What do you buy when you buy a house? According to the title, you’ve purchased a dwelling and the land on which it sits, as well as additional property as specified. And one would be foolish to make the purchase without ensuring that both are in sound condition: the yard drains properly and is can accommodate your pets or children; there’s a secure place for your car(s); the roof is in good shape, the basement doesn’t flood and isn’t filling up with radon, the kitchen’s up to date, and such like. In 2017 the unthinkable has already become reality, amidst a referendum for the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, a Trump presidency in the US, and massacres perpetrated by Islamic extremists occurring with increasing regularity in continental Europe, provoking predictable political reactions.mountain

Nothing during my stay topped climbing splitter granite cracks a thousand feet off the deck with a valley glacier sweeping bellow and the Grandes Jorasses dominating the horizon. Several of the climbs lead to classic hypodermic granite needle summits provoking disbelief. This is a place I will certainly travel back to in the future.mountain

Looking up again across the pool, I realised that there were tens of thousands of puffins and razorbills, for this is one of the major nesting places in the North Atlantic. There were, of course, other birds: shags, black-backed gulls, kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, and the odd gannet. For me the most impressive were the skuas, big, heavily built seabirds, brown, with two white stripes on their wing. Skuas are known as ‘kleptoparasites’ because of their habit of stealing food from other birds: I watched one attack a gull, hanging onto its wing as they tumbled together to the water to make it regurgitate its meal. I am sure that given half a chance they would snatch a puffin chick, as would the big gulls. I imagined the links in the local food chain: marine plankton feeding sand-eels, sand-eels feeding baby birds and baby birds feeding skuas and gulls.mountain

Children in areas of concentrated poverty do less well than if they live in more socioeconomically mixed areas (Chetty et al. 2015). Adults in areas of concentrated poverty have less access to economic opportunity and lower length and quality of life (Kneebone et al 2011 esp Box 1, Ludwig 2014).

I got to know the old Sgt. over time and he found out I liked fishing. He offered his row boat to fish in the cove if I wanted and said I could bring a friend. I brought a guy I knew that worked in the mess hall and liked to fish. We were fishing in the cove and not paying any attention to the tide which was going out. We were being drawn closer to the outlet and the closer we got the more the pull on the small boat. We could not row hard enough to stay in the cove. We were sucked out of the inlet like someone flushing a toilet. The guy with me tried to jam an oar against the rock wall and broke the oar. We then only had one oar.