Watching the news on TV last night was utterly demoralising. On this 'small island' so much tragedy, largely eclipsed by the departure of one powerful man and the installation of another. More interest in creating a (syndicated? It was identical on BBC and ITV) montage of images accompanied by the 'bittersweet symphony of life' than the hearses carrying the coffins of young men, or the family whose uninsured home has been destroyed by the floods, or the mother of yet another teenage boy stabbed to death simply for looking at someone.
As I mowed the lawn ready for Saturday's HMF coffee day, I was keenly aware that only an hour or so's drive away were people trapped by floods and others mourning tragedy, and pondered what a bewildering land this is. I am truly puzzled by the idea of Mr Blair becoming a 'peace envoy' and I fail to see the need for the Diana concert on Saturday (but then as a friend told me recently, I'm an old cynic). If we could put a fraction of the energy into really addressing issues that affect the lives of 'little people' - from flood defences, to affordable insurance, to knife and gun crime, to low self-esteem... - then we might have something to celebrate and commemorate with photo-montages and concerts. And that's just on this small island.