough it out long enough, and against the worst of odds.

Which cuts both ways, of course... so here's the radioactive waste dump in Eskdale, thrown out once, possibly coming round again, championed (and why wouldn't he?) by Sellafield's top spokesperson. Were the councillors intimidated by this chilling email someone "accidentally had sight of"? Dirty tricks afoot? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe a local activist swung it, using the 38degrees template by the dastardly application of people power. Who can tell?

I wish it was not so, but our government, and all supporters of the nuclear industry, need to face facts. Nuclear power is not the solution, not in its present form. WE NEED TO USE LESS ENERGY. Go away, and come back when you know how to decommission one of your dragons. And when you're ready to put a fair, honest price on the energy they produce. Oh, and you also have to know how to avoid that unfortunate association with Weapons of Mass Destuction. Good luck.

Watching: Mainly movies recorded off the tv guide, which sometimes means great classic, but often means recent movies that didn't get us out of the house... An unlikely double bill of Contagion and Super 8 one night. I preferred Contagion. Thought Super 8 was derivative beyond absurdity. What a suck-up! I suppose if by any chance you haven't seen ET, it's a cute story. And Silent Witness is back! As preposterous as ever, if lacking the dashing Harry. Just leave out the trips to Afghanistan, please. It's embarrasing. Warzone chic is beneath you guys. Stick with with the Anthrax and the plutonium. You know it makes sense.

Looking Forward To La Traviata at the ENO. Actually, Peter bought the tickets on a very cheap deal...and then the reviews caught our attention. Hm. A Left-Wing, Brechtian, stripped down Traviata? Goodness! With no intervals and no dance numbers? Interesting! It sounds to me as if this Peter Konwitschny chap may be trying to tell the story of "the real" Marie Du Plessis, aka Alphonsine Plessis, rather than the story in the Dumas novel etc, a strange idea (I wonder if she'd thank him?). I wonder how my favourite track Di Provenza will survive, when the kindly old gent singing that golden lullaby is recast as a. . . Well, never mind. Not to give the game away, no spoilers here. If you like Grand Opera, you have to like crazy leftfield productions too & the music is apparently immaculate and wonderful.

The keynote picture is a Black Snake, of course, courtesy of monyetbesi blogspot. Apparently, the year of the Black Snake is not as bad as it sounds, which is fortunate, isn't it?


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