The Day Margaret Thatcher Died…

(Originally posted on Facebook)

Right, I’ve thought about it…

I didn’t like Margaret Thatcher, at least within the context that I was able to make a judgement on liking or disliking her, and that is to say in terms of her politics and the manner in which she conducted herself as Prime Minister.

That she made history as the first woman to ever hold the post is to be remembered and respected; it’s hard to understand how we do not have far more visible and accomplished women in British politics given the massive impact she had upon the zeitgeist while she was running our country.

I make no apology for having enjoyed, immensely, her fall from power – that is a part of “the show that never ends” and even though one might say she took it with good grace, I was cheering along with all the others as she was driven away from Number 10, and it was all the sweeter for the tears that were visibly about to erupt from her eyes.

Am I happy today? No. Today an elderly woman who was unwell passed away, leaving her family to grieve. I cannot begin to imagine how horrid it must be to be her child or grandchild and see otherwise lovely normal people cheering and planning parties to “celebrate” the passing of their Mum or their Granny. If she had truly been a dictator, with no mandate from the electorate, or if she had truly presided over illegal actions, or if indeed the record of history could show that she did anything but that which she believed to be right within the confines of the system she was put in charge of by the people, then that judgement should have come through the courts during or after her time as P.M., not posthumously as portion of the populace dance on her grave. Certainly history will judge her; if you’ve not run a country I am of the opinion that the day of her death is not the time to criticise – should have got it in while she was still alive, or at least wait a decent interval and stick to the facts.

Above all it’s hard not to concede that if passions run this high across the spectrum about someone, then they were not coasting through life or choosing the path of least resistance. For all her faults, as I see them at any rate, you couldn’t call her a coward or a milk-sop or frankly anyone’s bitch. It’s not that hard to respect someone while disliking them and disagreeing with them, when you get right down to it.

So, no party for me, no crowing or jubilation; let’s just do our best to remember that when our Mum’s die we’d probably rather no one threw a party either.

To be clear, I don’t like her now, even now she’s dead – just in case any of you were wondering…

We knew that it was coming…

We knew that it was coming, that my Nan’s life was coming to an end; those that read this blog often will remember my entry about visiting her in hospital a few weeks ago.

Anyway, earlier this week my father pre-warned me that he felt things were coming to a head, progressing rather suddenly and more quickly than we had thought, towards the end.

All efforts were made to offer her comfort and calm in her last days. I am supremely confident of that, and incredibly thankful, both for my parents’ fortitude in bringing their professional experience to bear in this distressing time and for the efforts of the local palliative care home team.

And so it was that my last remaining grandparent, my father’s mother, passed away quietly at home late on Friday night, the tenth of July 2009.

She had lived a long and full life, and I will always cherish the fond memories that I have of spending my early childhood in her care. Her stories about the Manchester Blitz; falling from her bicycle when she rode into an unseen house brick during the blackout, or putting mattresses between the beds of her epileptic patients during air raids as they could not be moved to the cellars with the others… These and a hundred more will always be a part of my oral record, although I may perhaps commit them to ‘paper’ at some point.

She was fiercely proud of her family, supportive and understanding to a fault of my choices despite their often being fraught with risk and/or non-conformity, and I am sure that my brother would say the same. She was no pushover either, never shy to tell me that she liked me better with less weight on my bones, or berating me for my somewhat feckless inability to completely remove tobacco from my life.

I think that what I will remember most fondly is her capacity for tolerance and her sense of fairness. As a woman of her generation and background she could have been understood, perhaps even forgiven, if her outlook had been unable to accept the sweeping social changes that her lifetime saw, but I cannot remember a single time that she exhibited intolerance for anything or anyone in my presence, with perhaps the exception of rudeness and rude people.

Of course she was no saint, and there is often a sense of obligation to ignore the negative after someone dies and suddenly they are canonised and celebrated in the odd vacuum created by love, grief and nostalgia. I too am moved to gloss over her failings, if only in deference to how patient she was of mine – which are numerous enough – but also because while we are learning to live without her it is simpler to be fond in our remembrance. Besides, the ties that bind really do run deeper than anything else.

I am on my way up to Chorley to “circle the wagons”, and spend time with my parents and my brother and his partner. We spend so much of our lives apart at this point that it feels imperative to spend some time together while we are coming to terms with Nan’s passing.

I will be back in the southeast between Tuesday and the funeral – there are things that are under the heading of ‘life goes on’ that need my attention, and that is something that my Nan would have understood and approved of unless I miss my guess…

Dorothy Godby 02/02/1921 to 10/07/2009 – At peace; much loved and much missed.

Things that will kill the Internet – no I’m not making a joke, it __is__ sad…

Thursday 25th of June, Michael Jackson reported dead in Los Angeles, California.

This news has rendered blogging sites and communities buggy at best and left Twitter failing to respond to every other API call.

That alone is enough evidence to suggest that anyone who wants to be has every right to be sad to hear this news – whatever else may have happened to him, around him or even near him, this giant of the Pop scene for over 35 years gave us Thriller, Billy Jean, Smooth Criminal, ABC and so many, many more.

I salute you with my single-gloved right hand – Rest in Peace, Moonwalk for real and play the Great Gig in the Sky

Sad News…

Andy Hallet has succumbed to Congestive Heart Failure

(click here for BBC News Article)

I loved his portrayal of Lorne, and I loved the songs; I am so happy that I have him on the Angel Soundtrack singing “It’s Not Easy Being Green” and I have the Angel DVDs to remember this fabulous talent that was mostly overlooked by people outside of fandom.

If heaven has a Karaoke Bar, then if there is any justice in the world it looks like Caritas crossed with The Mint and Andy gets to sing as himself or Lorne, whenever he likes 🙂

May the song be forever sung…