A new friend

Sometimes, just by chance, by accident of living, a new friend enters your life. Illuminating dark spaces and making you smile.

That’s a reason to be happy.
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another lesson learned

It’s been a very intense couple of weeks for me. Consuming energy and attention. Causing pain. And reflection.

From home to work; to children, parents, friends…there’s not a corner left untouched by some change. Turns out I’m no multi-tasker when it comes to multiple change on multiple fronts.
There seems to be a pause in the proceedings. A lull. Or maybe it’s just that I have reoriented myself and can now deal with all that’s happened.

Maybe now I am beginning the learning.
That is what’s meant to happen, isn’t it? Apres la deluge comes renewal?
Last week I was despairing.
Now? Well, I say ‘bring it on’. Nothing worse than simply drifting through life. In fact I think what I did most of the time was life lived as somnambulism. I’d curiously immunised myself against feeling or acting. Supreme arrogance to think I could inoculate me from life!
There’s nowt wrong with self-protection of course. We all need a healthy dose of common sense and caution. But self-protection which prevents us from experiencing and living and from even just the opportunity of emotion (happiness or sadness)- that’s destructive.
I know I am alive when I still feel. And when that galvanises me to act.
You can’t wipe out the past. Take back words said. Change the diagnosis of a friend. Fix what is beyond your ‘fixing’. I can’t help my daughter until she realises she needs help. I can’t heal my father or mother. Nor love where there is no love. I can’t do any of that. But I can make sure that I don’t squander time – that my vision is clear, uncluttered, as free as it can be of those things which shouldn’t matter to me.

There is a Better Way (STUC Campaign)

Saturday the 4th September saw 250 people turn up to the UNISON organised cross-trade union, cross-community group ‘Anti-Cuts Strategy’ Conference.

Key Speaker was apparently Dave Prentis (UNISON’s General Secretary) – never a scintillating experience listening to dear Dave to be honest – though I suppose he wasn’t that bad.

Highlight for me had to be Stephen Boyd, Assistant Secretary of the STUC.

I heard a few people complain that his presentation was too heavy on the technical economic facts and figures – but this was what I wanted to hear: a credible debunking of the Condem government myths…

I say ‘Condem Government’ but I am not sure that covers the hegemony of the ‘cuts r good’ economic policy – the new recieved wisdom of the media and ruling political classes which peddles ideological points of view as god-given tablets of truth.

Stephen enlarged on the STUC’s campaign ‘There is a Better Way’. Recommended reading:
www.thereisabetterway.org/top-myths-about-the-crisis

The STUC have organised a Demo for the 23rd October in Edinburgh – to coincide with the UK Comprehensive Spending Review.

I’ll be there. I think it might just be the first of many demos.

I’ve got my broadband back!

My relationship with computers stretches back to 1989 and the old Amstrad 3286. It was – in reality – used by me for nothing more than word processing. Though I had to learn MS Dos – can’t remember a thing now!

The internet came later for me with the Tiny desktop in 1998.
Now I’m an addict. With three laptops, a desktop and four smartphones in this house…
Imagine the withdrawal symptoms experienced when the modem simply stopped working early last week…(the reception for the phones is very patchy ‘down here in the Valley’).
Initially I was demented. Home-working became difficult. And night times I actually had to interact with my family!
As the week progressed I did notice some positives. The wee ones rediscovered the joy of painting and drawing and making things. Lego bricks and meccano litter the living room. They brought out their scooters and had fun racing down the hill. The older ones debated the budget cuts and the Andy Coulson phone tapping News of the World travesty – actually reading the papers and listening to the news. I found books could be read at 7pm – they didn’t belong to bedtimes and midnight slots.
I think that some things are worth keeping – and so do the kids. So maybe the loss of broadband was a good thing after all…
Mind you – it’s 8pm and I’m blogging already, so….