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Choking on flowers

February 27, 2009

The past two nights we spent floating around the Keralan backwaters in a houseboat, and frankly, it was a disappointment. We were hoping for a serene couple of days spent seeking out birds and other wildlife, and relaxing under the stars. But actually it was like being on a highway, with ridiculous numbers of boats charging up and down the same long straight (dull) stretch of canal. The two days were far from relaxing with nonstop irritations and other issues too tedious to mention.

Strange to think that this time last year we were also on a houseboat but in freezing conditions along the Oxfordshire canals in England. And with our lovely friends!

The temperature and company are not the only differences between the waterways there and here: rubbish and pollution threaten the backwaters in Kerala, as does the over-abundance of water-hyacinths. The pretty purple-flowering plants are clogging up the smaller canals completely, which local people use for their livelihoods. Although interestingly some have put it to good hydroponic use and are growing crops on the floating plants.

So we’re back in Trivandrum – back to the screaming horns, the pollution and the hassle. Hoping to see Slumdog at the flicks tonight though.

My chest has swollen (further) with pride at being noticed by The Sun newspaper – I thought it would never happen! (The original article is here.)

7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 27, 2009 11:40 pm

    Having read your piece in New Scientist, it was amusing to see the translation in the Sun.
    But have you seen the Sun’s comment page?

    • gaiavince permalink*
      February 28, 2009 9:51 am

      Hilarious! Maybe he lives in Lewisham…

  2. March 2, 2009 12:16 pm

    Did you get my emails about polar cities? Do you reply to emails or do you ignore people you don’t know?

  3. Frank de la Rambelya permalink
    March 3, 2009 8:00 am

    Congratulations on your article in New Scientist – a valuable input to strategic planning for our future. Unfortunately there were a couple of errors with numbers which detract a little. In case you haven’t been informed: the calculation re a population of 9 billion people (yet you wrote 9 million people) occupying approx 20 sq meters per individual, works out to 180,000 sq km, not 18000 sq km.
    Anyway, thanks for the heads up and let’s hope the issue is being thought about by strategic planners at all levels.

    • gaiavince permalink*
      March 3, 2009 9:14 am

      Thanks Frank – things must have got scrambled during the production and I hadn’t noticed that one! I’ve let the editor know and it will be corrected.

  4. Sting from Deptford borders permalink
    March 3, 2009 1:48 pm

    Gaia – maybe the link in the Sun has changed. Upon clicking the hyperlink an article entitled “Load of Poppycock” came into view. How strangely apt….

    Happy birthday !

    • gaiavince permalink*
      March 3, 2009 3:37 pm

      You know you can’t read those big words in The Sun, Martin, why do you try? thanks! x

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