The above phrase is being used as a workshop title for a talk at our local library soon. It seems very apt for people who aspire to be writers, and I must count myself amongst those, especially as I now belong to a writing group.
We went to Opera in the Park twice, on Friday night after our choir committee meeting in Leederville. We were there for about an hour before we decided to pack it in and come back on the next night.
Friday morning I was getting anxious about the thought of the Winnie being at the repairers for another weekend, exspecially as it wasn’t with Ken Peachy. We went for another swim on Friday morning, taking advantage of our relatively quiet week. The call came around mid day and we went to pick it up after lunch. The panel beaters had repainted the hood, but there is a little paint missing on a side panel as well. I should probably get some vehicle paint and fix it up myself until it gets to the stage where the whole panel needs doing. Ken Peachy had fixed the lock and we can now lock the door with three levels of security. A normal lock, a deadlock, and the screen door. We have a new grey water hose, and the screw on the top panel was fixed.
It felt a bit cooler last night and I decided to wash the floor. It didn’t look dirty, but the amount of dirt on the floor was amazing. It means that the lino is very good at hiding it. I still want to clean the rest of the interior and tackle some stains on the outside, so it is parked on the front lawn for now as I wait for little windows when it is cool enough to do some work. Last night I ended up bathed in sweat – it must have been very humid and with no electrical hookup I couldn’t run the floor fan.
The committee meeting for the choir went well, with decisions being made unanimously. Our chairperson will respond in writing to the choir director regarding the next six months. We met at the Dome near the Luna, Leederville. Dome cafes near restaurant strips stay open until 9.00 p.m., about the only cafes open that late.
On Saturday night we took a picnic organised mostly by Stephen, though I went out and bought some flat bread and a tray of fruit which made a nice contribution. I stood for about half an hour to get us hot chocolate, not quite realising that other stall could also do hot chocolate. The show started whilst I was there, but I was back for the main aria.
We took a selfi when the light was still good, and apart from the camera focussing on the background instead of on us, it’s quite a nice photo. We look like a match, we were wearing similar shirts, both have dark framed glasses and grey hair. Of course the missed focus has a softening effect on our faces, which we appreciate very much.
The opera was staged, with cameras giving us closeups that were very necessary, since the orchestra was in front. It was being simulcast to many regional venues and I imagined lots of people sitting in parks enjoying food and wine and enjoying the music. It was fairly warm, with a slight cooling down towards the end of the evening. We caught the bus there and back, along with other opera lovers.
Part of the opera takes place in winter, with the singers having to wear coats and scarves. There was even a little artificial snow.
On Saturday morning we went for our monthly Gwelup Walk with Eversley and Colin. The summer time of 8.30 a.m. meant that we were out during the cooler weather. We started with the boardwalk and noticed ducklings in the water. Then around the longest section of the walk, hugging the shade, to the cafe. When we got back, Eversley gave me a book from the libary by Nien Cheng ‘Life and Death in Shanghai’ – a first person account of her experiences during the Cultural Revolution. She seems to have used her strong sense of personhood to cope. I am sort of enjoying it, her writing is very vivid and personal, but the subject matter is difficult.
The other book was recomended by Stephen from reading the Weekend Australian review. It’s ‘The Doomsday Machine’ by Daniel Ellsberg. Daniel was involved in finding out about the nuclear programme in the US during the Cold War. It’s a pretty scary book, if we had known this level of detail at the time we would have worried even more than we did. Of course, the threat of nuclear war is back on the table.
The administration has adopted a couple of his recommendations, including a way of stopping hostilities, which they didn’t have before, and perhaps a more cautious approach since we now know about the ‘nuclear winter’ that would happen even if there is only a small nuclear war. The nuclear bombing plan set up for the Cold War involved bombing cities in the USSR and also taking out all of the major cities in China, for good measure. I think taking out China if a nuclear war starts is still a part of the battle plan. It is chilling to read about because there is no thought of the horror of deliberately targeting civilians when it is governments that decide on war.
Another good thing is that there is no nuclear button, as such, and the military would never trust a civilian, even the President of the United States (no matter who that is), or Secretary of Defence, with the actual codes. The briefcase that is carried around by an officer wherever the President goes is a dummy. Of course, the miliary are not guaranteed to make good decisions either, as there is still a tendency to ignore the effect of firestorms resulting from nuclear explosions that would send smoke above the atmosphere into the stratosphere and cause a 10 year nuclear winter. People in the southern hemisphere wouldn’t die of blasts or fire or radiation, but would die of starvation because food production would be impossible. Most people on the planet would die, apart from the preppers (perhaps) and very rich people who already have their bunkers.
I suspect I should not be reading such a frightening book, but having started, it is hard to stop. I was reading in the news this morning that China has just accused the US of going back to the Cold War by wanting to bring in less powerful nuclear weapons as part of the deterrent. This is based on the idea that their enemies would never expect them to actually use the most powerful nuclear weapons because of killing most people on the planet. However, smaller nuclear weapons might not have this effect. Depends how many are used by both sides?
Of course, the Chinese government must be aware that the US regards China as a main target even if though China would not initiate a nuclear war. Although China is a nuclear power, they have nothing like the arsenals of the USA and Russia.