What Separates Us

Today was a slow day and it wasn’t until this evening that I got to the last of my email reminders for blogs I follow. It was for Derrick Knight, a retired lad in England, who delightfully chronicles his adventures in the garden the Head Gardener (Jackie, Mrs Knight) kindly lets him meander through whilst doing a few gardening-ish chores. Derrick is a lover of books, and the New Forest, and the seaside, and his comestibles.

In his latest post he talks about Dirk Bogarde, a British actor, and his writing.

I always liked him as an actor, (Dirk, not Derrick) so I tootled off to read up about him via that wonderful resource portal, Wikipedia.

Turns out that Dirk was among the Allied officers who went into Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April of 1945. Please read what he wrote. It’s important. (just click on the green link)

. . .

. . .

 

Did you read it through? Did you look at the photographs? Were you horrified, sickened? Did you think to yourself, that could never happen now, here?

Truth is, humans have been doing this to other humans for thousands of years.

Do you know what the difference is between you and I, and them?

Nothing.

NOTHING.

They were, and are, (because humans have never really stopped brutally torturing and murdering each other somewhere on the planet)  just like you and I. Assorted limbs, a functioning brain, carrying all sorts of wounds, physical and metaphysical, each with our own little bubbles of concerns that can make a day shine or feel like a milestone around our necks … and yet, some of us commit horrendous acts of brutality, and some of us do not.

Do you know what separates us?

Choice. That’s all.

When you strip away the dogma, political, religious, whatever,  all we’re left with is, Choice.

Whether it’s a choice about a moral ambiguity or to become another a butcher of humans, it’s exactly the same choice. A step this way, a step that way. Some choices involve major amounts of suckitude, but they’re still choices. 

As I pondered on the choices I’ve made in my life, the good, the bad, the ugly … the really bad … and the beautiful, I heard in my head a phrase from a song by Bette Midler, about ‘hollow, ancient eyes’, I dug out my collection of Bette albums and listened to the song in question … and it seemed to me that it’s a song about how we can find hope in our choices.

(sorry I couldn’t find a better quality video)

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My One and Only Aquaman Trailer

Everything you wanted to know about the Aquaman movie in one trailer …

It’s going to be amazing, but maybe they could’ve saved some of this stuff for the actual movie. Still, with my memory, I’ll have forgotten most of it by the time actually I see the movie.

One Hundred And Sixty-Five Days Later

Way back in May I posted this … Wimpy Sunshine and 165 Days To Go(I certainly got more ‘sunshine’ than I bargained for) … and, voilá, here we are!

2018 Summer Holiday – Part 3: Cancelled

The temperatures dropped and a little bit of rain fell. Mist-waith, or dragons-breath, as it’s known in the West of Ireland, (and probably other lands where dragons are known to frequent) tangled itself within the sides of our little mountain.

What cute little dragon arms you have

What cute little dragon arms you have

The last of the strawberries, having survived the smoke and heat, then the slug onslaught when the rain did finally start falling, tasted divine.

All by myself, don’t wanna be ... wait a minute ...

All by myself, don’t wanna be … wait a minute …

The strawberry plants are in the same bed as Hardcore Parsley and they weren’t going to be outdone by a mere parsley plant …

Hardcore Strawb says ... “Autumn? What Autumn! ... it ain’t over ‘til we tell you it’s over!”

Hardcore Strawb says … “Autumn? What Autumn! … it ain’t over ‘til we tell you it’s over!”

And finally, the garden underneath the Summer Tree in the front yard managed to produce this little jewel…

Hanging with the bread ... (a ring-in from the compost heap)

Hanging with the bread … (a ring-in from the compost heap)

Unfortunately the Summer heat and smoke took it’s toll on both Mrs Widds and my health. Mrs Widds is still jousting with a nasty bout of bronchitis, and although I felt like I was coughing up my toes on occasions, the dreaded ‘Chitis’-Lurgy passed me by this year, substituting some form of Digestive-Lurgy instead, to remind me of my mortality.

We rescheduled and rescheduled our trip until common-sense prevailed and we cancelled it completely. Disappointing, but to paraphrase Miss Scarlett O’Hara, “2019 is another year.”

As a fitting end to this post I now present you with this little story …A week ago a spider took up residence inside the front window. Not long after, two … ahem … ‘gentlemen callers’ took up arms against each other to woo the fair damsel.
As is the way of things, ‘there can be only one’ … but Mother Nature, and Mdme Spider, was not done, and the failed suitor was recalled to active duty. Next time I looked, this had happened…

Trapped within her silken threads they nourish her immanent brood

Trapped within her silken threads they nourish her immanent brood

2018 Summer Holiday – Part 2: Sulfur & Stale Smoke

We’ve postponed our holiday for a few weeks and are in wait-and-see mode. Our trailer gives us a flexibility that we wouldn’t have if we were still tent-camping.

Wildfires seem to be a part of our summers now, and no matter well we seal up our little cottage the smell still creeps in through the cracks. I can feel it coating my teeth like a gritty slime that no amount of rinsing will get rid of.

It’s called PM2.5, fine particulate matter, a nice bloodless scientific descriptor, but really it’s all that’s left of the forests and grasses that have been swept down across the province by the infrequent breezes. A fine layer of grey dust, soot, coats anything left outside for more than an hour or so.

The sun and moon rise, each in their turn, stained a bloody orange, and set just as sullied.

Every so often I go out and sniff the air just to remind myself that it smells much worse out there than inside.

I don’t stay out for long.

The leaves on the Summer Tree hardly move. Last night I ventured out to water the garden and sprayed down its leaves. A tiny little wren flew onto one of the branches and had a shower, flapping her wings as she would in a birdbath, to make the drops fall from the leaves all around her. I smiled and got all teary at the same time.

I’ll do it again tonight.

I hope Wren told her friends.

Bon Voyage, Aretha Franklin

There are going to be words all over the interwebz, but her music … ahh, her music … speaks for itself …

Aretha and Annie Lennox

2018 Summer Holiday – Part 1

I’ve been pretty much non-functional throughout this past heatwave here on Widder Island. I managed to get a few things around the huse finished but anything requiring the stringing together of words with two or more syllables? … forget it.

This past weekend was blessedly cooler that the previous two weeks, when my trusty backyard thermometer never ducked below 30°C while the sun was over the yardarm, and for considerably longer while under it. On Thursday it finally quit after registering 36°C, and refused to return until the snow did. (I was heartily in agreement)

Did you know that if your internal body temperature is 40°C or more hyperthermia sets in and your goose is, literally and figuratively, cooked?

It even rained a bit, so after wallowing in the misty wet stuff for a while I felt as though I could rub a couple of brain-cells together and create some cogent thoughts.

-oOo-

So, Summer holidays, eh?

Last year (2017) we were hemmed in by wildfires and smoke from late Spring until early Autumn, so haven’t had an away-from-home RV adventure since the year before last, (summer of 2016) when we went to Otter Lake, and I pondered the advent of the pine beetle and how is impacted on the little bit of woodland surrounding our camp.

(the link to those posts – highlighted in green – is to the Otter Lake category in my ‘Topics’ widget. Heh! Who knew you could link to an entire category! Learn something new every day!)

And before that was our epic cross-country ‘shake-down cruise’ to Niagara Falls/Michigan, and back. (unfortunately the posts are in reverse order, so, scroll to the bottom and work you way up)

This year we’re going to explore the West Kootenays.

After many to-ing’s and fro-ings we’ve finally settled on this region for our ‘forever home’. We’ve driven through it on a few occasions, on our way to elsewhere, but never really stopped and looked around, breathed the air, walked the land.

Last week, in the middle of the heatwave, (crazy, I know) we picked up our trusty travel trailer from the dealership where we store it, and magically turned this …

Empty driveway with a bit of early morning cloud

Empty driveway with a bit of early morning cloud

 

… into this …

Full driveway, full 34°C sun

Full driveway, full 34°C sun

Then the fun started.

Because it had been sitting for two years we had to haul everything out and wash/dust/replace everything that wasn’t nailed down, and a few things that weren’t.

Pots, pans, dishes, cutlery – the kitchen sink strayed where it was!

Pots, pans, dishes, cutlery – the kitchen sink strayed where it was!

I’d forgotten about this knife set.

Frivolously perfect

Frivolously perfect

Not everything escaped unscathed, however.

The saddest sight of all

The saddest sight of all

Next – Planning and packing.

-oOo-

… speaking of learning something every day … In my previous post I bemoaned the lack of easily accessible info on inserting the ‘umble ‘©’ into a Scrivener document. Well, the always erudite ‘Colonialist’ wondered if I’d tried, ALT 0169, using the numeric keyboard. I hadn’t, and it worked, both in Scrivener and Word. Thank you Colonialist! 🙂 … I have finally found a use for the numeric keyboard!

If you’ve a mind to explore a fun rabbit-hole, here’s where you can find a great many ALT commands.