Catching a Crab


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Catching a Crab

Catching a Crab - Olympic Gold

A Philosopher's Stone Moment - Base Metal into Gold.

Or  Discerning the Meaning in Meaningful Coincidence

Why does everything have to be chance? Only because that is the way the opinion formers, vocal academics and journalists, want it to be.  It is all  their narrow  'belief systems' can accommodate.  Is there not something beyond our material world of space and time something which we can barely glimpse, an orchestrator of space and time perhaps. Could there indeed be a God after all?

Look at the very curious coincidence in the recent rowing ‘disaster’ as some have called it in the Olympic Games at Eton Dorney. As a TV commentator on Prime said “It wasn’t a disaster at all. It wasn’t like the Titanic. Nobody died."  Tell that to  Louise trap it (now that is a very curious ‘live update’ coincidence produced by Dragon as I dictate this article).  Louise Trappitt rowed No2 in the NZ women's four. They were rowing in the semi-final on 30th July with a good chance of a place in the final. They were moving up through the field when suddenly Louise Trappitt ‘caught a crab’. I was surprised to see that headline in the New Zealand Herald report on 31st July. It was a phrase I had not heard for 40 years, not since my rowing days at Oxford. But was it Louise Trappitt’s destiny? Her surname describes what happened to her oar. It is what happens when you ‘catch a crab’. You dont clear the water properly at the end of the stroke, your oar gets trapped in the water by the speed of the boat. You struggle in vain to free it. Her oar broke in that process. Perhaps Louise Trappitt is another daughter of destiny.

It is a very strange thing to happen in competitive rowing, almost unknown so it is strange that it should happen to a Kiwi girl in the 2012 Olympics. It is a well-known hazard for novice rowers, as I was only too well aware. I felt so sorry for her. I had some inkling of how it felt. I suffered a related misfortune during Summer Eights at Oxford in May 1971, the first year Wolfson had an VIII. It was then a new graduate college with just a few dozen students. I had already rowed in the Worcester College Gentleman's VIII ( Vth Eight) in May, 1966, but this was rather different. Worcester like all the old established colleges had its own boathouse as well as a number of eights, shell and clinker.  At Wolfson, we didn't ebven have a boat at all.  We had to make do with an old borrowed eight from Univ I seem to recall,  and during our bumps race, my seat came off the slide and I could only sit in the middle as best I could between Bow and No 3 trying to avoid both of them as they went back and forth on their slides as  best they could. There is another funny coincidence there too, as just like Louise Trappitt, I also rowed at No 2.

The Thames at Oxford is not wide enough to allow more than two boats abreast so in order to allow competitions involving the boats of 20 or more colleges the idea of bumping races came about. The start is way downstream past Donnington Bridge where ten boats were lined up along the northern bank of the Thames (called Isis in Oxford) several lengths apart. From the start of a bumping race each boat rose as fast as possible to try to catch the boat in front and bump. Any part of an oar will do. It does not generally involve a real collision or should not. Then both boats withdraw from the race and swap places in the starting line-up for the following day’s racing. With two boats dropping out there is then a large distance of clear water between the next two  remaining boats. The rear boat now has much greater distance to make up but if it is successful then it over-bumps the boat ahead. Again they swap places in the following day’s line-up.

In our race the two boats behind us bumped and the two boats behind them bumped.  The problem with my broken seat meant that I could not row at all and Bow and 3 were very restricted. We got about as far as the boat houses, three quarters of the way down the course before we were double over- bumped. What an ignominious defeat. It was the end of my rowing career at Oxford. But there weren’t many spectators to see the one o'clock races. It was not like the Six o'clock race for the Head of the River.  I did not have the eyes of the world on my misfortune. And rowing was not my life, just a brief summer aside from my D Phil. in chemical physics. But this strange coincidence at the Olympics  at Eton in particular seemed to link my past in Oxford to my present in New Zealand in a curious kind of way.  For Eton is of significance in the Cassandra Codes for many reasons.

It was a striking coincidence, at least for me, involving boats during 2012 which of course marked the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. And the elder sister of the RMS Titanic was the RMS Olympic.

The pundits are calling this the social media games but I think the James Bond games will probably be a better reference. It began with Daniel Craig a.k.a.  James Bond collecting the Queen as his so-called Bond girl from Buckingham Palace to take her to the Olympic venue in a helicopter complete with suitably dreessed stumpt guys. Then there was Mister Bean a.k.a. Johnny English, another James Bond spoof, and finally David Beckham doing another James Bond take off in a speedboat at the Thames with a passable Bond girl carrying the Olympic torch.

It was all orchestrated by O Danny Boy(le), ( complete with his personal theme tune) but is he just another actor on the stage? Its all about Destiny, back to Trainspotting - the real thing not his corrupted version.   Boyle  orchestrated it all, controlled all the scenes, all the sets, but was his part orchestrated every bit as much as that of Paul Holmes, Captain Collins and Louise Trappitt.   Was there indeed more value in trainspotting after all?  Pity all the people 'who matter' played golf.

Yes Danny Boyle orchestrated the opening ceremony but not the 007 link in the women's fours.  On 1st August final B was held at Eton Dorney for the women's fours with just two boats, New Zealand and Poland. New Zealand beat Poland, although it was a close race. As a result New Zealand ended up at number seven in the final Olympic results. Did it have to be 007? 

(It has a deeper meaning, a link echoed in the NZ men's races which ended in New Zealand Gold.  And it was only Louise Trappitt's crab that caused me to follow the rowing and find so many more signs of destiny and design.  Normally I watch nothing of the Olympics.  All sport leaves me cold. 

I wrote the original version of this article on 2nd August.  As if  to reinforce and confirm everything I had said about destiny and design,  a very curious mishap occurred within 48 hours, on the Saturday morning at Eton Dorney during the men`s double sculls final.  Within about 15 seconds of the start of the race, the  commentator suddenly said "It looks like the British team is in trouble."  The camera zoomed in on the British pair and one of them had his hand in the air.  "Oh, looks like equipment failure perhaps" said the commentator.  "They can restart the race if it is inside 100 meters."  The next shot showed him holding up his broken seat.  It seemed as though he has suffered precisely the same misfortune as had I in 1971.  His seat had come off its slide.  That was Saturday 4th August, 2012, also by coincidence my wedding anniversary, Saturday, 4th August, 1973. 

And in a curious echo of these 'Life of Brian' coincidences, two weeks later, what should the Olympics closing ceremony feature but Eric Idle singing the closing song from Life of Brian, 'Always look on the bright side of life'.  Not that there is a lot of the bright side of life to look on considering the state of the world in 2012. )

Is it wise to accept the so-called rationalists’ view of the world, that this greedy grubby world of ever-increasing commercialism is all there is? The rationalists a.k.a. atheists a.k.a. sceptics now hold the power the church held at the time of Galileo, to determine what is ‘truth’ .  They control the academic world and most of the media. Gainsayers are mocked quite ruthlessly, almost with a religious zeal. Whenever evidence is produced to contradict their view, they choose to ignore it or instead mount a personal attack on the author. ‘It is all just chance’ is their only response. After all chance is the only goddess in their severely limited pantheon. Design is a much more truly rational conclusion, indeed the only one that really fits all the evidence.  But why should the rationalists be bothered with evidence?  Evidence never bothered the church after all and just like today, most people didn't really care anyway. 

It is as though all these coincidences are designed, intended to make us think;  but who needs to think when they have got a smart phone?

There was far, far more in the Olympics, so many interesting coincidences, most involving New Zealanders, a few Britons and two Egyptian women... Most fitting that .... given the connection of Eton Dorney to The Jewel of The Seven Stars, which I was just in the process of reading again but this time with far more understanding than when I had read it first in July, 2001.  The catching a crab headline appeared in the NZH of 31st July, 2012... more proof of 'The Great Experiment' indeed.

2nd August, 2012 17:43:20
Updated  30th September, 2012  20:09:44



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