An Uncle’s Pride

It’s been difficult this last week in the wider Dookes family.

My Sister in law’s mother, Sally, passed away after a long and sometimes painful illness.

Today was her funeral.

The service was the normal affair for our part of the world, nothing extravagant, but full of love, remembrance and gratitude for the life of Sally.

During the service the eulogy was beautifully and courageously given by my niece Kerenza and a poem read with determined passion by nephew Christopher.

My eyes filled with tears and my heart bubbled with emotion, not for Sally who had a full and happy 79 years, but with pride and admiration for those two fine young people publicly expressing their love for their departed Grandmother.

The two children I knew had grown up; there stood adults, ready to carry the flame onwards.

I came away knowing that in one part of the world, the future was in good hands.

Ageing Gracefully My Ass

Yesterday, whilst undertaking my latest Blogging University Assignment, I stumbled onto an hilarious and cathartic website that tackles, with some relish, the thorny issue of ageing!

Titled “Aging Gracefully My Ass” (sic), I knew it looked promising from the start…

Then I found this post and my day changed totally! First howls of laughter, but as I began to type a reply I also started to reflect on the deeper message in the post.

Ageing is something that many of us in the “developed nations” sort of take for granted, almost an assumed ‘Right’ if you like. Looking at the World Health Organisation statistics for 2012, the gulf between the top male life expectancy, Japan 84.6 years, and the lowest, Sierra Leone 38, is simply mind-blowing. I was interested to see that Andorra, where I passed through last summer, is actually second best in the list at 84.2 and top for women at 87.6; maybe I should have enquired about staying!

As part of the whole ‘taking it for granted’ thing, perhaps that is why we are always so shocked, almost affronted, when someone is denied that right of attaining the basic ‘three score and ten’; either by illness, natural disasters, war etc.. Certainly my visit to the War Graves in Northern France last spring underlined the horrific numbers there that were denied that ‘right’. Hey though this is getting a bit too heavy…

What I love about my new blogging friend’s site is the optimism conveyed to the reader. True it does address the problem of friends and contemporaries snuffing it; check out my own posts for evidence of that, but not in a morbid way. This is not a self-pity tome but more a celebration of life and living that life to the full, every day! Isn’t that what life should be about anyway?

By today that one post has attracted over forty comments, which is fantastic, clearly a chord has been struck amongst us Baby Boomers! In fact my new blog chum has pointed out that I really need to modify my own blog tag to incorporate one of my comments; thanks AGMA I will!

These days I like to follow the mantra that Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones once said when someone asked him how he was; “Oh, just glad to be!”

The main thing to remember is that tomorrow the sun will rise: Aim to be there to see it.

Catch you all tomorrow, at dawn!


Liberté, égalité, fraternité.

Liberty, equality, fraternity – the motto of France.

A nation that has this week been rocked by a number of unprecedented savage attacks against its citizens.

As many of you will know France is also a nation that I love deeply.

I love it’s geography,
I love it’s gastronomy,
I love it’s history,
I love it’s traditions,
I love it’s language;

but most of all I love it’s people.

I am blessed to have many friends throughout France and my thoughts and emails have been with them all during these past dark days.

To your motto I add one word from me: Solidarité.
Pour ta devise je ajoute un mot de moi: Solidarité.

I stand with you my friends. Je suis avec toi mes amis.


Vive La France!

Je suis Charlie.