Friday, 3 July 2015


Everyone should wake up happy, then decide what to do with the day.

SM Stirling in Conquistador (New York, 2004), describes a perfect awakening for his character, Tom Christiansen:

Tom is woken by the smell of coffee and the sound of voices;

although he is far from home, he remembers exactly where he is without any bewilderment;

he savors "...the sensation of physical well-being..." (p. 276) and grins at the ceiling;

he reflects that he is on a whole new unpolluted world, in for an adventure;

he finds that his kidnappers have brought his clothes in his own suitcases;

from the bathroom window, he sees "...the fog-streaked grandeur of the bay, lit by the morning sun..." (p. 277), also roofs and treetops emerging " the silver-white vapor retreated..." (ibid.);

in the kitchen, his recent girlfriend is at the stove in a bath-robe, her hair hanging loose;

she offers fresh Hawaiian coffee, eggs scrambled with cream, diced scallions and paprika, Canadian-style bacon smoked with apple wood, flapjacks, boysenberry pancakes, toast, fruit and cream;

the high quality of the ingredients is down to local farming that is artisan-scale, not capital-intensive.

It sounds like heaven although would anyone have to do the farming and cooking in heaven? Maybe, but there they would be fulfilling activities, not chores. However, this is not heaven...

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