Today is what I would call a typical summer's day.
The sun is shining, and there are fairly frequent showers. There is a bit of a wind blowing which, while not cold isn't exactly conducive to stripping off on a beach [or anywhere else for that matter]. It's the kind of day when you wouldn't have a clue what kind of clothing to bring on a walk.
I had to nip down to the shop earlier.
Mal the Man who owns the place was on duty.
Now Our Mal is a man of few words. He is they type you would least expect to find at a party regaling a laughing mob with hilarious tales. Maybe laconic would be a fair description. Leastwise the most you can expect from him is a grunt when you ask for a paper of tobacco. It's not that he is rude or unfriendly or anything like that – it's just that he rarely has anything to say.
I was somewhat surprised when he actually passed a comment.
"A bit too much weather today".
I couldn't argue with that.
I have just cut the grass.
Big deal, you all say.
Actually it was.
I hadn't cut it for a while and it didn't look too shabby so I was able to put it off on the reasonable grounds that I didn't feel like doing it.
It transpired that the grass was being really fucking sneaky and deceptive. What I though was fairly short grass was in fact quite long, and the clumps of what I thought was long grass was in fact the makings of a respectable savanna.
It's cut now, but there are times I thought I wouldn't make it. It took full throttle in first gear to get through some of those longer bits, and I haven't had to go to those extremes for a while.
Now I have to decide whether to rake the hay or not. If I leave it lie, it will damage the grass it's lying on, but if I rake it I will end up bolloxed. A tough choice.
And then I have one or two other small jobs to do.
Strim about two hundred feet of grass along the road frontage.
Cut back two hedges and try to reduce their height from around ten feet to around six feet.
Send about half a ton of cut branches and stuff through the muncher. They're in a pile outside the window at the moment and look messy.
Fell a couple of trees.
Hack back the brambles which are everywhere, and are especially dense in the places where I hacked them back last year.
Continue re-laying the front gravel which is now half weeded and re-laid and looks half decent.
There are times when the idea of living in an apartment doesn't seem so bad.
I was going to write some stuff today.
But then I realised that I wasn't really in the mood for writing stuff.
Thinking about it, my compulsion was more to put something [anything] up rather than say something frightfully profound and erudite.
So in the end, I didn't.
Is it "referendums" or "referenda"?
There seems to be some confusion and it also seems to be a subject which people get quite steamed up about. Personally I couldn't give a shite.
We had better resolve the problem though because it appears we are going to have six of the fucking things next year.
Reducing the voting age to 16? Who cares? I doubt many 16 year olds do as they seem mostly to be preoccupied with getting drunk or getting laid [or both].
Reducing the candidacy age to 35 for the presidency? For fuck's sake! Abolishing the presidency is more like it.
Same sex marriage? What the hell is that doing in the constitution? It shouldn't even be in the law books. It's not up to me, the state or anyone what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms [or in the car park in the local woods]. Leastwise it is nothing to do with me.
Patents and intellectual property? You must be joking! I thought the constitution was supposed to be a document stating the aspirations of the people? Do we aspire to allow monkeys take "selfies"? Do we care?
There is mention too of "women in the home". I haven't a clue what that is about. What about men in sheds, kids in the attic and skeletons in the closet? Don't they deserve a mention?
There is another topic for a vote but apparently it has been redacted. The people are going to be asked to vote yes or no on trust for this one. Either that or they'll fill in the details after the vote?
Maybe the last one asks whether the people should adopt "referendums" in preference to "referenda"?
Over the last couple of days it seems that there was some kind of compulsory law to write about Robin Williams.
I find all this faux grieving somewhat saddening. It is typical of the modern culture that idolises the cult of the celebrity.
I was saddened by his passing as I liked some of his films, but that was it. I can't see why I should grieve more for him than for any of the hundreds who commit suicide in Ireland every year. They too represent a tragic event in the lives of their families. They too have sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers, yet their final act of desperation goes relatively unnoticed except in their immediate communities.
They estimate that four hundred people kill themselves in Ireland each year, but seeing as coroners have a habit of recording "accidental death" or "death by misadventure" to spare the feeling of the families, the true figure will be a hell of a lot higher.
There is international panic over the Ebola outbreak in Africa yet the deaths there pale into minute insignificance compared to the death toll from suicide here, and the toll increases each year as the pressures imposed by an uncaring society become increasingly hard to tolerate.
Every day the papers triumphantly announce another death on our roads and the craw-thumping powers that be cry about tougher legislation to cut road deaths, yet far more people die by suicide and get barely a mention. And it is those self same righteous who impose a society which is evermore demanding and ever less caring about the individual.
So grieve for Robin Williams if you must, but spare a thought for those closer to home.
Just because you haven't heard their name doesn't make them less important.