2 Jan

Hope features in our late-year vocabulary. Hope you have a nice Christmas; hope for good things in 2017. Much that went on in 2016 gave Hope a kick in the goolies. The fragile ceasefire in Aleppo; Putin cuddling up to the Turks; the Israelis pushing their luck; the madness of North Korea; the implacable Saudis; the scattergun terrorism across the world; Brexit and Trump.

Making sense of it all may be a futile exercise. Democracy seems to have failed a fundamental test. The Brexit vote was predicated on tabloid intolerance and racism backed up by inglorious campaigns of fear and lies. Over the pond a misogynist, racist, lying bigot won the race for the White House on the basis that the American people couldn’t find a better candidate. Politics is truly fucked.

On the brighter side I find that my interests have contracted to trivia that is closer to home. Half the world seems war-torn, terrorist-blighted, environmentally beleaguered, refugee-flooded, disease-ridden and starving. Responsibility lies with the rich and powerful on the one hand and religion on the other. Much safer to hunker down and think small in the hope that the big things will get better or at least hope that my village in Kent won’t become a war-zone any time soon.

On this basis my first blog of the new year concerns shoes, money Vs value and Sat Navs. We are in the midst of an international crisis. We have become obsessed with taking footwear off. Almost every house I enter has  a pile of shoes at the door, the welcoming hosts be-socked and padding about, expecting me to unclamp my Timberlands and reveal the big-toe holes in my socks. Mats are no longer used for the cursory brushing of excess dirt but a repository for guest booties. I shall return to footwear shortly.

Today I purchased a Gillet (GeeLay) so that I could pronounce it with an exaggerated French accent. It was £13.49 from Sports Direct. That is well short of the four drinks I bought in the pub on New Year’s Eve. Now I know that wearing a Lee Cooper GeeeLay won’t propel me on to the front cover of Vogue, nor will it placate the leftie right-on mafia who want to hang, draw and quarter Mike Ashley for his sweat-shop, zero hoursing approach to business…but bloody hell, £13.49!! When we know the price of everything and the value of nothing (thanks Oscar), we chuck important things away.

On the way to my sister’s new house over Christmas, I plugged her postcode into my shiny new TomTom. New postcodes send it potty and we were hurtling in the opposite direction before commonsense kicked in. Then we realised that we knew where Horsham was and the verbal directions from Sis would get us there with greater alacrity than the Sat Nav. The world is losing its sense of direction as we all rely on iphones, Sat Navs and the bloody Daily Mail to mangle our joint path to truth.

Back to Hope. It’s a nice name and when I look at my Grandchildren and think of the many brilliant young people I have the privilege to know, I manage a flicker of hope for 2017 and beyond. You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one.


One Response to “Hope”

  1. Dai January 2, 2017 at 8:47 pm #

    Wonderful, Happy New Year Butt.

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