Monday, 11 September 2017


Poundland is a rich man's idea of the way that ordinary people want to live. Not just any rich man but someone who has only ever lived in a palace.  Like William Morris he has an idea that things were better once upon a time.  You know Once Upon A Time.  Like in the fairy stories.

Imagine being that rich man.  You own the land.  You have the money. You know what's wrong with the way things are now.  If you could rebuild the world so it matched the one in your head, starting with one house, one shop, one butcher's, one market square, one church, one pub.  You've had a lifetime of waiting, you have all the time in the world.

It doesn't matter that this doesn't match the locality, that is is a carbuncle on the countryside, this is your vision and your vision is all that counts.

The house becomes a street, the streets become a village, the village becomes a town.  You call the pub after your second wife, you erect a statue of your granny in the market square.  But your community is more like Stepford than Ambridge, closer to Lego Village than Happy Valley, more like the Village of the Damned than Tickleford.

But like Randle Patrick McMurphy at least you can say:
Well, I tried didn't I? Goddamnit. At least I did that.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

The most beautiful nation on earth

I am a citizen of the most beautiful nation on earth, a nation whose laws are harsh yet simple, a nation that never cheats, which is immense and without borders, where life is lived in the present. In this limitless nation, this nation of wind, light, and peace, there is no other ruler besides the sea.
Bernard Moitessier

The sea is dangerous and its storms terrible, but these obstacles have never been sufficient reason to remain ashore...unlike the mediocre, intrepid spirits seek victory over those things that seem is with an iron will that they embark on the most daring of all meet the shadowy future without fear and conquer the unknown.

But where, after all, would be the poetry of the sea were there no wild waves?
Joshua Slocum

Sunday, 3 September 2017


Rare image of tardigrade magnified 1,000,000 times.

Here's the thing: we're all gonna die one day.  Except the tardigrades.

They could literally live forever, doesn't matter how hot, or how cold, how much oxygen or how little, how much pressure, even a vacuum.  They can sleep for a thousand years; they can crawl, walk, dance, swim, fly, teleport, use wormholes and tears in the space-time continuum.  They communicate through telepathy and sign language meaning they can send messages across great distances and get in your head.

There's over a thousand species of tardigrade - look it up!  Some are smaller than you can imagine - leading to the expression "how many tardigrades can dance on the head of a pin" - some are as big as elephants.  They are painfully shy, until they get to know you.  They exist outside of history and geography.

I'm surprised more people don't know about them.

There's no top or bottom in the world of the tardigrade