Archive for the ‘Understanding Others’ Category

What’s coming our way?  There’s plenty of good advice out there, but what about the C19 daily 200313.jpgnumbers?  I thought I’d do some very simple modelling.  The graph shows daily reported infection rates for UK but also France, Spain and Italy.  To 13th March.  These countries are socially similar to us and are similar(ish) in size.  So comparisons are valid.  First impressions are what we already know, Italy is way ahead of us, Germany, France and Spain have been slower off the mark, and UK the numbers, though growing, is still well behind. (more…)

ERL Section 1.jpg

Grandad (front, 3 from right) and his section

1917 – the year they didn’t get the biggest Oscars. 1917 – The year Jerry didn’t get my grandfather.  1944, the year Jerry didn’t get my father-in-law.  2019 – the year the Final Call-up got my father-in-law, the last of that generation in our family.  Those two-war generations were moulded the traumas of their youth.  They were what the Americans like to call “The Greatest Generation”.  Certainly, in our family alone, our members lived through two world war, two civil wars (on different continents), survived several imprisonments, refugee status and homelessness, two death sentences, multiple exiles, mixing with real terrorists, real spies, enforced labour, racial discrimination, hunger, on top of real combat. (more…)


Posted: 7 January 2020 in Understanding Others
Tags: ,
Dzadzek in Army 2d.jpg

D. front row, left

Dzadek died a year ago, just short of 96. It was a terrific innings, especially considering what he survived. The last of the “parents”. No one could think of him without a chuckle, or a shudder. He was certainly a “character” which to say, but to live with him was another matter. Feared rather than loved? One or the other – “indifference” to him was never
an option with him.

how r u.jpgHow are you?  On sunny days this is bland and a vanilla greeting or conversation starter.  It is a toughie when life is stressing and circumstances hard.  As I am currently finding out.  At the moment, the question is “How is A[i]?” “A” is a close family member who has just had a significant operation, and suffered from non-fatal but unpleasant post-op complications.

I see the friend sidle up. The frown emerge (early indicator of a “serious question” is about to emerge) and I get a scent of a “How is A?” question coming.  Then I find myself seeking to get away.


Noah funeral 4b.jpgTwo funerals this year so far; one shocking, one elegiac. Both with foreign condolences; one military, the other medical.  Both with plenty of food after; one pushed down with tea, the other with vodka.  Both with memories of lives lived; of 11 weeks, and of 96 years.  Both funerals are worth a thought.  But I’ll tell you of baby Noah’s now.

How can a funeral capture both the sense of loss, the genuine loss; and the sense of hope, confidence?   And also a mysterious third dimension- that it is better to have genuinely loved and lost, is better than never having loved at all, so never suffered the loss?

This funeral did work us for the tears: ♫Benedictus, Karl Jenkins; ♫Jealous of the Angels, Katherine Jenkins; ♫ Brahms’ Lullaby, Celine Dion. (more…)