Tuesday, 15 July 2014


I rescued a beautiful Tortoiseshell butterfly this morning. He was perched against the giant windows in our sitting room. They are actually windows we very rarely open, so heaven knows how he got there. Butterflies seem such fragile, delicate things, particularly up front, so it could have been incredibly difficult to get the little fella out into the open air. As it happened, he happily fluttered onto my palm, went incredibly still and patiently waited as I transported him to an open window. In fact, even as I shook my hand to show him that it was time to go, he stayed with me, quite unperturbed, for as long as it took Nathan to get his phone and take a photo.

I write about this occurrence as it's the most exciting thing which has happened all day. Apart from a brief visit to the gym, I've done very little but orchestrate. Nineteen songs down. Three to go. I'm very nearly there - although the last three pieces are songs, or rather musical episodes, I'm not exactly relishing the idea of working on.

I caught up on the news for the first time in ages. There's more hopelessness in the Middle East, more often than not reported with a huge middle-class-chip bias towards the Palestinian people. I watched an entire news package about an eight-year old lad whose relatives had been killed by an Israeli raid. "They're all animals" he proclaimed, vowing to have his revenge... And so it goes on.

What with this, and sitting through a World Cup final yesterday where the announcers were plainly keen for Germany to loose, I begin to wonder why on earth we even try to claim that the media are unbiased in this country.

The rest of the news was all about the emancipation of women. I see this as a good thing. The church of England synod at my old university of York has finally voted to allow female priests, and it seems that thingie Cameron has ditched a whole load of ancient white men from his cabinet and replaced them with some wildly unpleasant-looking women with desperately smug faces.

I was rather hoping that the Church of England would continue to refuse to acknowledge the 21st Century, and therefore make itself so extraordinarily out-of-touch that we could all get on with working hard and being kind to each other without the threat of religion because we realise that what we have in the here-and-now is our one shot at existence.

I wonder if more people in the world are atheists than any other religion?That would be an interesting statistic to see... We spend much time trying to work out if the Buddhists or the Christians or the Muslims have all the answers, based on the numbers of people who practise these particular religions, but maybe there are more practising atheists? Whatever the case, surely it's the atheists in the world who should be calling the shots. Earth is, after all, an atheist's heaven, and if you believe in an actual heaven, what goes on on earth is of little consequence.

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