Jan's View

By HarlingDarling

A very, very, deeply dull day

Weatherwise, very, very, deeply dull. Thick mist down to the ground, then rain, then drizzle, then more - and somehow even thicker - mist. We took it easy since the outdoor option was very, very, deeply unattractive. Keith posted off a present to the far south for our friend's birthday, bought some milk and came home. By which time I'd made a new batch of dry roasted breakfast cereals, and made soup for our tea. The fresh bread department belonged to the Master Baker.

But this wasn't to be. We wrote to a man selling a small camper van, and he rang back saying we could go and look at it today if we wanted to. So we did, in the very, very, deeply rainy afternoon. All the way to where that splendid waterfall is, and a bit beyond. What a nice little van it was! But they have given first dabs to a person from the very far south who is driving up at the weekend to see it. So I suppose he must be very keen and will almost certainly buy it. It was good to see that this is the sort of van that will work for us, not that we see many for sale, but we are learning what we are after and getting closer. And finally, we have seen one in the flesh!

When we drove home through the very, very, deeply misty late afternoon I took this blip. The back roads of our area are almost always oiled grit, and this sort of weather renders them sloppy and splashy. The car was a beautiful shade of mud when we parked at home. And of course I wiped some of it clean with my clothes.... like you do, specially when wearing a light coloured garment.

The garden is, of course, revelling in this very, very, deeply damp day - you can see new growth bursting forth, almost as you watch. It is amazing how the garden changes so fast from day to day. It is only briefly dark now, so the plants can grab light almost non-stop. What a marvel this whole thing is. We are still in thick mist at 9 in the evening so the whole day has been "atmospheric" and oriental in feel. Like a mysterious Japanese scene, where anything at all might emerge from the damp mist, a dragon perhaps, or a weary traveller who knows a secret, or a lost puppy, or...

Tomorrow we are supposed to be released from the lethargy of the enveloping fog, and sunshine will once again beam down upon Bötsle. I have a digital meeting to attend, Keith has a different one to attend at the same time. This week we have appointments of one sort or another every day - that is a record for us since the pandemic began. I have to keep reminding myself, I feel a bit anxious that I will forget all about these dates with fate!

Sweden has swung about in her loyalties to Israel or to the Palestinian people, but for the whole time I've lived here Sweden has been very pro-Palestine, and has offered long-term practical support. There are many Palestinians living here, having been given refugee status by the UN and selected to be offered residency here. Consequently, there is a lot of reporting from the current conflict, and one of the very best foreign correspondents is in situ, and reporting back on what she sees and hears. 

The tragedy of the destruction of life and homes and well-being seems endless. The sort of oppression currently visited upon the Palestinians by the Israeli state is hard to understand in any other way than state sanctioned discrimination, many here are calling it apartheid. I despair of this horrible, man-made situation ever finding a solution in my lifetime. Those poor people!  Today I listened to the voices of Israelis and Arabs who are working for peace, for co-operation - they feel their stories are not being told at all, that the extremists on both sides are getting all the air time, whilst the majority (who want what we all want, and who can coexist peacefully) are sidelined. It was ever thus. The dramatic, the extreme, the shocking - that's what we are drawn to... and yet most of us long for peace and harmony in our own lives. It's a conundrum, and no mistake.

So today it is really easy to feel gratitude for so many things, beginning with the lack of war in my village, a roof over my head, soup to eat for tea and friends who are doing just fine. And blip, always grateful for blip, and the sanity and humanity found here.

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