Friday, June 27, 2008

Reading from pamphlet

Colin and I did another reading from Heart Notes, this time on home turf. We had a good audience and people seemed to like the poems. It always comes as something of a shock to me that the contents of my daft head should appeal to anyone else.

My daughter's friend played the flute between readings and did a really good job. She's only 18 but can play the bass guitar, piano, acoustic guitar and flute. She is going off on a gap year in a few weeks time and will be coming home to study medicine. It was good to have a young person around as it gave the night a nice balance.

The news in the broader world continues to depress me. There must be a big, chunky novel or screenplay to be written on the effects of the hike in the price of oil, and the reasons for it. The speed of the ripple effect on lives across the planet due to the price hike is just astounding. Here's a wee list of things I've picked up on so far:

The cooking fat from fast food outlets is being stolen in the US
Crofters in the Western Isles of Scotland have experienced a wave of central heating fuel thefts and are having to increase security around their tanks.
The manufacture of the Hummer vehicle to be discontinued
Food riots through lack of staple grains in several developing countries, e,g. Haiti and Egypt,in part caused by the switch to growing for fuel rather than food, in part the distribution costs of moving grain around.
Fishing boats across the world tying up because it is just not cost-effective to put to sea.

After all the debates on global warming, Kyoto and its successor etc, etc it seems the quickest and most effective way to change human behaviour is, as ever, through the price mechanism - but, as ever, it is the poorest who are having to pay the piper first. And it's funny how crime, through ingenuity and/or necessity, is always the first thing to adapt to changing circumstances.

I'm looking into increasing our loft insulation for the coming winter with a product based on sheep's wool - wool sales have declined steeply because of the introduction of man-made fibres and fleeces, so wool is being used to insulate buildings instead.

And Paul McCartney's suggested we should all have a meat free day once a week (on the basis that meat takes more energy to produce that vegetables or grains) and has suggested that we make it a Monday. Only a vegetarian worth o' 125 million quid would suggest making it a Monday - the day most meat-eaters are using up their Sunday roast!


Blogger Kay said...

Ah but then Paul isn't a canny Scot is he? Or is he? McArtney I guess is a Scottish name when I think about it ... maybe too much Lancashire hot pot has stolen a lot of the Scottish canniness away. (I don't really know what I am saying - I'm out of my depth!)
Back to safe ground: The readings sound as if they were a success. Well done. :)

2:11 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

He's of Irish extraction I think -maybe Scots Irish?

Thanks on the readings.

3:39 pm  
Blogger BarbaraS said...

I love the way you move from talking about Heart Notes launch to the oil crisis. Glad the launch went well for you, Colin seems pleased on his blog too.

11:11 am  
Blogger PI said...

It'll be a cold day in hell before I would take advice from Paul McArtney.
The good news is that because of our advanced age - in August - we get our walls stuffed and lofts lagged. Free.

8:42 am  

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