Monday, October 22, 2018

Quiet musings from Boulder

The first time that Wendy came to visit us at Hepworth Towers, years ago, she carried a re-usable water bottle with her everywhere. "I'm a Colorado girl" she said in explanation, but I did not get it.

Now I know Colorado a little better I know that water is a precious resource here, and they have strict rules about it. Until two years ago it was illegal to collect rainwater. It had to be left to run off onto the ground and thence the water table. Now householders are allowed to have two barrels of a limited size to collect rainwater, and then to use it for outside purposes only.

But then there's the other thing, which is probably what Wendy was talking about. Boulder is a mile high and the air is thin and if you don't drink twice as much water as you would at sea level, you get altitude sickness. My first morning here I had forgotten and I woke with a stinking headache... since when I've asked Lux and Cece to keep reminding me to drink more water. 

You do see people here carrying single-use water bottles, but more often they're carrying reusable ones. I read in the Guardian this morning that cotton buds and plastic straws and stirrers are going to be illegal in the UK before long. What about abolishing single-use plastic water bottles? Re-usable ones make so much sense. I admit it's a bit of a faff at the airport to remember to empty out my bottle before security and then to fill it up again afterwards. But it's just a new habit to acquire.

There are other differences here. On Saturday we went to Boulder Books, the super indy bookstore, where I bought three paperbacks from their secondhand shelf. Two of them were by British authors - Nick Hornby and Kate Atkinson. I bought them here because American paperbacks are so much nicer than British ones. The paper is better quality, the type is always large enough to be readable, and they feel nicer. Admittedly they are more expensive new, but if you know you will read them again, they're worth it. 

In the children's section I saw these action figures:

RBJ stands for Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the second woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, and probably the first justice to become a pop-cultural phenomenon. 

Can you imagine a British bookshop having political action figures for sale? Mind-blowing. I've come across a Jeremy Corbyn cardboard doll with cut out clothes and accessories, but that was on the net, and somehow I don't think it was for kids.

But then when you look at the current political scene in Britain who else would warrant being modelled as an action figure doll? A doll in which to stick pins, maybe...

Jeremy is certainly a disappointment in his attitude to the EU, but at least you know where you are with him. He sticks to his principles, and he has always  been committed to ending this appalling austerity programme that is leading to such awful suffering for ordinary British people.

I was sorry not to be on the March last Saturday for the People's Vote but wasn't the turnout terrific? My favourite placard is this one:

You know I hadn't intended this post to be serious. I was going to tell you about Cece's letter to the tooth fairy, and about my new phone (yes - I have a smart one now!) with which I took this photo of the park and the Flatirons on the way back from the school bus stop.

And here's one of the Rockies from my bike ride last week:

And one from today, seen outside a Boulder house:

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