Tuesday, 9 April 2013

rise above

We set off to France on Good Friday for a long coach journey and arrived very early on Saturday morning, tired and sore of limb. It was probably one of the most uncomfortable coach journeys I've ever suffered and I've endured plenty over the past thirty years.

Mont Blanc, I believe!
A skiing trip is always undertaken with some trepidation but this one was, on the whole, a joy. The weather was pretty good generally and the conditions were mostly excellent. We were at Les Arcs and it was probably the best resort we've ever been to. The food was excellent but the doors left something to be desired.

Doors? Yes, we had lots of door malfunctions. The main door lock decided to break early in the week so we spent four days without a lock! Luckily the whole chalet seemed quite secure and the coach-load of us had taken it completely over. Then the bathroom door handle kept falling out every time the door was opened which woke up Mrs Dave every time I went to the loo in the early hours. Obviously, she was impressed with that.

The only real problem of the week other than the rather laissez-faire attitude towards door ironmongery was the day I chose to borrow some rather fancy new skis. The conditions were icy and Mrs Dave decided that we should go to another part of the mountain range we hadn't skied on before. As you can guess, gentle reader, this was never going to work out well. What could go wrong? Red runs, skis for experts and icy slopes. I'll leave it to your imaginations but there was much swearing echoing through the resort.

Usually whilst I'm out of the country, someone famous dies - Keith Moon and Jerry Garcia being prime examples - but thankfully, Thatcher waited until I was back to shuffle off her mortal coil. That meant that I could join in the festivities. The Twittersphere erupted with much joy and vitriol with Mark Steel being my personal favourite commentator ("87 years too late"). Some people seem to think that we shouldn't make negative comments and "not speak ill of the dead". Why not? Read this and remember! Best Tweet was Martin Simpson's simple "Ding Dong . . .". Subtle and worth a thousand words.

Anyway, let's just look forward to the funeral:

Well I hope you live long now, I pray the lord your soul to keep
I think I'll be going before we fold our arms and start to weep
I never thought for a moment that human life could be so cheap
'Cos when they finally put you in the ground
They'll stand there laughing and tramp the dirt down


Kate the State said...

Hi Dad,

After our conversation today I decided it was time to read Russell Brand's article for the Guardian. I agree with what you said about the flowery language being distracting, but I think once he got about halfway through he was quite articulate and into his flow. I think I sympathise with his perspective as one of 'Thatcher's Children': I don't remember exactly what happened, more the effect it had on others and what it feels like growing up in a post-Thatcher world. I thought it was well-written, with a good sense of irony, and his anecdote about her watering the flowers alone as a kind of poetic justice for the 'no such thing as society' comment struck true.

I feel like the death of Thatcher has been not so much a cause for celebration as an opportunity to reflect on what she represented and learn from the past, and I am sure all the media attention has educated and politicized a generation that was previously complacent or ignorant about her politics.

Dave Leeke said...

Good points, Katie.

I will re-read it as I am blinkered against him, as you well know. I wear my prejudices on my sleeve.

In truth, the idea of celebrating her death has probably been over-exaggerated but Owen Jones's article in the Independent (Independent Voices) said all I'd want to say: short, (bitter)sweet and to the point - we're still reeling from the after-effects of T-ism. I agree with what you say but, unfortunately, don't think we've really learnt from the past. Well, WE might have but not those in power.

I really do hope that it may have 'politicized a generation that was . . . ' as I've always been concerned that years of bland politics have produced political apathy. Perhaps Question Time should be on the Curriculum!