Yes, yes.  I’ve let myself down, I’ve let you down and, let’s face it, I’ve let the world down.  Exclamation mark?  No.  It’s an addiction.  Anyway, time waits for no man and it seems, having missed the bus, I must hail a taxi.  Too busy to write, the world, however, continues to implode and I am awash in a sea of notes – nothing good, I might add, but, then, that’s no surprise.

Allow me to mention some of the headings, stretching back to the 16th August when racial incitement at the hands of the ‘White Stiletto’ reached new heights, arrogantly exposed.  As the Tory hustings for a new Prime Minister took place in Perth, Sturgeon’s militant left puppets gathered.  Whipped to a frenzy by their leader’s relentless indoctrination of rich versus poor, victimhood and injustice, most who share her massive chip could be products of the flailing education system she has blatantly ignored for the last eight years – oh, excepting the terrifying focus on gender reform in Scottish schools which, literally, knows no bounds.  Why?  Laughably, we all know the answer to the question nobody is allowed to ask!

Hatred of the English, Sturgeon’s one and only tenet; one on which she has built her career; lived her life.  No surprise, then, that the SNP activists are prone to violence and abuse.  However, hatred of another people borne only of their country of birth is racism.  According to Google – talk about selling out – racism is defined as ‘prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism by an individual, community, or institution against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.’  No denying the echoes …   So it was that, on the evening of the 16th August, the pro-independence activists gathered in Perth, their banners emblazoned with ‘Tory Scum Out’ and ‘Scottish not British’ as they hurled abuse, eggs and, most contemptuous of all, even spit at the Tory members arriving. James Cook, BBC Scotland’s editor, was a particular target.  Of course, tardily, Ms Sturgeon called the journalist’s treatment ‘disgraceful’, adding that she did not believe the guilty were members of the SNP but, should the opposite be proven, they would be dealt with ‘appropriately’.  What?  Rewarded with a wee selfie?   God help us all, particularly those of us unburdened by resentment, born in Scotland – and once, justifiably, proud to be so!

Pertinently, only this afternoon, I stopped to study and photograph the bronze ‘cobbles’ on a little street in Monti, Rome.  There are twenty of them, the majority bearing the same surname – and in memoriam to – members of a Jewish family who were taken from their home in WWII, most deported to and executed in Auschwitz.  Their only crime?  They were born Jews …

It’s not all bad, though, on the Sturgeon front.  After all, it is she who may be thanked for the inspired appointment of a Period Dignity Officer, no less, within the Scottish Government.  Claiming a reported salary of £36,000, the post, basically, involves organising the distribution of free sanitary products – oh, and discussing menopause issues.  Excellent.  Enter Jason Grant, stage right, who has previously worked in tobacco sales and as a personal trainer.  And?  Well, he – wait for it – was ‘the strongest candidate for the job’ according to a spokesperson for the Period Dignity Working Group.  Obviously.  Read a little further on in said statement to find two words, ‘all genders’ in explanation.  Oh, the pattern!  The pattern!

These notes/headings are proving depressing – and requiring of wine!  In a bid to avoid further anguish and foreboding, let me just skip over a couple: firstly, RAF diversity quotas.  Yes, apparently, white males are being shunned in a bid for equality.  Merit?  No longer of interest …  Similarly, the allocation of university places?  It seems background is the defining factor and, once again, those of supposed ‘white privilege’ are the innocent victims.  Short-sighted in the extreme.   What country can possibly benefit from eschewing its academic elite?

In a world, terrifyingly lost, let us just be thankful that Meghan and Harry – who are, terrifyingly lost – continue to provide us with … is ‘entertainment’ the right word?  Suffice to say, the egocentric ‘humanitarian’ couple – ironic juxtaposition – who insisted on bailing from the Royal Family (or, more precisely, the day-to-day drudgery involved) citing the need for privacy, just won’t go away!  As Meghan’s star wanes and the sixteen bathrooms just aren’t enough, Netflix and Spotify still want their pound of flesh and that means hammering home that royal connection.  What else is there?  So it is that Meghan has a new podcast, Archetypes, its raison d’être being – supposedly – to challenge the pigeon-holing of women in the format of interviewing  those of the fairer sex who have done so.  The record, methinks, is weary; very weary, for, of course the guest is irrelevant.  Take Episode One, in synopsis:  ‘Hello!  I’m Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex – and, yes, I paid for that title in blood!  Welcome to my podcast, which is all about me.  Sorry?  My guest?  Yes, of course.  Let me introduce my very, very best friend, Serena Williams.  She’s won a few prizes playing tennis, I believe – and, guess what, she’s black – but that’s enough about her.  Back to me and my favourite hobby: breaking up families!  Don’t forget, though, I am a humanitarian who just wants to make the world a better place – remember MJ?  Another black ‘humanitarian’ who just wanted to save the world?  Yes, I live in a multi-million- dollar mansion with sixteen bathrooms and, yes, ‘H’ and I travel on private jets but we need to for our safety.  I mean ‘H’ is a real-life prince and I am Meghan Markle, for goodness sake!’.

I couldn’t listen to it – who could? – but I have heard enough.  The sugary sweet insincerity is palpable; the arrogance, without bound, not to mention the overt tone of condescension.  How embarrassing.  Justifiably slated, this is the podcast of an ambitious nobody who married a prince then stamped her diva little feet.  Seeking privacy – my eye, as my mother used to say – the multi-million-pound deals with Spotify and Netflix were always dependent on Harry’s fate of birth and, now, having thrown one too many grenades, that connection is all but shot.  As their star rapidly fades, reality is a bitter pill to swallow and that somebody is fast becoming a nobody once more.  As the clock prepares to strike midnight – metaphorically speaking – Ms Markle is not about to go down without a fight.  After all, as she so delightfully put it in her latest bid for privacy – her bombshell interview with the US magazine, The Cut – she has signed nothing and, therefore, she can say anything.  Now, there’s a threat!  To be honest, though, who’s going to listen?  She is going down with the plane.  One can only hope Harry manages to untie his hands quickly enough to press ‘Eject’!

How did I end up going down that rabbit hole?  I’ve bored myself!  What’s more, I am in Rome, as I write, and it seems ludicrous to even be giving Meghan Markle a nanosecond of my time.  Oh, well, done now.   Before I sign off, a soupçon of Roma?  Firstly, it is unbearably hot and so, so humid.  Put it this way, Prince Andrew would have a problem!  Forever magical, though, the little cobbled streets and piazzas of Monti, nestled beside the Colosseum and the Forum, feel like home.  Every turn, another picture.  Filled with quirky shops, cafés, restaurants and bars, there is a vibrancy and a character which is unique.  So many friends to be made, one is never alone … Rome touches the soul – and never leaves.  Brimming with history and culture – and respect for both – only yesterday, taking a back route along the cobbled streets to the Pantheon, suddenly the sound of Andrea Bocelli could be heard wafting from open windows above.  Time To Say Goodbye.  I thought nothing of it, believing it to be a CD or record.  Manny, however, immediately shouted, ‘That’s him!  That’s Andrea Bocelli!’, and it was!  Drawn by the music, we walked down a little side street to find police at the entrance and a guy who told us it was, indeed, Andrea Bocelli.  He was giving a private concert.  Of course, we waited and Manny saw him being driven away.  Only in Rome …  Meanwhile, Via del Corso is strewn with posters advertising the upcoming exhibition of Van Gogh paintings …  I cannot wait to return.  No more hotels for me, I have an apartment whose garden is the Forum.  What’s more, Becca’s paying!!

Alla prossima, Roma!

‘After all, seasons change, so do cities.  People come into your life and people go but it’s comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart and, if you’re very lucky, only a plane ride away.’

‘Carrie’, ‘Sex and the City’.

This is Trish, throwing it together and signing off.!