Sunday, 25 June 2017

A crowded planet.

On my first Sunday off for some time I am listening to the radio with a sense of disbelief....
There are so many stories of disaster. Mudslides, fires, torrential rain, Brexit!
Cyber attacks are happening more often and cause chaos in hospitals and even parliament!
There are good things happening I know but the news is focussed on the horror.
Getting many families rehoused whilst the towers they live in are made safe is a massive uprooting of often elderly people and I am not surprised that some of them have simply refused to go!
I wonder if maybe the current situation is made worse by politicians not wanting to be found inadequate or uncaring...
In the old days we would not know quite so much about what is happening...but now stories focus on tragedy and on celebrities in a way that might sell news papers but just makes me shudder!
I could just not listen or look at the papers but I am still interested in what is going on around me...
I do wonder though whether it is just that there are far too many humans on this earth, all needing homes and food and to feel safe...
Is this a question of over population and the various disasters, natures way of getting our numbers down a little!
I am trying very hard not to mention birth control.

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Saturday, 24 June 2017

Happy Day!

Well I'm not going to have another day like that again! Yesterday was simply amazing....
Cards and flowers arrived . Good friends took me out to lunch to a lovely hotel by the sea where we were treated like royalty. The man who is our verger had laid on champagne. His wife is the manager.
At every stage the staff looked after us magnificently.
I met someone from the last cruise eating at the same place. She wished me a happy birthday!
Back at home I slept.....because I was out again in the evening with a very old friend who used to be my dentist!
St Mawes was packed, we have a lot of visitors here right now but we found a table in a pub run by another old friend...
When I got home I found plants and more cards by my front door!
A phone call from another person from the last cruise , several emails from other old friends, more flowers arriving , it was well beyond anything I could have hoped for!
Maybe being 80 isn't quite so bad!

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Thursday, 22 June 2017

An unwanted birthday!

On the whole I don't look back too often but just now I am remembering old birthdays.....
Getting to be forty was bad. I didn't feel old but passing forty felt as though a line had been crossed somewhere.
My husband worked in Manchester and on the day we booked lunch at our favourite restaurant. I waited for him at our table and eventually a waiter appeared with a message. He couldn't get away from the office...sorry.
I opted not to eat alone but somehow my worst fears were realised...I was old.
Going to the shops later I wanted to buy something outrageous but nothing caught my eye. Eventually the best I could do was to buy some bright red nail varnish. When my husband got home I had painted every nail about my person.
It made me feel better, not quite so old....fighting back a little....
I can't remember my fiftieth but achieving 60 was memorable. My husband had died two months earlier. To say I was miserable was an understatement.
My girl friends took me out.
We went to a lovely restaurant called "The blue strawberry" it was very trendy in Essex and they showered me with presents....a pink pension book cover, woolly socks, a hairnet, dozens of age related gifts. all wrapped beautifully....the rest of the diners were entranced and so was I ....we laughed an awful lot and I shall always be grateful to them.
By the time I reached seventy I had been priested and was still finding my way around the various churches on the Roseland. I have no memory of the actual day!
Becoming eighty is no fun at all. I have told everyone that it's not a cause for celebration. I am going out to lunch with three very kind friends. Cards are now appearing and so are flowers...the house looks wonderful.
All I have to do now is plan my ninetieth! Pass the purple nail varnish!

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The sun is not shining today but it's still hot. I have enjoyed the heat wave even though I can no longer sit out and get brown.....but yesterday I waited until early evening and then sat quietly in the sunshine .
I had a good sun block on and a big hat but it felt lovely to do what I've done for years!
So this morning I find I have been bitten! Great itchy lumps have come up during the night. Clearly the biters also enjoyed my bask outside!
On the day of summer solstice the radio celebrated with poetry.
All day during small gaps in programming a poem was read.
Summer poems celebrating the fruitful period.
Some of them made me cry....their beauty touched me in unexpected ways...
Full marks to radio 4.
I have a midweek communion this morning . Our numbers are now small and mostly female.....
The church is up a steep hill and our lovely curate carries them up the hill in her car but even with that help the numbers are dropping week by week. But I park on the sea wall and walk up. It's getting harder!
I shall be eighty tomorrow. Oh dear!

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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Too hot to govern.

Mrs May has made this summer quite extraordinary. Her gamble failed, she has not been able to come to terms with its consequences.
Today's opening of Parliament is a sham as she has no mandate to govern.
I feel very sorry for the Queen as she is expected to fulfil her traditional role in the state opening of parliament.
Many of the trappings of state have been dispensed with...and who could blame's very hot in London...does Mrs May really want them all to assemble for what is obviously going to be a very short term solution to the problem she is responsible for.
Our Prime minister has focussed on just the one thing....Brexit.
She clearly believes she is the only person who can deal with this problem....getting us out of the EU with as much kudos as possible.
Brexit has taken over the mind and the practical common sense of our PM.
Everything else has been sacrificed for this one effort.
She won the job as PM last summer after Cameron resigned....she looked like a capable woman who could deal with its complexities.
And then common sense deserted her.
I can't imagine her mind set now, the determination to go on with little or no back up in parliament The MPs who are supporting her , Boris, Gove etc are keeping a sinking ship afloat because it suits them...not because it's the right thing to do.
The DUP issued a request for some respect last night. They have clearly been taken for granted...
It's very depressing. And it's all Mays fault! She didn't have to call an election. Europe and indeed the rest of the world must be enjoying this story as it unfolds....but we are not.
I think most of us now would welcome her resignation . Providing Gove didn't step forward again....
It would make a good script for a play. I'm sure one is being written right now, the only thing in doubt is the last act and who will remain on the stage to take the final bow!

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Hot weather!

This hot weather is wonderful. But also frustrating. In the old days I would have taken advantage of it to swim in the sea and to bask in the suns rays till I went brown.
I could still swim, I might yet do so....but first I would have to cover myself in a good sun block and there are lots of places I can't reach on my own!
I might yet paddle...but that's tame stuff compared to what I want to do!
During one hot spell me and my golden retriever Crispin used to get up early, walk down the hill to the local beach and swim out together!
He kept pace with me easily except on the occasion when we met a dog fish. He gulped and turned back for the shore...trying to pull me back with him.
I loved swimming from the harbour too when the tide was Portscatho the slipway held many old women as well as young ones with babies , clustered in a group of chatterers.
Sometimes if I swam from there they used to encourage me ,
" Come on mother Jean."
That was almost twenty years ago. Oh dear!
Today I will be covered up in my garden. Long skirts and a big hat!
The garden is a haven of quiet and looks wonderful right now.
I regret not swimming these days but the alternative is good . I am happy....remarkably happy!

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Monday, 19 June 2017

Attack in London.

Oh hell.....I suppose some sort of revenge crime was inevitable at some stage. Who ever decided to use a van to kill people coming out of their mosque has opened up a whole new area of terror.
The one thing we don't need now is a war of attrition against Muslims.
The Koran like the Bible preaches love not hate...
Our cream tea on the quay on Saturday was to remember Jo Cox. Our small get together was packed with people enjoying the sun and talking to each was evident where ever I went.
I have myself witnessed the hard line hatred of Muslims earlier this year when I was heckled in church by saying that Allah was another word for God.
The heckler stood up and shouted that I had said Allah was God. His anger cascaded around the church and I was unable to continue. I was actually shaking faced with such anger.
This is the anger that fuels mindless violence directed against Muslims.
I pray that what happened last night is not repeated. We have enough problems without the crusades being re enacted in dreadful scenes around the country.
"Love one another as I have loved you." Jesus words to us all. He didn't mean apart from Muslims.

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