Memoir 1989: A Day of Infinite Possibilities

November 9, 2019

Thirty years ago today: It was 9th November 1989 and I was watching TV, watching the news from Berlin.  And soon a dozen people are hacking at the Wall from both sides and the party has begun and CNN’s cameras bring this extraordinary and historic wish-fulfillment into the living rooms of the world, and my living room in particular that November night.

And within moments, it seemed, there were thousands singing and candles blazing. And even though I was in Vancouver at the time, my heart was with them because at heart I was and remain a Londoner. And Berlin is VERY close to home to Londoners, especially to those who had spent decades watching people die as they tried to go over and under and around the Wall. And I wept openly and for days when the Wall came down.

It was a day of ultimate possibilities because here was an impossibility happening in front of our tear-misty TV-mediated eyes.


November

November 1, 2019

 

November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.

— Elizabeth Coatsworth


On Being Seventy

October 29, 2019

Today I am seventy years old.

Just saying that feels unreal.  When I was born in 1949, average life expectancy for a man in the UK was about 65 years; I have somehow managed to beat that.

I am part of the generation that didn’t trust anyone over thirty, and who made terribly dangerous choices on a regular basis throughout their thirties and forties. By the 1990s, what with all the drugs and the booze and the carousing, I was certain I couldn’t possibly reach fifty, and I wasn’t all that sure I wanted to.

Now, I have kids in their late forties, grand-children in their mid-twenties, and I am sure that great-grand-children can’t be far away.

The fact that I am still here, walking and talking and pretending (to myself at least) to be young, is astonishing, a wonder, a miracle of modern medicine, and a tribute to the Everloving who takes such good care of me.

My future keeps catching up to my present and I hope it keeps doing so for a long time.  After all, I have promised myself my first ever Big Mac on my one hundredth birthday!


To Remember the Great

October 26, 2019

Today is the 1,120th anniversary of the death of King Alfred the Great.

And today, the English rugby team defeated the mighty All Blacks in the World Cup semi-final.

Definitely a day to remember.


Shubh Diwali 2019

October 25, 2019

Diwali2013


Happy 6,023rd Birthday, World!

October 24, 2019

According to the calculations of Archbishop Usher of Armargh, today is the earth’s birthday.

His calculations led him to believe that God created the world on October 23rd, 4004 BC.

Now, there are those who say his math is wrong, but let’s not quibble on our birthday!


October

October 1, 2019