Sunday, 14 August 2011

Time for reflection

I am making what I can of an enforced period of rest, and therefore reflection, while the penicillin gets to grips. I turn the TV to Murder, She Wrote and Miss Marple for uneasy reassurance. I have seen most episodes of both series more than once, and yet the combination of formulaic fantasy crime plus retro style draws me in like comfort eating. By way of balance, I have re-started V S Naipaul's Masque of Africa, subtitled Glimpses of African Belief. After The Enigma of Arrival and A House for Mr Biswas (read on board the Bessie Ellen as she alternatively motored in winds too light for sail or bucked her way in a Force 6 across the Irish Sea), I am getting the hang of Mr N. He is our contemporary, and therefore I can identify with the landscape: the food, the clothes, the ways of getting from A to B in a way impossible with Proust or Dostoievsky in whose league he belongs. I am mulling over the news (which I will be going up to confirm for myself first hand tomorrow) that the noise from the blades now turning for the first time (they were attached while I was away) on the nearest wind turbine, behind my home on the hill, is most certainly audible as a distinct 'swish' from the house. If true, this may mean reviewing plans to organise working visits next year for paying guests to learn how to distill essential plant oil from our trees. and brew traditional spruce 'beer' (as in ginger beer). I looked at a mind map of Moffat this morning, in readiness for generating some ideas on one side of a sheet of A4 paper to be discussed at a forthcoming meeting of the Moffat & District Community Initiative. The map has a section headed Health & Well Being, listing only physical recreational facilities. I propose to add 'spiritual and intellectual' to these. I am aware that walking, bowling, golf, fishing, singing in choirs gardening and cooking do feed these needs - but think that they should be listed for their own sakes. Watching the debates on TV about the riots in England, listening to Any Questions and reading the opinion pieces in the newspapers makes one wonder how and why Moffat works as a community. Should we codify the formula and pass it to the powers that be?

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