In Vikings, a pre-Christian Scandinavian society is shown as burning the dead in a funeral. This is similar to how the Hindus and quite a few other cultures did it.
They even hint at how burying the dead was a sign of insulting them.
Most modern Abrahamic cultures—Christian, Muslim and Jewish—bury their dead. I’m guessing the modern, Christian Scandinavians bury their dead too. Made me wonder.
The Abrahamic religions started in the middle east in arid, often desert, land. Wood from trees must have been at a premium, so funeral by burning would’ve been expensive. Maybe that’s why they chose burial over burning.
Later, these religions spread to other areas with no paucity of wood, but the religious norm—burying not burning—went along. Even areas where there was plenty of wood, but relatively little accessible land ended up burying the dead instead of burning them.
Coming back to the Vikings, burning made sense for them. Wood was, and is, relatively plentiful in Scandinavia. Moreover, the ground would be frozen hard through long winters, making digging for a burial hard. But once Christianity came in, the new socioreligious norms quickly overturned old wisdom.
It may be the same in parts of southeast Asia where the pre-existing religions—Hinduism, Buddhism and native religions—would’ve burned their dead. Yet, after the adoption of Islam, most societies turned to burial. Despite plenty of thick tropical forests for wood, and expense of clearing land (or lack of it on islands) for burial.
The Benjamin, a 100 US Dollar bill, has long ruled the world. It is the highest denomination US currency note; nicknamed after Benjamin Franklin, one of the greatest US leaders of all time, whose image it carries.
Now that the US has a new greatest-ever leader of all the time, it is time to introduce a new highest denomination bill with his image.
A USD 500 note with President Donald Trump’s image on one side and a golden, instead of green, hue to the note.
Yesterday’s lunch—the first fully screen free (alone) meal—was a bit of a mess. I was anxious, itching to either pick up the phone or switch on the news.
It took a bit, but by the end of the meal I was calmer. I also took longer to finish the meal—spending more time on every bite, chewing better, putting the fork/spoon down between the bites,…
Today’s lunch was easier. Yesterday’s experience comforted me that any anxiety was unwarranted.
Dinner was harder in the usual aspect—R was home and watching TV1. It was easier in another way—there was a beautiful sunset outside. I placed the rocker facing the sunset (back to the TV), and slowly ate my dinner watching the orange sky and the green canopy.
Saturday morning: 50th parkrun. Maddie remembered. Thank you Maddie. Paint pickup from Screwfix on the way home.
Got a happy S for company in the afternoon.
Spent the evening on the road behind the house, painting the fence. It took nearly 4 hours for 8 panels. The wood hadn’t been painted in at least 7 years, if ever. It was drinking paint. A 9L can didn’t finish a single coat on the 8 panels.
A late dinner, some Glastonbury on the beeb. Late night.
Today began late, with an aching body.
Took boys for a short walk. Then went for a 70 mins easy run.
Showered, ate, washed the dishes in the sink, made a coffee, and read a book.
Around 7pm, I returned to the rear fence with the second can of paint. Spent the evening clearing the ivy at one end of the fence, then giving the fence a second coat (first coat for bits under the ivy and the bottom fifth).
Finished at 21:30. Cleaned the brush. Fixed (correctly this time) the shower holder. Took a shower. Shaved.
Now, having a pre-meal of peanut butter toast with red wine. Chicken schnitzel is in the oven.
It’s been a productive, happy weekend.
The only area of improvement is that I didn’t get to spend much time with Duds 🙁