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Wednesday 20-December-06

Good day, bad day

Saturday was a good day. We got up, leisurely and happy, had coffee and meandered into Reading to do some Christmas shopping. Several bargains later, we strolled up to the university to watch our daughter, Heledd, be awarded her M.Sc. (with distinction) in a grand ceremony. She was radiant and we were terribly proud of her.

Many photographs later, we headed off to Marlborough to watch Rick Wakeman and friends in a Christmas concert. It was a lovely and intimate venue in a raked, semicircular school hall. We had excellent seats, dead centre. Rick played brilliantly, as ever, and included fun pieces such as a clever comedy duet with his daughter. He then got us all singing carols and then stalked around the audience, sending those who were not singing with enough gusto to sing on the stage. He also had on a very funny magician plus Richard Digance, who I've not seen for about 35 years (but was still great)!

The day was not without its excitement, as we ran into a big traffic jam on the way there. This made us a bit late and we parked on a grassy slope in the school. The folly of this appeared as we tried to leave, as the sodden grass and sudden frost led to lots of wheel spinning and mud churning but no useful movement. Eventually one of Rick's roadies helped push us out. I felt a bit guilty about the lawn, which got rather chewed.

When Heledd phoned a friend the next day to enthuse about her day, he told her that he had just had the worst day ever. He and another friend went to a pub where he got hit and the friend got slashed across the face with a broken glass in a totally unprovoked attack that turned into a general brawl. The police arrived and robustly arrested everyone. Heledd's friend was eventually released and then spent the rest of the night at the hospital with the other friend who was having his face stitched back together.

The scary thing was that if Heledd had not come with us to see Wakeman, she would have gone out with those friends. Like the movie 'Sliding Doors', a single choice can lead to different tracks through time with very different outcomes. What minor decisions do we make that lead to apparently unconnected joy or disaster? All I know was that, on Saturday, Heledd made the right choice.


Your comments


Hooliganism is a lamentable pastime indulged in by some members of society. The desire to behave in an unprovoked aggressive manner when intoxicated naturally stems from a deep seated resentment amongst some, of others. In others words, some sort of envy.

In some cases, it is a desire to assert superiority, otherwise lacking, through means of brute force. An alternative occasionally available to those fiscally, intellectually, or otherwise disenfranchised. Put simply, an outlet for the aforementioned envy, allowing the aggressor to assuage his hurt ego.

Is the answer to closet oneself within a safe and secure environment consisting simply of ones peers? Yes and no. The cocoon of safety cannot always be the shelter of ones home, family, the familiar environs or the so called 'safe' paths in life. Disaster (in the form of a reconfiguration of ones person by disgruntled Ostrogoths, or destruction of ones property by enraged luddites) can strike anywhere.

A modicum of safety can be said to lie only in the creation of an armour of awareness, alertness, and the manner affable. Sometimes even the most ferocious vandal can be dissuaded with no more than ones tongue.

And then again, I suppose, sometimes not.

-- Iossef V.


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