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12 November 2011 @ 01:16 am
Quick wave  
I feel as though I need a Granny Weatherwax note ...

I woke up in time for two minutes' silence this morning, but having spent several days trying to find a poppy seller, was still poppy-less by the end of the day. Oh Sydney, why so little on the poppy front?

I'm one of those anti-war, pro-armed services people. Having travelled through several war zones in my time I strongly believe that war is almost never worth the cost to a society and that other political solutions are almost always preferable (not always – what else was Europe meant to do against Hitler?) But those who serve in the armed forces are usually motivated by an admirable sense of duty in my countries, and have most often done sterling service in peace-time crises. Their sacrifices should be highlighted in the public discourse, if for no other reason than to remind politicians that their actions can and will waste real and valued lives, and so they should be cautious and not gung-ho. Having grown up listening to those who served in both World Wars, they emphasised strongly that they fought so no one would have to again. Ninety-seven years after the war to end all wars began, we're still fighting. And at the moment it's because politicians over the last 30 years have all acted like economists in pretending that the future is unimportant. In a perfect world, all the politicians who trot out to lay wreaths today would be forced to run all decisions to go to war past foot soldiers and their families.

Anyway, other news. We were out walking at 2am the other morning because I unexpectedly have no work on for the next couple of months and it was 26 degrees Celcius still (MADNESS!), so a walk seemed sensible. I could hear the curling song of currawongs (one of the many big mad Australian birds that looks like a magpie or crow), which is a daytime sound, so I looked around until I found them. (Video of currawong song, not the same ones!)


Up on a wire were two, making a lot of noise and flapping their wings
aggressively. Between them was a tawny frogmouth, loudly clacking its
beak in a bid to scare them off (it sounds like a single clap of a castanet, startlingly loud for a bird that is less than a foot from top to end of tail). We guessed that the currawongs had chicks nearby and thought the frogmouth was after them. Since it eats only insects, they were panicking over nothing. We clapped our hands and tried to send the currawongs off, but they would only go a little distance away, and the frogmouth wasn't moving. Since they were scared of the frogmouth, we decided it was unlikely to be hurt and continued on our way, bemused by the wildlife in the city moment.

I still have not taken photos of the new bike, due to being too busy chasing down freelance work, tidying the house for our lovely Kiwi visitor (hi neep1!) or being out on rides. It remains a thing of beauty, though those who warned that it sounded heavy were quite right. But I knew that. I am, however, up to the physical challenge and my muscles are rapidly toning up to meet their new demands! Give me another few months and I will have the lifting capacity of a Greek grandmother.

To tie things up, I read this comic written by an 86-year-old former soldier a few days ago. I think it is one of the most hopeful and beautiful things I have seen on the internet, so if you have a few free minutes, do check it out!

And now off to wash clothes, dye red stripes in hair, write words and try to get some sleep before I have to get up for a ride in the morning. Hope you're all very well and I will be back in the world of the functional and socially capable next week after I knock over everything that needs to get done this weekend!
 
 
 
ecosopherecosopher on November 11th, 2011 02:34 pm (UTC)
That comic is so fantastic.

And yay tawny frogmouth! I remember one flying into the front of the truck when we were driving home (don't worry - happy ending) and Dad stopped to see if we could save it. We took it home and put it in a box, and the next day it had recovered well enough to sit up. When it got dark, we let it outside and it flew away :)
Drooling Fan Girldroolfangrrl on November 11th, 2011 03:01 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 11th, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC)
OMG! That is INSANELY CUTE! That image could cure most of the world's ills were it distributed widely enough!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 11th, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC)
I had no idea they were in the city! Mr B assures me he has seen any number of them, he is under instructions to point them out in future! HURRAH for your frogmouth being saved. I felt sorry for this one, but he seemed to be holding his own for the most part.

And yeah, I just wanted to hug that guy and say thank you.
Emmaemmacmf on November 11th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC)
That rage comic made me cry. This is why the internet is awesome.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 11th, 2011 04:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I agree! I was having a bit of a crappy week and that came up on Twitter and things just immediately improved.
wemyss: remembrancewemyss on November 11th, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
The Covenant must be kept.
I'm not so certain about military plebiscites. A bit Cromwellian for me; and, frankly, no matter how browned off, squaddies are likely to surprise you, I think, m'dear, if called on to vote for or against action.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 11th, 2011 04:06 pm (UTC)
Re: The Covenant must be kept.
I cannot see many squaddies voting to go into Iraq when there was such important work to do in Afghanistan. I am not for despots, but a reasonably stable secular state run by a loony-led minority party that kills a small number of political dissidents a year v a fundamentalist tyranny that kills women and intellectuals at will and strips rights from large parts of its society and then actively supports an opening salvo in the war ... I will never, ever understand what the hell Bush, Blair, Howard & Co thought they were doing there.

And I do not think for a moment that such a plebiscite could occur, but I do think that it would be a useful way for politicians to consider issues. In some recent cases, like East Timor and Afghanistan, were I Prime Minister, I would feel that I could meet the eyes of bereaved parents and partners with a saddened but untroubled conscience. In the case of Iraq, I feel certain I could not.
wemyss: remembrancewemyss on November 11th, 2011 04:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, I do realise we'll not agree.
Arcades ambo though we be.
calanthe_fics on November 11th, 2011 05:27 pm (UTC)
Brammers! Mwah!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 13th, 2011 02:14 pm (UTC)
Darling! BIG MWAH! I went to Canberra, it was very Canberra-ey, but the people were delightful. I MISS YOU!
oopsoddishly on November 11th, 2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
Love the rage comic :') And splendidly splendid to see you around! <333333
bare_memabonwitch on November 11th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
I do feel like politicians being required to consider the effects of their decisions on people a bit more deeply in general might be a good thing.
AutumnHearti_autumnheart on November 11th, 2011 11:21 pm (UTC)
We had a tawny frogmouth mistake the balcony at work for a tree a few months back - it sat there all day, hissing at the people who stuck cameras in its face, but otherwise completely refusing to move until dark. They're awesome.

I'm glad you're OK otherwise (I sometimes think the Granny Weatherwax sign needs to be a standard status - like an out-of-office auto-reply on email) and are getting a break after the months of busy earlier this year.
Welcome to Ant Countryant_queen on November 12th, 2011 02:50 am (UTC)

I love tawny frogmouths. We used to have a couple living in a tree in our yard years ago. I think their defense is to stubbornly sit still and pretend to be part of a tree. They also make the most pathetic nests. A couple of twigs in the fork of a tree. The young were always falling out. Miracle they survive really.