So here we are, the day after THE VOTE. And are we any closer to knowing what is going to happen? It doesn’t seem like it. According to some, we appear to be running out of time. People are asking if there is actually time to come up with a new plan, or to hold a general election, or to have another referendum, or even just to start spinning on the spot, before that fateful March date comes along.
So do we just crash out of Europe, flounder around for a while, hope we manage to swim and see what happens? Only time will tell, but if I were PM I think I might want to curl up in a corner of a darkened room and cry!
This stuff could go on and on for years, even though right now it seems like the end of things.
Meanwhile, poor Andy Murray seems to be coming to the end of things. Even though I feel quite sorry for him, I want to tell him that it could be worse. He must have amassed enough to live on comfortably. No doubt he can become some sort of sports consultant. There must be a book there somewhere. And judging by what happens with almost every famous person these days, before we know it someone will make a film of his life. However, I hope he gets his hip sorted out soon. And I doubt that he will have to wait for the NHS to make it possible!
I came across this article about a 64 year-old Vietnam veteran who has chosen to live homeless, or houseless as he prefers to put it, in Alaska. As he says, his kind of homelessness/houselessness out in the wilds is very different to urban homelessness. Mostly self-sufficient, he visits a foodbank about once a month to stock up on non-perishable essentials and considers himself to live a more eco-friendly life than most.
He’s aware of the risks: “In general, stupidity out here in the frozen north usually carries severe consequences: campfires in a dry forest on a windy day easily get out of control; sloppy chainsaw, axe or knife work you could lose a finger or cut into an artery and bleed out; carelessness near rivers or ice could drown you; drinking water from a polluted creek will leave you very sick. Pick berries to eat oblivious to your surroundings and you could get eaten yourself (bears like berries too).
People with a penchant for stumbling around drunk and stoned and sleeping it off curbside in the middle of the afternoon probably won’t succeed out here. Discoveries of frozen houseless people regularly make local news headlines. If these folks can’t make in an urban setting with services right around the corner, living in the woods miles from any help is not an option.”
He wants to keep his location secret as he fears others might try to join him.
That’s his chosen way of life. Personally I would find the lack of regularly washed clothing and the difficulty of dealing with personal hygiene rather difficult to cope with. But then whenever I see documentaries of people off on great adventure treks into the wilds, the same question crosses my mind: how do you get by without a daily shower and clean knickers?
One group planning a bit of an adventure is a bunch of flat-earthers. The Flat Earth International Conference is planning a Flat Earth Cruise for 2020, with participants doing a fair few of the usual things people on cruises do. There’s just one problem really. The navigational systems cruise ships, and other vessels, use rely on the fact that the Earth is not flat: theoretically puncturing the beliefs of the flat Earth crowd.
“Ships navigate based on the principle that the Earth is round,” said Henk Keijer, a former cruise ship captain who sailed all over the globe during a 23-year career.
“Nautical charts are designed with that in mind: that the Earth is round.”
That may not bother the Flat Earth people though. I fully expect that they use mobile phones, as do many folk who believe we should live according to older belief systems.
One aspect of their belief is that the world is a sort of disc surrounded by an ice-wall - Antarctica! Presumably the wall stops us all sliding off into space.
Space itself is another matter as real flat earthers with tell you, as “the space agencies of the world” have conspired to fake “space travel and exploration”.
This is as crazy, although nowhere near as dangerous, as the evangelicals in the United States, where people like Mike Pompeo can say, as he did in a speech at the American University in Cairo, that in his state department office: “I keep a Bible open on my desk to remind me of God and his word, and the truth.”
This is a man involved in the government of a really powerful nation.
Just as he did in Cairo, Pompeo called on the congregation of a Kansan megachurch three years ago to join a fight of good against evil.
“We will continue to fight these battles,” the then congressman said at the Summit church in Wichita. “It is a never-ending struggle … until the rapture. Be part of it. Be in the fight.”
For Pompeo’s audience, the rapture invoked an apocalyptical Christian vision of the future, a final battle between good and evil, and the second coming of Jesus Christ, when the faithful will ascend to heaven and the rest will go to hell.
Maybe this is what has been going on the Houses of Parliament!