worlds apart

Those of you who read Blethers will know that we have had the Russian Choir in Dunoon this week.   It was a lovely group this year: younger, quieter and more timid (and therefore much easier to cope with) than the more exuberant group that I encountered two years ago.   The first group to arrive at the rectory this morning were the twenty-somethings.  They caught a glimpse of Molly fleeing up the stairs and next thing you know, they were all sharing  stories of their cats and showing me feline photos on their phones.

Then someone looked out the window, just in time to see the grey beast that prowls our waters raise its head and pass by.

They stood, watching the nuclear submarine cut through the water, laughing and pointing in delight.

I stood, watching them watch with no ripple of awareness that I grew up in a world where it would have been inconceivable for an American to stand in a room with Russians and watch the icon of the cold war pass by without fear.

It is good that we can stand together now, talking about cats.  It’s not good that we have so quickly forgotten how deadly that grey beast really is.

3 thoughts on “worlds apart

  1. But if we can forget together – for I think the forgetting is only on the surface for many of us – surely that is the world’s great hope? And perhaps that’s as good a reason as any for taking part in this sort of cultural sharing?

  2. Deadly, indeed. The only reason you were able to see it at all is that the navy were forced to make the subs go down the Firth on the surface, because when they travelled submerged some civilian ships had been dragged under. (Cf. MV ‘Sherelga’ in the Irish Sea, 1982).

    Deadly and unnecessary. Trident is no use against Al-Quaeda, and even if the unthinkable happens, it can’t be used ‘independently’ against an attacker unless the Pentagon gives us the firing codes.

    Why aren’t we rising up in revolt against the absurdity of spending such huge sums of money on the renewal of something that makes no meaningful contribution to defence?

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