Monday, September 14, 2015

sweet thames, run softly 'til i end my song

insomniacs' reading material ...

i've been chortling a lot in the wee small hours

i share my father's crude tastes in literature and the visual arts, hard-wired in to my DNA

he recommended schweik when i was very young

but he can't have had the pleasure of reading cecil parrot's definitive 1973 translation

of course, before you read hasek's satire/comical digression, you'll need to set aside all of your sober attitudes, based on having read robert graves and/or siegfried sassoon, edward thomas and/or wilfred owen

maybe hasek's closest connections in british literary culture might be laurence sterne and/or spike milligan

what do you think ?

2013 gyama valley mine disaster ... i've been looking at satellite images of the area made for google earth since the disaster two years ago ... there's a toolbar app that enables you to compare earlier images ... they've put in a new dam and a filter bed .... further downstream, there's a brand new village and the old one has been abandoned

1. the landslip went from left to right ...

2. the mine company have recently dammed the valley at the toe end of the landslip and it looks as if they're using a new filter bed and a tailing pond to either/and/or collect salvageable mineral assets, and/or protect the river from further pollution, which was already dreadful

3. at the bottom of the valley, the small village at the confluence seems to have been deserted, and a new settlement has appeared ... but i don't know if it's for the local people or the chinese miners

a hostile account of the disaster's causes has been published which includes interesting but unsurprising theories about the tax status of the company's chinese investors

come back soon !

Thursday, September 3, 2015

3BT ... in one minute !

I am driving the truck towards the De Vere Hotel at Betchworth, approached through narrow leafy lanes at first, and then on a winding road that leads to the old house along a low ridge.  There are some fine old trees here and there, and well mown lawns fall away on either side.

ONE. A crab apple tree, well rounded, maybe twelve feet high, festooned with fruit that are pale yellow with rosy pink cheeks.  As the truck appears, so there emerge about a dozen emerald green parakeets who break away in an explosion of startling and scintillating action.

TWO. A small lime tree, maybe twenty feet high, its branches stooping low, heavily speckled with pale winged fruit.  Beneath it , four rosy ruddy jays who quickly fly up in a little spiral around the tree trunk and disappear in to its crown.

THREE. Across and along the curved horizon of the lawn, which is very bright green against darker distant trees, comes a green woodpecker in its fast flight of short bursts and swoops, stopping suddenly to march about rarther pompously and poke his beak deep down in search of whatever.