Tales That Sting

When I first moved to Stockholm in 1996, I decided I wanted to try something completely different. So I signed up for a singing-class: "Afro-American Rock and Pop Songs". The week before my first class, I went on a holiday to Lefkas in Greece with my friend and flatmate Marie. We had a great time since it was off-season but still very nice weather. Unfortunately, I caught a very bad cold. When I came home I could hardly speak, and singing was out of the question.

I went to the lessons anyhow. In the beginning I just listen to the instructions and mimed. Much too soon I tried to sing, why it took more than a year for my voice to recover completely. Towards the end of the course, we were told to pick a song to sing on our own. I'm sure I was tempted to select one song from the then recently released Sting album "Mercury Falling", probably "I Was Brought To My Senses", a song that later became one of my favourites. However, I went for the more upbeat "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free".

If you need somebody, call my name
If you want someone, you can do the same
If you want to keep something precious
You got to lock it up and throw away the key
If you want to hold onto your possession
Don't even think about me
If you love somebody, set them free

From Läckö 2012

I've recently ordered "A Sting in the Tale" by Dave Goulson. Partly because the content seems to be very relevant to me because of its focus on sustainability, but mostly because the cover is so beautiful. Reminds me of Maj Fagerberg's illustrations, that evoke the sounds and smells of childhood summers in the southern parts of Sweden.

"You can publish experiments in high quality journals again and again but they are only read by a few dozen scientists who work in your field. It achieves little or nothing in the real world", Dave Goulson

Goulson has published more than 200 scientific articles on insects, but he's also worked really hard with respect to utilisation, in addition to writing popular books. Concerned with the steep decline of bumblebees he started the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in 2006. It provides useful tips on how to design a bee-friendly garden. I would just love to have a bumblebee nest at my allotment! Sadly the Bee Kind tool seems to be only for UK fans.

review of Goulson's book by The Guardian, points out how much we depend on the eco-services provided by creatures like bumblebees. Another good reason for why to give them a helping hand!

"Ketchup. Nothing better illustrates the mess we've made of managing the environment on which our survival depends. When you next plop it over your chips, as Dave Goulson points out in his enlightening account of a life studying bumblebees, consider that it was probably made in the Netherlands from tomatoes grown in Spain, pollinated by Turkish bumblebees reared in a factory in Slovakia." The Guardian

And out of the confusion
Where the river meets the sea
Something new would arrive
Something better would arrive

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