It’s 50 years today since humans first walked on the moon

moon landscape
Photo: Armstrong NASA

“We should be ashamed at our lack of progress in space travel.” Buzz Aldrin at the 50th anniversary.

You may think this is nothing to do with Notre Dame, and in some ways it may seem unrelated. In some ways it is, but in other ways it stems from the same narrative.

I was lucky enough, as an eight-year-old, to watch the first moon walk live on TV from England in the middle of the night.

To be the best you can be and go to places no one has been before.

And yet…

I’m starting a sci-fi story, again it has nothing directly to do with Notre Dame, but somehow…

Read the first chapter of the story below and follow the story for more updates.

The first chapter

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The Tour De France is a magnificent tour through much of France’s gifted culture even if you don’t like cycling

Photo: Associated Press

Like Notre Dame, ravaged by fire in April, the towering cathedral in Reims also endured disaster, when it was heavily shelled in World War I. The ensuing inferno shattered and blackened its massive stone pillars and exquisite sculptures and heavily damaged luminous stained-glass windows that, now restored, bathe its cool and cavernous interior in a rainbow of colour. Flames also melted the lead roof, which dripped through the gargoyles.

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The Mother of Parliaments is rotten

Photo: Tim Brown

Images of Notre Dame being apocalyptically consumed by flames must have induced queasiness in the members of the fire safety teams who patrol Westminster’s labyrinthine corridors every hour of every day, ready to stave off incipient catastrophe.

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Boris Johnson’s silence

Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson

The police were called to the flat where Boris Johnson is now living with his current girlfriend of just over a year, Carrie Symonds, after concern from their neighbours about a ‘heated dispute’ on Friday.

In a public hustings for the UK Prime Minister position on Saturday, Johnson had nothing to say. He also had nothing to say about his relationship with right-winger Steve Bannon, although to be fair he wasn’t asked about that.

Claims that his argument with  Carrie Symonds started about his affection for zip wire in the bedroom is unverified.

So the new UK PM will be…

Also his supposed backing for Trump’s possible purchase of Notre Dame in Paris as a hotel is still unverified.

Donald Trump meets Macron and Johnson

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Trump avoids war…


For now.

Donald Trump has stopped short of escalating the worsening stand-off with Iran in the Persian Gulf, suggesting that the shooting down of a US drone could have been carried out by a “loose and stupid” Iranian officer without authorisation from Tehran. He was apparently ‘worried’ that up to 150 Iranians could be killed in the planned retaliation.

Claims that he was heard to say “can’t we get more of them?” in the briefing room are unverified.

In other news, Trump is still in the market to turn Notre Dame into a hotel. His most recent comment appears to be “I really like the roof as a swimming pool.”

Donald Trump meets Macron and Johnson

Oh and Donald Trump is facing a fresh allegation that he sexually assaulted a woman in his days as a real estate developer in the mid 1990s

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