by Lidi de Waalek wil graag ń bietjie op jou stoep vertoewemy kaal voete op jou koffietafel sit
saam met jou kuier tot die dag min raak
sien hoe jou groot ou akker mooier raak
in die laatmiddagson
ek wil tot binne in die skemer praat en praat
of net sit en luister
sonder om te hoef probeer minder dom
of meer slim wees
sommer net daar sit en myself wees
saam met jou wat net jouself is
ek wil so graag weer ń bietjie
op jou stoep kom sit
I must confess to being addicted to Downton Abbey, which my wife and I have binge-watched over the last few weeks.
I revel in the furnishings and costumes and displays of the times. The fashions and the cars have been wonderful. The treatment of the themes and developments of the day and the changing technology, culture and traditions has been well done.
In perspective, the series covers approximately the period from my father’s birth year in 1910 to just before the Great Depression. To think that at the start, there were no telephones and motor vehicles were new-fangled.
How lucky students of history have this rich live display of the times to better understand the context and concepts of values and societal change … and how close we are to history as it happens.
Yikes!! That is a sobering thought! So much has happened since my Dad was born …
In his lifetime:
- the horse largely disappeared
- there were two world wars, his father served in one and he in the other.
- the atom was split
- a man stood on the moon
- telecommunication enslaved the world
- the degradation of the world was accelerated by oil.
- the balance of power moved eastwards
I think what we are left with is that change is constant and it is better to anticipate it and embrace it, rather than resent and deny it.
Martin Luther King was wrong: we are the makers of history; we are not its product. Its time we accepted this.
So Gandy left us on Thursday.
I thought I heard a click of his claws on the floor,
And thought of him, going through the door
On his way to join Malcolm and Moo.
A perky even frisky fellow, not quite a gent.
In fact quite a scruff, curly and unkempt
In a laddish, charming way.
Frolic was his second name;
Good company and well behaved,
Whenever he came to stay.
The skip in your step and hop on the bed
Gave birth to grins and forgiveness of sins.
Thank you for all the comfort and joy,
We are poorer without you dear old boy.
(*Lift up your hearts)
I get up just before the sun to walk Lulu. My Dad called staying in bed after you wake up ‘scugging’, – I am not a scug.
The first few minutes are mostly muzzy: where are my shoes? Fill the bird feeder or the bird shrieks until its fed, waking herself… why am I doing this thoughts begin seeping up….
Then Lulu woofs and I go to her room and she kisses me and bounces around making soft growly joyous sounds.
As we step outside the cool freshness is sublime.
Morning skies this week have been blue with high wispy wind clouds tinged pink by early sunlight. This morning they were swollen, lowering grey with a hint of purple. Maybe it will rain.
At the end of the street, two stone curlews freeze and pretend invisibility. Lulu suspects something but is not sure.
We are heralded by the butcher birds who whistle and chortle from tree to tree. The kookaburra leads us across the park.
Under the big gum tree that is shedding its winter bark and displaying its new pastel green skin, two crows are examining something on the path. They shout squawk off but flee as I approach. Their interest was not a blue tongued lizard as I had thought, but an Australian wonder: a squirrel glider.
Such a pretty little thing! It hopped towards me miaowchirping as if to say thank you, pleasecanIwalkwithyou. I said No and herded it to a tree waving away a persistent crow. It scrambled up and was soon safely out of sight. A lovely little animal – I have not seen one before.
We walk on under a fig tree quivering with breakfast birds and past the silly ducks that think I am a feeder. I am not.
Two water dragons stretch their necks, frozen to bathe in the morning sun.
Three magpie geese waddle away from us as we walk down to the bridge.
Lulu tries to ignore the purple swamp hens (pukeko in New Zealand) who gallump across the path on their long feet and the bush turkey scuffling on its mound of leaves which it uses to keep its eggs warm.
Back up the path, we meet Harry a big grinning chocolate Labrador for a sniff and a smile. Then home again.
Let us give thanks and praise.
Dignum et justum est. It is right and just
(Be warned: you may be horrified and disturbed by this article. It’s about abortion and execution. Maybe you should skip it?)
I read a recent report on the execution of a murderer in South Dakota. The wife of the murderer’s victim said it was a peaceful and sterile death, not like that of her husband who died in a pool of blood with his head bashed in.
The murderer had been serving a life sentence for attempted murder and kidnapping when he killed a prison guard in an attempted escape. The appeal process had taken seven years.
In the same online news website there was a report from a woman who had an abortion at the age of 16. Her outrage was directed at the doctors who were clinical and distant, when questioning a sixteen-year-old to confirm that she didn’t want to continue the pregnancy. She felt that wasn’t simply unkind, it was cruel, so the law on abortion should be changed to unchecked abortion on demand.
That stirred some sort of turmoil in me.
I believe in the death penalty, just not the inhuman delay between sentence and execution. Some murderers cannot be rehabilitated and need to be removed from society. Imprisonment is cruel and costly. It is not right that society should be forever burdened by the cost of prisons.
Soon (if not already) it will be possible to monitor every persons’ movements. Everyone will need a permanent unalterable identity marker in order to transact any business, access the internet or enter buildings.
Vicious criminals could have this identity revoked and be restricted to isolated regions; (Mars comes to mind). If they defy the restrictions they could be taken out by armed drone guards. They would have to regulate themselves and produce their own food and produce to sell for a livelihood.
Thieves and perverts can be electronically marked so that everyone knows them as such and they can be prevented from entering specified areas.
The thought of unchecked abortion on demand for sixteen year olds fills me with horror. I am not against abortion. There needs to be some interrogation and education involved. Surely getting an abortion is more serious a thing than buying a puppy?
What I am against is free and easy abortion – Vegas wedding chapel type abortion options:
- Your surgeon/abortionist could be an Elvis look alike and champagne will be served to celebrate your freedom to be fucking stupid again!
- Would you prefer an abortifacient that induces abortion. (Abortifacients for animals that have mated undesirably are known as mismating shots – how cute!)
- or a suction curette to cut and suck it out?
- Every third abortion is free through Eezy Abortion Clinics
Mind you, I am not against sterilization of the irresponsible and castration of rapists either.
Just as well I didn’t become a judge!
Imagine if chocolate was found to be the cause of a major proliferation of diabetes in children.
Revolting image – sorry! (It will probably kill me too! I love Smarties…).
Would we stop eating chocolate …?
So, what’s my point? Well, it’s the poison we all have built into every aspect of our lives, surrounding us and almost indispensable! I am talking about plastic: Plastic affects human health. Toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments.
It doesn’t decompose, it breaks down until we can’t see it and has entered every water system in the world. Plastic soup anyone?
It is simple. The continued production of plastic must be prohibited – like dangerous drugs are. But plastic is so useful and efficient! Can you imagine your kitchen without Tupperware type containers? Or your house or your car …?
But plastic is very new technology. Its not even a hundred years old. Our parents and grandparents did without it. It’s certainly not essential, it’s useful …. and we are lazy, spoilt and indisciplined. We continually deny what we know is bad for us, because it makes our life easier, more fashionable, funky (think tattoos and body piercing).
I mean dogs lick cane toads for the buzz, for heaven’s sake, why can’t we be stoopid like them?
Plastic producers made plastic functional, fashionable and pervasive. It can’t be their fault – they were doing us all a favour, producing such cheap and useful stuff. But now that they know… it is all different.
In a 2014 Florida USA Court judgment, a tobacco producer was ordered to pay damages of $23 BILLION to a chain smoker’s widow. Think of the damages payable by plastic producers for all the harm caused to the population of the world by pollution and carcinogens in their products!
So next election, vote for the party that produces the best plans to:
- educate our children about the fact that plastic is poisonous
- ban the production of plastic
- generate programs to eradicate or recycle plastic into less harmful products
- funds research which enables widespread bio-degradation of plastic.
Yeah! I know this is a daydream and if the billions wiser than me can’t see it happening, it is not likely to happen…
But how would one dispose of these formerly loved poison lumps? Dump them in the bin, to be a treasure discovered by some Third World scavenger? (Yeah, refuse is exported to people rich, poor countries.)
Or chuck them in the river when no-one’s looking?
Apply your mind to save your future!
Way back it was just God and Adam, who was lonely.
God was not, but had compassion.
Eve arrived to brighten the night.
All was good … for a while.
A snake whispered:
the woman said why?
He couldn’t deny
and it all went awry.
Exile and exodus, murder and flood.
Never look back, just follow the man,
He’ll take you back to where it all began.
Or fail you, like He did in Japan.
The pot keeps boiling, sticky like tar.
We can’t recall what went in the jar.
We can’t look back, it stretches too far.