August 12, 2019
You are magnetic north;
All my paths converge on you.
You are the tropics;
my Cancer and my Capricorn.
You are the forests;
the leafy groves where my dreams dwell.
You are the mountains,
with heights I could not imagine.
You are the seven seas;
I bob on your waves and tides.
You are the equator;
the widest part of my existence.
You are my world.
April 15, 2018
The first hero that I remember having was Duncan Edwards, the Manchester United footballer who was killed along with many others in the team in the Munich air crash of 1958. The second was Yuri Gagarin.
Fifty-seven years ago last Thursday, Yuri Gagarin entered history as the first human being in space. A few years earlier, just before my 8th birthday, my father had taken the time to get me interested in the Soviet Union’s feat in putting Sputnik into space. I was entranced and remained an avid follower of the space race for decades. I followed the Russian dogs going up, and Gagarin’s flight was the obvious next step.
It wasn’t revealed for forty years that the cosmonaut ejected from the capsule before it crash-landed, parachuting to earth. And it was definitely sad for Gagarin that he was thereafter too valuable to put at threat and so he was never allowed to return to orbit. No matter. That first flight was a glorious triumph for mankind!