To hear, as I did on the news the other night, that the
New Zealand Government plans to pump millions into
roading projects is to be irresistibly reminded of the
British fortress of Singapore before the Second World
War, which, with all its big guns facing seawards,
whence any serious attack was supposed to come, was
considered impregnable (in 1942 Japanese forces
swept down the Malayan peninsula from the north and
conquered Singapore with ease while the guns, in their
fixed positions pointing south, stood idle). I think also
of American farmers stripping and tilling the Midwest
soil so intensively that they turned the land, their own
livelihood, into a giant dustbowl; and of palaces built
overlooking slums. These, however, are probably just
idle fancies, the products of an over-active imagination.
Memo to self: must get out more. In the car, every time.