Archive for history

Wednesday’s Curzon showing of John Pilger’s film The Coming War with China

Posted in Current affairs, health, politics, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2016 by kathydasilva

 

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I have been writing or working on, the next novel in a list of ‘ideas’ as they had started out, tonight. It is my first ‘supernatural’ or possibly ‘sci fi’ one in subject, but, the aim was indeed, more H.G. Wells in origins. A picture of one possible future. I have in the past had dreams some quite surreal in content, and certainly, I am going to have to find a way to interweave, the content of this, in the current book. It was in the endeavour to do this, that I suddenly became mindful too, of the possible reality that lay ahead if the politicians are unable to get their heads round the conflict zones, particularly the grave and unholy wars of the Middle East. Humans only maintain personal dignity and dignified living if they respect eachother’s rights, of passage, through this life. Our enjoyment through the progress of history has been to create, civilized society, where amongst the work and toil we also manage to enjoy, something of a leisure time, and this most truly is represented in the form of holidays for family and with friends. I shudder to think of what my impressions of the Med will be if I should manage to get back to an annual vacation somewhere like in Greece and or Italy or Spain. For how should I be able to forget the many lives lost, in the effort to be free from war, in the waters that lay lapping the edge of the shores there? The ‘miscreants’ at the top seem ‘hell bent’ for spoiling it for all of us currently. How did that happen? How did 9/11 arrive on our shores. How can 900 firemen develop cancers and some have died of those cancers, and remarkably, not much of a protest was allowed to be shown on a television network of national breadth.

I am penning or typing this article, having remembered something, from a holiday in Lake Como with my then alive and just retired mother. It would have been in the late eighties, and my mother and I had innocently wandered into the grounds of one of the villas, a historic one, with much ornamentation to its interior. The person who was an employee, who normally would have given tourists a guided talk, with helpful hints at famous historical characters who had stayed or dwelt there, this person had told us that much of the building had been prebooked for a conference on nuclear power. There were some rooms therefore not open for viewing. The Villa Como, that we were showed had some rooms, where in the time of Napoleon, and his love, Josephine, where they had stayed with adjoining rooms. A romantic era, and with what had caught most people’s attention,  the guide, had helped us enjoy, our afternoon. We had proceeded further along the lakeside, buildings to find other more open houses, and in one, remarkably a machine rather like a CT scanner, was being shown, only this machine, measured in an accurate manner levels of radiation in a body from top, to toe, head to feet. When I viewed John Pilger’s film the other week, which was broadcast by independent television, he had showed a rather older version of  a scanner which measured where and in what part the radiation had filtered to in the human body, ‘the guinea pig’, who had volunteered from the Marshall Islanders, who after all were fairly poor and open to economically enhancing experiments on themselves. The Islanders, non of whom live much beyond the age of forty on average today because of the pollution of nuclear bombs, which have been tested there. What is more frightening, is that the political leaders of our time think this is the only way forward to maintain that fragile thing called PEACE. The horrid tragedy of Fukashima, is enough I would have thought to put people off nuclear energy altogether. So why do we allow our leaders to do this? This is the even more bewildering thing, apart from that somewhere in the eighties, a group of women did protest the placement of cruise missiles on a site of common ground near to their villages, as clearly it made the site a possible ‘first strike zone’. The women won their point and the missiles were removed. We possess only one missile of this size, on a submarine further north, between the border of England and Scotland.

It now  seems along time since the subject of nuclear war or power has come into the text of regular articles and news items

030606-N-0000X-005 Washington, D.C. (Jun. 6, 2003) -- Artist concept of the SSGN conversion program. Four Ohio-class strategic missile submarines USS Ohio (SSBN 726), USS Michigan (SSBN 727) USS Florida (SSBN 728), and USS Georgia (SSBN 729) have been selected for transformation into a new platform, designated SSGN or Tactical Trident. The SSGNs will have the capability to support and launch up to 154 Tomahawk missiles, a significant increase in capacity as compared to other platforms. The 22 missile tubes will also provide the capability to carry other payloads, such as unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and special forces equipment. This new platform will also have the capability to carry and support more than 66 Navy SEALs (Sea, Air and Land) and insert them clandestinely into potential conflict areas. U.S. Navy graphic. (RELEASED)

with a detrimental warning of the possibilities of war, using them. I am now more convinced since viewing John Pilger’s film, that the rotten way that politicians, who many have supported the making of these more refined weapons, and some who have invested their own money in the making of them, have also devised the way to keep the perpetuation of their making in with the nation’s plans of defense. For as long as we the human race run away from our creator, we will fear war and arguments with other nations. It is all so material in the end. But, sad too, the money to make war, could have been spent on space travel and or cures for disease in humans and animals.

If it is over thirty years ago now that an advanced scanner for detection of nuclear radiation in the human body was shown on the shores of Lago di Como, just where is that technology now?  And in whose hands? Will our parks be the beautiful places for our children to inherit in the future?

I feel unhappy, and very sad, that in The Coming War with China, we are left with the knowledge that a build up of military units is already in place in the far western Pacific Isles, and in one such location 40,000 military personnel, live regularly. And no mention of the radioactive plume affecting the Pacific waters, and fish, and the fact that so much of the Pacific is apparently dead already. Do we really want more deadly radiation?

God bless the people who speak of peace.

What Katy Did Next…

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Current affairs, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2016 by kathydasilva

Not really a reference to Susan Coolidge…but, for the sake of it the tales of a little girl in a nursery setting… The poem at the front of the book, well my copy that I still have from childhood, What Katy Did, just made me cry a bit. Like a voice from long ago, when life was more gentle. Yes, the people of Hampshire, are just that, gentle. That is indeed what I remember. Her poem is titled To Five. And the  first and second  verse:

Six of us once, my darlings, played together

Beneath green boughs, which faded long ago,

Made merry in the golden summer weather,

Pelted each other with new fallen snow.

Did the sun always shine? I can’t remember

A single cloud that dimmed the happy blue-

A single lightning-bolt or peal of thunder

To daunt our bright, unfearing lives: can you?

I guess that at least when I was small, or younger, I did live the most wonderful life, in my mother’s house, alongside a sister, who was two or nearly three years older than myself. And we had quite a disciplined existence, and routine, every morning, getting up for school, quite early. We were the sort of kids, most parents, dreamed of , and mostly were quite well behaved. But, it was  my parents who eventually fell out with eachother. But, all along, I had the most wonderful experience of life. The house was an old detached Victorian built red brick building with a tiled roof and chimneys, with a long garden that backed onto, a virtual wilderness. For a long time, I experienced a kind of stability, that allowed me to focus on school and friendships, and there is a kind of lull, created by security, that allows for that sought after thing, called education. I think now what a blessing, to have had this peace. But, life is a fragile thing. It is amazing, how true it is that a house, can be a castle, and that is still so true, for without the right environment, how can anyone really enjoy living or concentrate on what counts. The house was just that, but, the money in our household was not great in quantity at least in our early years my sister and I, use to manage, however, to create what was not there in the cupboard, by being great inventors. And chocolate spread, was a mix of cocao powder and margerine, when jams and fancy spreads, were absent. Sugar sandwiches, and for the rest of the time, squash and tea served in a pot. This was still a recovering Britain, from two world wars. In the sixties, I just remember being the small youngest child and everyone older than me, and a bit taller. And Margaret my elder sister was about to marry, on her eighteenth birthday, and she had a glass bowl in her hands, which held water and some sort of lily or orchid, which she managed to drop and the glass broke and cut her wrist, and she had been rushed to the hospital and had stitches. She was blonde and wore her hair backcombed, and high at the crown. It is such a brief memory, but, the only one I have of when she was with us at Cobbett Road. And later  in life, my sister, had such a lot of sorrow, and she died of a sarcoma cancer. And she had said, that her happiest years were her childhood. And now I think I do appreciate what my parents did do for me, and it sounds halcyon in feeling, but, we were not really spoiled, in a material way. Much of the delight was gained from reading and learning, and the natural world around was enormously helpful.

Well, nostalgia over with! Why is it the politicians, in our country sound so unreal?  Perhaps being forced to play an evasive role, has forced this enactment of pretence of coping upon them. But, it is true that the last sixteen or so years of life in Britain, that we as a country seem to be struggling, quite a bit. And war wherever it is occuring is expensive, and I just wonder why, just why are we having to do all of this ‘fighting’? I am hopeful and glad at the American result of their election, for  a new start was needed.  and very sadly the left wing over there proved to only have what I can see is a weak leadership, and were far too keen, to perpetuate war abroad without any conscience. Most of my own life, I had to listen to my mother restating all of what went on in England, during her youth in a war that nearly broke our back, as food had to be rationed, and as for being prepared for the actual battle, the materials for weapons and ships, munitions, was seriously under estimated. Historians, recount, the railings from seaside resorts being ripped from their placement, and melted down in order to help with the deficit of need. No please we do not want that kind of war ever again! And yet again, why is there that uneasy feeling in the air? The feeling of not being settled, or safe? Something interesting is happening in Israel this week. Spontaneous fires, breaking out in the city of Jerusalem. And it reminded me of something I read on Wikipedia about the attempt to rebuild the temple of Solomon. That no matter how hard the Jews tried to rebuild the temple, disaster always struck either in the form of fire or falling masonry. And it seems to me that God is speaking again. Some people might blame the climate now, but, the Palestinians were saying that the Zionist’s were forbidding their call to prayer in Jerusalem. So who will listen? And in all truth, I do believe, that the Jews need to recognize their Messiah, in their midst, who has always been, Jesus, who had said: Who is my sister and my brother? And under the new covenant, all men will be saved.

Extracts from Looking For Pearls

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , on October 17, 2012 by kathydasilva

I had begun to feel a bit of a poodle, the summer I graduated. The trip to Netley included lunch and a viewing of silk paintings. We had walked, after lunch to take in the air. Mother recalled the sight of the war wounded lined up against the shore line, in wheel chairs and with blankets wrapped round their laps. As we walked, the silver sheen of railway lines, semi submerged now in the muddy boggy soil, glistened. The rails had been built with the idea of keeping the sight of wounded men, away from the main town, and for speed of delivery to the hospital. The main hospital building was demolished after the war, and all that remained was the chapel, standing tall and remote in amongst acres of grass.