Hello. Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, there is a lot of stuff about it floating around. I remember when I was 19 talking about WWI and how it was almost outside of living memory and we’re entering that with WWII. My granddad fought in that war, my parents (both born in 1948) remembered rationing (meat rationing didn’t end until July 1954!) and playing on bombsites. Today is a good day to remember not just the bravery of the people that landed (and died) on those beaches but also what came after. The NHS, housing, education for people based on ability not money, the determination to truly make the country a ‘land fit for heroes’. D-Day was an amazing feat of planning and will but what they did after the war, what those men actually died for, that’s an achievement that needs to be remembered too. (off my soap box now!)
1) Harry Smith on the NHS and what life was like before. If you think that Harry is making this up, here’s my mum writing about how the NHS changed and probably saved her life.
2) This. Sing it sister..
3) Rabbit Island. I don’t think that’s cute, I’m a bit weirded out by the idea..
5) Pictures of fathers and daughters whose virginity, they’ve pledged to protect. I find these really, really creepy, especially the one of the little girls, who are far to young to make that kind of promise. I didn’t have a great relationship with my father but the best thing he ever did for me was make it clear that sex was my decision, that boiled down to “Don’t do anything you don’t want to, if anyone tries to make you do something you don’t want to do, send them to me and use contraception. I’m too young to be a grandparent”. Both my parents were very clear about being open and telling Ben and me the truth about questions we had, so that talk came on top of 16 years of my parents trusting me to think for myself about this. I think I prefer that approach to this one.
6) I didn’t know that Hollande was trying to merge the French regions. Interesting.
7) Michael Bradley feels that he’s good enough for Arsenal, Wenger didn’t feel the same way. My reaction to this is that no one owes you anything and I don’t think that US football players are good enough yet. I’m cut up that Frank Lampard is not going to be at Chelsea, next year but that’s the way that football works!
8) Another week, another person feeling that they know better what people should read. Look, I’ve read Dickens*. I’ve read Tolstoy, I’ve read the Brontes and Gaskell and Austen and even Dante, I’ve read a fair amount of ‘adult’ books that were dreadful as well as a whole bunch of books I loved or that made me think. I loathe literary novels that wonder all over the place and seem to be written to show us how clever the authors are (AS Byatt, I’m looking at you). Reading is something I do to relax and learn so different books for different times and moods. Some people need to get over themselves and stop thinking that their taste is what everyone should have.
*I’m not keen and his characterisation of women gives me the creeps – they are always bad or too soppy to be true and why does he use 30 words when he could use 3**
**actually I know the answer to that, he was paid by the word