It is just as well that I have a free day today (plenty of yesterday's casserole left for lunch, no appointments) because there is so much to read in today's Times that I want to just sit with a coffee and read it.
For a start there is the Eureka magazine, which is always full of scientific things explained in fairly easy language - a marvellous article about evolution by Richard Dawkin - he pitches it just about my level of understanding.
Matthew Parris writes every Thursday in the paper and he is one of my favourite writers as he always talks such a lot of sense. Today he has three topics and all three give massive food for thought.
He tells of an experiment in the 1870's, where they put five cattle on Amsterdam Island in the Indian Ocean. The experiment didn't work out but the cattle bred and are now totally wild and also very fierce - they will attack any human. One wonders how long our cattle would take to reach a similar state.
He also tells of hurting his knee while out walking on a walking holiday and of sitting in a cold stream for half an hour or so, soaking the painful knee. Next morning it had recovered. So next time you hurt your knee or your ankle - try it. I certainly shall - the beck is near enough for the experiment!
But the thing that really interested me and got me thinking on a wider scale was his piece about Gaddafi and the possibility of him hiding in the Sahara. If you look on the map you realise just how big a country Libya is and just how much of it is Sahara Desert. Wide, empty, barren, featureless, devoid of life - all these terms spring to mind but Parris says we are wrong to think this. He says there are 'eyes everywhere'. The Tuareg roam the desert and know every inch of it. He speaks of camping in a desolate part and going out of the tent in the morning to see a lone figure on the horizon, checking him out. Tuareg - splendidly adapted for living in such conditions. That set me thinking - aren't we all?
I was a country child and until I was in my mid twenties I had never lived in a town. I was introduced gently by then living for eight years in Lichfield - a quiet Cathedral city. Only then was I catapulted into a huge urban environment - Wolverhampton, with its large multi-racial population, heavy traffic, noise, shopping. It took a while to adapt but I must say I enjoyed my seventeen years there.
But oh the joy of now living deep in the country again - I have come back to my roots; back to quiet, wildlife, knowing my neighbours. Alright, there are things I miss - like the theatre, concerts, ease of shopping for clothes (but then in the country one hardly needs any). Yesterday, wandering around Sedbergh I got the same feeling. Everyone in the main street knew everyone else, so that people stopped to chat.
I have seen Toureg in Marrakesh, walking swiftly through the square, seemingly intent on their business. Do they feel like a fish out of water? If so then we are back to Richard Dawkin again, because that's where we all come from he says.