Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Thylacine blues

As mentioned in an earlier blog (scroll down lazy) I've been thoroughly enjoying The Sea Inside by Philip Hoare and yesterday I read a fascinating chapter in which he documents the plight of the poor old Thylacine.

This was a sort of wolf-dog marsupial that was driven to extinction by settlers in Tasmania over the start of the twentieth century in that classic way people behaved then with absolutely no forward-thinking about what they were doing - such as slaughtering animal populations or wiping out indigenous populations. 

However, you can't keep a good wolf-dog-marsupial down and the Thylacine may well have managed to survive. Hoare recounts many testimonials from eye witnesses who claim to have seen the creatures still in the wild, with many sounds highly creditable. Given the wildness of Tasmania it seems possible a few creatures could have survived against the odds and still be scavenging their way through the undergrowth.

There's some uniquely tragic about the idea humans have wiped out some animals from the face of the earth, without any one at the time really thinking, "Er, chaps, what happens when there's none them".

I hope the Thylacine makes a return in the future, with firm proof, and that it's well protected for the future. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Hey, hey, two blogs in under a week – what is this, some kind of record? (No, obviously not).

However, perhaps I will reconnect with the blog, as I miss updating it and enjoy having it as a location of digital whiteness for brain thoughts and book opinions and whatnot. I've experimented with other platforms – Posterous, Tumblr, Wordpress, and all that – but I do like Blogger – plus I've been using it since 2006 so it has all my posts and stuff on it.

I helped a friend move house yesterday – he still has his CDs – and it was sort of fun. I don't know why I find helping people move house oddly enjoyable. I think, perhaps, it just comes from the sense of easy completion – move this, to there, by this time, done. Easily quantifiable success.

It was a lovely sunset yesterday too, followed by hazy summer rain and glorious rainbows. Got some great pictures, as you can see below.

Putney Bridge at sunset

Through the hoop in Fulham

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weary words

Oh weary worldly traveler of the internet. How did you come to these shores? How long has it been?

The internet has too many words on it. Everyday we make it heavier and heavier - it must be sagging - especially around the Facebooks and BBCs of this world, where all the news and photos sit. It'll be fine, though, they'll just keep propping it up. 

I read Revolutionary Road earlier this month as the temperatures soared. It was a strange book, I feel as though I read it as it dates, like fruit turning moldy. Some of the characters were hard to relate to, and the story line seemed laboured. Yet, there was a horrible reality to it too, the easy-to-relate-too failure of relationships and the terrible ways people get entwined and entangled without being able to unknot themselves without severing something of themselves, and the other person, in a way that'd can't be undone, or fixed.

I've now started reading The Sea Inside by Philip Hoare. Regular readers (anyone?) will remember my love of Hoare's Leviathan (stop sniggering at the back) from 2009 (was it that long ago?) and this book has a similar style, with the love of wildlife, sea, sky and, of course, whales, all thrown together in a lyrical, poetic pot of simmering beauty. I'm only a third through but already I love it. You could hate it if you dont' care for over-the-top rhapsodising but for myself, it's a joyous read.

I went to Lords for the cricket just over a week ago. I sat in a corporate box, I drank Pimms, I ate cucumber sandwiches, the English team batted wonderfully, a century was made, the Queen came for goodness sake - it was the most English day I've ever had. I rewatched the Olympic Opening Ceremony over the weekend. Ah, This Sceptered Isle.

I'm so sorry this blog is updated so irregularly an so erratically. Then again, does it matter, does anyone notice? It appears not. The internet is heavy enough.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Hey hey, it's been months since a blog post so what about a nice bit of music to cheer us all up.