Thirty years ago my Queen Elizabeth described 1992 as her ‘annus horribilis’.
I am beginning to imagine how she felt because, in February of this year, 2022, I lost my wife of 59years, followed in May by our 57-year-old eldest daughter to bowel cancer.
Could it get worse?
My West Highland Terrier bitch, Millie, is suffering from terminal liver disease. She is only eight years old. It is not fair, but greater minds than mine have said that life is not fair, so I must make the decision to end the life of my fourth ‘royal lady.’
Think of me kindly.
I was thirteen when I watched the black and white television images of the gates of the Sandringham estate shrouded in fog and funeral wreaths lying at the foot of the railings. Bunches of garage forecourt or supermarket flowers were unavailable at that time. We were waiting for the coffin of a beloved king to be carried to the local train station for its journey to London and the pomp and pageantry of a State funeral.
His daughter having died in her favourite holiday home, Balmoral, in Scotland, is now waiting to be carried to St Giles cathedral in Edinburgh to lie in state for three days before being carried to London.
Our country — and the world, feels so much more vulnerable without her. Any form of world peace is under threat. Putin’s war in Ukraine — please don’t call it “a special military operation” — is vicious, opportunistic and destabilising. Prices of oil, gas, electricity, wheat, and cooking oils are crippling national economies in the developing world and threatening winter fuel crises in the developed countries of Europe.
My grandchildren are looking to rent accommodation when rents are rising week on week. Their dreams of homeownership are not just put on the back burner but on the bonfire in the back garden.
Is there a solution? Can we, as individuals, make a difference?
Well, yes, actually..
If a significant proportion of our population, whether it is in Europe, America, Asia, Australiasia or even South Antarctica, gave five pounds, dollars, Euros or Yen, five minutes of their time, five prayers to their God, five slices of bread, five bowls of rice — to a stranger — the world would be a safer, kinder place to leave to out children.