Twenty-Two degrees in March – it can’t be right,
This could be Lisbon rather than London,
Kuwait instead of Kew,
The tropical plants photosynthesise joyfully
In the humid hothouses,
Where menopausal women pull at their blouses,
Complaining about the heat,
Saying how they wished they’d worn a skirt or a dress,
Instead of trousers,
If only they’d known it would be twenty-two at Kew.
Obese dogs pant more than usual
As they waddle along beside their perspiring owners.
The daffodils can’t take the heat
The snowdrops have all melted,
Cherry blossom falls like summer snow
And tulips, thinking that they’re late,
Strive to grow and bloom before spring has gone
And larger plants emerge to steal the light.
Meanwhile, on TV and radio, weather forecasters enthuse
About records broken, each year hotter than the one just past,
And smile and laugh, happy to pass on the news
That we shouldn’t get used to it;
The good weather isn’t due to last.
But for now, it’s twenty-two at Kew.
Apparently some church people have accused the National Trust of airbrushing Easter. I wondered what they were worried about – after all, airbrushes do give a nice smooth effect. Maybe, I thought, they don’t want the NT to use airbrushes because they weren’t around when the bible was invented.
There’s a particular advert in the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook – a book that I’ve been making good use of recently – that I can’t seem to keep from seeing, because the book rather annoyingly falls open on that page. It’s for a company who offer editing services to writers, and it uses the analogy of gold mining. I’m not sure what annoys me about it most, the smug arrogance with which they assert that manuscripts are ‘low value material’ (good way to start – by insulting your potential clients) from which they can ‘extract precious potential’, or the obvious inappropriateness of the analogy.
I wouldn’t mind, but there are a few other things I’d like to have some time for. Eating and sleeping, for instance.
OK, it’s not actually that bad, but I think it is getting out of hand. I’ve spent quite a lot of time over the past week writing a (long) short story – the first of many, I hope, as I’d like to start submitting to competitions again. There’s the Bridport, and the Elizabeth Jolley Prizes coming up for instance, both of which are worth winning for the prize money alone. More importantly, they have sufficient prestige to give the winners a way in to the publishing industry. Like most competitions, they’re inundated with entries, which makes it difficult to stand out enough to make the short-list. Still, you’ve got to be in it to win it, as they say.
It’s often put forward as a good way to help ameliorate man-made global warming, but we don’t need to plant more trees. Continue reading
This New Year’s Day started wet and grey, and it seemed like a bad omen – a sign that 2017 was going to continue in the same vein as 2016. But then the rain cleared. This morning I woke up and watched the sun rise into a clear sky, and I thought; it doesn’t have to be that way, maybe this year will be different – maybe together, we can make it different.
First Sunrise – 2017
On a national, and international scale, 2016 was a bad year. It was a year in which a social inadequate, goaded on by idiots, decided to abandon his support network and go out into the world alone and unprepared (that’s the UK – not me!)