Cowart's Common Room
Dark, wet and cold Lark

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A dark and murky morning, the leaves gone now from the trees, a besetting drizzle, in other words November. I caught something yesterday on the television about the mud of Passchendaele. For some reason I imagine the mud on a bright summer's day, or at the very least in an April shower. But imagine it on a cold, wet, dark November morning and the urge to go on living, let alone fighting, can't have been very strong. Still that may be age talking. It is remarkable what the young body can put up with, indeed accept as normal. If you were 17 or 18, brought up on stories of Trafalgar and Waterloo with the Sudan and South Africa thrown in for good measure, then soldiering surely would have been seen as normal life, whether it was raining or no.

I think I had put the television on to catch 'On the Waterfront' the iconic film from 1954 starring Marlon Brando. As the schedules put it on at 12 noon (why?) I thought I'd catch it later on iPlayer. But iPlayer said it wasn't available and I have noticed this with other films too. Why ever not? So instead I watched by accident a programme about the Hebrides and most interesting it was too, though the filming was done on bright sunny days when even the rocky mountains look happy. A bee keeper, trying to preserve colonies of native 'black' honeybees said they were a species that could survive cold, wet, windy winters, before adding for good measure, 'and summers that are cold, wet and windy too.' Which brings me to another of nature's great unanswered questions - why are insects not simply blown out to sea in the storms, or even in the breezes? How fast can a bee fly. I doubt it is more than about 10 mph, so a westerly breeze of anything more should blow all the bees to Aberdeen, if not to Bergen. I suppose the same would be true of ocean currents and fish. The same programme showed us trans-Atlantic commuting basking sharks. Swimming against the Gulf Stream might require a bit of effort, I would have thought, but at least you would be warm.

Anyway, forget all of this and have an excellent day without calamities or leaking roofs. The sun is there somewhere behind the clouds and even a journey by the Eastern Counties railway comes to an end sometime. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 11th Nov 2017 - 08:50AM   Posted by Fennie   Dark, wet and cold Lark Comments: 2

Fennie's Avatar It is of course Armistice Day so that is why perhaps unconsciously I was writing about Passchendaele. Because we have our parade and service tomorrow, I had temporarily forgotten. With Saudi Arabia and Iran certainly making threatening noises at each other it reminds us how hard it is to construct peace and how peace demands strong institutions and eternal vigilance if it is to be preserved. Far too easy to play fast and loose with peace, to assume that peace whether in Europe or elsewhere can be taken for granted. It can't.

Posted by: Fennie on 11th Nov 2017 at 09:16AM

Withy Brook's Avatar Thank you Fennie! You reminded me 6 minutes before the 11 th hour of the 11 th day of the 11 th month!

Posted by: Withy Brook on 11th Nov 2017 at 10:55AM

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