|The Geometrician - Banstead? Dungeness?? No, Greece I'm afraid...|
Sorry for the lack of recent posts, but I've been otherwise occupied...
A family holiday was taken on this eastern mainland peninsula and as an experiment I left my binoculars behind -after all, it wasn't a birding trip. But I couldn't keep my eyes totally off of the bird life. The hotel grounds provided Sardinian Warblers, Cirl Buntings, Red-backed Shrikes, Pallid Swifts, Red-rumped Swallows, Bee-eaters and Crested Larks. From my sun bed on the beach I watched a flock of c30 Greater Flamingos heading north. Butterflies were thin on the ground although a few Geranium Bronzes proved that this species is continuing to expand. Even though the nights were muggy and there were plenty of flood-lit white walls the only moth excitement was provided by a Geometrician (see above). Botanising was spent in a parallel universe in which species were at once familiar but also slightly different - I might bore you with a selection of images soon.
Even though I've flown over 50 times I find the whole experience truly unsettling - from packing the suitcase, to getting to the airport, the checking in and particularly the actual flying. The last time I flew was SIX years ago as I have avoided doing so at all costs. In fact, the last time I was due to fly I refused to go. This time however, armed with an iPod, ear phones and that 'soother of the masses' Diazepam I made it there and back. I cannot say I enjoyed any of it still, but rather than concentrating on my death by catastrophic hydraulic failure I was more concerned with whether or not the volume of music on my iPod was too loud for the person sat next to me.
I was pleased to watch those charlatans, the Brazilian football team, finally be exposed as the mediocre team that they truly are. The media fawning over 'Samba Football' is lazy and inaccurate. Same goes for FIFA naming Lionel Messi as player of the tournament. That should have been given to James Rodrigues of Colombia. More pandering to the sponsors.
Life and death
It has been my misfortune to attend two funerals, both people in their fifties and both of them honest, decent and loving individuals. My atheism is never more vindicated than when I have to say goodbye to such folk. Don't give me that claptrap that they have been 'called by God' or that 'He moves in mysterious ways'. They both went too early and both left behind them many hundreds of people whose lives will be lessened by their departure. It also makes the bleating of birders about missing stuff seem all the more pathetic and trivial.
A telling off
I received this admonishment from a lifelong friend in an email last week - "Still reading your verbose blogs with interest & sometimes extreme irritation! Why can't you let go on this introspection and just relax and enjoy the wonders you so clearly love? Maybe he has a point...