*be sceptical - take nothing for granted!
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Nashville Tennessee

 

Our next stop was Nashville to the north-east.  To say we were taken aback would be an understatement. The main music street is Broadway.  It's like a continuous 'schoolies' for twenty-somethings  At every door conflicting music screams out in competition.  At points the combined noise pressure is almost unbearable. There was a football game in town that boasts two huge stadia and we imagined that this was unusual, a special racket for the fans, but we were assured by a waitress, in a relatively quiet and pleasant restaurant off the main strip: "It's the same every day, including Sundays".  We were there again the following day, Sunday, and can confirm that this is so.

Among the partygoers were numerous 'hens parties' and our informant told us that almost everyone on Broadway were out-of-towners.  Unlike Memphis, they were almost all white, the few black faces obviously locally employed staff. We got a big dose of that 'Disneyland feeling' of artificiality that's not far from many US tourist venues.

 

 


Nashville - Click on this picture to see more
 

 

I don't know what I expected: maybe hopeful country stars busking on street corners. Indeed we did see one busker who wasn't too bad. I didn't have high hopes so was not let down. But Wendy confessed herself disappointed.

 

 


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Travel

Laos

 

 

The Lao People's Democratic Republic is a communist country, like China to the North and Vietnam with which it shares its Eastern border. 

And like the bordering communist countries, the government has embraced limited private ownership and free market capitalism, in theory.  But there remain powerful vested interests, and residual pockets of political power, particularly in the agricultural sector, and corruption is a significant issue. 

During the past decade tourism has become an important source of income and is now generating around a third of the Nation's domestic product.  Tourism is centred on Luang Prabang and to a lesser extent the Plane of Jars and the capital, Vientiane.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

Wedding

 

 

Jordan Baker and Jeff Purser were married on Saturday 3rd of December 2011. The ceremony took place on the cliff top at Clovelly.

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Opinions and Philosophy

The Prospect of Eternal Life

 

 

 

To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream:
ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause:
… But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;

[1]

 

 

 

 

When I first began to write about this subject, the idea that Hamlet’s fear was still current in today’s day and age seemed to me as bizarre as the fear of falling off the earth if you sail too far to the west.  And yet several people have identified the prospect of an 'undiscovered country from whose realm no traveller returns' as an important consideration when contemplating death.  This is, apparently, neither the rational existential desire to avoid annihilation; nor the animal imperative to keep living under any circumstances; but a fear of what lies beyond.

 

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