December 28th, 2016



Our neighbour from the big house arrived on our doorstep last night with a misdelivered parcel from Amazon. She's on a flying visit to her Kentish home, having spent most of the year in Hong Kong- where her husband has a big job in banking or corporate law (of which I'd probably disapprove if I knew the details). She says our concerns about Brexit, the US election and the war in Syria feature as prominently in the Hong Kong media as the doings of the Chinese politburo do in ours.  She says she likes returning to Kent because it feels so "cocooned".

One of my mother's horsey friends sent her a big bunch of flowers, featuring those big fuck-you lilies so beloved of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. They fill the living room with a heavy, funereal scent which is only just this side of pleasant. I'll not be sorry when they droop and die.

Unless Someone Invents A Tardis...And Even Then....

It's always pointless to ask what a figure from history would think, do or say about some contemporary phenomenon- as in "Would Churchill have supported Brexit?" or "Would Agatha Christie have approved of her stories being sexed up?" Human beings can't be taken out of their time and plonked down in another with their personalities and attitudes intact. Our souls may be immortal but nothing else about us is.

Churchill for instance: If he were alive and active today would have had to have been born in the late 1920s at the earliest; he'd not have had  a Victorian upbringing, wouldn't have experienced any of the imperial wars or political crises that formed him and would have been far too young to have been Prime Minister during the Second World War. In short he'd be a completely different person. We are what we are as the consequence of heredity, nurture, education and experience- all of which are specific to a particular place and time.

And if we could transport Churchill as he was in 1940 through time and ask his Victorian brain to sort out Brexit for us just think how bewildered he'd be by all the changes and how long it would take us to get him up to speed on all the history and technology he'd missed out on.

What Rabbits Know

I walk out to the compost heap to dump the kitchen waste- and a rabbit on the other side of the field runs for cover. I'm too far away to do it any hurt but I suppose it must possess some sort of race memory of guns.