Here I am, sitting on the train to London, fifteen minutes before departure time, logged in to Virgin wifi. I am on my way to visit Offspring Number One and family. Aiming for the record in travelling light, I have stuffed a change of undies, spare t-shirt, etc, into almost the smallest rucksack I have. It’s a good job it’s summer time. (I have just seen a fellow traveller wrestle into the luggage place the largest suitcase imaginable. You could LIVE in such a suitcase!) Of course, I have bought a bottle of water at the station, in case I get thirsty on the train, and some nibbles - nuts, not chocolate - and have had to get out my emergency shopping bag to carry these in. So it goes!
Talking of healthy nibbles, here is George Monbiot, in an article from last year, talking about obesity and why we are all fatter now than back in 1976. He bases his original idea, that we are fatter than in 1976, on a photo that appeared in the paper of Brighton beach back in the year of the fabulous summer. The majority of sun-worshippers on the beach are slim. That would not be the case now. His theory is that it is not so much that we eat more than we used to. Rather, we eat differently. More sugar-based stuff is the main difference, he maintains.
Someone I know recently told me she had lost three stone in weight. An impressive total and she looks better for it. The secret she said was eating more slowly and thus being aware of when she was full, instead of just eating quickly whatever was on her plate. The other thing, of course, is the constant eating that goes on nowadays. Eating places and stalls selling street food abound. My grandmother would turn in her grave at the idea of the vast number of people who walk along the street feeding their faces. Such a “common” thing to do!
We live in a strangely intolerant time. According to this article, people are more intolerant of gay people and gay marriage now than they used to be. It’s the first decline in acceptance since the aids crisis, apparently. The article talks a about the bakers who refused to make a gay wedding cake and when the case went to court, they won the right to refuse to make a cake against their religious beliefs. Would it even have made the news, I wonder, if they had refused to make a cake with a racist slogan?
I have been rereading Ruiz Zafón’s novel “La Sombra del Viento”. In the mysterious Barcelona where the story is set, a writer goes round burning all the copies he can find of his own books, which he does not want to be out in the world. According to this article someone is tearing up books in libraries in Herne Bay. Is this another crazed writer?
The world is full of oddness.