Tom Frederick has experienced a reverse ‘sea change’ and will not be updating this blog for the forseeable future.
Sunday 27th: A happy day for Wombles and Clarets supporters but a sad one if you follow Wolves. Another Association Football season draws to a close and the emotions of relief and despair walked together down some stadiums’ steps to see which team they would be associated with. At Molineux yesterday Burnley fans were freed from the recent trauma of facing relegation while their opponents Wolves were doomed by defeat to spend next season in the third tier of English football. Both are illustrious founder members of the Football League and both are the only clubs to have been champions of at every level of the game. Now it looks like Wolves might be aiming to be unique in repeating that feat.
Saturday 27th: Every now and again I see or hear someone who is so terrifically articulate, rational and intelligent that I feel an intellectual pygmy in contrast. Watching a current affairs interview which featured the Australian psychologist and author Hugh Mackay has made me feel like that today. If ever Australia was to be run by a benevolent oligarchy he would be a shoe-in for membership.
Wednesday 24th: There is something reassuring about being a small fish in a big pond, until you find your way into a slightly bigger pond. Equally there seems to be safety in size when you are a big fish in a litlle pond. That is until you make the river and realise that it is connected to the sea and seals like to eat fish…. There was a remarkable story this week of the Aussie whose head was in the jaws of a salt water croc and he lived to tell the tale. If you are a salt water crocodile and there is a preservation order placed on your species by your only predators life must be really be a beach!
Saturday 20th: This has been a sad week in the USA. There must be many Russians smiling wryly that Chechens appear to be behind the Boston Marathon bombs. Now on the TV news President Obama is talking about revolting anus acts (c’mon sir ‘heinous’ really is pronounced differently) and everyone vaguely Chechen looking is not surprisingly waving US flags and shouting “God Bless America”.
Friday 19th: My heart goes out to the folks in the small Texas town whose community has been ripped apart by the fertiliser plant fire and explosion. This accident highlights (again) the need for potentially risky industrial plants to be isolated from local housing and centres of populations. The 19th and 20th century industrial developments grew up among their workers’ housing. In this century with its advanced transport solutions and increased safety awareness, in an era when life is no longer ‘cheap’ in developed nations, such incidents must be preventable.
Thursday 18th: There was something rather charming about all those blokes cavorting in wedding dresses around Wellington following Parliament’s vote in support of same sex marriage. Where Australia is concerned I think politicians are elected to darn up holes to protect the fabric of society not to create new patterns in the very fabric of society. Really, in a society with a known history of referendums, is it to much to ask we be given one on this apparently divisive issue?
Wednesday 10th: “The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” So said the lady who was not for turning and whose passing this week ended a life in which a grocer’s daughter had come to spectacularly influence world events for well over a decade earning the title of Britain’s best Prime Minister since Winston Churchill. Margaret Thatcher was the Lemuel Gulliver of the Palace of Westminster.
Monday 8th: Isn’t it remarkable how much some states want to control your bodies? Suicide, religion, being told what to say, do and even think are affected by statutes in various countries but until today I hadn’t realised the USA could control where their citizens may travel. Apparently Beyoncé and her rapper husband Jay-Z (who they -Ed?) did not have their government’s permission to holiday in Cuba this week. Believe it or not (my gast is entirely flabbered) it is illegal for US citizens to visit Cuba!
I was treated to the spectacular view of a white bellied sea eagle today. My eyesight is not what it was. From a distance I mused ‘only one cormorant on the tree today’. There is a dead tree I paddle past and most mornings there are up to a dozen cormorants resting on the branches. As today’s cormorant came closer I saw it was a sea eagle, quite rare on our river. On Saturday just before sunrise I had had the great joy of watching as a Tasmanian Devil made its way down a neighbour’s steps to bed into thick undergrowth by the riverside.
Thursday 4th: Time to wheel out the drips under pressure who claim North Korea’s leadership is just making a demonstration and will not launch the first strike. I’m not too sure. With nowhere to go and under pressure now from China this discredited regime might well decide to go out in a blaze of ‘glory’. I have served recently in South Korea and its littoral and one thing of which I am certain, it will not be pretty, it will be over quickly (less than a week – there will be real ‘shock and awe’) and for the next generation South Koreans will feel like West Germans have since the wall came down. Speaking of which, has anyone learnt the lessons of regime change from impoverished communism to Western democracy Gangnam style? Its not as though there aren’t several examples for a united Korean nation to follow.
Tuesday 2nd: The pressure exerted by media interests across the spectrum of society is growing daily more pernicious. Whether it is the bias shown on TV or in print, for the left or right in politics, economics or social issues the influence of the fourth estate (or should it be ‘fifth column’) should be of concern to us all. Today I could not believe the article I was reading by the previously renowned soccer journalist in the UK, Henry Winter. He suggested that ‘English football has a right’ to hear new Sunderland Manager Paolo Di Canio’s ‘answers’ on his views on Fascism and the ‘exact nuances of his beliefs’. I do not care if my club’s football manager is a Mormon or Muslim, Fascist or Anarchist, global warming denier or climate change believer – as long as he is law-abiding AND can get success for my team. Just who is the real fascist in all this, Mr Winter?
Monday 1st: April Fool’s Day – Happy Birthday Tom Frederick!