It is always a sad time of year, wintering boats. I spent a pleasant weekend at Barfleur and had a couple of short outings in Sarum in a gentle east wind blowing to a lee shore. It was truly weather of the end of the Indian summer, not very warm but sunny.
I celebrated Mass from my Tuck Box Chapel for the twenty-third Sunday after Trinity and the Vigil and Feast of All Saints. Apart from that, my wife and I had a few pleasant walks with the dogs along the beaches and towards the lighthouse of Gatteville. The change of hour came on Saturday night and it was sad to see the sun set before 6 pm.
The boat is now at home in the yard, and I’ll be washing the sails this afternoon and flushing out the cooling circuit of the outboard engine. That is done by running the engine with the “business end” in a big plastic bin full of fresh water. Then the engine will go into the garden shed. The boat needs clearing out, and sometime this winter, I would like to turn the hull over and work on the gelcoat and a coat of paint. I don’t mind a boat looking a bit messy and businesslike, but the essential is to make sure there will never be any leaks!
November is always a turning point of the year. The leaves on the trees are of a singular beauty this year, especially our Virginia creeper on the wall of the house and a Canadian maple I planted three years ago. Indigenous trees are less spectacular here in Europe than in America. In a couple of weeks, we will probably get some heavy wind from the Atlantic and the leaves will be gone.
The American situation continues to be worrying. As always, what is reported in alternative news sites goes mainstream shortly afterwards. I don’t like the look of Trump (looking as he does like a cross between Goldfinger and Mussolini with a funny hairstyle), and he seems to have very little idea about political or social philosophy, but I do think that his winning the election would save the world from nuclear war – for the simple reason that he would talk with Putin instead of blaming all the world’s ills on him. It would change everything everywhere, since Europe and the EU is presently in the pockets of the American oligarchy. The nasty stuff will hit the fan once the US has to start finding real money to pay its debts for war after war and everything else.
Something is building with the American presidential election, its parallel in France next year and the sheer weight of illegal immigrants in Europe. As I already mentioned, I see the parallel with the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late months of 1989, exactly two hundred years after the storming of the Bastille and the Declaration of Human Rights. We hope for change in this world, knowing that the world for which we yearn only lies beyond the Veil.
Still, Clinton might win and it will be business as usual like with the present regime in France and the Roman Catholic Church. Sabres will continue to rattled and Russia will be increasingly provoked as the old regime change mantra continues to be regurgitated like an old printing machine. I say no more, sick to the gills as I feel. You can find as much as I know on the alternative and mainstream news blogs and sites – and decide for yourself who you believe. Perhaps the election will be called off by Obama if Clinton isn’t certain to win! We’ll see.
Life has to go on, for Americans, Europeans and people from everywhere else. We take the plunge towards the winter solstice, the cold, the damp, whistling winds and the gloom. Advent is just barely three weeks away and I spend as much time out of supermarkets as possible – where it is all flash, glitter and consumption. I begin to have an idea what my mother-in-law is planning for Christmas – a few days all together in a gîte. There are always family-in-law conflicts at this occasion, and I will take the precaution of having my computer and some books to spend time behind a closed door as tempers fray. It isn’t my family. Christmas for me will be Mass, Office and time alone away from the hubbub of Christmas good-will.
November is also a challenge on account of SAD and being deprived of sunlight and having a dose of the Blues. Some people set up special lights in their homes or take prescription drugs. It is important to get outside as much as possible when the weather fairs up. Having dogs gives the perfect excuse to put on those boots and get out of the house. I’ll do the best I can. Come the feast of St Cecelia and St Andrew, we are pretty well at the bottom of the barrel. The worst is January and February, but I have been known to take my boat out on the Seine in the winter! It is also the season of colds and flu, sore throats and inability to sing – so it goes on.
I have a trip to England in January to look forward to – a church meeting in Westminster and a night in the van in Abbey Orchard Street to the yelling of drunks in the street and the harsh sodium lights. It will be a time for an all-too-brief evening with an old friend, and then Sunday morning in Canterbury before returning to Dover and France. It is much less difficult to travel in the winter – and cheaper. Then there is Lent and the spring to look forward to, hoping that 2017 will bring more happiness and hope than 1917!
I try not to be too influenced by prophecies, because they almost all fail and leave us with business as usual. I’m not interested in the end of the world. If that happens, we die and will find ourselves in another world also created by God. I would like to see hope for those now born and have their entire lives ahead of them. I yearn for change and something new to bring that hope, like in 2005 when Benedict XVI was elected or 1740 when the earlier Pope Benedict (XIV) brought science, culture and reason to the Church – who was also a brief flash of light. Wouldn’t we yearn for a Philosopher King as Plato mused so long ago?
Sorry for the rambling. Time to get some chores done…