An Early Morning History Lesson

It’s 4.30 am and I’ve been woken by the need to write; this time about three momentous events that have occurred this week.

The first is the decision by the Labour Party to hold another referendum on remaining or leaving the EU. A referendum that, if it is held, will be the third one. For those who are aware of their history, the first one was held in 1975 when we voted to stay in. As a matter of record, at that time, I voted to leave and have since changed my mind. So the referendum that was held nearly three years ago was, in fact, the second one that many Brexiteers tell us that we can’t have when, in fact, that’s what they had in 2016. Just a thought.

The next one was my wife’s surprise birthday party last Saturday. Organised by our daughter and yours truly, we managed to keep it a secret; something I’m normally not very good at. It was, probably, the best party I’d ever attended and one that we have a video record of as a permanent reminder. We also have a book in which are recorded her friends’ thoughts about her. It is a little treasure trove.

Our daughter, Ellie and her boyfriend, Alan, had taken Gaynor to lunch so that we could get everything ready which we did. Seeing her response when she came into the room to be confronted by over 40 people. Family and friends stretching back to school days, some of whom had travelled 400 miles to be there. To see such love and affection was a joy and showed me that I’m not alone in my estimation of her. The fact that, when she walked in, they were wearing bee masks made it all so much more of a surprise. For those of you who aren’t aware, bees are Gaynor’s favourites.

The last one was Joan Baez’s farewell concert. Something which, again, gladdened the heart. Now aged 78, the voice may not be as achingly pure as it was when we were all so much younger but it was as powerful as ever as, was the message. As the years rolled away, I was reminded of my youth and a glorious age of enormous social change full of colour, hope, optimism and the most incredible music. Ms Baez did not disappoint and I was left with a lump in my throat on a number of occasions. Why can’t the world be like this all the time? Is that too much to ask?

So, it was a quiet person who journeyed home to a couple of glasses of wine and a comfortable bed. Until that early morning awakening and a determination to keep that spirit alive so that we don’t let succeeding generations down quite as much as we seem to be doing at present.

5.15 am and here endeth the history lesson.

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