You know, I wrote this in my sleep last night – at least, I thought I did.  Job done.  Of course, I woke up and couldn’t remember a thing!  Story of my life, apart from dates, that is.  For some reason, I keep remembering the birthdays of old friends, those I rarely see and those I never see anymore.  Today, for example, it suddenly registered that this was the birthday of a one-time very close friend – like a brother, really; one of those whom one expects to be a friend for life.  He got married and that was that.  Enough said.  Haven’t seen him for years so God knows why I should remember this date?  It is sad, though, how transitory friendships can be.  Sometimes, it is inevitable; sometimes, unexpected.  Life has many phases – I have written about it before – and people move on but the ones that count are the ones who remain, through thick and thin; the ones to whom one can pick up the phone, whenever, despite the intervening years.  I realise I have many of those.  How lucky am I?

I went to bed last night believing that I had nothing to write today.  Seems sleep was my muse but the words vanished with the night.  Remember, Paul McCartney composed Yesterday in his sleep but at least he had the foresight – or the energy – to get up and write it down!  Not me.  Just imagine the genius I may have missed through sheer laziness …  Anyway, when have I ever been without a topic, a news item which has incited?  Avoiding the obvious, from which there is no let-up, my ears pricked up at the media criticism of John McEnroe and his comments, last night, about 18-year-old Emma Raducanu who was unable to continue her fourth round (last 16) match against Ajla Tomljanović on Court One.  The talk of this year’s Wimbledon, she is a superb young tennis player with huge potential and she seemed to be coping with the media attention well.  However, conceding the first set after a worthy fight, she was two games down in the second and she began to struggle, noticeably, seeking her towel between points and burying her head.  Clearly upset, she was having trouble controlling her breathing and that fact was the only reason given for her withdrawal, following medical attention.  Cutting to Clare Balding, Annabel Croft and John McEnroe, I agreed with him that it looked as though the pressure had become too much for her and she was having some kind of a panic attack.  At no time was he critical, rather, his words were those of concern.  As a father of six, himself – and someone who lived through similar at that age – he was more than qualified to offer his opinion; the right one, in my book, and, at no time did anyone suggest that the young player had anything to be ashamed of.

Fast forward and McEnroe, this morning, was being slated for suggesting her withdrawal was due to stress or pressure; psychological rather than physical.  How dare he, just because she is a young female?!  The same thing would never be said of a guy.  OMG!  To quote the man, ‘You cannot be serious!’.  Clearly, he was right or a physical injury would have been offered as reason for her withdrawal.  There has been no such communication.  However, once again, the pathetic ‘woke’ brigade who have ‘attacked’ McEnroe – and, unsuccessfully, tried to make it a gender issue yet again – should crawl back into their underground bunkers, isolated from intelligent life!

See what I mean?  Nothing to write about …  Thank God for Wimbledon, for so many reasons.  Understandably sad not to be there, in person, being able to watch it even on the small screen – no pseudo cinema screen on the wall for me, ever – brightens the dullest of days.  The climate in this country is completely to pot: humid, torrential downpours and, routinely, overcast.  Nothing like the summer of ’76!  Walking on the beach on Sunday, we couldn’t see a foot in front of us for the haar which remained right through Monday.  This is July, for goodness sake!  Town is heaving, every shop, restaurant and bar abound with staycation-ers who would otherwise be light years away on their all-inclusives, queueing at 5am to book their sun loungers – inches from hundreds of others – adorned by wristbands affording them alcoholic beverages at any time, day or night!  So glad we have the pleasure, instead …

The mood is flat as the fighting continues: Freedom Day?  Not Freedom Day!  No more masks? Compulsory masks – to protect others, of course.  God forbid that anyone could be selfish enough to choose not to wear a bacteria-infested piece of material which protects no-one but forever steams up one’s sunglasses/glasses, deprives one of oxygen and, let’s face it, coddles one’s brain!  Just me?   Variants, lateral flow tests, green light countries, amber light countries, quarantine, self-isolation, boosters, for goodness sake …  Surely the sane are beginning to question the point of being double-vaccinated?

The vaccine is coming, arm out to infuse
What happened to the right to choose?’

‘Ode to COVID’, A Voice Outwith the Crowd.

Might as well keep the arm out; both arms out, in fact.  Actually, perhaps keep a port in ready to drip-feed all the boosters, not forgetting the flu vaccine!  Where will this end?  I wrote the above, ‘Ode to COVID’ in an hour or so one Friday afternoon in December 2020, short of time to write one of my normal posts.  The words flowed easily …   Thoughts were that it packed a powerful message and it was, subsequently, made into a video courtesy of Edinburgh film-maker, Beetle Campbell, and posted on YouTube – where it was buried!  Of course.  Not the party line.  No debate.  More than six months on, it still packs a powerful message; a message which shows no sign of losing its relevance.  Scarily, I don’t think it ever will.  Proud of it, I shall continue to promote, regardless …

COVID, you have enabled the death of free will
Liberty is gone, rather, take a pill.
Sheep, form a line, you see nothing to lose
But me?  I was born to have the right to choose …’

As above.

This is Trish, signing off.