Tuesday, 26 July 2011


Hi Everyone

I overdid things yesterday - it was so lovely to be able to do simple things like the laundry and the cooking again that I did too much and my foot started bleeding in the evening.  Only very slightly, but it upset me a lot.  Today I have been busy again, but doing my very best to sit down and rest in between bouts of activity.  I am reading a Roald Dahl book - it is short stories, intended for teenagers, but really very good.  That man had such a vivid imagination.  He preferred to write fiction, said he felt uncomfortable writing about his own life, which is interesting.  I think he must have been a very private person, unlike me!

I have read two other novels so far since I have been laid up (as well as the books on the Alexander technique) and I would recommend both.  The first is Trespass by Valerie Martin and the second is Every Last One by Anna Quindlen.  That one made me cry.

I have also been reading the Times every day.  I am upset about Amy Winehouse and the events in Norway - very different tragedies, but linked by the factor of troubled personalities (as, I suppose, a lot of tragedies are).  Troubled minds.  I am upset that so much is being written about this man's 'Reasons' for what he did - far-right leanings and delusions about the Crusaders.  What he did makes no sense and no sense can be made of it.  By attempting to, journalists are publicising his so-called 'causes' and perhaps encouraging other cults or loners to take extreme action in the hope that they too will become 'famous'.  The man was deranged and dangerous.  End of.

What surprised me today (about myself) was my emotions when I was glancing through an article on the prison in which this man is likely to be kept - the highest security jail in Norway.  It is so humane - half the staff are female, prisoners and staff play sport together, everyone has their own TV and so on.  This made me angry, as I am sure it was intended to do.  But normally I take the humanitarian view - that prisons should be decent places, that their purpose should be for rehabilitation as much as punishment, and not at all for retribution.  Yet this man - perhaps because he claims to see no wrong in what he has done - does not seem deserving of decent treatment.  Though who am I to judge?

I try not to read too mcuh about gruesome things in the newspaper, because they play on my mind.  But sometimes I do read them, because I want to understand.  I have not read much about his so-called 'causes' because as I have said, the man was clearly deranged and has done something unforgivable, for which there is no imaginable justification, and I do not even want to know what he considers his to be.  But I would like to know something about the man - what was there in his upbringing that made him go so bad?  Something must have happened to him, surely?  What is it that makes a human, inhuman?

And poor Amy Winehouse.  Her poor family.  There was an article in the paper about drugs - about how her death should be used as an example to teenagers to once again, 'Just say No'. 

I think the family unit is our best hope of keeping our children well and safe.  I have been lecturing my own children on the dangers of drink and drugs (and even cigarettes) since they were tiny tots.  I also encourage them to tell me everything and talk to me about whatever is on their mind.  And as they grow older I am going to keep myself as involved as possible in every aspect of their lives - so that they know I am here to support them no matter what.  And I will - when they leave home I will visit them frequently, make sure they have everything they need and so on.  Meet their friends.  Keep an eye.  If they want to live at home until they are thirty and beyond then that is fine by me too.  I will look after them for ever if they let me (and even if they don't!).

We all do our best, I know.  And we can't always stop bad things happening to our children.  Sometimes the world just looks like a mad and dangerous place, and that, for me, is when I have to stop looking outwards for a while, and just turn my attention instead to those around me, to my beloved family, and just do my utmost to love them and keep them close.  And then hope for the best.

Louise x 

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