Two ladies I know have died suddenly within a 36 hour period this week: My former mother in law passed away after a short illness on Tuesday and then a friend of my own age died suddenly yesterday, barely 24 hours after we had left her smiling and content in hospital.
We all know that death will come eventually, and, for both of the ladies, those around them knew that their days were numbered in months in all probability, but the news still comes as a shock.
I have no religious belief, but many of the bible stories that I learned as a child still convey a sense of truth in their telling. Easter carries messages of death and resurrection and, as I reflect on the passing of these two ladies, I cannot be overly sad that they are gone because they are at peace and are beyond the deterioration and decline that faced them. I think instead of the good memories that I have of having known them and of approaching whatever time I have left here with renewed intent to do good things and make the best of that time.
Losing someone who you know is always hard, but those left behind have their own lives to lead, and better to make good use of them than to mope and moan. Instead honour the memory of those who have gone by using your own lives well.
Those who read my ramblings on a regular basis will know that I do not believe in G-d, but I have no objections whatsoever to those who do drawing comfort from their religion and the traditions and pageantry that go with them.
In a land that once was proud of its tolerance I am appalled that a gentle man by the name of Colin Atkinson can find himself in trouble with hie employers for displaying a cross in his vehicle.
I appreciate that it is their vehicle, and that they have to draw the line somewhere about how employees customise their working environment, but to say that it might offend is, to me, wrong.
Some 37 years ago I found myself in an early management role having to deal with customers who wanted a maintenance person to call, “but not the *****” (insert own word for someone of a darker skin). We have come a long way since those days of prejudice that Warren Mitchell parodied so brilliantly, and I am as angry about the treatment of Mr Atkinson as I was about the events of 1974.
I hope that someone sees sense here and drops this whole issue. To allow it to continue is to shame us all.
A bit of fun to start the week. With so many bland TV commercials around these days thank heaven for YouTube. Here’s the classic Weetabix take on the Robin Hood legend.
It is an old saying that a trouble shared is a trouble halved, and I understand the sentiment. Sure, if the person that you share your trouble with can help, then maybe it does make things much better.
But, even as the optimist that I am, for most of my life I’ve found that telling a trouble will double it to start with because someone else knows. And if you can’t rely on them to keep it to themselves then your trouble will multiply at an horrific rate.
I’m a great believer in the self help route because it has always worked better for me over my, nearly 60, years on this planet (and several hundred on a different planet if you believe some people!). It has worked much better for me that on the times that I have shared a problem.
So what prompted this thread? I’m keeping that to myself.
I wrote here the other day in support of QI over the remarks made last week about Japan and the atom bomb raids that closed off WW2.
Over last weekend I had also watched Top Gear, and had heard the oafish remarks made regarding Mexico and its people, and those I cannot defend, nor would I want to. I regard that sort of behaviour, in a public forum, as being on the same level as Mr Gray and Mr Keys the other week. Some of Top Gear I find very enjoyable, but I missed an entire series after turning off part way through the first episode because of their antics in the deep south of the US.
It is a shame that three intelligent presenters seem to want to resort to this sort of behaviour, but the audience do seem to like it, as did that of the Sky football chaps (the 20 year success of the latter could not have come without the audience wanting to tune in).
Maybe I am in a minority here. If so I don’t mind, I make my own choices. Mr Coogan appears to be a fellow member, but maybe his public reaction has something to do with Top Gear drawing a bigger audience and getting more laughs? Certainly it is the first mention I have heard of him in a while.
Will I watch Top gear again tonight? Maybe, there’s not much else on, but the off button is there should I wish to use it.
Disgusted of Dorcan
Isn’t about time we grew up and stopped all this nonsense? I’ve used the old adage sticks and stones more than once in these blogs, and I’ll say it again here.
These are only words. So they offended some people, but so what? I am offended by their offence, so will they retract? Of course not; the whole thing just becomes more and more stupid.
I knew people who suffered dreadfully at the hands of Japanese soldiers in WW2. One had a face that, when viewed from the front, was a perfect curve courtesy of a Japanese rifle butt. These things offend me greatly, but I don’t hold them against any Japanese person that I meet, any more than I hold prison camp atrocities against any Germans I encounter.
Bad taste means no harm and black humour helps get people through their dark days. We all get upset at times and bloody livid at others, but it only harms us when we do. Let it go by and live for the future with a little more tolerance. If we have that, then we might avoid getting into the very situations that led to that summer of 1945 and the terrible price paid on those two fateful days that are behind the remarks that started this.
These things are history; if we’re going to learn from them and improve our behaviour that is fine, remember them for that good reason, but to keep up this culture of taking offence is ridiculous. Where does it end? Should I be trying to stop re-runs of Carry on Cleo because it pokes fun at my ancient ancestors as they were enslaved by the Romans?
I hope that these words do not offend, but, quite honestly, I don’t care. They are an opinion and I am as entitled to it as you are to yours. If we don’t agree it doesn’t matter. The world would be a boring place if there was nothing to debate.
Sad to hear yesterday of Gerry Rafferty leaving us, but we do have his songs to remember him by.
City to City got me safely home on many a dark night and I wore out three cassette copies before I finally got a car with a CD player. These days it’s on my ipod and is one of the few albums that I look forward to listening to in one go.
Someone who made music that truly touched people and I for one will treasure his songs.
The Berkshire Belle and I have been together for many years now. Twenty one in fact, if my maths are right, and this for what some who knew us said would be a six week wonder.
Maybe you do try harder the second time around, as it is for us two, but somewhere early on in our time together I decided I would do the twelve days of Christmas backwards. Starting on the 13th December I would produce a card and/or a gift on each day as we ran up the the 25th.
That evolved into a card with a short rhyme (I hesitate to call them poetry) and, apart from one year when things at work were really grim, I was working away and I forgot the 13th (you only have to miss one to screw things up) I’ve done it every year since.
Unless I am going to be away I don’t write them in advance. I’ve tried and it doesn’t work for me. Normally I write them in the half hour before I go to bed and, somehow, something will flow from my heart to my hand, through my pen and onto the card.
Some are nonsense, some are topical (I was always inspired by the calypso), some try to copy the style of something well known and now and again I come up with an epic.
The common thread is that they are written with love. Some come on guys, you don’t have to copy my idea of the 12 days, but why not buy your lady a card that’s blank inside and just write her something to say how much she means to you?
“Police helipcopter to move” screams the headline on the placard!
Goodness gracious! What could this mean? Has it been on static display outside Police HQ all of these years? Have they finally found the budget for enough fuel to fly it? Are they going to take it away on a truck?
The thing has been in regular movement since they got it. It has been flying around where I live for years, so has the local rag only just got wind of this or could it be another example of sloppy standards in journalism?
The latter of course. Yes, I know roughly what they mean in that there are ongoing issues about the shared service with Wiltshire NHS, but why should I have to interpret a simple headline? Surely accuracy would be better? “New base for Police helicopter”, for example, says it all.
Please stop dumbing down. We need better standards if we are to get this country back on its feet. The media are in the front line along with teachers and, first and foremost, parents.
An interesting web site and range of books, and nice to be able to promote something local. I’d recommend a look.
Home – Roving Press.