Author Archives: Allan Hunter

Diary 127

Thursday, July 23rd

My grandkids have been putting stickers on everything. Even this computer. The stickers have words, and those words are always rather positive. This little blue one, here, says ‘peace’. Others read ‘respect’ ‘happiness’ ‘smile’ and so on.

When I was their age I loved stickers, too, but mine had different words, words like ‘Kapow!’ ‘Bang!’ and ‘Boom!’. And yes, they did have exclamation points. Perhaps that sums up what’s presently wrong with the ruling classes, my generation — we were brought up from our earliest days to think in terms of fights and conflict. I’m hoping this newest generation will be different.

Why does this matter?  Because our ‘president’ clearly still operates from the “Kapow’” mindset, and shapes his policies accordingly.

Diary 126

Diary 126

Wednesday, July 22nd

On a day when the ‘president’ hints he won’t accept election defeat when it comes, when the Chinese consulate in Houston is ordered closed, and when outrage is expressed at the unmarked armed militias in Portland – which the ‘president’ says he will send to all Democrat cities on election day – I will focus on something else.

Today we went to Newburyport and saw a dear friend – socially distanced – and sampled a wonderful lobster roll. Actually, I did more than sample it.  I ate it. With great delight. And lots of appreciative noises. Luckily we were outside or I’m sure someone would have objected to my enthusiasm.

The town itself is delightful – take a look at the pictures – and rather empty of the usual tourist crowds. We were lucky to get the deluxe tour special from our friend. Almost everyone was wearing masks, too, which struck me as very sensible.  The day was overcast, cool, with a spatter of rain and so we were grateful to be out of the heat blanket of the past few days. My best straw hat got wet, but, you know, I think the rain helped to stretch it out a bit and it has regained its usual size.….

Diary 125

Tuesday, July 21st

It’s been pretty hot recently and so I’ve been wearing my straw hats. I’ve tended to reach for the cheap one I got last year, saving the good one for special occasions (as if there are any of those right now). It’s one of those habits I grew up with. So, the other day I thought I’d use the good hat just because it seemed silly not to and I discovered that, from lack of use, it had shrunk slightly. It was now just a shade tight.

I know it’ll stretch back if I use it more. It’s already has begun to do so. Yet the lesson stood clear to me; don’t save things for ‘best’. Don’t hold on to possessions for that special moment.  Use them now.

Greta Thunberg is an exponent of this – she just donated her $1 million to climate groups.  We need to face climate crises now, not next year.

Diary 124


Diary 124

Monday, July 20th

I spotted these on my morning walk by the river. Clearly someone else also believes in the magical power of Nature and woodland, and that Faeries are ever present – if one bothers to look for them. Magic and beauty are all around us. 

Diary 123

Sunday, July 19th

I’ve been wondering recently about American culture – where people say that wearing surgical masks is an attack on their freedom; where carrying guns is regarded as an inviolable right; where policing peaceful protests with heavily armed military is regarded as reasonable. That culture. It reminds me very much of what Victorian colonial England was probably like. The men and women who went out to India, in fact, really did believe the normal rules of life didn’t apply to them at all. “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.”  They did this because they thought they were right. This was something they felt was a line of praise.

So why did they behave like that? I suspect that this has anger as its base.

Why so much anger? Well, for one thing, if people grow up thinking the world is ghastly and it’s dog-eat-dog, then you’ll get this sort of behavior. That seems to be the story they believe. But this is not true of our world.  We have plenty — the trouble is that it’s concentrated in the hands of the 1%.

Our problem is not truly one of angry or self-righteous crowds: our problem is with the people who make them that way, and that is the 1%.

Diary 122

Diary 122

Saturday, July 18th

Today’s 90+ degrees were predictable and uncomfortable, like our “president’s” actions. The only thing that seemed possible was to fill a small wading pool or two and have the grandkids over to run around in the yard.  FYI: They are my family ‘pod’ and we don’t see anyone else. The water had warmed delightfully in the sun, and the kids had huge amounts of fun splashing any and all adults seated in deckchairs.  Best of all, for them, was to be able to pour water on us, too, which made them explode in laughter every time  — and made us feel delightfully cool. 

Was this a retreat from the serious issues of the day?  Yes. Did it brings smiles to our faces and joy to our hearts.  Definitely.

Diary 121

Diary 121

Friday, July 17th

While I was busy enjoying my latest chat on last night I discovered from the host, Mark Eddy, that a large and very beautiful comet was now easily visible by the naked eye from Earth.  That’s what this picture is. It’s called Neowise, and I don’t think it’s visible from Boston – cloud is a problem, for one thing. But I could be wrong. Certainly Jupiter has been astonishingly bright recently (less pollution because of less human activity).

This comet apparently has a coating of dust that is a remnant of the Big Bang itself. Astonishing celestial objects are always a good reminder that there’s more to creation than just ourselves.

Diary 120

Thursday, July 16th

Today we had a few fresh veggies from the garden as it begins to produce — and very good they were, too. Plenty more to come, if all continues well. These are our first fruits, one might say, of the covid lockdown since we’d probably have not been quite so active in the garden if we’d had our ‘normal’ lives.

In the evening I was a guest on Mark Eddy’s once more.  It’s always a real pleasure to do these talks, because we seek to make connections with material that has spiritual insights. This time we talked about folklore and legends (and the Grimm Brothers’ Tales, of course) and how the stories behind the stories are what contain the deepest psychological truths.

Personally I think this is more relevant than ever, as we try to work out what story The White House is trying to sell us each day.

Diary 119

Wednesday, July 15th

Covid has definitely stressed quite a few people. One dear friend is in despair about her job situation, trying to work out what she can do. Another has been kicked out of his home, by a wife who can’t deal with his drinking.  I wonder if, under more usual circumstances, he’d have been able to behave more reasonably? Is this a time of bringing things to light, or the straw that broke the poor old camel’s back?

I think it may actually be both. This added stress (on top of that provided by a maniacal “president”) may well feel intolerable to many, to which my response might be — OK, good.  That’s useful information and a very good reason to try to change things.

Change is in the air. It’s time, people, it’s time.