Last 5 days I was on holiday, free from the stress of work. I was even Internet-free. All I had were 5 bottles of red, a dessert wine, a nice tawny port, two books that I meant to read (just managed one-third of one), two fishing rods and a pair of thongs (Japanese slippers).
I drove to a seaside town, booked into a holiday unit, paid $10 for a week's fishing licence, and spent some glorious time either strolling on the magnificent beaches or sitting on one of the jetties of the harbour, with my fishing lines out for no apparent reason than the pretence of fishing.
While on the beach I became a bit philosophical and wondered when our G2 sun becomes a growing red giant, how the golden sand will start to melt into glass crystals before vaporising into some sort of noxious fumes. Needless to say, by then the sea would have boiled away.
Mankind itself will also be gone unless it has the commonsense to pool its resources and invest it into searching for an alternative home among the stars and building the transportation to get there, for future humanity. Being children of the stars, we must return to the stars for our survival.
But alas, perhaps that event is just too far into the unforeseeable future (5 billion years more) and thus not sufficiently motivating for today’s world leaders, politicians and big tycoons to care about.
OK, that was too mind boggling, so instead of worrying about a solar red giant, I opened a bottle of red every night and savoured it with appreciation.
While at the jetty, I indulged instead in visual enjoyment, the sight of hundreds, if not thousands of multi-hued minnows darting in and out among the pier pilings, nibbling eagerly at the crumbs I gently showered on them. I even caught a few, not out of skill but due rather to the sheer avarice of those greedy little fellows, chomping mindlessly on the hooks of my fishing lines.
One species looked like a small (approx. 2/3 palm-size) bawal putih (silver Pomfret or pampas argenteus), though it was dark purplish in colour. Its shape was definitely more like a bawal putih than a bawal hitam (black Pomfret or parastromateous niger). I threw them back to live another day and returned to my visual examination of the various shades of shadow and darkness among the small boats, fishing trawlers, schooners, the bottom of the jetties and the darker dancing waves. It was very therapeutic.