#121 [url]

Sep 30 15 4:31 AM

The best thing about this year is that I woke up yesterday morning knowing the significance of the date, but I didn't feel sad - I started to think about all the fun, the laughter and the good times we had. Time really is a great healer.

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#123 [url]

Oct 1 15 3:54 AM

I've just found out that Simon Cowe, the original lead guitarist with one of my favourite bands, Lindisfarne, died yesterday. He was a talented musician but also had a strong social conscience. He didn't court fame and was so matter of fact about his success that you truly felt he was a genuinely humble human being. He left the band over 20 years ago and moved to Canada, where he raised his family (three boys, all musicians). He came back over to the UK every now and then and guested with the band if they were touring. He was famous for never signing his own name on an autograph. He wasn't a prolific songwriter, but did occasionally come up with a gem - like this one,'Uncle Sam', from the band's 1971 breakthrough album, 'Fog on the Tyne'. R.I.P Si, you were a one-off and will be greatly missed by everyone that ever saw you play.

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Lindisfarne+Uncle+Sam&FORM=VIRE1#view=detail&mid=290AE0082C237BCEBD39290AE0082C237BCEBD39
 

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#126 [url]

Nov 14 15 12:27 AM

Another horrific attack on innocent civilians in Paris. I'm fast running out of ways to express how I feel about all this. Once again, the warped minds of religious fanatics leads to devastation. Our thoughts have to be with all of the families of those who were killed.

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#127 [url]

Nov 14 15 3:20 AM

Totally agree, Mick. Horrible and heartrending. Remembering how sincerely the airline people in France were concerned for safety (returning to New York) even a few years after 9-11, my heart goes out to everyone affected by this. If we could figure out why people became religious fanatics, maybe it could be prevented. Religions and politics... a deadly combination.

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#129 [url]

Nov 14 15 9:28 AM

One of my friends on facebook is a young lad called Shaz Rehan, who I have known for many years. He is a British Muslim who has always spoken out against those that distort his beliefs.  These have been his last two posts:  "It's crazy how these people get so brainwashed by nutters that they think murdering innocent people and then blowing themselves up is going to get them to heaven" and "Two things are infinite. The universe and human stupidity"


 

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#130 [url]

Nov 17 15 3:49 AM

While I do not condone terrorism of any kind, if the injustices that the West performed in the MIddle East during the Colonial era were acknowledged by the West, maybe one of the root causes of the hatred could be ameliorated somewhat.

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#131 [url]

Nov 17 15 2:30 PM

Good point. I just wonder if we are now stuck with this situation as the new reality. It's difficult to reason with closed minds and bigotry (on all sides).  But the saddest part of all this is that those who are fleeing from such barbarity in their own countries (the refugees) are now being shunned by a growing number of people in the very countries that are supposedly standing against terrorism - yet another example of the victims being blamed.

Last Edited By: Hawkdove Nov 17 15 2:34 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#132 [url]

Nov 19 15 6:32 AM

Yes. I've been reading some of the things going on here and wonder, since so many of the ones trying to deny refuge to those fleeing barbarity claim to be Christians, where compassion and do to others has gone. And would like to ask them, if you were in the refugees' situation, what would you want?

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#133 [url]

Mar 23 17 6:17 AM

More deaths - this time in London. When it's this close it feels worse, but obviously it's a drop in the ocean when compared to what is happening on a daily basis in places like Syria. I saw this from one of our political commentators, Brendan O'Neil - it summed up how I feel.

"This cowardly car-and-knife attack is a reminder of the great pain individual terrorists can inflict. A teacher killed, a policeman stabbed to death, French students badly injured. One man with nasty ideas and crude weapons can do terrible things. But this vile assault should also remind us of one of the prime responsibilities of us citizens at times like this: to ensure that terrorism has no impact beyond its murderous one. To do everything within our power to make sure that while this bloody, scrappy act may have succeeded in impacting awfully on scores of individuals, it will have no impact on our political life, our daily lives, or our sense of security. That’s the power of the citizen in relation to terrorism: to refuse to give it the response of fear that it craves, and needs."

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#134 [url]

Mar 24 17 3:26 AM

My heart goes out to all those affected, personally and collectively. And I am totally in agreement with Brendan O'Neil. Having been in New York last summer on a bombing day, his words describe what I saw, and would hope that we all see, in response to such acts.

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#135 [url]

Mar 24 17 7:14 AM

​All of this happened the day after the death of Martin McGuinness, who, as a young man, was responsible for some bloody and horrific acts of terrorism via the IRA. He later rejected violence and was instrumental in the peace process in Northern Ireland, eventally becoming Deputy First Minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

​Although there are many who did not and will not forgive his earlier actions, I, for one, was heartened by the way he used the latter part of his life for good. To me, it keeps the flame of hope burning and allows me to keep some faith in my fellow human beings.

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#137 [url]

Jun 4 17 10:04 AM

Thanks Anne Marie, this makes 3 terrorist attacks over here in three months. In years gone by I recall being inspired to write poetry about such things, but these days I simply feel numb. Unfortunately it has become so commonplace that I cannot feel motivated at all, just revulsed. No amount of hand wringing and soul searching can alter the fact that there are some twisted people out there who think that murder and mayhem is a legitimate tactic when putting forward their own viewpoint. I really don't know what to suggest, except that I still believe that most people are basically good. I have to cling on to that notion in order to get through these worst of days.

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#138 [url]

Jun 6 17 5:50 AM

Most people are basically good. Otherwise, we'd all be out there doing the same things. SImplistic reasoning, I know, but --- it's always the horrors that stand out and raise the most intense emotions. The good things (and people) largely go by untrumpeted. (Gack. I'll have to use a different word) - unacclaimed. Believe it - I do, about the majority of people here. We will make it through whatever transpires the next four years and we will not lose everything that's been fought so hard to achieve. Good will survive just fine. Just hold onto the ones you love and make a little difference when you can. (I'll get off my soapbox, now, as Lesa used to say.) (Yes, I did just conflate terrorism and Trump)

How's your shoulder?

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#139 [url]

Jun 7 17 12:22 PM

Shoulder's ok. Just started the dreaded physiotherapy today! It will be another long haul, but hopefully this time it will be a little better.

As you say, most people are basically good, and it's that thought that helps me keep sane a lot of the time. I see that Trump has seen fit to criticise the mayor of London this week, because he told people not to be alarmed by the increased police presence on the streets following the terror attacks. So he has time to make unfounded attacks on things that aren't his concern, while at the same time antagonising the population back home. I sincerely have never known a man in international politics with such a high opinion of himself (based on absolutely no evidence) apart, that is, from Kim Jong Un.

On to nicer things - I had a 'be thankful for what you've got' type of day recently.

It was little Olivia's 4th birthday at the weekend and all of my kids and their partners came over to the house for a little party. Lowis, who is Paul's new partner, has a 13 year son called Luke with a rare syndrome called schizencephally, which basically has left him unable to walk and with severe health/communication problems. He's a remarkable lad who is very bright and loves learning new stuff. Barbara sat with him for a long time telling him stories of when she was a little girl growing up in what was then called East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). He kept asking more and more questions and was obviously engrossed in the tales.

Best moment was when Olivia tried to pronounce the name of the condition and ended up saying 'Schizencuddly' image.  It made us all laugh and Lowis said that it made her day - she would now tell everyone that is the proper way to pronounce it.  

​Following the weekend, Luke had to underg​o a 6 hour operation to sort out his permanently dislocated hips - the latest in a long line of surgical procedures he's had to endure in his short life. You may have noticed some reference to this (and the weekend get together) on Facebook. He came through it safely and the first words he spoke on recovery were 'I did it'.

​In view of what we were talking about above, the inherent goodness of people shone through like a beacon. Lowis, who gave birth to Luke when she was just 17, and who has dedicated her life to him - particularly as the father disappeared before he was born. The doctors and nurses who cared for him, and continue to care for him, in hospital. And I was proud of all of my children for simply accepting Luke for who he is, and making him and Lowis welcome.

I wanted to share all this with you as it genuinely made me feel happy, but it also brought a lump to my throat.

​Finally (I promise!) Tomorrow is our general election - I go to vote more in hope than in confidence, as I believe the current government will unfortunately be returned, perhaps with a reduced majority, but they will most likely get back in. It doesn't make me feel confident for the future, but who knows, we may have a surprise result.

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#140 [url]

Jun 8 17 9:53 AM

I know I've said it before - the physiotherapy, for me at least, worked wonders each time. It can be as painful as hell and intimidating... Did I ever tell you about having to have a serious talk with myself about trying to walk without the crutch when it was time to do so? Had to literally sit myself down and go into my best Mom voice... LOL I hope it will be a LOT better for you after.

I could not believe it!!! He just keeps getting worse - or showing just what kind of - being he is. He's certainly not human in any sense I recognize. Neither is Kim Jong Un.

Yes! I saw the photo you posted of the two of them looking at photos. Now I understand the comments. He sounds like a great kid and deserves the great family he's been introduced into. And you should be just the little bit proud of them all - you did, after all, have somewhat to do with raising them. They take after their parents, both. I would say you did a good job. : )

I see there aren't any results in yet. Fingers crossed for you all. You deserve a lot better than what we got.

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