from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Monday, 13 December 2010

two O levels but no budgerigar

My blog was going to be titled ‘twobraincellsandahairymutt’.
‘I shouldn’t use that title,’ said The Man.
‘Why not?’
‘Because people will misread the last bit and you might get the wrong sort of visitor. Anyway why’s the mutt got such prominence?’
‘Because it’s allusive, of course!’
‘“Two O levels and a budgerigar?”’
‘OK what about “Two Sheds Jackson”?’
‘Well, I know about “Two Jags Prescott…”’
‘“Shagged out after a long squawk” etc…? Monty Python. Allusive.’
‘Well if I don’t get it no one else will.’
Begin to doubt self, sense of humour, and memory. OK, ‘lessthanonecell’.

Plus ca change. Police behaving pretty abominably in relation to the student tuition-fee demos. I’d forgotten what it was like to be under a right-wing government. Demolition of Welfare State. Demolition of right to education. But having said plus ca change, we were never kettled on all those CND, anti-Iraq-war (x2) etc demos (though my daughter was, in Madrid, at the latter earlier this last decade). The somewhat low-key profile of the Criminal Justice Act, passed in was it about 1995? — belied its gravity: it slipped through two little clauses which have had a severe impact on our freedoms. One was supposedly to address the ‘problem’ of ‘travellers’, effectively closing up the ability to reside for a length of time – even on your own land – in anything mobile. The other was – yes – to make even peaceful demonstrations (defined – and I need to doublecheck this but from memory – as a gathering of more than ten people in any one place) illegal, though the police were to use their discretion on whether to intervene or not. Had we been paying more attention to these clauses in what was admittedly a clause-heavy Bill – hundreds – we would not have given away our rights so unknowingly (which is grammatically self-evident, Himself would point out).

December dawn. Light’s just breaking. There’s a small chorus of birds waiting by the doors into the courtyard: robins, dunnocks, chaffinches, blue- coal- and great-tits, and a few of the shy migrating blackbirds who’ve discovered some rotting windfall apples in the orchard, along with various berried trees in the woodland margins. I’ll refill the feeders in a moment; meantime a handful of oats will keep some of them happy. Soon one of the great spotted woodpeckers will appear; we’re now on the third generation, and I notice that a female is the first visitor each day (no red on head/nape); and they are beginning to pluck up the courage to come to the feeder right in the courtyard, a couple of yards from this window. I love their black/white/red livery, with its alchemical connotations. In another blog I’ll write about our right-on discoveries this summer re our mutually-effectively functioning ecosystem, pesticide-free and pest-free courtesy of the birds and other inhabitants.

Oh and I might write about writing.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Ro,
    What a treat to have you blogging!
    Hairy Mutt rules OK (although she always strikes me as a raggy princess). Yes, Criminal Justice Act seemed a nasty thing when it came in but I remember worrying more about other things then- In Northumberland snow is melting, and here too birds are hungry. This morning a blackbird sang at dawn in a very black tree - wonderful.


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