There have been a lot of programmes on the radio recently about D-Day and today there were services at some of the sites in Normandy. I listened to one this morning and it was very moving. Some of the stories from the survivors were amazing. They seemed to play down their own achievements and put a lot down to luck! D-Day is still the largest military operation in modern times and the effort to co-ordinate all the participants was staggering.
I've always had a feeling of thanks for all those who died, not just on D-Day but during the whole war; if it wasn't for their sacrifices we'd have a very different world today. Mind you I also grieve for those Germans, Japanese and others who died "needlessly"; needlessly here in the sense that if the war had never happened and the differences resolved amicably then they'd not have died. Hmm .. I think I'm rambling here :) Let me have a short pause to honour those who died in World War 2.
To those who died that I might live in freedom, I thank you.
If you ever get a chance then have a look around some of the cemetries over there. The graves stretch out, row upon row, off into the distance. I remember visiting Ieper and seeing the Menin (sp?) Gate with the names of the many who died there in WW1 and the museum where they had models of how the front line of WW1 would have looked. At first glance it looks like a typical model of an area; hills and dips with some smaller features. Then you look at the details ... and realise the true horror of it. I won't say more here unless anyone wants to know, I'd just recommend that you go there yourself.
After a decade of living with Alzheimer's disease ex President Reagan has died. This gives me some different reactions.
- I'm glad he is no longer suffering - Alzheimer's is a very debilitating condition and I'm sure he was frustrated by its effects.
- I'm glad for some of his policy successes, primarily the ending of the Arms Race between America and Russia. The risk of the world ending under a rain of nuclear missiles is now vastly reduced - thanks.
- Anger at some of his policies - giving weapons to Iran is the first that comes to mind, but there are others.
- Respect for him as a skilled politician, a speaker who could hold an audience with his voice and a teller of stories and jokes that made many negotiating sessions work well.
Goodbye Ronald. May you receive whatever you deserve in any afterlife.
Work / Next Week
I'm spending a few days working on a "Due Diligence" project. Having bid for some work from a new client we (and one or more competitors) have to produce a report validating the assumptions we made in our bid. For a combination of "political" and practical reasons I'm not actually going anywhere near the client but am spending most of my time getting frustrated at the lack of information I'm receiving about the bit of work I'm supposed to be doing. I have another two days of this to complete this week - hopefully they'll be a little more productive than the last three.
On Wednesday I expect to be in London, in the City in a building that is a prime terrorist target :) No point in worrying about this, just have an awareness of what is around and check anything suspicious.
On Thursday I'll be starting off in my London flat. I have to swap my company car for a hire one whilst it is away being repaired from where a woman skidded into me. [she was in a car at the time :) ] The car has been photographed by the repair company and had insurance assessors inspect it so now we can actually go ahead with the repair. It's not that much work; most of the damage is on one panel around the passenger-side rear wheel but there is a little damage to the rear door as well. Lucky it wasn't a little further back or it would have damaged the petrol filler and maybe petrol tank. Hmm ... that could have been fun!
On Thursday I also have to cast my votes for the Mayor of London and for European representative. I also will be trying to get down to Southampton for Morris practice in the evening.
Then Friday ... back to Cardiff I think but not sure yet.
After a comment or two I've decided to try and do more "chatty" entries, after all you are reading this 'cos you want to know what is going on in my life right? Or maybe you just like the silly quizes I do? OK, I'll have to have a poll to see what people want to see in my journal. Mind you I don't guarantee to change my journal style just to please you but it would be interesting to know what people think about it.
The other side of my decision is that I will probably only post one of these longer chatty entries once or twice a week. I'll still try and read all my friends journals but I may have to drop some from my default reading list if I get too overloaded.
And so to bed :)
Peace to you all, sleep well and a good week to everyone.