When did I become detached from this world?  Increasingly, I am struggling to understand where I fit in.  In truth, I don’t want to fit in with what it has become.  This week, I have found it particularly difficult.  Obviously, there is the ongoing atrocities in Ukraine with thousands of innocent deaths at the hands of evil and, yet, that evil is still breathing!  Why?  Politics, of course.  As Sweden and Finland express their desire to join NATO to protect both their own and Europe, Boris seemed to open his arms in welcome.  Not so Ukraine.  Ukraine, ultimately, you’re on your own!  Yes, we’ll supply weapons and ammunition and exercise sanctions on Russia but you’re not a member of NATO because Putin doesn’t want that – and, seemingly, Putin runs the world!  Where the hell is Beyoncé?  I know, sometimes a joke is worth repeating …  In short, inconsistencies abound – as in all aspects of life – and, while money is the common thread, symbiosis is all important.  Altruism?  What happened to that?  Consigned to the dictionary which, of course, is consigned to the museum.  Instead, in this ego-driven climate, help comes with a price tag.

It is Friday the 13th just to compound the feeling of gloom.  I drove to the beach early this morning as is my wont, but I didn’t get out.  It was grey and windy and the sand was airborne.  Did that matter?  Not normally but today, it did.  Last night’s news contained a report from Mariupol, focusing on the tragic story of a 14-year-old boy and his parents.  There was earlier footage of him reading a poem of hope as they sought refuge with so many others underground before their bid to escape the besieged city in a convoy of cars.  Their car was shelled and both he and his father were killed.  His mother, with burns all over her face and arms, spoke of how she had to watch her son die, trapped under the burning car, screaming in pain.  She prayed to God to take him and end his suffering.  This is 2022.  Someone make sense of this for me …  Another young guy talked of how he was taken to Russia, kept in a room and tortured.  He heard others in that torture room screaming in pain and then came the gun shots.  I thought Hitler was claimed by Hell in 1945?  Turns out he has been re-incarnated and human nature is such that, seventy-seven years on, there are still plenty more than willing to execute his atrocities …

Churchill will be turning in his grave.  Churchill, one of the greatest leaders in our history; he, who saved the West from the Nazis, worthy of our eternal gratitude and reverence.  Means nothing to the ignorant ‘woke’ brigade for whom he embodies all that they abhor: class, tradition and history, itself.  Sir Winston Churchill has been described as an ‘avowed racist’ by an author in Foreign Policy, an American news magazine, while, only last year, there was a panel discussion entitled ‘The Racial Consequences of Churchill’ at Churchill College, Cambridge – even named in his memory.  United in their hatred of our wartime hero and amidst the usual accusations of racism and links to slavery, Professor Kehinde Andrews (a British author and academic specialising in Black Studies – who’d have guessed?) claimed that the victory of the Allies over Nazism was ‘not especially significant because all we really did was shift from an old version of white supremacy to a new one.’  Same old.  Same old.  Poor me.  Poor us.  No more the aspirations of greatness or heroism.  Instead, the sloth of victimhood.  The aforementioned quote was taken from a book called The War On The West: How To Prevail In The Age Of Unreason by Douglas Murray.  Clear a space on my bookshelves!  A guest on Piers Morgan, Uncensored last Monday, I was, at once, gripped and buoyed by their analysis of the ignorant – but, in these climes, highly dangerous – ‘woke’ brigade.  Grateful for the sanity of the educated and intelligent, they, too, heaped humour – and, thereby, disdain – on the pathetic mindset of these minority groups of the disillusioned.  In turn, they gave me hope.

Hope in a world so lost; filled with cruelty and aggression in a bid for what?  It seems the cycle just repeats, the lessons of history fading with every passing year and the loss of a generation who were selfless and brave; who had values and patriotism in spades …  Hang on, that’s Ukraine!  Patriotic, selfless and brave.  The power of good.  Why, though, is there so much bad?

A question I ask, repeatedly, in my head as we lurch from crisis to crisis, the dark cloud of fear, relentlessly embedded in each of us over the past two years, ever present.  Just waiting.  There is no such thing as a return to normality, nor can there be.  The cost of living threatens to engulf us all as we dread the coming winter and the inevitable manifestation of another strain.   It is debilitating in the extreme, sucking all motivation from one’s limbs.  I feel I have fallen victim to the gloom this week, felled by the news that Deborah James – aka Bowelbabe – has moved to hospice-at-home care, her cancer-ridden body having, finally, given up the ghost.  I haven’t been able to erase her from my mind, the image of that beautiful, brave, vibrant young mother of two impacting all my thoughts.  Filled with anger at the human frailty which sparks futile war and suffering, borne of all-consuming greed and ego, I am ashamed at our lack of humility.  More is never enough and it blinds us to the here and now and that which is truly precious.  We are mere visitors to this planet and our time, here, is brief – and uncertain.  In the end, the greatest gift Dame Deborah James has given us is a reminder of all that matters.

This song by Beth Nielsen Chapman puts the words to music: How We Love.  Don’t skip it.   Listen.

I had a wealth of things to say today with a characteristic dose of sarcasm but they’ll keep.  Sometimes, one just doesn’t feel like being funny.

And you smile.  And you are at one in the moment only.  Because, for any of us, that’s all we ever have anyway.  And you give thanks to have people in your life that are the very backbone you remain upright on,’

The unforgettable Dame Deborah James.

One incredible lady!

This is Trish, signing off.