Day 30

The sunset reveals the strength of the west wind. Long thin fingers of pink cloud extend high across the darkening blue sky.

The sun disappears, but from beyond the skyline, sends a single red beam powering straight up. A trick of the light; a crimson spotlight backlighting an emptying stage.

Following the arc of the heavens, not far behind the Sun bleeding over the horizon, Venus. The stark brilliance of Venus. The sky still too light for other stars. No moon. Just the Goddess of Love and Beauty. Evening Star for now, but like a passionate lover, soon to return as the Morning Star to greet me at dawn.

In awe of what lies beyond our atmosphere, I turn up Purdy Street. A bat flickers from somewhere over my shoulder and twists a helix in its flight chasing midges across the lane and over the red tiled roof of a flint cottage.

I meet no-one on my walk. 

Warm lights illuminate several of the cottages, but many are cold, empty shells. Holiday homes, second homes, retirement homes, investment homes, unfinished farm building conversions. The cluster of active family homes is found in the close of social housing on the right of the lane. Here children’s bicycles, a colourful football, a red and yellow Wendy House, litter the small gardens and collect evening dew.

My news of seeing the bat, when I return, provokes a dark joke, “I hope you weren’t infected by it.”

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Christopher Perry

16th April, 2020

On Wealth

Waste is greed’s excess

Who might use what we do not?

Give without return

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n.b. ‘Nequit pereat’ is the motto above the Wells Cathedral clock. It means ‘let nothing perish’. Do we need all we have? Would what we have in excess be put to better use if given to others?

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CLP 21/02/2020

January Road Trip (XIV)

But hold, what is this?

Proud city, enlightened folk

Built on backs of slaves

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n.b. Today I heard, “The Second City of the British Empire” in reference to Glasgow.

Scratch the surface of our rich cities and acknowledge the sources of prosperity.

CLP 24/01/2020

Nothing Matters (II)

Cross the River Styx

With just enough for your fare

Nothing else required

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n.b. For all our possessions and wealth, however great or small, it is no good to us when we have died. A couple of pennies on the eyelids to pay Charon for the crossing to the other side is all we need.

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CLP 15/12/2019

On Manners

Greased hinges open

No Where from? Nor How come so?

But You’re most welcome

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n.b. How would you spend your millions?

Discretion, courtesy, stability and security, all are important elements of polite society.

I once met a Swiss investment advisor, (let’s call him Eric) who explained to me that these are also the four characteristics of Switzerland that attract his clients from Russia, Malta, Turkey, South Africa and Israel to invest in his country.

He was most disparaging of the chaotic state of the United Kingdom and the disruptive elements in Parliament who might ask awkward questions about where wealth originates. These questions might challenge his clients to explain their sources of income. Such a naïve approach to inbound investment in the UK allows him to successfully promote the attractions of the Confederation Helvetica.

Little does Eric know about the UK. We are open for business!

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/oct/24/superyachts-and-private-jets-spending-of-corrupt-super-rich-revealed

The article names three well-known private schools in the UK that profit from criminal income sources. These schools still hold charitable status in the UK, despite being beneficiaries of corruption and crime. The report above states the sums involved amount to around £3m. They certainly are charitable when it comes to offering school places to global society’s waifs and strays.

I asked Eric where he spent his holidays. Modestly he told me that he only takes a few days each year, usually visiting friends in Moscow. His shirt was impossibly white, (I remember thinking at the time, who cleans his shirts?).

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n.n.b. Transparency International is based in Berlin and is doing invaluable work highlighting where dirty money goes to get laundered. There are offices of this organisation around the world, including in London https://www.transparency.org.uk

CLP 23/10/2019