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Occupy Sussex

Monday 21st April, light rain overnight, followed by another fine day, chill breeze, honey sun, soft cloud. It is definitely Spring. As we walked up through Stanmer Park on Friday evening, bud-break was all around us in the young trees, including the threatened ash, and looking richer than in other years; and while we were eating at Stanmer Pub, a bat flitted over the cricket lawn outside, in the calm evening.

To the Magistrates Court last Thursday, in solidarity with the four students arrested during the heavy-handed police action to break up the Occupation of Bramber House (a protest against privatisation: you can read about it here: and here: Conversation turned to colour-bagging. Red is the People's Flag; True Blue is Tory. Orangey gold is (among other afiliations) whatstheirnames, the didn'tyouusedtobetheLiberals. Green is the Party of Social Justice, and the Environment (Davy Jones, prospective Green Party parliamentary candidate for Kemptown, had turned up too. Good for him). Pink is spoken for, the Rainbow is spoken for. Can we have yellow as the colour of Protest? It's not going to work. Yellow is the colour of nondenominational warning, watch out; the police and others have got dibbs on it. It's the Imperial colour in China, anyway.

But I commend these young people. It's heartening to know (from #Occupy Sussex that the University of Central Lancashire sity today decided to drop privatisation plans. So, not quite in vain, kids. Even if you do get criminal records.


Most of Zefirelli's Hamlet movie last night. Pretty dire! (despite Glenn Close's sprightly, manic Gertrude: clearly maxed-out on mother's little helpers). But at least Peter now knows that this elusive play is indeed stuffed with quotations.

And Broadchurch. Who did it, eh? If this had been the real world, my money would have been on that strange bloke who has popped up from time to time, proffering messages from the beyond, but I must have missed the episode where he is put out of the running. Also Scott and Bailey although I'm getting a bit tired (already, two shows in) of the Ooop North stereotyping. I don't even like Manchester, I was just born there, but there's more to the old Blingsville that this. London is not the only great city in the UK, or even in England, thanks.


Sorted out the palm oil free soap. If you feel like splashing out look no further than the RSPB Dipper range:

We are currently using Aleppo Gold, the entry level one, and it's fine. Thick primitive chunks, smelling of bay laurel, very long lasting. Oliva is also good, and you're likely to have a local stockist.


Just finished Mark Crocker and Richard Mabey's Birds Britannica, that Peter got me for my birthday. I loved this book, mighty tome that it is; you wouldn't want to drop it on your foot. Not enough pictures, though. & it's chilling to realise how many more household name bird populations have plunged, just in the last few years (since this quirky catalogue was compiled ie). The swift, the skylark, the lapwing, the cuckoo. . . I could go on. I won't.

Sword at Sunset & The Once And Future King. Arthuriana classics I bought 2nd hand for Peter, when I thought his birthday books wouldn't arrive. Was meaning to buy them for his ereader, but got warned off by reviews of the quality of the transcription (I keep running into this issue). Sword At Sunset, Rosemary Sutcliff (1963), richly supplied with gory, set-piece battles, lovingly worked out; an unexpected wealth of heart-catching, nature writing. Tiny bit fascist. It's absorbing, but grim, far grimmer than I remembered it The certainty of doom and of personal disaster are ever present. Sort of Arthur as Macbeth. (I probably didn't mind this when I was a teenager, probably just found it romantic). The Once And Future King, T H White. Some people swear by this one, but the famous love affair doesn't half go on a bit. I'll think I'll stick with The Sword In The Stone. And memo to self, re-read The Goshawk.


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