Walking…walking…

As I sit here in my quiet house, the Wonder Dog asleep on the top of my recliner and the birds chirping in my garden, thousands (some say, millions) of Shia Muslims are walking, walking, walking on a pilgrimage to Karbala in Iraq. They do it to honour Imam Husayn Ibn Ali who, in the 7th century, was killed while taking a stand against tyranny and oppression. Some of the pilgrims have walked for over a fortnight. They have walked through a couple of nations or more. (I have my groceries delivered because I have trouble walking around a supermarket!) They walk, knowing that they will be attacked by ISIS. In fact, this year, over 60 pilgrims have already been killed and ISIS threaten to keep attacking them, so there will be more. They walk, knowing their lives are at risk. They are frightened, they are ignored by the rest of the world, they are simple, ordinary people, taking a stand for what they believe is right. I’m in awe. ISIS have killed thousands of Shia Muslims. They don’t just kill Christians and Jews. They kill anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their form of Islam. It reminds me of the days when Catholics and Protestants took turns oppressing and killing each other. Thankfully, those times ceased several centuries ago. Islam has yet to catch up to the idea that two ideologies, that have the same foundation but have gone slightly different routes since inception, could actually get along. You know, it is possible to think and believe differently to someone else and still be friends. It’s possible to peacefully co-exist in spite of differing political views. All we have to do is choose to be patient and kind, and focus on the things we have in common. Oh, and one other thing: don’t be so obsessed with having power and being in control. It’s do-able. One person at a time. Meanwhile, I pray for the safety of those pilgrims, bravely walking into ISIS territory, to celebrate a man who died for peace, kindness and...

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I’m back.

I’m baaa-aaack! I was going to say something about the kingdom of Trump but, you know what, I’ve decided not to. America has chosen and now Mr Trump has the opportunity to be the best president they’ve ever had – just as he has promised – or he won’t. Only time will tell. I wish you well, USA. The world is watching with bated breath. There’s a plethora of things going on in the world that I could address, but I won’t. I think that most of us are suffering sensory overload. These days we are constantly bombarded by news, opinions, gossip, misinformation and the venom of cyber trolls. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is what has contributed to the swing towards the far right in a lot of countries. People have got sick of hearing about everyone’s problems and they just want to get inside their bunkers and pull the shades down. So, instead, I’m going to do a little bit of quiet, private (for now) celebrating. It’s my birthday next Tuesday. I’ll be mumbley-mumble years old and, quite frankly, there was a time when I didn’t think I’d get to be that old. Next week it’ll be five years since I was told the cancer was back and it’s incurable. FIVE YEARS!!!  Whoop! Whoop! I realise there may be some who receive that information with mixed feelings but as for me, I’m delighted. I’m grateful. I’m even just a tad happy. Let’s not forget that in the midst of misery, disappointment and even fear, there are still good people, happy events and moments of joy. Happy birthday to me!  ...

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While I’m gone…

The Old Boy, the Wonder Dog and I are heading into the wilds of South-Western Victoria for a week of peace and quiet. While we’re gone I expect you all to behave. America: the rest of us are watching you with a mixture of bemusement, confusion and a touch of horror. You seem to be imploding. Please make a wise decision on November 8. When we get back I do not want the Apocalypse to have started…as so many of you are suggesting will happen if your candidate isn’t elected. For goodness sake, pull yourselves together – if only for the children’s sake. Russia: stop meddling in other people’s business. You’re big enough and old enough to know better. UK: Brexit seems to be hanging around like a bad cold. For goodness sake, make a decision and then stick with it, whether the results are uncomfortable or not. Syria and Iraq: what a mess! Just wait until your father gets home! Australia: get your head out of the sporting magazines and have a look at what’s going on around you. I know how much sport means to you – I’m partial to it, myself – but there are bigger things, more important things, life-impacting things that are going on, and you need to get involved. I’m expecting big things of you all; don’t let me down....

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