Extreme weather for this part of the world,
which has brought both wonderful and unfamiliar beauty
to our humdrum lives;
- and not a little difficulty and anxiety for many.
Then difficulty and anxiety of another sort
brought ugliness to our streets.
I watched the television coverage of the clashes
between students and police with tears in my eyes.
I know the genuine anguish behind the protests,
and the frustration that the peaceful protests
should be hi-jacked by activists
intent on causing damage, and injury.
(For those who do not know, student fees in England
are due to increase exponentially,
despite pre-election promises that there would be no increase,
and although the loan system for student repayment of loans
has been changed, it is again
lower income groups who will be barred from higher education.
I should add that working your way through Uni
in this country is not the option it is in the States.
We have never been a country where part time work is easy to come by,
and certainly not at the moment.)
I know the desperation of the police,
to be seen safeguarding public order;
however I abhor the increasing evidence
that we are moving towards a society where
every attempt at legitimate protest is met with shows of excessive force.
There are routine removal of basic human rights,
when access to lavatories, and medical aid
are routinely barred to protesters.
Now an police investigation will take place,
and, (especially as royalty became embroiled), security overhauled.
Worst of all perhaps,
for whatever reasons seem good to them,
our representatives in Parliament have, yet again,
been seen to be un-trustworthy.
As one woman on a programme dealing with current affairs put it,
" How can we ever believe politicians again?"
So the dark days of winter gather around us.
Not a very cheerful post for a weekend you may say.
Well, in the midst of the gloom I found
this light sabre
in my garden.
The sunlight of the cold
morning struck this blade of cordyline
and made it shine out
in a way the camera
could not possibly capture.
At the head of the post
you see my fragile white bells continue
to shine gracefully under their
blanket of ice crystals.
The world goes on.
There is a strength and resilience,
and a hunger after honesty
and fair dealing that is,
I believe, shining deeply at our core.
Do not discount our ability to rise from our difficulties again,
re-newed from the gloom.
We have done it before.
My motto is always,
Have a weekend.of renewal and hope