Thursday Things

23 Jun

Buy: A gift that keeps on giving. Next time there’s a wedding /anniversary/birthday on your calendar for which you just ‘have’ to buy a present, consider Good Gifts which provides practical help to those in need. You can match the special occasion to your good gift i.e. Newborn nephew or a friend has just given birth? You could match this by buying a bike for a midwife in a developing country, enabling her to get to more villages and help deliver more babies safely (yay!) or you could buy a ‘Baby Parcel’ (25 GBP) which includes all the basics a baby needs, and the parcel will be distributed to a family in need by a welfare charity. The range of gifts is enormous, and so worthwhile. Take a look!

Read: The Year of The Flood – Margaret Atwood.

Margaret Atwood doesn’t like her books to be called science fiction – which is good, because they’re scarily nowhere near fiction. She has said that everything that occurs in her books could happen, or has possibly already happened. In this apocalyptic novel, a ‘waterless flood’ has taken place, wiping out mankind and leaving only a few survivors behind. Because she never explains this epidemic in detail, it remains frustratingly abstract, but the descriptions of the depletion of all our natural resources, the draining of lakes, destruction of rainforests and the environment is a situation we can surely all envision, even in 2011.  Atwood’s novel is an imagining of a time that might actually come to be – where security divisions of corporations have complete control, the ecosystem has been ruined, scientists have messed with genetic manipulation to such a degree that neon green bunnies, intelligent pigs and ‘rakunks’ (racoon-skunks)  are commonplace. Even human beings are being ‘bettered’ with the arrival of the humanoid, devoid of all our faults – fear, guilt, shame.  The story begins in Year 5, before the flood, and is told from the perspective of a handful of the human survivors, but it’s not all hopeless.  ‘The Year of the Flood’ ends mysteriously, lending the story both hope and a delicious terror, reminding you that the premise of this novel is fictional – at least for the time being.

Listen:  Stephen Stills – Treetop Flyer (the song that inspired Ray Lamontagne to make music…)  

Ben Harper & Jack Johnson  – Banana Pancakes (An old fave. um, I mean, BH is supposed to be on there but I only see Jack! Enjoy…) 

Happy weekend!

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