SATURDAY 26th SEPTEMBER 2020:
How do I feel ? It is 5,02am, I have been laying awake in bed pondering what I will write here. I am going to share those initial thoughts then add a postscript.
To say that I feel frightened about the situation the world finds itself in is wrong. If my life were to end tomorrow I have no fear. What I do fear, what does frighten me is the fact that today's children and teenagers are being denied the youth I had.
There is a photograph in my family archive where I am standing with my great grandfather. I am aged perhaps four years, how old was my grandfather ? His children were born in the early years of last century so he must have been, himself, born somewhere around 1975 to 1880. Therefore, when World War I broke out he would have been in his mid to late thirties. His was not the generation that went to fight in the trenches.
But fight my granddad did. He survived, obviously, the trenches but the constant explosion of shells around him made him very hard of hearing. If you wanted to speak to Granddad you had to shout in his ear ! Family legend says that in World War II and living in London during the blitz he did not always hear the bombs exploding but did feel the ground shake.
In that family photograph he would have been a few years older than I am right now. How did granddad feel when I was born as his first great-grandchild ? How did granddad feel about life in the early 1950's ? I would like to think that he felt the new generation was going to have everything he and his children did not have.
So today, living in the year of 2020, the year that never was, I find myself feeling the exact opposite of great-granddad. Today's generation is right now not having what I and my generation had. I have just published SWINGING THROUGH THE SIXTIES and get up this morning to see that the book is indeed selling copies. That excites me, not because I am making money from it because I want to use the book as a way to give something to today's teenagers. I am still forming that in my mind and will have more to share in coming days.
I am frustrated by the failure of government to not only handle the pandemic, that is actually an impossible task, but more so the failure to inject a spirit of comradeship in this war against an invisible enemy/ Boris Johnson has no idea of leadership and is failing to inspire our nation. I could not care less about my own life, I can sit at home and do my own thing without any problem at all but it is the youngsters my heart bleeds for.
Pre pandemic I was working 80 hours a week within all kinds of organisations but now I am doing nothing. Being selfish this quieter life if lovely but what about those I previously cared for ? I am not ready to share the contents yet but within my e-mail inbox there is something which right now at 5.24am on Saturday 26th September in the year that never was is filling my body with fire and excitement.
Charles Dickens wrote a book THE TALE OF TWO CITIES. In my book SWINGING THROUGH THE SIXTIES there is a chapter A TALE OF TWO STREETS. This diary entry I think needs to be titles A TALE OF TWO EMOTIONS.