‘What Price Grief’?

I try hard to avoid or react to the vast majority of what passes as the' news'. Current affairs that occur in the world, are not necessarily the same thing as the mooting of ill conceived policy wheezes which the British government pandering to social media seems to delight in delivering on a daily basis. However the latest irrelevance to catch my eye is this. Bereavement Leave I  recently came across a great quote from a notable general who said, Bans are laws for the stupid I'd actually add the caveat that a lot of legislation is completely unnecessary and irrelevant and one is in fact legislating for common sense, decency and regular morality which frankly in a decent society shouldn't really need to be legislated for. Though even I admit people need a push in certain directions now and again, and protection for the vulnerable is essential. So would this bereavement leave be only for bereaved parents? Or for all ...

‘ Solace in a Samovar’

This time a fortnight ago I was on my little Russian adventure sat in a Germanic style bar in central St. Petersburg getting warm and setting the world to rights over a decanter of vodka and a German beer chaser with a fascinating new Russian friend. He was regaling me with anecdotes of his time in Afghanistan before the Soviet coup and I was waxing lyrical over the relative merits and pitfalls of Socialism. By midnight we had pretty much solved most of the world's issues and by 1am, neither of us particularly cared anymore! Last Saturday a week ago I was adjusting to setting the clocks back, catching up over coffees with a very dear old school girlfriend far away up North in Newcastle. Her home cosy and very real, filled with family and visitors. Something I've not experienced for some time. In both those places I felt truly relaxed and like myself, ...

‘To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth’

As much as I like Voltaire, on this matter, he is entirely wrong. Respect is a universal basis for everything. Mrs Thatcher leaving the Palace of Westminster today for her funeral bought back childhood memories of the first time I got interested in politics, the night she left Downing Street in 1990. A kind of irony in that, but also something which seems totally right and proper. Stabbed in the back and discarded by her own allies and today given a send off fit for royalty and attended by some of the aforementioned. This was not a state funeral as Winston Churchill had been given, but it certainly involved the kind of pomp and pageantry that Britain does best and London has not seen anything on that scale since the Queen Mother died a decade ago. Love her or hate her this was a momentous day and I cannot really let it go by without ...