Apr. 18th, 2004

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Dad turned to me and said, as I was leaving: "You know, I can't understand why your sister never comes to visit me. She always pleads the children as an excuse, but Mick's 16 or almost and Soraya's 10, they're old enough to take care of each other and babysit Romeo for an hour...I never hear from her either. She never phones, and I can't understand it. I never treated you two any different when you were younger, did I?"

I didn't know what to say. I don't know why she won't stop by or pick up the phone, either; other than that I know she finds going to my Dad's a chore, and a bore, because he's befuddled most of the time, and tells the same story or asks the same questions over and over again, and the home he's in isn't exactly the cheeriest place on earth -- and I know this because I often feel much the same way, but still, if I can make the effort, then why can't she?

Poor Dad. I know he'd love to see her, and I've told her many times, but so far it doesn't seem to have made any nevermind, and I don't want to be nagging her about it constantly. Besides, she and I don't see each other all that much, either.

I'd been shopping for a new watch for him. He'd broken his old one one too many times and rather than have it repaired once again, I'd suggested he'd get a new one. He was immediately enthusiastic and gave me a detailed list of exactly what he wanted, right down to the brand, so all I had to do was go down the high street and find something to match his requirements. It didn't take me long to find it, but when I got back to him it took bloody forever to get it to work properly. I hope it'll keep on running now, because I'm sure it won't last when he starts fiddling with the crown. He'll wreck it in no time.

All week long, I've been thinking on the plight of the little baby seals in Canada. The newspaper included a full-colour spread on the slaughter the Canadians have unleashed on these furry creatures at the beginning of the week, and the pictures have burned themselves in my memory. The excuse is that seals threaten the fish population, but the truth of the matter is that the demand for seal fur has increased in the Far East, and when there's a demand, there's always someone willing to take care of the supply. They're calling it a hunt, but it hardly requires any hunting skill to step onto the ice and club a week-old cub to death. The pictures showed that some cubs weren't even dead yet when they were being flayed.

I remember similar reports making the headlines in the 70s, but for years I've been thinking that these practices were a thing of the past, and that no more seal fur was imported anywhere. Turns out I was wrong. It's even still being imported into the EU, albeit in low quantities. And it seems that the European Parliament doesn't feel it should be legislated against. Despite all their earnest words, animal rights are still low on the agenda, and it doesn't look as if that situation will change any time soon.

I'm teaching yoga again tonight -- my second class. But what with one thing or another, I haven't gotten around to really planning it. Think I'll keep it simple: meditation, surya namaskar, 2 or 3 positions, chanting, and relaxation. And make a large pot of tea.

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gamiila

December 2012

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