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Travel

Russia

 

 

In June 2013 we visited Russia.  Before that we had a couple of weeks in the UK while our frequent travel companions Craig and Sonia, together with Sonia's two Russian speaking cousins and their partners and two other couples, travelled from Beijing by the trans-Siberian railway.  We all met up in Moscow and a day later joined our cruise ship.  The tour provided another three guided days in Moscow before setting off for a cruise along the Volga-Baltic Waterway to St Petersburg; through some 19 locks and across some very impressive lakes.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

The Soul of the Matter

 

 

 

 

It was hot, dry and dusty when they finally arrived in Jaisalmer.  But then, how often is it not hot and dusty here? 

In the markets a wizened woman, of indeterminate age, is using a straw broom to aggressively sweep the area in front of her shop. The dust will soon be kicked-back by passers-by; or swept back by her neighbours; requiring her to sweep again, and again.  She will do the same again tomorrow; and the day after; and the day after that.

Jennifer's mind is elsewhere. She's has dreamt of visiting exotic India ever since a client at the hairdressers told her, with enthralling details, of her adventures here.

They've arrived in the dusty city late in the afternoon, by road from Jodhpur.  In spite of his preference to visit California or Las Vegas again, she's finally persuaded Bruce that he might like India. He should try something a bit more adventurous for a change.

Below the entrance to the famous Jaisalmer Fort, is a small square that marks the start of the road winding up, then turning at right-angles, through the protective elephant-proof gates.  In this little square, motorised trishaws: Tuk-tuks, jostle restlessly like milling cattle.  They are waiting for tourists, like our travellers, who may hire them tomorrow to see the town or, if they are lazy or tired, just to mount the steep hill up to the Fort. 

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Opinions and Philosophy

World Population – again and again

 

 

David Attenborough hit the headlines yet again in 15 May 2009 with an opinion piece in New Scientist. This is a quotation:

 

‘He has become a patron of the Optimum Population Trust, a think tank on population growth and environment with a scary website showing the global population as it grows. "For the past 20 years I've never had any doubt that the source of the Earth's ills is overpopulation. I can't go on saying this sort of thing and then fail to put my head above the parapet."

 

There are nearly three times as many people on the planet as when Attenborough started making television programmes in the 1950s - a fact that has convinced him that if we don't find a solution to our population problems, nature will:
"Other horrible factors will come along and fix it, like mass starvation."

 

Bob Hawke said something similar on the program Elders with Andrew Denton:

 

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