Tarting up the past – an extract from ‘Farther from the Sun’.

They are presently digging up parts of Britain, indeed the whole world. They are uncovering the past and restoring it. They are tarting it up so that it looks attractive. They put in roads to the sites and trim the grass. They construct paths and riddle the place with signposts. They produce brochures and put in historical information on plaques. The result is a tourist attraction.

People have got so much money and time that they can indulge themselves. They can go and see things that look interesting. This may be natural phenomena, such as hot springs, waterfalls and gorges or they may be old ruins. The idea is to make it accessible and attractive. It is no good leaving them as they were. They have to be manicured and resurrected into the artists’ impression of past glory. We worship the past.

We are becoming heritage Britain. We sell a sanitised version of the past to tourists. Battle scenes without the blood – we are fascinated. Stone circles without the sacrifices – we are intrigued. Castles without the rape and pillage – we are in awe. We are then invited to visualise these events.

Soon the whole planet will be a big plastic historical amusement park for the benefit of affluent tourism. It brings in the dollars. It is big business. You sell your merchandise on the back of the curiosity seekers.

I enjoy doing it myself – but, at the back of my mind, I know that what I am viewing is not necessarily real. It’s been tarted up to make it look more attractive and not more authentic.



Some seek out sexual partners and spend hours making themselves look attractive so that they can have lots of sex with different people.



We pretend we are ruled by our minds when in reality our noses and emotions tug us around. We do not even register that we are responding to each other’s chemistry. We do not know what makes us do the things we do.

We watch our dogs sniffing lampposts and other dogs and think we are superior. At least they most probably know what messages they receive. We respond without it even becoming conscious.


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