Stew, Stew, Barley, McGruel, Cupboard, Dribble, Grub


© Gordon Murray                                Trumpton’s heroic firemen dashing out

At the time of writing, of the 1.5 million felled by this global, indiscriminate pestilence, 88½ thousand have died. It is bewildering, tragic and will need more than fortitude to protect the vulnerable and conquer its cause.

While complying with instructions to make way for key workers and help the NHS by washing hands & staying home, the one walk a day has been a perfect moment for idle reflection and escape from the grimness of it all.

Do you think in music? words? pictures? numbers? colours? scents? something else entirely, perhaps? Whatever its medium, the mind can soar with spectacular freedom, particularly when there’s nothing else one is obliged to do.

For example, now that grocery shopping has become a rice-less requirement of careful planning, daily menus have evolved à la Trumpton. The entirely justified, well spaced queues at food stores focus concentration on exactly what’s needed as nipping out for a loaf or pint of milk is no longer a matter of … nipping.

Therefore, if prone to stepping across the threshold of shops and entirely forgetting what you came for, here’s a cheerful mnemonic for each day of any week: Stew, Stew, Barley, McGruel, Cupboard, Dribble, Grub.

Bon app’tit.

Let’s pander to our humanity


© South China Morning Post                     Ye Ye & Ling Ling, wondering why

HoooooDaThort? It seems privacy ain’t just a human requirement and desired acknowledgement of respect.

Th-Rilling evidence has emerged that with Covid-19 forcing the withdrawal of visitors from Hong Kong’s Ocean Park zoo, a Panda couple has felt more relaxed.

Indeed, it seems removing spectators from wild animals’ orbit enables them to feel more like Ailuropoda melanoleuca at home in South-West China chomping through, inter alia, up to Forty pounds of Bamboo daily.

Ling Ling and Ye Ye have been behind bars, together for ten years. Doubtless, the constant zoological scrutiny traumatizes sensibilities to such an extent, only now that she’s not on show, Ling Ling exhibits signs she inclined to natural behaviour while Ye Ye has left markings around their dwelling.

That which infuses our uncertain times is the scent of longing for something more imaginatively humane. We reached #PeakWeaponizingHearts aeons ago.

While we have time, might these not be moments of wonder? To take a breath and muse on how better/ deeper/kinder/brighter/smarter we step on the Earth: in tandem with which, how we flourish and ventilate understanding that living creatures are conscious and consciousness is life.

From Pandas International: When available, Giant Pandas will eat fish, flowers and small animals. In captivity they also receive milk, eggs, ground meat and specially formulated vitamin bread. Apples and carrots are a favorite treat.

Since the Giant Pandas’ digestive system is not very efficient, they must consume large quantities of bamboo every day in order to obtain the nutrition they need. Cubs are especially prone to digestive problems.

© Scientific American     In supine relaxation

Pandas eat for up to 14 h/day holding and biting the bamboo stalks. They generally eat in a sitting position but also like to snack lying on their backs.