Both my son, Alasdair, and my daughter, Shelagh, are at home, and I am trying to get some order into my blogs.
[Note: Originally there were three blogs: Brock at Cliff Cottage: brockmclellan.wordpress.org; Design Needs, Seeds & Weeds: designeeds.wordpress.org; and, Unit One: unitwon.wordpress.org. These were subsequently merged into one on 2018-04-03 at 9:00: brock.mclellan.no This post originally appeared in the first, and original, one. The second, looks at design. The third, started the day before publication of this post, involves a number of personas interacting harmoniously and otherwise. ]
As of today, I retire in 232 days. I am looking forward to entering a new age of freedom, that ends with frailty, forgetfulness or death.
In my original post I mentioned “Prosperity without Growth” and our addiction to novelty. Now, I’d like to mention Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows” which addresses internet addictions. I am now trying to spend at least an hour each day reading books.
My Citroën Evasion died in 2012, and was replaced by a Mazda 5. It is not the best of relationships. Every time I refuel I feel a twinge of guilt about global climate change and local emissions. I am looking forward to a future with three important forms of transport: walking as my primary means of transport, a more occasional use of Lyft (not Uber) combined with autonomous electric vehicles, and – for intra and intercontinental travel – the hyperloop, which a couple of days ago had a successful test run of its propulsion system.
I am trying harder to avoid being inspired by the literature I’ve read as a child. I am actively trying to find new literature. Not many new authors of fiction, with the exception of works by Ivan Doig (1939 – 2015), Armistead Maupin (1944 – ) and Colin MacInnes (1914 – 1976). Marc Reisner’s (1948 – 2000) Cadillac Desert has been inspiring. Carmen Aguirre (? – ) has been fun. Robert Riech (1946 – ), Joseph Stiglitz (1943 – ), Ha-Joon Chang (1963 – ) have improved my understanding of economics.
Islands and archipelagos continue to attract, especially British Columbia’s Gulf Islands, and Washington State’s San Juan Islands. In Europe, the islands of the B-7 Baltic Islands Network hold considerable appeal, Denmark’s Bornholm, Germany’s Rügen, Sweden’s Öland and Gotland Islands, Estonia’s Hiiumaa and Saaremaa Islands, and the Finnish autonomous Åland Islands.
Portugal and Portugese territories continue to attract, especially the Azores and Madeira. In the USA, Hawaii attracts me, the wind, the waves, the geography, the geology, the volcanos and hot springs, the plants, the animals. With Shelagh living in San Francisco, I would like to explore more of California.
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is still at the top of my travel list.
As mentioned before, Norway’s winters do not appeal, and I would still like a home in a winter warm area. Contenders still include: France and Portugal. There are large English speaking populations in Provence, the Algarve and on Madeira.
While I speak and write English and Norwegian, I have spent 500 days improving my French (and Swedish).