Four things to talk about.
Can I talk about the football? I know that if you don’t like it, it will be a trial but bear with me. I will not bore you with the challenges of VAR or whether France really were all that. I wanted to just talk briefly about Gareth Southgate. I don’t know about you but I have watched a man model a different kind of leadership. It has been born out of humility and empathy. His players were encouraged to be respectful – both of their opponents and each other. It seemed that this was part of his upbringing where hard work and respect went hand in hand. Even the fabled waistcoat was inherited from his grandfather who would always wear one to a formal occasion because that’s what decent people did. I was very proud of our reputation in the World Cup – we played ok – a bit too much reliance on dead ball moments for my personal taste but more than that, we were fun, diverse and forward looking. Oh and this photo of Gareth and his Mrs after it was all done is my favourite of the whole World Cup (including all the ones of Marcus Rashford and that is saying something)Brexit. I don’t do politics because I am trying to avoid stuff that makes me think that there is no hope – at all – ever. But, I have to say that is is all very worrying. I’m not really a fan of the European Union – there’s a democracy gap and the idea of ever closer union is not what you would call thrilling but it is the jobs I fear for. At this very moment, companies are making plans to withdraw from this country if it doesn’t go well. This is not a drill, investment has been frozen in car manufacturers and financial services are making plans etc. If we don’t do this properly, I think many, many jobs will be lost. And I can’t escape the sneaking suspicion that there are those in power, with huge personal wealth, immune to any financial crash, who feel that this risk is worth taking in order to regain “Sovereignty” My old mother always used to say that only God was sovereign, I think he’s the only one can be trusted with it. The rest of us should be concentrating on kindness and other assorted tasks.
Speaking of Aged Parent, she has managed to get run over. Well, I say “run over” no-one can work out exactly what happened. I had a phone call from paramedic who assured me that she was ok – just a nudge with a car – she has a broken wrist. There was then a sort of scuffling sound in the ambulance which, I assume, was Aged Parent wrestling the phone away and she informed me that “It wasn’t a nudge. I have been properly run over and am very, very injured.” Anyway, we spent a happy evening in A and E in which the broken wrist was established. She was fairly well behaved, except when she informed a startled nurse that she had “banged her cock pretty badly” (coccyx Mum!). She is now in a residential home for a few weeks. These people seem far better at dealing with her than I am. I rang to see if she had settled and the carer seemed puzzled. “Er yes. She seems fine. We haven’t heard she isn’t. Believe me, we soon know if there is a problem.” I have to admit, I had a bit of a quiet teary moment in the hospital when it all got a bit too much. A very kind consultant noticed me and came up and reassured me that Aged Parent would be fine. Felt too ashamed to say that I was crying for me as I am sick of hospitals and have just started a much needed week off work which was now going to be packed with medical stuff etc. Am selfish but just couldn’t help it. Just a word here about my lovely Head of House. He has been my taxi, my asker at Reception, my glasses finder and all round good egg. Would just like to make my thankful heart public here.
The best thing. We all went to Exeter University to see FOW2 graduate with a First in Film Studies. (See Happy Family above) For those who think that Film Studies is just watching a lot of movies – I have to tell you I can’t make any sense of her essays. To give you an idea of what they are aiming for, a chap was awarded a PHD in Film when we were there. The title was “Trauma, Modernity and Hauntings: The Legacy of Japanese Colonialism in Contemporary South Korean Cinema.” So there you are then. It was a lovely day. Even though we had to clap at least 785 people before our girl got her turn. At least this year I remembered not to eat the canapes after the unfortunate incident at FOW1’s graduation where, trying to be witty and urbane with academics, I continued to eat several of the things, even while noting that they were quite warm and smelt a bit off. You can guess the rest.