June 2021

June – “Flaming June”

Our response to the traditional description might be mixed for I write this as a monsoon engulfs Kings Reach and can only hope for improvement by the time this piece appears…..

June in 1844 was not a happy month for one feathered friend, for it was on the 4th that the last Great Auk (one of only two which both perished) was killed by hunters on the island of Eldey, off Iceland. The birds, once numbered in tens of thousands, had been hunted to extinction. They were large, fat, flightless, pleasant to eat and far too easy to catch! We are now only too aware of many other animals in danger of extinction. Priorities, priorities …

This is a sombre thought for a month which holds so much promise, even the promise of ‘freedom’ from many of the constraints of lockdown, on the 21st, the longest day of the year. Let us hope that every one of the 43,200 seconds will be happy and beneficial.

Of course by then many will be enjoying the excitement of soccer’s Euro 2020 (or is it Euro 2021?), and may forget to remember the martyrdom of our own St Alban (22nd) or the birth of John the Baptist (24th).  Priorities, priorities…

I have mentioned before that it was on June 23rd in 2004 that Bob Dylan was made an honorary Doctor of Music by St Andrew’s University. So as an ageing hippy I will leave the last word to him:


Come writers and critics

Who prophesize with your pen

And keep your eyes wide

The chance won't come again

And don't speak too soon

For the wheel's still in spin

And there's no tellin' who

That it's namin'

For the loser now

Will be later to win

For the times they are a-changin'

Perhaps they are. Or not. Enjoy the sunshine.

Colin Dixon

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