June 28th, 2019

Earning My Wings

In one of my dreams last night I was learning to fly- not in an aeroplane but as the next step in human evolution.

It's really easy. You just stand up straight, do a sort of doggy paddle with your forearms and before you know it your head's bumping against the ceiling. Once you've got yourself airborne you can dispense with the arm movements and start swooping around like a bird.

Ragwort Time Again

The ragwort is about to come into flower. There's not as much as there was last year so we must have deterred it. I reckon if I start pulling it up now we can avoid the all-dayers we had to pay for at the back end of last summer. I still don't know whether pulling it up is the right thing to do. It has it's place in the eco system. There's a species of moth that feeds on it and won't eat anything else, but on the other hand it's supposed to poison horses. Ach, who knew that managing a few acres would throw up so many ethical questions?

I used to turn to Matthew for guidance but he was advocating the use of Round-up the other day so I no longer wholly trust him.

It's been windy. Kristina says there were trees blown down in the Penshurst area, but I toured the fields and there's no damage here. Our weather is coming from the Sahara this weekend and today will be hot and tomorrow even hotter. France and Spain are suffering the kind of temperatures that kill people.

Daniel Kahn

The friend who turned me onto Daniel Kahn is on DW but chooses not to be on LJ so I won't name them- but they know who they are- and they have my thanks.

Kahn is from Detroit- and he sings in English, Yiddish and German (and probably other languages too) and his music fuses elements of punk and rock and roll and cabaret and chanson and klezmer and you name it- and it's humane and political and witty. He translates on principle. He disapproves of borders. He sings Hallelujah in Yiddish and Russian songs in English. The video of him singing the Internationale and Lili Marlene (in Yiddish) in the former Nazi bunker in Vienna is a healing experience.

"Best fun I've ever had in a Nazi bunker" he adlibs. And then, "Fuck the Nazis." He encourages the audience to sing along- and accompanies himself on a couple of little wind-up musical boxes.

Shorts

1. "Rats" is "star" spelled backwards.

2. The best language is the one with the most words in it. So that would probably be English. French lost the chance of being the best language when it decided to submit itself to an academy. Nothing depresses a language like having a committee of old men passing judgement on every word and phrase. English nearly went that way in the 18th century- but luckily, instead of an academy, it had Dr Johnson- who was in possession of a sense of humour.

3. I've come to the conclusion that the finest poem in the English language is this:

I had a little nut tree
Nothing would it bear
But a silver nutmeg
And a golden pear.
The King of Spain's daughter
Came to visit me
And all the the sake of
My little nut tree

I danced over water,
I skipped over sea
And all the birds in the air
Couldn't catch me.

4. We Brits will know we've come of age when we stop naming Winston Churchill as our greatest ever. Churchill was a genius but also an elitist, a racist, a reactionary and a bloodthirsty goon. He is not what we should want to be in the 21st century.