Saturday, 7 March 2009

Castles in the Air

The weather.
Yesterday, cold, but sunny. As I walked home, I thought, 'The perfect sky for eagles,' and I looked up and there were two, circling. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you might just about be able to see a speck, and that is one of the eagles.
The weather.
Then, we were promised snow. Last night, the wind raged and rain, or hail, or frozen snow slapped against the window. First thing, clear, blue sky again. By afternoon, lowering and then hail.

I have just finished a strange book. 'Sea of Poppies' by Amitav Ghosh. It was rich and complex, and weird and ...opium-filled, and at first, I had to make myself continue with it, but after a while, I got into all the characters and their strange language and ultimately was sad when the story ended. Not that it has ended, since it was the first book in a trilogy.

Barbara Castle. Fabulous, down-to-earth socialist minister, Barbara Castle. Hopeful of becoming Home Secretary in Harold Wilson's cabinet, she was offered transport (sort of like being sent to Coventry in British Politics) in 1965. And, being Barbara Castle, she did a sterling job. She introduced the Road Safety Act, the breathalyser, a maximum speed limit of 70 and compulsory wearing of seat belts. She received VILE letters of abuse, but she saved literally THOUSANDS of lives, and these days, no-one would think of NOT having any of those. That's a politician's job, to do unpopular things that make things better and to take the crap people throw at them.

In Canadian politics, our PM has just said he was going to spend 3 billion straight off the bat, to improve the economy. The Leader of the Opposition asked him to account for where that money was going to go, and Stephen went into orbit.
What a plonker.

1 comment:

Sleepy said...

My Nan loved Barbara!