This Friday at 7.25pm a momentous moment occurs… I will enter my
No, not quite the big 6-0 yet, but I can start the 12-month countdown to getting my bus pass. Hopefully by then I’ll actually be able to go places and do things.
The arrival of yet another birthday has punched up the paradox of 2020. I don’t know about you, but on the one hand I feel like the year has dragged soooo slowly, weighed down by the anchor of Covid-19.
But on the other hand it feels bizarre we are coming out of summer and looking towards autumn already.
That said, time is a weird thing. Take for example, the passage of 59 years.
It feels like it has zipped past. Only yesterday I was 16 years old and the world was ready for me to go out and conquer it. Today I make involuntary noises when I stand up.
But, if we go back 60 years from when I was born in 1961 we would be in the year of Queen Victoria’s death and horses and steam were still the main means of transport.
Over the next six decades we would see empires fall, two world wars, a global pandemic, the rise and defeat of fascism, the grip of Soviet communism, the start of the Cold War with its very real threat of a Holocaust to wipe out life on the planet.
All that plus the huge leaps in science and technology that saw Yuri Gargarin become the first man in space in the year I was born.
Those were six tumultuous, terrifying, decades that saw so much history – good and bad – unfold.
Given all of that, the last 59 years have been relatively uneventful. Okay, we had various wars, the ever-present terror of Armageddon until the Berlin Wall fell plus the technology revolution that has changed the way we live and even think.
But still, small change compared to going from the Victorian Era to the Space Age with global conflicts breaking out in the mix.
You might even have said it was a tad boring. Until now. Today we have the horror show that is Westminster and Brexit, with every day revealing some fresh hell.
Look at the state America is in. There are now serious accusations of an unstable president trying to rig the US election and debate about what happens if he refuses to leave the White House if he is voted out.
And as if that wasn’t enough, we get the global coronavirus pandemic to change our world for the worse.
We now live in interesting times. Which is a Chinese curse.
Who knows what the next 60 years has in store, but I have one birthday wish for this Friday. Can the news headlines go back to being dull, rather than dystopian, please?
Shining stars light the darkest of days
Wednesday was one of the darkest days for the north-east.
The horror of the train crash at Carmont was almost hard to take in. We all felt the pain and anguish over the three lives lost.
At the same time, so many communities were flooded yet again. Homes and shops once more under water.
Yet comfort can be found in the worst of times. The outpouring of sympathy for the families who lost loved ones in the train crash, the concern for the injured, was real and tangible across all of the north-east.
In flood-hit areas neighbours and friends stood side by side, stemming the rising water, clearing the mess and debris.
People came together, be it to help each other or to show compassion for those who needed it most. That spirit of caring makes the north-east such an outstanding place.
It can be summed up by one of the painted stones installed in Stonehaven to bring hope in the coronavirus crisis. It reads: “When it is dark, look for stars”.
We are lucky to have so many shining stars around us.
Utter hypocrisy of tories over exams
For the avoidance of doubt, the SQA exam results were a disaster the SNP Government could and should have avoided.
The outrage and anger was justified – yes, even from opposition parties. But John Swinney listened and put it right, yet still the baying for his job went on.
The Westminster Government made the same mistake and had to be dragged to the same fix. So why aren’t the Tories screaming for Gavin Williamson to quit?
Can anyone spell hypocrisy?