The problem with winter in the UK is that it’s not in any way photogenic. As a result I’ve put in some previous photos, which, with the new WordPress malarkey still means I can’t seem to alter the size. Sorry about that.
As a record we left Mum and Dad’s and trotted along to Suffolk to have coffee with Denise – now in their recently bought farmhouse, Phil still in the US handing over his job and retiring from the Army. Then onto Sandra and Steve’s for supper – an evening of great entertainment and food catching up on 18 months of missed stuff. And finally, via Peter and Penny’s for coffee yesterday morning onto Rebecca and Steven’s for supper across the other side of England. Great to see both of them and discuss Christmas plans. (Below is me typing away in the South of France just ten days ago.)
Phew. And that’s what it has felt like. It doesn’t settle either until the middle of next week, what with a number of v fine people lined up to visit. And then it’s Christmas. But C has continued to knit and I am up to Chapter 8/21 in second edit of FtF. I have two school pals lined up to read it over Christmas to test the market so to speak. It’ll be good to get their reaction.
Finally what about Donald Trump? I could go on about this for ages, but let’s be clear about the message it sends if you are completely parochial about it. He’s quoting some poll which says that 25% of American Muslims applaud violence against Americans. And you can’t disagree that, should that number be correct, that’s a sizeable minority that might be easily radicalised further to cause more harm than good. But have a guess what? The moment those words came out of his mouth 25% became 30%. Apart from being racist, phobist, anti-American and simply unhinged, it is also completely counter-productive.
We are at a watershed in our recent history. We have terrorists wanting to distribute their terror wantonly about the West. And we have right wing politicians wanting to fuel that fire – to add to their narrative. Those politicians might not be shouldering an AK47 or carrying some C5 plastic explosives around their waists, but the effect they’re having is just as debilitating to our mid to long term future. If Trump and Le Pen, and others like them, get into power, pluralism is the loser. And without acceptance of others’ beliefs, religions and ethnicities comes only one likely set of outcomes: fear, radicalism and conflict.
We are in danger of taking something which we can collectively beat and turning it into something which we cannot. It is a worry.
Anyhow. Christmas is coming…where we celebrate, well, what exactly?
Sorry about that.