.See also, below:
Yo Ho Ho

A brief note on

The Great



. debate


... and a Bottle of RUM

Zoom back almost 38-years. It's 1976 and I'm in my last year at Portsmouth Polytech. It's 08.00 on a warm day in April. I wake up struggling to breathe through blocked nose, sticking lips, stinging throat.... and there's a headache... yep, a bloody lousy cold. I could tell last night I was going down with something. How could it develop so fast? I feel fucked... totally! Outside, it's peeing steadily... April showers nothing; this looks set-in for the day.

Tomorrow I'm scheduled for an interview concerning a 'Power-Systems' project, the outcome from which could add a potential 10% to the finals.

This is where initiative is required. I struggle out of bed, forming a bold decision as I move. Not in possession of a brolly, I don an old paper-thin lightweight waterproof suit that I've never worn before (hooded top and leggings - a gift from relations in the USA), and head out to the nearest off-licence. Ten minutes later I'm back, wet but not from rain - I'm covered in sweat! It's not from the 'cold' either, but the heat.... the waterproof suit is loose-fitting but windproof, and as I say, it's unseasonably warm.

The RUM is like an elixir.... within seconds I'm rejuvenated. Sitting there at my table I continue to sip this dark miracle spirit - lacing it with an occasional dash of Ribena to reduce the harsh edge that in the morning seems pronounced. After about an hour I notice the 0.7-litre bottle is less than half full - maybe a third remains. But I feel GREAT.

I stand. Not even a wobble. This is wonderful. The cold is still there, but so what? I hardly notice it, and I'm 'high'. Time to scarper. I need a walk like I need air to breathe - a long fabulous walk by the sea where the effect can be really appreciated. Setting is everything (almost).

At least it's not windy out there, but the rain continues with steadfast vengeance. I strip off all but boxer shorts and climb back into the waterproof suit and head out. It's weird and thrilling to be walking along naked - at least, I feel naked in that tent-like pale-green suit. No one would guess I had on only boxer shorts underneath. This is a sensational experience; and I'm certain I'm walking straight... I'm not being stared at, anyhow. Full of energy, I make for the seafront.

What would I be doing if I hadn't woken with a dry throat and blocked nose and a headache? I reflect briefly on that stroke of genius for self medication. The day is going to be unforgettable.. I feel free, invigorated, ALIVE!

I manoeuvre through shoppers in macks, wielding brollies, pushchairs, everyone in a hurry. Me too. And then I'm there: the beach stretches way into the mist and is deserted, like the promenade. From here I head east. The sea, just visible, is calm and merges into a grey indeterminate sky. Every now and then a distant fog-horn moans - a dying elephant making a last gasp. The rain is vertical and steady, but the air is pristine. Soon I'm past the rose-garden, the tennis courts, the last houses before the museum, then away from the shingle at Eastney towards the old fort and the Hayling ferry.

Need a new soap dish, a bit scuffed but never mind? A worn toothbrush maybe? Plastic containers all shapes, all sizes, numerous strange objects once-floating are here, tangled in seaweed, strewn across a wide tidal reach, washed up with reeds and twigs and bits of sponge and all kinds of shells and cuttlefish egg-cases alongside their hard white skeletons. Soon the ferry arrives. A small open boat, probably designed for fishing, moors at the jetty. The lone pilot charges 20p(?) when I step on. Perfect. And we plough across maybe 300-metres of turbulent estuary. Everything is an omen for contentment. I'm still elevated by the rum. Even the rain is luxuriant. Actually, this is better than psilocybin (magic-mushrooms).

THE HAYLING FERRY - FROM EASTNEY (nicked from google earth)

Hayling Island is all dunes.... or was as I remember it. Until, that is, you've walked a mile or two. Then houses appear on the inland side, but still dunes - or rather, golf-course - and sand in the seaward direction. Another mile or so and you're in the holiday part, several amusement buildings and shops, then narrow seaward dunes again, less wild, less bleak, less beautiful... yet still superbly evocative in the dull haze of continuous rain. By early afternoon, I've reached the furthest point, more-or-less - the end of the most eastern path: 'Seafarer's Walk' and am at the beach once more. After a ten minute pause to contemplate the end of this surreal brain-zapping trek, still elated, happy, carefree, 'high' even, surprisingly, in a mellowed kind-of way - but no longer, I suspect, from alcohol (which formed perhaps the ideal catalyst)... I begin my return, beachwise. The island must be about 5-miles across, I muse, sauntering among the tidal debris...

The rain has eased by the time I reach home - my little bedsit with its kitchen area one end, bedroom the other, study section in the middle. It's late now, almost dark. What did I do next? Watch TV? Hit the sack early? Whatever, I woke next morning clear-headed, fresh and alert, not the remotest sign of the cold. The rum, I surmised, had wiped it out.

As for the interview... which was a joint effort with three of us students each addressing a different aspect of the project: "...to design/organise three-phase mains supply to a new factory complex." or something like that... my aspect went down extremely well; at least, it was awarded the highest points: 90%... not that the rum had anything to do with it (since the real effort was in the preparation and paperwork), but who knows......maybe it deserves some credit for demolishing that cold so I was bright and well-oxengenated for the interview?


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What is there to debate....? (See also: ...'fix-up')

Climate change deniers are either ostriches or fraudsters.

EVERY 24-hours the exhaust from the combustion of >85-million barrels of oil is released by HUMANS into Earth's wafer-thin atmosphere.

Nothing could be more self-evidently stupid than thinking this has no effect on climate.


* * * * *

85-million barrels a day = ~ 1000-barrels a second

1000-barrels = 35,000-gallons = 170,000-litres.................. EVERY second of EVERY day of EVERY year of EVERY decade and INCREASING....

On and on and on goes the pollution, growing as the airlines grow, as 'output' (activity) expands, as Earth's population balloons.....

Can YOU imagine where this is leading? Here's my angle >>