Monday, August 31, 2009

Things Being Various

a) A very stormy night, gale-force winds and heavy rain has been a prelude to a very warm sunny afternoon. I turned the heaters off. Meanwhile Wellington mops up after flooding and slips and the rail is closed north of Pukerua Bay.

b) It was fitting weather after watching last night the final of the TV programmes about the planet. It ended with a warning about global warming. I learnt that the moon is slowly moving away from Earth. At some immense time in the future it will cease to affect us with its gravitational pull. Apparently the massive size of Jupiter means its attracts much of the matter entering our solar system, thus protecting us.

c) I watched the replay of the South African/Australian rugby match. There is no doubt that the Boks are the best team in the world at present. While the Australians made many basic errors, especially in the first half, that was the result of pressure.

d) New Zealander’s faith in the might of the British Empire took a pounding with the fall of Singapore. Darwin was bombed. Japanese subs in Sydney Harbour added to our unease. My grandfather Pop’s brother, Uncle Jim, was a Cabinet Minister. He told me that the hardest decision taken during that period was to leave our troops in the Middle East. The Aussies made a different decision. Pop spoke highly of a general called MacArthur. But the fact that after the war Britain still took all the butter and as much of our lamb and wool that we could produce hid the fact of a power shift. Power can change rapidly. The USA assumes top-dog status in perpetuity. Not so. China waits in the wings. Though some futurists argue that its ageing population and lack of human rights will hold it back. They point to India as the dark horse. Who knows what’s brewing in the seeds of time?

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