Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Coping with the weather. Ancient relics recovered. The plight of women in some parts of the world.

ran in a mix of sunshine and cloud this morning. Not long after I returned home it poured down with rain. Now my weather app tells me that the percentage chance of rain is reducing hourly, rapidly moving from 14% earlier this morning to 1% or 2% this afternoon. So I took the risk and hung the washing out to dry in the garden. 

Yesterday we went out for a walk at around midday, returning home for coffee and the 1 o’ clock news. We decided this was a good plan for organising the day and considered making it part of our regular daily routine. We shall see. 

Out and about yesterday I rescued a clump of forget-me-nots from a pile of rubbish outside a house which appears to being renovated. The pile of rubble has been there like an eyesore for months. I’m not sure when the forget-me-nots were added to the mess but I have had my eye on them for weeks now, pretty much ever since forget-me-nots started to flower. So yesterday I rescued them. Now I need to see if they survive the transfer to a pot in my garden and eventually into a flowerbed. 

I read an account of a woman in Texas who bought a marble bust of a Roman in a charity shop - a goodwill shop as the Americans call them - for about $35. Having bought it (“I was just looking for anything that looked interesting,” she said, “It was a bargain at $35 – there was no reason not to buy it.”) she did a bit of investigating, “reached out” to some experts and discovered that it’s a genuine 2,000 year old Roman relic, probably the bust of Sextus Pompey, whose father was Pompey the Great, ally and then enemy of Julius Caesar. 

It was once kept, apparently, at Pompejanum, a replica of a Pompeii-style Roman home, somewhere in Germany, commissioned by King Ludwig I and built in the 1840s. Pompejanum displayed the bust until the second world war, when groundskeepers placed the sculpture and other relics in storage as the villa came under attack.

It was probably plundered by an American soldier and so ended up in Texas. Germany would like it back so they can put it in Pompejanum once more. If this happens, I hope the lady who paid $35 for it and then did the research gets some compensation. And if that happens, I hope the person who sent it to the charity shop gets to hear about it. Sour grapes! The Texan purchaser would actually like to hear from the donor as she really would like to know the back story. She sounds like an interesting person. 

Amongst all the other stuff that is going on in the world at the moment Afghanistan has largely fallen out of the news. And yet it’s still there, people are still not getting enough to eat, and girls and women are having their lives restricted. Girls are not receiving secondary education. Women are told they cannot leave the home without a veil covering their face. Ideally, they should just stay at home. Women working for the government will be fired if they go out without their faces veiled. How long will they be allowed to continue working? I wonder. As a further way of ensuring compliance, women’s family members will face fines and punishment if their women disobey the ruling. Even Taliban fighters will also lose their jobs if their female relatives fail to obey the new restrictions.

Young women who have grown up free to dress and move around as they like suddenly find themselves in a newly restricted world. It must be hard. Girls as young as 12 have had their hair forcibly cut off in the street because they were out and about without their hair fully covered by a scarf. Women are being beaten by enforcers of these restrictions. 

But to a large extent we have moved on and have found another bunch of people to be sorry for. But it seems that not all those latest refugees are equal and some don’t merit the same level of loving care and attention, at least not in Poland. According to this articleUkrainian refugees from Romany families, mostly women and children, are being turned away from reception centres, not being given food parcels and are generally discriminated against. Now, I am not standing up as an apologist for the Romany way of life. In the 21st century they perhaps need to adapt and many of them do. The fact is they are not all thieves and fortune tellers. Most just want to work. As far as ai know they aren’t insisting on living in caravans out on the road. And it seems to me that if those offering help to refugees want to be seen as really good Christians, they need to help everyone! 

Which brings me to the anti-abortion people who are reportedly amongst those greeting refugees at the Polish border. Here’s a link to an article about that problem.

Between all this sort of thing, and the American Supreme Court Justices apparently planning to overturn Roe and Wade, enabling most of the USA to ban abortion, it looks as though The Handmaid’s Tale is becoming a more and more realistic near future! 

What next? It’s almost as gloomy as the weather - which is still threatening rain after all!

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone! 

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