I am not French, I am not a journalist and I can't draw. But events in Paris on 7 January were a direct attack on everything I believe. #JeSuisCharlie
I have been appalled by this attack on free speech and the murder of journalists, as well as that of innocent shoppers in a Kosher Supermarket and the Police Officers. I am surprised that my indignation has not lessened with the few days that have passed since. As I said on Twitter on the day, the events of 7 January 2015 were a direct attack on everything I was brought up to believe and still do.
Je suis Charlie.
But, on a lighter note...
After a bit of a fight, I managed to get my Mum to come down to stay for Christmas.
We had a quiet break, with many naps and much peace. Sadly, my mother is not able to walk far these days and going upstairs to bed leaves her gasping.
She seemed to enjoy the time away from the City, and at least the week out of her normal flat gave her something different to ponder.
No raised voices (once she was installed at mine) and a pleasant (almost staid) time was had.
Chris came for Christmas Day lunch, but we did not see James and Tara as they were visiting family in Suffolk.
I held the traditional Ratcliffe Boxing Day buffet tea with friends Michael and Dorothy Peat (my ex-landlords from way back when), who are good folks and easy company.
As usual, the Champagne Supersofa called me for a quiet NYE.
Midnight fireworks went on locally for 30 minutes this year.
Let's hope it's a good year, and let's be careful out there.
While I was at my Mum's recently, I took some snaps of these old family portraits. View the dedicated page by <CLICKING HERE>
In other news...
My supervisor had been struck down by a virus for the first week of the year, so with another colleague being out of action on Monday and my being out of the office since Christmas Eve, times were a bit hectic.
Then the supervisor at Canon Europe was taken ill, so there was a threat that I would have to cover at Stockley Park - luckily, this did not materialise.
Old friends in Europe... My old work colleague Ronnie Tan Toh Wee (from Singapore in one of my previous lives) was in Hemel Hempstead last weekend. He dropped me a text and we had an all too short catch up on Sunday evening. Good to see him (it has been a few years), and thanks are due for Chinese New Year cards and presents.
The chatting was over too soon as his jet lag and sinus problems kicked in and he had to get to his bed.
Cub Scouts A-Go Go
This term has kicked off with a Games Night.
We chose a 4 volunteers for the Cub Scout Cooking Competition which is in a few weeks (Cubs to prepare a 2 course meal for one from scratch, cooking on two double burners in approx 90 minutes, maximum cost £5).
Swimmers were also asked if they wanted to take part in the annual Swimming Gala (not sure when that one is).
All of which means that for the next three meetings, I will be helping and showing some Young People how to burn some meat in a controlled manner.