Sunday, 18 May 2014

Breakfast in Bloomsbury

Cartwright Gardens - slightly before my time!
To start with a whinge.... £50 for a return ticket from Birmingham to London with Virgin trains. There was standing room only - I found myself squeezed against the wall outside a toilet which was 'out of service'.The train left 10 minutes late, arriving at Euston 25 minutes late. Rubbish service you provide, Virgin bloody trains!

I arrived in London in time to meet crowds of celebrating Arsenal fans - a really good atmosphere, with Hull fans good naturedly joining in the fun. Well done chaps!

As I often do, I ensconced myself in Cartwright Gardens, my bedroom looking out over the statue of my esteemed ancestor and great inspiration, Major John Cartwright. After quite an intense week, it was just perfect to wake up listening to the birds, and to pore over the Sunday papers in the Gardens after a slightly too large breakfast.

There is something inspirational about Bloomsbury, in a bohemian sort of way. It has been, of course, the home to many literary greats over the years, Virginia Woolf to name but one.

The spot where the Major lived, and where he passed away in 1824, having just received a final, ironically melancholic letter from his friend Thomas Jefferson, is now occupied by the University of London. I hope they get the same inspiration that I find in these gentile surroundings.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

A Bit Of Perspective Is Called For...

I am not going to glorify killing. I personally know what it looks like, I know what it sounds like, and I know what it smells like. (The latter being the worst).

But my hackles rise when I hear criticism of our armed forces - the best and most honourable  armed forces in the world.

If these allegations are true, then they indicate immature and insensitive behaviour. I hope that the officers responsible will act upon this, and I am sure that they will. It is not correct behaviour at all, and it does not befit our military, or our country, as I am sure that even our detractors will agree. Let us hear the story of the chap in the picture, who is highly likely to have been under attack, outnumbered, and in territory where even the most innocent of civilians would have been likely to turn on him with a butcher's knife if he were to go down injured.

However, compared with the beheading of innocent civilians by Al Queeda and the Taliban, (the alleged victims here), recorded for posterity, and broadcast with pride through social media, this really does pale into insignificance.

A lapse in military discipline does not compare with the barbaric behaviour of the Taliban.