4 January 2011

Posted by DMC on 4 January 2011 in Diary |

Another slightly uncomfortable night, alleviated, to some extent, by the cricket commentary from Australia. I mentioned the problem of my arms and legs are getting weaker and this is making it much more difficult to turn over in bed which I need to do to take the pressure off the painful  shoulder or other joints. It’s the friction between my nightshirt and the cotton sheet that makes it difficult for me to twist round so we going to try either one of those nasty nylon sheets, or even a silk sheet, on the bottom, to see if that makes it easier for me to slide over onto my side-I cannot sleep on my back..

Anyway, my night’s diversion, the second day of the final test match, proved to be really exciting. Australia, had a reasonably good start at 134 for 4, and 171/5, then, after seeing the wickets tumble, ended with a respectable 280 all out, having added 91 runs for the last three wickets. England started well enough but lost Strauss for 60 when the score was 98.    Trott, the star of the previous test, was out, for the first time ever in his test career, in the next over for a duck (no score). Pieterson was next in and scored 36 before being bowled by Johnson when the score was then 165/3, shortly before close of play when Jimmy Anderson had to come in as a night watchman and fortunately survived the ordeal. With England at 167 for 3, being 113 behind Australia with seven wickets in hand, the match is nicely poised. On balance I would say it was probably Australia’s day with their tail end batsmen having performed  so well.

Although I receive a trickle of comments on my blog from various readers on most days,  I am surprised that some of my recent entries have not caused more controversy and therefore comments. Recently, I have launched off into extraneous topics merely in the hope of making the blog a little more interesting. It was these excursions I anticipated would generate more discussion but maybe everybody is too busy to comment, particularly over the holiday season.. For example, here is a recent list of such matters I have dealt with.

3  December – FIFA’s surprise selection of Russia, in 2018, to host the next World Football series followed by Qatar in 2022 when the UK bid was by far the most attractive..

8 December – my discussion on Prof Stephen Hawking’s book The Grand Design. I thought that this would provoke some comment from creationists.

9 December – a discussion concerning the morality of telling someone they have a terminal illness.

12 December – a discussion on bribery and corruption, mainly in the Third World.

18 December – naturism.

21 December – the origins of Christmas.

25 December – a typical Christmas Day in the UK.

1 January – a discussion on the effect on the young of violence and explicit sex on the television, DVDs and video games,.

I hope that, at least, my readers enjoy these types of diversions even if they do not have time themselves to comment on them. If, on the other hand, a large number of people consider these are irrelevant in terms of my blog then I suppose I would find that equally as instructive.


  • barbara says:

    Hello, mark

    I am intrigued by today’s post. I am in a great hurry this morning but do want to respond to you… Indeed, I have had a reaction to, and an opinion about, each of the topics you itemize today—AT THE TIME THEY WERE POSTED. It’s just that my responses tend to be tangential and “off topic” as you will see from the following.You are learned; your intellectual sphere rarified when compared, well, to “Mine.” Nonetheless, I am going to jot down some thoughts here…rush my fences. Forgive me if the typing is poor (it will be) and you stumble on a trillion non sequiturs (dear me, I should avoid using any possible legal terms here)—you see I am tripping up already, for all the world to see.

    Your remarks send me on tangents, which would not have contributed much to the dialogue, or whatever it is that authors have with readers of blogs. But on we go…. Rather stream of consciousness—just to PROVE your statements did evoke a response, at least in me.

    3 December – FIFA’s surprise selection of Russia, in 2018, to host the next World Football series followed by Qatar in 2022 when the UK bid was by far the most attractive. Response/reaction: I read the Guardian and the Telegragh every morning. I also the BBC On Line. I suspect this is a somewhat oddpractice for someone living in the states who has only been to England to visit. Setting all of that aside (mercifully) I do recall reading about this hosting of the games, about a voting fiasco and then outrage–but it just didn’t make the same impression, have the same impact that it did on you. I feel this is because I live in another country! I’m sorry, but this is where my mind strayed, regarding venues for events: I was reminded of the Commonwealth games held in India last year. On the one hand, the practices used to engage and pay contractors were surely corrupt and the project-management skills non-existent, and a complex authority structure which did not help matters. For these shortcomings, I suspect India deserved poor press. However… I did wonder about athletes from other countries, or representatives of those athletes sneered at the lodging and accommodations. Is there something a bit wrong with, and flawed about the guests, and not the hosting country? Perhaps we cannot take our living standards everywhere, expect our sense of comfort of entitlement to …well you get the picture. Isn’t there something gracious and important about being respectful guests? I will read and think more about this.

    8 December – my discussion on Prof Stephen Hawking’s book The Grand Design. I thought that this would provoke some comment from creationists. I am not a creationist, so I can set that matter (warning: unfortunate word choice) aside. On the contrary, I have been great fan and admirer of SH. After reading your post, I located and read reviews and critiques of the book you name. I came upon several briefly stated and provocative questions he poses. I will try to find them again. Succinct, simply expressed, his questions send the mind (well, my mind, but that’s another story) reeling. I am reading The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene—and he does write splendidly, is adept at bridging the gap between the educated and the “Clueless” (of course I am in this latter category). Again, your blog post certainly had an effect on me.

    9 December – a discussion concerning the morality of telling someone they have a terminal illness. This one I would not touch with the proverbially 10-foot pole. I was born and reared in Oregon, the only state that has legalized physician-assisted-suicide (of course this service is available in two(?) European countries (note to self—get the facts here). The whole death and “planning” for death is a hot topic in the US. Obama just did back flips to make this work with our Medicare system. No go. Sarah Palin- I will refrain from vicious pejoratives– likes to use rhetoric and hyperbole, labeling such discussions as: “Obama Death Panels.” Suffice it to say there in much heated debate surrounding all conversation of death and planning for death, or a person’s final days, however one would express that. On principle, however, I come down on the side of full disclosure to the patient. I am stretching this point, probably, because of my personal bias. Unlike many people—I do NOT want to die suddenly. I want to tidy up everything, place my animals in homes, have my retirement documents organized, etc. (Although I did warned my sister to bring rubber gloves if she ends up cleaning out the two back bedrooms.) This is a simplistic response, but I do stand quite firm on it, although your discussion certainly fleshed (warning—another bad word choice) it out well and fully. I think every person–who is mentally capable of understanding the concept–must be told they are terminally ill. I don’t like to involve myself much with another person’s destiny. I think it is a God-given (well, I’m not much into that) right to deal with, grapple with, even suffer with the knowledge of a reduced life expectancy. (Read: Barbara’s soap box)

    12 December – a discussion on bribery and corruption, mainly in the Third World. Good heavens, this topic is almost too big to speak to! As we know, bribery and corruption are endemic, ubiquitous in the third world. We (US, UK) walk a razor’s edge: should we provide aid and succor to these countries hoping to protect the innocent but knowing it will do no good with the current powers in place? What really happens to that money? That our support will help the poor and downtrodden– and even perhaps the female population (read lyrics to John Lennon’s song “Woman Is Nigger Everywhere”) —is about as fallacious and fictitious as the “trickle down” phenomenon we are supposed to have operating here in the states –that purportedly comes from the haves to the have-nots—a lovely byproduct of our behemoth, nightmarish and corrupt “Wall Street.” The recent wikileak “Cables” leaked to the Guardian and New York Times (another daily read) shockingly underscore the machination of corruption worldwide. I don’t think I will reread the last couple of sentences—not pretty. I have no idea how to unravel the corruption in the third world countries–which entities to support, which have a substantive impact on the situation.

    18 December – naturism. All for it, but here in the states everything and everyone is so sexualized (is that a word? bleah) including children, I don’t feel most of us could jettison our conditioning and prefabricated, media-induced mindset. So sad… but perhaps this is a gender-specific reaction.

    that’s it for now…

  • Christine says:

    In response to ALL your varied topics debated here on this blog, well let me say this: I read them, I think about them (and certainly I don’t always agree with you), I debate them with myself as I go about my daily routine and then feel thoroughly mentally stimulated, so another good job performed by you with this blog. Bravo, long may you keep up the good work. I wish I had half the ability you have to transfer thoughts so clearly into print.

  • DMC says:

    Having received responses from two of my most faithful and regular readers it seems that I have two answer both in the same reply-that’s just the way this blog seems to have been set up.

    First of all, dear Barbara. You have gone to great deal of trouble, which certainly was not my intention to deal with each of the points I raised for discussion or further thought. I just wanted to know I wasn’t wasting my time and from your very considered replies, although you say you just dashed them off, I am very encouraged. Incidentally,you underrate yourself intellectually and you write very clearly and concisely. If you told me you were a journalist I would not be surprised.

    Now to dear Christine. I am delighted that my did not fall on deaf ears and if they at least make people like you think about some of these important issues then they are well worthwhile the effort in putting them into the blog.

    Thank you both girls-have a great New Year.

    Best wishes


  • Barbara says:

    Dear Mark,
    You are exceedingly generous in your reply.

    Re: native ability
    Perhaps, without the neurologic disorder I have had for more than 30 years now, I might have been better equipped to “Pull a heavy cart. “
    But what does it really matter.
    I have my darling horses and donkeys to do that “work.” 🙂

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