More than a month has gone by while I did not need to comment on current affairs or moan about something. So life must be treating me well. The weather gods certainly did as it has been glorious and Nature everywhere is absolutely exploding. The garden is at its most beautiful and was duly admired by the whole extended Lowik family with hangers on. We had 33 people from 84 to a few weeks old. The weather could not be more perfect and as my son’s head master used to say: A good time was had by all. Though the preparation took a great chunk out of my time. The advantage was that I bought so much food that we are still eating it today. Somehow I always go a bit crazy when I have to plan big dinners and buy far too much. Probably the same hangup I have with travelling by plane. Even though I have done it for over 25 years for work I still arrive idiotically early for fear of missing it. The night before I dream I either missed it or forgot my passport. Luckily now you cannot lose your ticket anymore. One less thing to fret about. One of the reasons I prefer to travel by our own car as there is no real time limit.
Believe it or not but I spent days figuring out how to make sure that everyone had a chair and table space to eat their food and then everyone went and sat on the grass. Lesson for next time.
The day before the BBQ we had the chance to see a real life fairy tale on television as one of the British princes married a beautiful woman who ticked all the boxes what a British princess should not be though they would never admit it: mixed-race, divorced, older than the prince and a former television star who actually had a very romantic wedding already on screen. But as an advertisement for the British Royal Family business it was great. It will make sure the people will keep paying for their luxurious life style. Having been brought up by a dark red Socialist I have never been in favor of any sort of handing over power to the next family member instead of to someone who was chosen to do so. Though Trump naturally is the exception to the rule. The latter shows that the choosers have to have a few brain cells among them and should not in any way benefit from the outcome of the election.
My dad had no good word to say about religion either. He had the same opinion about as as Philip Roth, who died a short while ago. He once said:”When the whole world doesn’t believe in God, it’ll be a great place” and “I’m exactly the opposite of religious, I’m anti-religious. I find religious people hideous. I hate the religious lies. It’s all a big lie.” So I was influenced by a Catholic upbringing by school and church and my father’s ideas about religion. Which was quite confusing at the time. I kept wanting to be a proper agnostic, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking I better keep a good relation with the guy upstairs, just in case. Now I have reached the last trimester of my life more or less and seen what so-called religious people are capable of I just believe this is what it is and you better make something out of it because it is the only chance you get. One day at a time. By the way I never enjoyed the books of Roth. They were too much written from a male point of view and a bit whiny. A lot of people will probably see this as blasphemy just as when I said in my Creative writing course that I did not like Shakespeare. And I did this while living in England where he is revered like a god.
Talking about religion we had some more attacks of extremists on random people in honor of Allah last week, We are living in times that this has become practically normal. People all say how bad it is and the News channels try their best, bust to be honest the next day it is business as usual except for the unfortunates who were at the wrong place at the wrong time. We see so much happening on our screens and most of it not very pleasant we have become jaded. Good news very rarely makes it to the screen as happiness is rather boring. Literature proves my point. I always find it rather painful to see the sort of delight of the journalists when they have a big disaster to cover. It is as if you see them thinking: No scraping for stuff to write about for a while. Maybe I am being too cynical.
Mr Trump is blowing hot and cold about meeting with the little guy from North Korea. The latter has cleverly been pretending to have a big nuclear program which he now will happily shut down in order to get a super trade deal with the USA. I would so love to see The Handshake when those two meet. Stick to bowing President Kim Jong-un !
In the mean time he manages to keep the investigation in his dealings with Russia while on campaign nicely side tracked. He tried starting a war, now a trade war with China and Europe. He accuses the FBI of spying and changes his advisers at such an alarming rate that people cannot keep track of it. The poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in the UK is suddenly completely silenced and I bet the CIA had something to do with that. The spy and his daughter have survived but we never heard from them who came to their door with the poison. Only that they are doing better. Life is so much better than fiction.
I am reading the Outsider which, as with many books of Stephen King, started really really good as a detective but halfway stranded in another horror story with a ghoulish devil. I can always not bring myself to finish it, but as his writing style is very educational for me I will push on. He seems to fall back on it with every book.
Am also reading the sequel to The girl with all the gifts which is a beautiful book with a completely different take on the zombie angle. Recently saw the movie they made and must say that it was pretty close to the book. As this second book seems to be about the time before the first book I wonder how it is going to develop.
The summer is always a good time to read a lot of escapist books. A good detective is always welcome but besides Elizabeth George I have not seen many that were not just a repeat of some I have read before.
A new book I can recommend is Rotherweird a sort of Harry Potter for adults. Some people have likened it to Ghormengast, but as I could not get through it at the time I have no opinion on that. But maybe I should give it another go as I have matured a little since the seventies.