THAT is one very full inbox…
I am touched, genuinely. I had thought that putting up a jokey message in place of the blog would reassure you that I was OK, and just taking a rest. I underestimated how many of you would be concerned by my absence.
Truth and consequences time.
I am very down right now, and finding it impossible to write. No, that’s not right. I never find it ‘impossible’ to write. I am finding it impossible to write what I want – and I don’t know how to write ‘robotically’, I can only write what is in my heart, and normally to hell with the consequences. I have weathered many storms over the years; of course they leave scars – there is only me behind this keyboard. No secretaries, no wiki-Raccoon, no neo-Raccoon. It can be a lonely place when the internet trolls descend. Right now I am sitting on a story that I should be, would be, publishing if I had my normal courage – but I don’t. Until this storm blows over, I am taking a break – I don’t know how long that will be.
Healthwise, I am fine. Cancer is not the terrible thing it is made out to be. Christ, I didn’t even know I had it! Bowling along, not a care in the world. Surgery? Well, I was fitter than many women 20 or 30 years younger, I shrugged it off in no time – hosting a house party for ten people three weeks later. Chemotherapy? Arggh! Six months of chemotherapy nearly defeated me. It’s the ‘cure’ that gets you. Six months after chemo finished I am a shadow of the woman I was before, and terribly, desperately, tired. The bloody stuff continues to course around your body, finding every weakness, magnifying every minor ailment that we all acquire as we age. I wouldn’t be human if I wasn’t affected psychologically by this. Just the constant scans, the blood tests – the sheer knowledge that there is only one reason why they are carried out, and that is that everyone is waiting for the first signs that it has reappeared.
I can no longer physically do all the things I used to occupy myself with before. I can barely see my own feet – long way from my eyes that they are! I can’t drive: I can walk only a short distance; I can’t see to do any of the hobbies that I loved; I can no longer help Mr G around this place. I can still see the computer screen, and have no need to see the keyboard, my fingers know where to go – but can I cope mentally with the people who have nothing better to do with their lives, no greater problems in their lives, than to lash out at those with different viewpoints from their own? I think not right now! If I could write something bland an’ ornery I would, but I can’t.
The UK and much of Europe is becoming incredibly intolerant, ‘rats fighting in sacks’ I liken it to – and I can appreciate the pressure that some are under at the moment. There is a tide of puritanism flooding over the land, and truth is the first casualty. We are all facing an uncertain future, yet we fight each other rather than the real problems.
The daily news is nothing more than propaganda for particular viewpoints. In the past few days I have watched as Maria Miller has been skewered time and again on the evening news and the papers – yet every single journalist quoting her as saying ‘Newsnight inappropriately pulled the Savile programme’ was in possession of, and fully aware of, the printed version of her speech which fatefully left out the magic words ‘allegedly’ – did they report it as a gaffe? NO, it was reported as more fuel to the Savile fire….daily allegations are reported as ‘revelations’.
A politician swears in front of a policeman – there is no evidence that he swore ‘at’ the policeman, yet the official report is leaked to the press, and the press have lapped it up – prime ministers question time is consumed by it – is it really more serious than Prescott as deputy prime minister landing a punch on a voter? Apparently so.
Fathers murder their children in lonely forests, city wide boys jump off restaurant roofs to their death, the streets of Athens and Barcelona are ablaze, our financial system is broken – and yet the evening news is appalled to find that a country which in recent times murdered hundreds of thousands of its fellow countrymen because they were of a different race – is racist! They must be punished for upsetting a footballer, but forgiven for murdering thousands! Clasped to the bosom of ruined Europe, yet cast out of Premiership football. The Nobel Peace Prize for Europe – it is a fitting metaphor for our times.
I often wonder what it must have been like in pre-war Germany, watching millions of ordinary, everyday, citizens, Joe Bloggs next door, unaccountably turn into jack booted murdering animals. How did the ones that didn’t buy the Nazi dream feel? Did they too sit on the sidelines and think ‘the world’s gone mad – and its unstoppable’. Did they wonder whether the effort of holding onto their values and beliefs, of placing truth above propaganda, was worth the effort? Or did they creep into their own little world, enjoy the bubble that they created, keep their heads down?
Right now I feel tired and dispirited. There is a blog post bursting to come out, but I do not have the energy to cope with the aftermath. I have an inbox full of e-mails telling me that I mustn’t give up – and I particularly enjoyed the one from the student in New Zealand (you know who you are) who wants me to copy and paste all the court of protection stuff because he’s using it to write his thesis and it is most unfair of me that I have taken it away from him! Not that he’s ever bothered to comment nor would have been moved to e-mail me if I hadn’t shut it off from him…that one will go in the special folder along with the school dinner lady we raised money for who came back for more money – ‘or she would expose me’; the publican we saved from jail by paying his fine that we never heard from again; the photographer who we spent days finding the evidence to keep him out of a portuguese jail and never heard from again; all the people who want this blog to be there when it suits them complaining how damned inconvenient of me it is that I took it away from them.
Interspersed among those e-mails are the ones that have forced me out of hiding to write this post – the people who do give something back, the ones who encouraged me day after day, and to whom I do have a real sense of loyalty. I apologise, right now I am not up to the strain of doing it. This latest wave of madness in the UK will blow over, and when it does I shall hopefully regain my sense of humour and be back.
Ironical, isn’t it? In trying to suppress the blog post I want to write – I’ve ended up writing the ‘poor me’ one I never wanted to write. So be it.