It is comforting to believe in karma; to believe one reaps what one sows but, then, one must also believe in justice.  Not sure I do.  Life isn’t fair.  As though a game of Russian Roulette, it strikes with random cruelty those deserving of everything good while, seemingly, rewarding those capable of taking a child’s place on one of Titanic’s only lifeboats!  Perhaps one must hold on to the belief that retribution is delivered in another life beyond this one or, perhaps, living with the guilt – insidious by nature – is retribution in itself.

It’s funny, Manny asked me what I was going to write about today and I replied that I wasn’t sure but it would come to me when I started typing … and, look!  Have pulpit, will travel!  Shall I explain my train of thought as I sit here, freezing, modelling every jumper available plus my fingerless gloves?  It was my Birthday on Friday and not one to which I was looking forward.  For the past three years, I have been blessed to celebrate said auspicious day at the top of the Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti in Rome – and I have never taken that for granted.  It is magical.  I have a marble plaque, courtesy of Sandro on the Via Margutta, denoting the backdrop and each successive year spent there.  It is a large piece of marble with space for many years in the future but 2019 will, now, be forever missing … and that’s ok.  We may not have been in Rome this weekend but I had the best Birthday – a reminder that family and friends are all that matter, regardless.  I felt as though I did reap what I have sowed as Becca and Manny gave it their all! (logo and website) is now emblazoned on sweatshirts, impossible to ignore, and Manny also ensured my life’s work had not been in vain when he produced the most beautiful flowers: ‘Lots of greens, cream, pale yellows and pink; as though wild …’.  Yes!  Becca, meanwhile, knowing me inside out, master-minded all behind the scenes with touching thought and effort.  Finally, as the inscription from Clarence reads at the end of the film, It’s a Wonderful Life, ‘No man is a failure who has friends.’  (What’s the betting there’ll be some uproar in the future demanding an alternative to the use of the word ‘man’!). For now, I’ll happily take it.  Life and its gems.  To be savoured.

Do I have to re-join the real world?  That world still dominated by Brexit, negotiations, delays and the prospect of a forthcoming election.  Will that solve anything?  I doubt it.  Referring to my infamous notes, we live in a world in which one in eight schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland do not have a library.  Apparently, not a statutory requirement in primary or secondary schools – in the aforementioned countries – it is thus in prisons.  Of course!  Essential that those who have committed the most heinous crimes against the innocent are rewarded: ensuite bathrooms, televisions, games consoles and libraries.  Michelin star chef?!

A world in which programmes such as Channel 5’s, The Lesbian Guide to Straight Sex, are not only acceptable but commonplace and in which the manufacturer of the sanitary towel brand, Always, is considering removing the Venus female symbol from the packaging following complaints from transgender men!  Bathrooms are now gender neutral and Pick-a-Daddy parties are considered the new normal.  Seriously?  Seemingly, there is a ‘shopping’ catalogue from which one can choose one’s sperm donor.  Said catalogue details origin, height, hair and eye colour, hereditary illness, plus everything else!  The mind truly boggles.  To think of the millions who died in WWII in Hitler’s quest for a master race and now just seventy-four years on …  Climate change will be our inevitable ruin but perhaps, ironically, it will save us from ourselves.

Celebrity ‘authors’ are everywhere!  Why?  Rhetorical, of course, but how?  In a world which is losing – nay, has lost respect for the English language, written or spoken and, in which, the ability to write is neither required nor lauded, how can we possibly be expected to believe that these so-called celebrities have any command of the written word?  Acceptance, my child!  This crazy, lost world now demands one accepts without question until the brain is suitably dulled?  Why does nobody ask the process by which any of these budding ‘authors’ managed to produce a book requiring the formation of sentences let alone paragraphs?  Why bother?  Debbie Harry has supposedly penned a little tome apropos her life in which there is a whole chapter on thumbs!  I might just be one of the only people who can appreciate that.  Let’s face it, I spent weeks writing about my thumb in 2016!

In need of escapism, why not venture to the cinema – at one’s peril – and see the latest offering:  Terminator: Dark Fate.  Gentle, uplifting, a film for all the family – not!  Once more starring the bulk that is Arnold Schwarzenegger, the brief reads that ‘Sarah Connor and a hybrid cyborg human must protect a young girl from a newly modified liquid Terminator from the future.’ (Google).  Of course.  The sequel to The Wizard of Oz!  Wonder if anybody will remember it in eight days’ time let alone eighty years …

Finally, back to a world intensifying its glare on Harry and Meghan who seem to be buckling under the pressure.  Criticised for their life of privilege, they are given little slack or understanding for the very real problems money is powerless to erase.  Harry lost his mother, aged 12, and, for that, sympathy was forthcoming.  Now aged 35, however, it is clear he is still struggling to reconcile his grief while an obvious rift with his brother can only be detrimental.  Meghan, meanwhile, is a new mother living in a new country trying to cope with a new family whilst estranged from her own.  Family.  Love them or hate them, those closest inflict the deepest wounds.  Money?  Privilege?  As far as I am aware, neither can mend a broken heart …

Reap what one sows?  Justice in a world gone mad?  One can but hope.  Meanwhile, appreciate the’ little gems’ life has to offer whether it be family, friends or just a Birthday to remember!

‘Maybe every life is a study of the things we don’t have but wish we did, and the things we have but wish we didn’t!’

The Choice,  Edith Eger.

This is Trish, signing off.