Not my cup of tea
One of the things I’ve had to do recently is to critique a piece of writing, which happened to be about trophy hunting of lions in Mozambique. It was a well-written piece, and I said as much, but felt (as I always do when talking about this subject) that I had to point out that I’m not in favour of trophy hunting as a sport. There’s been a horrible thing going around on social media recently, concerning a 12-year-old girl proudly posing with a giraffe she had shot while on holiday. Most people who have been lucky enough, as I have been, to see these animals in the wild, must surely feel horrified by that.
Denys Finch-Hatton, immortalized in Karen Blixen’s Out of Africa was one of the early big game hunters in Kenya. However, having seen what an effect hunting was having on the massive herds of game, and appreciating their beauty, he switched from shooting them with guns to taking aim with the camera, instead. He accompanied the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) on Safari in 1928 and 1930, convincing HRH that filming animals was preferable to killing them, and Prince Edward later took up Finch Hatton’s causes, including the founding of the Serengeti National Park. They were in the vanguard of wildlife photography.
When I saw this window display in the ‘Old Curiosity Shop’, as I call it (where Saturday’s Virgin Mary was blipped) I was really rather horrified. The antique lioness skin rug is the centerpiece, but it is surrounded by smaller animals, including two juvenile crocodiles, pelts and skulls (I couldn’t get the whole display in, because of reflections on the window). As far as window-dressing goes, it’s a striking display, but I do wonder who in Nelson is going to buy all these things, in this day and age.
This morning I really did have to have my car at the garage at 9am, and they said they might need it till 4pm. So, thinking I’d be in town all day, I decided to take my laptop and get on with some work in college. It’s the holidays at the moment, so I expected it to be fairly quiet. I also took the compact camera with me, so that I could get a blip along the way.
As I expected, there were few people about in college and I had our usual classroom to myself. However, one floor down, there was a meeting in progress. I’ve noticed before that due to some trick of the earthquake-proof construction of G Block, sounds carry clearly through gaps between the walls and the floor – rather a design flaw, I think. Imagine if the people in the meeting had been discussing something confidential, and I had been determined to listen? I’m sure I could have heard every word very clearly if I’d lain with my ear to the gap!
In fact, my car was ready by midday, so I picked it up, met a friend for lunch and then came home, stopping to take this pic on the way.