Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Thoughts for the day

Lesley, my physio, came yesterday morning and was quite pleased with how I'm doing. She reckons my speech is no worse and my walking all right. Mark you, I WAS trying to impress her! There's been a delay in trying muscle relaxing drugs, to stop my knees knocking, as there's a warning in the instructions if you have epilepsy. So we're consulting them that know. Anyway she says it's not urgent. Before she left, she asked if we'd thought about what we'd do if either of us, particularly Jane, went down with swine 'flu. I'm ashamed to say that it hadn't occurred to me as a problem. I suppose I think of Jane as indestructible. But it was a good point. I gather I'd be a priority for vaccine when it comes on stream, and one would hope that Jane would be too as I'd be up a gum-tree without her. I'm amazed at how soon a vaccine has been developed, probably being authorised for September. But the point, of course, is that in a pandemic social services would be so stretched that normal emergency cover would be virtually non-existent. We were sent via a friend something from the county council about ''flu friends', which recommends having a number of people you can contact if you're diagnosed (by phone) as having it. They recommend having a number. What a good idea, I thought! And then I thought, That's what the Church is for, isn't it?

I read in 'The Telegraph' today (not my usual paper, I hasten to add) that the BBC in the person of Mr Mark Damazer, controller of Radio 4 - I wonder if that title is meant to be reassuring, shades of Thomas the Tank engine's Fat Controller - is considering axing or altering or 'opening up' Thought for the Day on the Today Programme. Apparently it's too 'religious', and out of place in a flagship current affairs programme. Actually although I'm not a great fan, it would seem to me to diminish the programme to take away the three minutes of reflection from the headlong rush of news and comment. As the Supertramp poet said, 'What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare...?' Mr Terry Sanderson, militant president of the National Secular Society, is quoted as saying, 'The majority of people are not even religious and they want to hear a point of view that reflects their own.' Hello! Have you read the 2001 Census recently? '14.6 per cent in England and 18.5 per cent in Wales (state they have no religion).' That's a new definition of majority.

I don't want to sound censorious, but last week it was the press's turn, wasn't it? Bit like the pot calling the kettle black, it felt. Having spent weeks telling us how corrupt MPs are, we now discovered that phone-tapping is the stock in trade of the News of the World and, it is alleged, of the press in general. Maybe not directly, but via private eyes.

PS Guess what colour the singers on Songs of Praise were wearing this Sunday!

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