It's been so hectic this summer in so many ways that I decided to pare down every outside engagement I could this week. It was a good decision. A week of quietness at home has been just what I needed.
I've been re-arranging things in the garden, cycling, hanging out with Dave (table tennis and walks to Hassop Station) and... I don't know what else. Oh yes, submitting my children's picture book to literary agents. The important thing is I have been pacing myself instead of rushing around trying to cram in this before lunch and that before tea, and worrying that I haven't had time to do the other before bed.
One lovely quiet moment consisted of me resting on the bed after a bike ride with the window open to the sunshine, drinking a Bloody Mary and messaging the Aging Hippie in California. I need to take more such moments.
There's all sorts of nastiness going on out there in the world and I've not been reading the papers in depth, but I did see the news about the wall they're building in Calais to keep out desperate refugees. We need more bridges not more walls.
Did you know that in the spring the numbers of refugees in Calais was 3000 plus and now it is 9000 plus and the charities providing aid are running out of money. If you'd like to help, you could donate to this charity - Help Refugees.
And then there was this report in Middle East Monitor about the horrendous threats from an Israeli army commander:
Local youth in Al-Duheisha told BADIL ( the Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights) that Captain Nidal has made statements such as: “I will make all the youth of the camp disabled,” “I will have all of you walking with crutches and in wheelchairs,” “I will make half of you disabled, and let the other half push the wheelchairs,” and “I will make all of you stand in line at the ATM waiting for your disability subsidies and assistance.”
They added that Al-Duheisha had been raided at least three times by Israeli forces between the end of July and mid-August, during which time 18 Palestinian youth between 14 and 27 years old were shot in their legs – eight of which shot directly in the knee and several more in both legs – causing both permanent and temporary disabilities.
Things get worse and worse in Palestine, just as everywhere else. You can help by boycotting Israel and supporting Medical Aid for Palestinians.
To round off the week on a happier note, you know what I was saying in my last post about a generation gap in cultural references? Someone wrote to me yesterday saying lots of nice things, including that her daughter thought I was "the bomb." I wondered if predictive text had got the better of her email, but just in case, went to urban dictionary for a translation. Check it out!