what a surprise!

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Whist weeding my allotment one of my fellow gardeners turned on their strimmer to attack the shoulder high grass and weeds that are forever trying to encroach on the edge of our plots. Suddenly a deer jumped out and zigzagged through the plots a few feet away. I knew they visited the allotment and love to dine on our carrots (did you know deer are crazy about carrots – I didn’t).I’d even seen one a couple of times dart across the path between the lakes in the evening, but I never realised they could be hiding so close at hand for the odd nibble!
(It was the same type as pictured above – didn’t have a camera/phone handy.)

Want a good overview?

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I never post politician’s speeches but I’ll make an exception for this one from Boris. Having international friends (and having spent time yesterday explaining everything to a sweet American lady)I’ve become aware that few countries have a clear view of what brexit is all about (the BBC sure isn’t giving a clear picture – hence yesterday’s pun)
So here’s his statement which pretty much puts things in a nutshell (aside from a bit of Conservative party flag waving near the end.)

“This EU referendum has been the most extraordinary political event of our lifetime. Never in our history have so many people been asked to decide a big question about the nation’s future. Never have so many thought so deeply, or wrestled so hard with their consciences, in an effort to come up with the right answer.

It has been a gruelling campaign in which we have seen divisions between family and friends and colleagues – sometimes entirely amicable, sometimes, alas, less so. In the end, there was a clear result. More than 17 million people voted to leave the EU – more than have ever assented to any proposition in our democratic history. Some now cast doubt on their motives, or even on their understanding of what was at stake.

It is said that those who voted Leave were mainly driven by anxieties about immigration. I do not believe that is so. After meeting thousands of people in the course of the campaign, I can tell you that the number one issue was control – a sense that British democracy was being undermined by the EU system, and that we should restore to the people that vital power: to kick out their rulers at elections, and to choose new ones.

I believe that millions of people who voted Leave were also inspired by the belief that Britain is a great country, and that outside the job-destroying coils of EU bureaucracy we can survive and thrive as never before. I think that they are right in their analysis, and right in their choice. And yet we who agreed with this majority verdict must accept that it was not entirely overwhelming.

There were more than 16 million who wanted to remain. They are our neighbours, brothers and sisters who did what they passionately believe was right. In a democracy majorities may decide but everyone is of equal value. We who are part of this narrow majority must do everything we can to reassure the Remainers. We must reach out, we must heal, we must build bridges – because it is clear that some have feelings of dismay, and of loss, and confusion.

I believe that this climate of apprehension is understandable, given what people were told during the campaign, but based on a profound misunderstanding about what has really taken place. At home and abroad, the negative consequences are being wildly overdone, and the upside is being ignored. The stock market is way above its level of last autumn; the pound remains higher than it was in 2013 and 2014.

The economy is in good hands. Most sensible people can see that Bank of England governor Mark Carney has done a superb job – and now that the referendum is over, he will be able to continue his work without being in the political firing-line. Thanks in large part to the reforms put in place by David Cameron and George Osborne, the fundamentals of the UK economy are outstandingly strong – a dynamic and outward-looking economy with an ever-improving skills base, and with a big lead in some of the key growth sectors of the 21st century.

We should be incredibly proud and positive about the UK, and what it can now achieve. And we will achieve those things together, with all four nations united. We had one Scotland referendum in 2014, and I do not detect any real appetite to have another one soon; and it goes without saying that we are much better together in forging a new and better relationship with the EU – based on free trade and partnership, rather than a federal system.

I cannot stress too much that Britain is part of Europe, and always will be. There will still be intense and intensifying European cooperation and partnership in a huge number of fields: the arts, the sciences, the universities, and on improving the environment. EU citizens living in this country will have their rights fully protected, and the same goes for British citizens living in the EU.

British people will still be able to go and work in the EU; to live; to travel; to study; to buy homes and to settle down. As the German equivalent of the CBI – the BDI – has very sensibly reminded us, there will continue to be free trade, and access to the single market. Britain is and always will be a great European power, offering top-table opinions and giving leadership on everything from foreign policy to defence to counter-terrorism and intelligence-sharing – all the things we need to do together to make our world safer.

The only change – and it will not come in any great rush – is that the UK will extricate itself from the EU’s extraordinary and opaque system of legislation: the vast and growing corpus of law enacted by a European Court of Justice from which there can be no appeal. This will bring not threats, but golden opportunities for this country – to pass laws and set taxes according to the needs of the UK.

Yes, the Government will be able to take back democratic control of immigration policy, with a balanced and humane points-based system to suit the needs of business and industry. Yes, there will be a substantial sum of money which we will no longer send to Brussels, but which could be used on priorities such as the NHS. Yes, we will be able to do free trade deals with the growth economies of the world in a way that is currently forbidden.

There is every cause for optimism; a Britain rebooted, reset, renewed and able to engage with the whole world. This was a seismic campaign whose lessons must be learnt by politicians at home and abroad. We heard the voices of millions of the forgotten people, who have seen no real increase in their incomes, while FTSE-100 chiefs now earn 150 times the average pay of their employees. We must pursue actively the one-nation policies that are among David Cameron’s fine legacy, such as his campaigns on the Living Wage and Life Chances. There is no doubt that many were speaking up for themselves.

But they were also speaking up for democracy, and the verdict of history will be that the British people got it right.”

Britania

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The bow breaks the waves as a vessel of ancient oak clefts the breakers for one last voyage of adventure and discovery. As winds of adversity blow away the cobwebs, she leans into the breeze seeking far flung shores of trade and commerce. Breaking with convention she sails, not knowing what strange waters she will encounter, what storms endure.
Folks look on in speculation. Why not stay in port, rust away in safety, secure in harbour? Yet she sets her face to the sea choosing to venture forth in strange uncharted waters, perversely seeking her own destiny, a heart of oak craving the freedom of the open sea even at great peril, for this has always been her role, she cannot depart from it.
They do not understand her heart, the call of the gulls the heady scent of freedom on the breeze. Will the strong old beams withstand the voyage or are they rotted away with corruption and greed. Who can say?
Her crew, long at anchor, scramble to hoist the rigging, to catch the prevailing breeze, startled by this sudden about face. Confusion on deck as the ship itself seizes the opportunity to cast off the chains of her anchor and set sail one more time for parts unknown.

Ode to youth.

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I use to be so arrogant, so wholly stuffed with pride,
When looking in the mirror my concept of me lied.
Others were beneath me, I only knew the way,
Little was I knowing the falls I’d take one day.
Decked in all illusions I briskly trod along
Not seeing all around me the places I’d gone wrong.
Until one day it happened, illusion stripped away,
With horror I acknowledged my inner self that day.
When stripped of all my vaunting, how shriveled up inside,
My inner soul was reeking with the awful stench of pride.
From then a humbler being, I walked within the realm,
My acid thoughts undoing, no more beneath prides spell.
A wiser, fuller creature I hope from that day on
To give to others glory and echo in their song.
A song of love, and heartfelt, admission of my ills
As love rose up within me, as understanding thrills.
I see now all my folly I wrought within those days,
I hope now I am wiser and walk within God’s ways.

The great debate.

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Everyone’s talking about it, even my taxi driver, who expressed very much what I was feeling – disgust at the distortion of facts, downright lies and mudslinging clouding the issues and requiring much research to get to the bottom of (if indeed one can). The issue? To leave or remain in the EU.
I was appalled yesterday to find one of my favourite groups joining in by using the murder of MP Jo Cox (by all accounts a sincere advocate of many good causes) to secure votes to remain in Europe – shame on them!
She was an EU supporter who was killed by a member of a fascist US group (Britain First groups were quick to voice that there was no connection whatsoever with them). I’ve yet to establish what was the specific reason for the killing, but it seems unlikely to be because she was pro EU (there are so many pro EU MPs to choose from).
Some seem to be pursuing pro EU goals by labeling pro exit folks racists. I find this very offensive. There are many reasons for leaving the EU I can think of, none of them racist.
Perhaps exiting the EU might even benefit genuine refugees (yes, you heard that right).
Britain is a small island with limited resources to which many would like to come. Unfortunately we cannot take a limitless number. Before the EU, when we were free to choose, we chose mostly those in urgent need of sanctuary, those married to UK citizens and those who would benefit the country by their skills. Open doors to Europeans means less places for refugees, and a very hard time for spouses etc.
I’m sad that given the chance to vote on this, instead of clear facts we are constantly bombarded with propaganda and spin. However the vote goes it is unlikely to be for the right reasons either way. Happy voting whatever your views my UK compatriots.

Incredulity. (Flash fiction)

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The craft gleamed, rainbows of colour scintillating back and forth as Jasper took his seat. Beside him his peers chatted excitedly. He heard a subdued whoosh as trees and meadows sped by beneath at alarming speed as they headed north toward the wastelands.
He’d heard of them, everyone had, yet the notion seemed somehow unreal, the lush vegetation below giving lie to the notion. They said his ancestors made them, that they had never healed; a legacy of hate and greed. Each year graduation students would visit to see for themselves. Now it was his turn.
Nothing could prepare him. Description paled in comparison. Death as far as the eye could see. Dark silhouettes cluttered the skyline where people once lived in tiny cages, huge walls of cells, deserted, abandoned, falling in decay. No trace of green remained; the vital earth lay grey and haggard. No birds flew, and without their songs it was strangely silent.
A feeling of horror struck his soul. What must it have been like to live imprisoned in these walls, like ant colonies, but people teaming forth? He could not imagine such a thing. No wonder they turned to greed and hate, no wonder they destroyed themselves, he thought. Losing touch with all that was human, the nature that surrounded him every day, they had become perverted.
He’d heard of their strange system of commerce, where man competed against his fellow man for power and an archaic medium called “money”. Why should someone want more than their needs? Why would they fight and die for greed (especially not their own)? How were the people manipulated into agreeing that some were more deserving than others? How could some have squandered the earth’s resources living with the knowledge that others died every day of neglect and starvation? How could they have destroyed everything?
He still could not believe it, it staggered his comprehension. Only the tall sentinels rising from the debris below gave credence to the truth. Tears slowly edged down his face, his initial anger replaced by pity.

Surrender? It all depends what you surrender to!

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Surrendering to his base instincts he pulled the trigger,
Blood splattered pristine walls, lives ended.
Lives of endless suffering, of loss, of fear began in that moment.

Surrendering to her lover she gave herself to him in perfect love and trust.
From their union life sprang forth, a seed planted that day that would enrich lives forever.
Becoming one in love they each became complete, two became one and bore fruit.

Choose your “gods” wisely.
Surrender to the God of love, peace, joy, long suffering brings life.
Surrender to the god of pride brings hurt, suffering and ultimately death.
Let us not confuse the two, Satan is the god of pride, however well disguised, when we look upon others with disdain we surrender part to him, but “God is love” when we look on others with love, compassion, empathy we see through His eyes.
The greatest freedom is in total surrender to God – the right one!