The age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists and calculators has succeeded.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


I (almost) had an infinitely productive week. It would have been if I hadn't had a painful and embarrassing mini-op on Thursday, which rendered me immobile for most of the adjoining dates between now and then. If I hadn't had my loyal and long suffering friend S the snapper with me to offer me succour and soup, I'm really not sure I would have managed at all. The delightful lass not only came to pick me up from the hospital in a taxi, but also trooped round all of sunny Brighton's pharmacies searching for a prescription, two thirds of which, alas, proved elusive, one third not being in stock anywhere, and the other having gone out of production.

So, I have now repaired to the suburban hinterlands of Kingston for a little RnR with the family. Last night, I met up with two old, misplaced, and very lovely friends at a dinner party, who in a similar vein of pseudonyms, shall hereafter be referred to as Tipples and WonderWoman. Being slightly older than me, they provide an effective gauge as to where I should be in two years time. Suffice to say, it's moderately intimidating- nice jobs, own accommodation, fulfillment, goodness me. A lot to get done.
We had a good old chat about the Live8 concerts continuing across the globe. WonderWoman, having traveled extensively, has quite a good handle on development issues, and she and I were marveling at the sheer scale of what needs to be achieved in order to facilitate equality and social justice. Tipples, however, summed it all up for us by telling us the parable of the starfish, which I have summarised below:

The Parable of the Starfish
An old man was walking along the ocean shoreline one morning after a very high tide. As he wandered he noticed thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore and he realized that they would die if they were not returned to the sea. But there were so many, there was no way to save them.
He looked up from the sand and in the distance he saw someone bending, reaching, then standing and tossing something into the sea.
He approached, and realized that a child was methodically grasping a starfish and throwing it into the ocean, repeating the gesture again and again. The old man stopped the child and asked, "Why are you bothering? There are miles and miles of beach and thousands and thousands of starfish. You can't possibly make a difference."
The child looked at the old man, bent down, grasped another starfish, tossed it gently to the sea and replied, "But it made a difference to that one."

It was a lovely evening. Plus, not having seen my friends for a good while, it meant I had the chance to go on at length about the brilliance, attractiveness, talent and kindness of Wide, and the rambling, relatively romantic manner of our meeting; a topic which I always enjoy expanding upon. Wide, at this point, is quite hoarse, having discovered the pitfalls of open-air theatre on the first night. He had to give interview for BBC Northampton this morning, and apparently sounded like Yoda (but of course, with a revised understanding of grammar). Dear me. Of course, I know a little bit about what he means, having had to contend with amplified instruments for a while. Usually on finishing a long set, I sound like Barry White for ten minutes. This can occasionally be used to good effect.

Oh my. I must sign off now as my wonderful little brother, Puke, is giving me a lovely shoulder rub. How many 15year old boys would do that? Hurrah!


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