April 24th, 2012

The Daily Round

We drop Ailz's mother at the front of the hospital and then take the car for a wander. We've been doing this long enough now to know where we're most likely to find a parking place. At weekends it's easy; the office staff aren't in and the outlying car parks are empty. Some week days, though, every double yellow line is occupied. Experience suggests there's no-one policing the mis-parks, but we're mostly risk averse. We'd prefer not too break the rules too blatantly, or squeeze ourselves into a space so narrow we're likely to get our paintwork scraped. One time we found a disabled space that had been sealed off with plastic barriers and it seemed so random and we were having such a frustrating time that I got out the car and shifted them to one side. I paid for this- spending the visiting hour worrying that the placer of the barriers would ticket us or put our windscreen through or park behind us and block us in. 

Yesterday we arrived at the ward to find Eric had been taken away for a scan, so we sat in the echoey side-ward and chatted about I'm not sure what- nothing as interesting as haunted sideboards, though- and I played a game,  throwing my cap up over the curtain rail and catching it on the far side with my other hand.  Eric was wheeled back in asleep (or pretending to be asleep) just before it was time for us to go. 

Crimes Of Empire

George Monbiot has a piece about the hidden crimes of the British Empire- with special reference to what we did in Kenya. I'm linking to it because I'm its target audience- a Brit who would really, really prefer not be told about this stuff.

Within a few years of the end of WWII we were treating a recalcitrant subject population exactly as the Nazis would have done: concentration camps, torture, mass executions. Afterwards we destroyed the evidence.

I remember the Mau-Mau. The BBC and the national press sold us a narrative about plucky white farmers being threatened by cruel sub-humans who wanted to cut them up with machetes. We had relatives who were white farmers- one of whom shot a man in disputed circumstances. He later moved to the States and ran some sort of spa hotel.

If I'd been a little older or National Service had lasted a little longer I too might have found myself out in the colonies with a beret and a gun and a bad case of racial superiority.