At last, Dublin latitudes are benefitting from sunlight. We see that in a bed of Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ planted for over a decade under a canopy of trees in the front. Some passers-by have told me they are siberian bugloss ‘Jack Frost’. I’ve also had conversations with passing architects and keen gardeners who don’t know its name. They paused to admire the silver-frosted, heart-shaped leaves detailed by veins and edges of jade green. We have come to think that the perennial appearance of sprays of small, bright blue flowers are the confirmation that spring has arrived. Confusingly, after a decade of reproduction and expansion, some of the frost is disappearing. Warming?Dehybridising? Unevolving? Regressing?[Read more…] about Jack Frost, President and Plate
I’m having an epiphany. My moment of revelation actually lasted about ninety minutes. It wasn’t the first time I was traumatised by a television. That happened first in the World at War in the scene where a chicken farmer was splashed by brains. The mood music and laconic narration of Laurence Olivier helped fix this scene forever in my memory. We were shown how the grey matter that had just been thinking terror had sullied the splendid military uniform of a man for whom executions were timed as a newsreel opportunity. Such was Himmler’s power that people slaughtered other people just to appease him. Such was the wilful ignorance in Nazi Germany that this wasn’t considered abnormal behaviour.[Read more…] about Universal Challenges: Part 1
It’s sixty years since Yuri Gagarin landed back on Earth. He was found wandering around the fields in Smelovka, close to the Volga River. At first, the world heard how he landed in the Vostok-1 capsule but later, we learned he parachuted clear. Ejection from the capsules was how all Vostok program landings were designed. The rules needed to be changed so that a flight record did not require that the vehicle and pilot arrived simultaneously. It was the Cold War. These things really mattered. And the Soviets had put a man in space first. So they allowed the parachute story prevail until they couldn’t deny it. And the rules were rewritten and Gagarin’s trip stands as the first.[Read more…] about Lunar Excursion Anyone?
‘The dolphins may save us’ said the farmer, the wind farmer, the former wind farmer with whom I shared a bizarre sighting of three mallard. We sometimes walk the same park path, shuffling past one another, maintaining an exaggerated social spacing as befits the age.[Read more…] about Jarndyce v Enough
Books are so durable that I’ve been enjoying dipping into tomes that we’ve owned for decades. Some of them were owned by others for decades before us. And there are some in this house that were printed decades before we were even born. Perhaps you too enjoy signs of the use of the thoughts among margin notes that often match the hand writing of names of former owners inscribed inside the often sun-faded covers. And wonder who they were?[Read more…] about Durable Thoughts
‘In the year 3535
Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies
Everything you think, do, and say
Is in the pills you took today’ – In the Year 2525 by Zager and Evans, 1969.