Sunday, 27 September 2015

man up and move on

'I am afraid it wasn't a bad dream'

'You dreamt about it all night too??'

'You told me you would wake up this morning and think it was "all a bad dream" between forlorn muttering about being 'ambushed' and 'gutted' and well, here it is: we really did lose to Wales'

The first conversation in our household this morning. A
 weary, shocked man in need of support to clamber out of this period of mourning. And with it I see the following 30 years unfold before me; relentlessly riding the highs and lows, ebbs and flows of a tumultuous, avid engagement in all that is sport.. assuming our offspring continue the rich vein of sporting obsession threaded through their heritage. I am ready.

We were there yesterday (thank you, thank you Abby, Holly, Banny) - sans children, quaffing pints and absorbing the electric excitement and nervous atmosphere pervading the pubs, parks and streets within a 5 mile radius of the 'home of rugby', it was palpable. Those pure, base, simple, wholesome, uniting aspects of sport are, to me - just wonderful. Casting aside cheating and scandal, in a world where so many conflicts, battles, bitter clashes and narcissism reign - sport seems to unify in a way nothing else can. 

'Twas a liberating day away from nappies, choo choo trains and Postman Pat. I relished as much of the game and atmosphere as I could but couldn't help feeling such an overwhelming mirth at the fascinating social idyll in which I was engulfed that I decided to jot down my afternoon in a series of words for every 10 minute increment and this is how it went..


Happy husband
Random acts of kindness
Oh it's gone fuzzy

What I found most compelling and humbling and made me fall even more in love with my dopey husband and so many of the squiffy excitable ladies, gentlemen and children yesterday is the immense, tangible passion and subsequent ability to fall so hard emotionally from the heady heights of a prospective victory... to scuff your shoes into the dirt in utter frustration and hang your bereft head like a lonely elephant and somehow manage to feably congratulate a grating, smug opposition on their victory. Sometimes sports don't quite manage to strike that incredible balance and the passion and hurt bubble over into brawls and bitterness but goodness me rugby get it spot on most of the time. 

I remain (perhaps naively) quietly confident we will rise to the  challenge of the antipodeans next week and all enjoy the fruits of our labour. So cogitate, digest, lick your wounds and move on sweet chariot, you've some low swinging to get on with.

Friday, 4 September 2015

haphazard humanitarianism

I can't tell if Katie Hopkins is being ironic, sarcastic, facetious, jestful... Or if she actually means some of the absurd, bigoted, tasteless cr@p she spouts. I don't follow anything she says (tweets, writes) per se but come across some of the more offensive items when they hit a media nerve. I think she just wants a reaction....... I just don't find it very funny. Intelligent, subtle, politically incorrect humour - I get but I find this base, crass, pugnacious torrent of gutter-offence boring and cruel. Anyway, this was not supposed to be a post damning that woman. I suppose she might be frightfully nice under that bitter, ascorbic shell.

It's this horrific refugee/migrant situation. Yesterday I was neither tired nor emotional but was reduced to tears watching (on TV) a grown man cling to his wife by his teeth as the police wrenched him across a railway track. In his wife's arms was his infant no more than 3 months old screaming helplessly as it was vigorously flung from side to side in the desperate tussle. That child's present is frightening and volatile and its future bleak. My children lay under their 12.5 togs with Iggle Piggle and Radar the dog dreaming of Legoland and worried they might not manage to sneak in enough breadsticks before their pesto pasta that afternoon. 

From what I understand, there are a swathes of people perilously fleeing war torn countries to reach sanctuary in Western Europe, so desperate that they will endure horrific and lengthy journeys and risk lives of those they have spent years doing everything in their power to protect because the prospect of life as it stands is worth the high risk (of death) to escape to 'promised lands'. What I don't understand is exactly how long has this been going on... Before it hit the media and came to all of our attention? And what I would like to understand is what is the answer to dealing with what seems to be an escalating, desperate humanitarian crisis.......How do we help these people in a properly manageable fashion? ... I somehow think that it doesn't have anything to do with gunships - but thank you Ms Hopkins.

I haven't done a vast amount of homework but I know we as a nation have ploughed (probably no where near enough) money into aid in these war torn areas, we have taken in 216 (?!) migrants versus hundreds of thousands in Germany and are now looking in to our refugee policy following the backlash from the media's exposure of a floppy, drowned 3 year old boy on the shores of Turkey - another country to welcome over a million refugees to its shores. It's not excusable but I can see the danger in opening the 'floodgates', many refugees are currently purporting to be heading to 'our mum, our Merkel' on some sort of pilgrimage to Germany. I will be watching with earnest at how we and the rest of Europe thrash this one out. Quickly and unified would be nice. Is it too simple to apportion on a population or square mile basis? I had another crazy idea that landlords with huge vacancies could waive empty rates by housing refugees ... Good for the old corporate social responsibility and saving hefty rates charges but logistically and 'health and safety' wise possibly a total non-starter. Bureaucracy. 

It just seems so chaotic, gut wrenchingly desperate and hopeless and sad.

These are desperate people, people (not cockroaches Katie) that could be us (Steve Jobs was a Syrian migrant and look what he's done; more than daub our media with merd) ... I don't know what horrendous thing is going to have to happen in Katie's life to curtail her assiduous sojourn along the the nerves and through the jugular of perfectly innocent people. What grates me further is that I am sure she says these things for the rise she duly gets.