I'm feeling pretty fed up with politics at the moment. Paul O'Grady says it all about the UK governing coalition in the video below. I've just seen TV coverage of a delusional "Scottish" Labour conference that will only be remembered for Harriet Harman (Labour's UK equality spokesperson - you couldn't make this up!) and her highly unpleasant racist comparison of the Chief Secretatary to the Treasury to a "ginger rodent". Ian Gray - the leader of "Scottish" Labour - made a leaden speech and concluded it with his opinion that no-one can be a Scottish patriot unless they support a Unionist party.
Whilst all this posturing and posing goes on, a total assault is being launched on the disadvantaged of Great Britain by the cabal of millionaires who govern this country in the coalition cabinet. In Parliament, the announcement of each succesive outrage was greeted with cheers and hilarity from the Government benches. Mreanwhile Harman can think of nothing better to do than to fling about childish remarks about hair colour. Gray seems to think everything is all the fault of the Scottish National Party, despite the shaky economic record of the last UK Labour Government...
I came back up to Scotland yesterday after a week with my father, who had been admitted to hospital with pneumonia. Unfortunately, it got the better of him early this morning, when he slipped away peacefully , 24 hours short of his 83rd birthday. My thanks go to the staff of Jupiter and Teal wards at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, who did much to help him through his final illness.
My Dad finally went gently into the good night, but only after three decades of an encyclopedia of illnesses that he usually bore well, with only a few descents into grumpiness. He was a man of faith, and he would have breathed his last holding a little wooden cross given to him by the Vicar of Cricklade, the small Wiltshire town where he lived long and happily. We had all seen him recently, and his death will not be the cause of any self-reproach or "if onlies". He saw his grandchildren grow into happy adulthood, and was content. He avoided the living death of Alzheimer's and the dread and pain of a cancer. A life well lived as a soldier, a businessman, a volunteer, husband and father. A life well lived and well ended, we give thanks for it and share his hopes for what will come to be. I hope he was confident he could stand before his Maker without fear of rebuke.
I'm having a rather different mid-life crisis. I've been unwell for three years with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - M.E. I've found it to be a Major Encumbrance. I've lost my job, we've sold our house and moved to somewhere rented, and recast a lot of plans. How will we cope? What will happen next?
58 years old, became unemployed in April 2009 because of ME after 31 years as a Social Worker.
I've been married for nearly 33 years to Susanneke, and we have two sons and a daughter, all now astoundingly grown up.