Monday, 13 February 2012

Bittersweet Memories

Damn and blast it, I knew I should have taken my camera on Saturday morning. Sunday morning was much warmer and as a result the beautiful frost covered trees had gone and been replaced by the usual dead looking branches you get mid winter. The fields were still snow covered though and I saw two hares boxing in one of them, another sign that spring is on the way. Andrew has to go back again next Saturday to have a formal assessment and collect his kit, Peter will have to do the run on his own though as I'm in work that day.

I was woken up at 0700 on Sunday by my phone going off. It was a friend informing me that she'd just heard about the death of singer Whitney Houston. This was obviously devastating for her as she was a big fan, I however was never fond of the singer or her songs and so the news was not such a big deal for me. To me the most remarkable thing about this story is the fact everyone seems so surprised. Just like Amy Winehouse, Whitney was more famous these days for her drug taking than her singing. Unlike Amy the drugs had more or less ruined her voice and she was no longer able to sing her most famous hit because she could not hold the long notes. What I find sadder than her death is that someone with such a wonderful voice and beautiful face chose to destroy it all in probably the most selfish way. I cannot understand why this happens. Some say it is because they came into fame and riches at a very young age, yes well so did Paul McCartney, Cliff Richards and Mick Jagger but they are still all here and they became famous in an age where counselling etc was not only unavailable but unheard off. Todays stars have an army of people looking after them whereas the stars of the 60's, and 70's had only their friends and family to turn to if things got a bit rough. And that, I think, is the crux of the matter. Today's stars have so many people around them that old friends from before they were famous must feel intimidated and sidelined, so much so that eventually they just give up. New friends are hard to find and indeed some stars must wonder if their friends really like them or their fame and money.  The stars of today have lost the grounding that old friends provide and you need a good solid base to survive in the music business because it is fickle and moves fast.

So am I saddened by Whitney Houston's death, well of course, 48 is no age to died but am I surprised? Not in the slightest and that is the saddest thing of all.

After two days of getting up at seven I finally got a lie in today and relished it. When I eventually got up I had a long soak with one of the bath bombs Laurence gave me for Christmas. Suitable relaxed I went into the study to catch up on my e mails to find Peter sneezing his head off and all bunged up. Terrific, I spend most of last week avoiding colds at work and now I'm living with one. I think I'm going to make him wear a bag over his head, it's either that or resign myself to another bout of illness.

We braved Costco this afternoon and wished we hadn't, it was full of families with uncontrollable kids. Mostly they left us alone but we seemed to be plagued by one family where the kids ran around getting in everyone's way and mum just weakly asked then to 'don't do that' every few minutes. Once home and unpacked I settled down for a relaxing cuppa and Andrew made cup cakes for tea.

The debate about organ donation has raised it's head again today. The Welsh are pushing ahead with a law to make people opt out of the organ donation register rather than opt in. Basically this means that there will be presumed consent to have organs donated after death unless they have put their name down on the opt out list. This approach makes so much sense. I know loads of people who want to be organ donors but by their own admission haven't got round to putting their names down on the register. By having the opt out scheme those who really object to having their organs taken will bother to register their refusal. The hope is that more organs will become available as a result and less people will die waiting. Unfortunately even with the Welsh hurrying things along it will not kick in until 2015. In England it is likely to be much later even though various politicians are now backing the plans.  Naturally I have a vested interest in this but it may surprise you to know that I am also on the register as a potential donor. They won't be able to use my lungs or my heart but my kidney, liver and other bits and pieces are OK so why not. If I'm hoping for someone to donate an organ to me it is only right that I should be prepared to donate what I can to others.

I can't believe tomorrow is my last day off before I'm back in work. Why do the four days off always go quicker than the four in work? Another of life's mysteries waiting to be solved.