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Yet as we travelled around there remained a more concerning black cloud on the horizon, particularly for the North.  'The Troubles' are not entirely dead but just dormant, as I will mention later in this trip.  It is feared that a new 'hard border' between the two states will rekindle the desire of some to ferment revolution aimed at unification and in others pre-emptive action to ensure that there can be no such unification.  At the time of writing 'BREXIT', British withdrawal from the EC, is in turmoil and such a 'hard border' is a distinct possibility. Since we left there has already been a terrorist bombing (on January 20) at a courthouse in Derry.

To us there seemed an obvious solution. That would be for Northern Ireland not to leave the EC.  It is, after all, a self-governing country in its own right.  The Scots would love to have the same option but then they would have a 'hard border'.  At least the Scottish border is long established and historically defined so that it doesn't run down the centre of streets down the middle of rivers or follow ancient hedgerows across people's property.  It's also shorter because it's quite straight while the Northern Irish border looks like a random squiggle by a drunken cartographer with Parkinson's.  Yet again religion or perhaps patriotism seems to have got in the way of practicality.

At the time of writing it's still not resolved.



# Michael 2020-08-28 06:06
This article is brilliant. I've learnt a lot from reading about these travels
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Bridge over the River Kwai



In 1957-58 the film ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai‘ was ground breaking.  It was remarkable for being mainly shot on location (in Ceylon not Thailand) rather than in a studio and for involving the construction and demolition of a real, fully functioning rail bridge.   It's still regarded by many as one of the finest movies ever made. 

One of the things a tourist to Bangkok is encouraged to do is to take a day trip to the actual bridge.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

April Fools’ Day

This story is available as a download for e-book readers  



He was someone I once knew, or so I thought.  One of those familiar faces I thought I should be able to place. 

What was he to me? An ex-colleague, the friend of a friend, someone from school?  In appearance he's a more handsome version of me, around the same height and colouring.  Possibly slimmer, it’s hard to tell sitting.  Maybe younger?  But not young enough to be one of my children’s friends.  I just couldn’t remember.

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Opinions and Philosophy

Australia's $20 billion Climate strategy




We can sum this up in a word:


According to 'Scotty from Marketing', and his mate 'Twiggy' Forrest, hydrogen is the, newly discovered panacea, to all our environmental woes:

The Hon Scott Morrison MP - Prime Minister of Australia

"Australia is on the pathway to net zero. Our goal is to get there as soon as we possibly can, through technology that enables and transforms our industries, not taxes that eliminate them and the jobs and livelihoods they support and create, especially in our regions.

For Australia, it is not a question of if or even by when for net zero, but importantly how.

That is why we are investing in priority new technology solutions, through our Technology Investment Roadmap initiative.

We are investing around $20 billion to achieve ambitious goals that will bring the cost of clean hydrogen, green steel, energy storage and carbon capture to commercial parity. We expect this to leverage more than $80 billion in investment in the decade ahead.

In Australia our ambition is to produce the cheapest clean hydrogen in the world, at $2 per kilogram Australian.

Mr President, in the United States you have the Silicon Valley. Here in Australia we are creating our own ‘Hydrogen Valleys’. Where we will transform our transport industries, our mining and resource sectors, our manufacturing, our fuel and energy production.

In Australia our journey to net zero is being led by world class pioneering Australian companies like Fortescue, led by Dr Andrew Forrest..."

From: Transcript, Remarks, Leaders Summit on Climate, 22 Apr 2021


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