The excitement was almost too much. The sun dawned bright and… sunny; today, finally, at last, was the day I was to bless twenty-four neighbours with twenty-four copies of one of my most favourite books as part of World Book Night. From the word go the experience of being an official ‘giver’ had been one of personal fulfillment and righteous pride. For once, I was actually making a difference!
That was, of course, how I felt until the slightly uneasy feeling of last night emerged fully-grown into some kind of twenty-four-copies-of-Good-Omens-shaped nightmare. What was I actually going to do with these books? Who would I give them to? Oh, crap… and then, it sunk in. Not only had I no idea where I would offload my precious charges, but I had entirely forgotten the fact that I would be approaching total strangers to do so.
Yesterday morning my grandmother-in-law passed away. It was half 8. I found out yesterday evening, when my mum came to tell me. I was sitting here, in my room. No tears, just sadness. We all knew it was coming.
It’s funny, how I seem to be in the same place every time I discover that another one of us has gone. Us, as in my family – the ‘ever-dwindling’ group around the proverbial fire. 2007 was a year for leaving. Three of us faded into the shadows. I remember sitting in this very spot when my mum told me about dad. I had known that was coming, too. The weight of the news didn’t settle immediately. For days, even weeks I sat staring out into the darkness among the trees. I couldn’t quite yet accept that it was final, that he was gone, that he wouldn’t be coming back. He left so quietly that his shadow still roamed out there, just beyond my vision, just beyond where the flickering light could reach.
My regular readers (thank you, all of you) will remember my post from last month about the 17 members of parliament who have been supplied with interns funded by the homophobic charity CARE (Christian Action Research and Education). I’ve since been on a little mission in persuading the most local of the MPs, Sharon Hodgson (MP for Washington and Sunderland West) to sever ties with CARE.
I am more than overjoyed to announce that both Ms. Hodgson and Catherine McKinnell (MP for Newcastle North) have withdrawn from the scheme, making statements denouncing the views of the charity.
You know, one thing I reckon bloggers don’t do often enough is read other people’s blogs.
If you come at blogging every time with the premise ‘What Eternal Wisdom Shall I Impart To the Ignorant Masses’, then the chances are the so-called ‘ignorant masses’ will realise how ignorant you are and avoid you like the plague. It is probably a blogging rite of passage, that moment when you realise that you are not the elite intelligentsia you think you are but rather just another run-of-the-mill mind with a WordPress account.
As a blogger you put a lot of effort and time into your own posts. On occasion I’ve spent whole days writing something because I really believed in it and wanted everyone to know what I thought about that something; and because of that, all I wanted was for others to read my blog – and oh my – even commenting! I didn’t even think about doing some reading myself to ‘share the love’. Perhaps I should’ve done. I might have learned something.
The fact that I chose today to do some reading and the positive results of that choice are illuminating.