Quick note from London

blossoms Kath UnsworthApril has proven to be the cruelest month … Not so much for the weather but for the cruelties that we humans inflict on each other and the indiscriminate force of technology when it’s uncontrolled.

The week started with the senseless bombings at the Boston Marathon. Arriving in London on Wednesday, I ran into Margaret Thatcher’s funeral and the pockets of hate and anger still festering against the policies she implemented more than twenty years ago. And then, on Thursday morning I saw the pictures of the Texas Waco fire over BBC and later that evening the plea by a Muslim high school boy to be spared victimization after his photo was irresponsibly released as a possible suspect in the Boston bombings…. He doesn’t have anything to do with it apparently, he was just brown and there!

Still there have been small mercies this week.

For one, the weather in Britain has been lovely. A little nippy with the wind but miraculously the sun’s been out. So have the daffodils, the tulips, the magnolias and the cherry trees. I wish I had the technical skills to post the photos… but alas!
Next week perhaps.

Coming to the UK also provided an opportunity to travel through rolling English countryside to Sussex to make the acquaintance of a lovely old English couple and enjoy three hours in a typical bungalow with a beautifully peaceful English garden filled with pansies, forsythias, newly laid out strawberries and sky-blue forget-me-not. We also enjoyed a wonderful lunch of cold cuts, Branston pickles and a wobbly pink mousse topped with last season’s frozen berries… Just like the desserts I had as a student in this country!

In London, yesterday, I caught up with my brother and sister-in-law, who were down from the Midlands for a conference. We spent an enjoyable afternoon walking through London terraces to lunch at a Michelin one-star, Launceston Place, and then afterwards to the Saatchi Museum in Chelsea.

The Saatchi was exhibiting some Modern Russian art – super realistic and depressing. All I can say was it made me think. What also made me think was the free admission to the museum, the fact there were no electric security gates, or hand bag checks, the
crowds loitering relaxed and unhassled in the front courtyard. It was the week of the Boston bombings, two days after the Demonstrations at the Thatcher funeral, two days before the London Marahton… yet what ease and freedom. It was something to wonder at.

Which brings me back to yet another mercy I must be grateful for. We take it too much for granted, the fact that we in developed countries, in a little Red dot like Singapore, have politicians in power who are genuinely committed to putting policies in place that are GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY. We may disagree with their policies but it’s quite clear they are not in the job just to enrich themselves or their families or to rape the country and drain it dry. This isn’t something that can be taken for granted in a host of other countries. Whatever Thatcher’s faults… it can’t be said she set out to do all she did in bad faith.

So now the woman’s died … Let’s let go and let be. We’re alive and that’s what matters. No more looking back in anger. April is over, it was a cruel month. We’ve been wounded. We grieve. But It’s spring and time to step forward in hope.

9 Responses to “Quick note from London”
  1. Maretta says:

    Loved reading this. April was a cruel month for us too but we are grateful to be alive and relatively unharmed….we totalled our vehicle in a snow storm yesterday in South Dakota….it is supposed to be spring.

  2. It was a cruel month, mostly because of mans inhumanity to man. Re: Margaret Thatcher, it always amazes me how a thrice elected leader, first woman PM, is viciously attacked while the unelected monarch gets off Scott-free. I for one thought she was a great lady and an amazing example to women, far more than most of the celebrities who are so outspoken about their beliefs and political, but are contributing nothing to the body politic except ignorance and disinformation. Looking forward to the photos, stay safe while you travel!

    • Audrey Chin says:

      Kathleen, Margaret Thatcher was a leader. Many of her policies did however caused dislocation to a great many people, for example miners and press workers. But it was a long time ago and there is no point angsting about it now.

  3. I agree Audrey we must let things go. I was living in London in the time of Maggie and she was not very popular. Having said that I only feel sad for the ones she left behind. She was after all only human.

    • Audrey Chin says:

      I lived in Manchester when she was Prime Minister and remember both the mine closures and strikes and also the frustration that resulted in Paki-bashing afterwards. But, she’s dead. And those industries did have to be restructured. So I have mixed feelings about her. Despite that, there’s no call for making “ding dong the witch is dead” go to the top of the charts.

  4. Janelle says:

    Sometimes it is the small mercies that get us through.

  5. Audrey Chin says:

    janelle, too right!

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