Friday, September 22, 2006

Thanks, Gordon

The tail end of Hurricane Gordon* hit the west of England and Wales yesterday evening and last night. It wasn't as big as the storm of '86, when the wall between ours and the next door garden fell over, leaving behind the naked espaliered pear trees looking somewhat forlorn, but it was enough to make the roads look like a war zone. Luckily there was no serious damage around here - I was fully expecting the apple trees we planted at the weekend to be in pieces all over the farmyard, but they just shed what little fruit they had on them and lost a few leaves.

Something happened between the little phone exchange in the village and the outside world, however. From about ten last night until just recently we have had the rather surreal situation of being able to phone our neighbours, but not the village over in the next valley. Or anywhere else for that matter. It felt bizarrely medieval, as if the good people of Devil's Bridge were foreigners not to be trusted.

And we had no internet. Which was a good thing in many ways. I spent the day writing, rather than being constantly distracted, and can now say that Benfro book three is officially obese, having passed the 200k mark and still gorging itself on cream cakes, crisps and fizzy pop. I'm really not looking forward to reading through it when it's finished - that much paper's going to be heavy to hold up in the bath.**

Following my little rantette on Wednesday (which I actually wrote on Monday, but couldn't decide whether or not to post), I was delighted to hear John Humphrys interviewing a nasty little man called Abu Izzadeen on the Today programme this morning. Izadeen had his first fifteen minutes of fame heckling the Home Secretary, John Reid, and whilst my first inclination would be to applaud him for that, what he actually said was rather enlightening. His heckle began with the angry question 'how dare you come to this area?' The implication that I took from this was that there are parts of the country where non-Muslims should not be allowed to go. Fortunately this is the viewpoint of a minority, but it is frightening to think that anyone living in this country could feel that way. His rejection of democracy and desire for an Islamic state ruled under Sharia law were almost as chilling as his claims that he loved England. Not a man I think I could spend much time with.

But in deference to Daniel, who avoids religion and politics both, and is very sensible for it, I will draw a line under this. At least for now. No doubt there will be other incidences of idiocy that will irk me enough to comment again.

* honestly, who comes up with these names? When was the last time you saw someone called Gordon have a bit of a rage and lose his temper?
** I suppose I could always just read a chapter or two at a time.

1 Comments:

Blogger Daniel Hatadi said...

And after saying I avoid it, I go and do a big post on Zen. But that isn't a religion to me, more a bunch of crafty old buggers playing tricks with each other's heads.

And hey, don't stop on my account. Free speech and all that.

September 25, 2006 2:01 am  

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