Julia and I spent a very pleasant 9 nine days down at the Lodge with our son Lawrie and Emma his partner. Being with them encouraged us to go out more than we normally do - to be fair last year Julia had a bad leg ulcer which rather curtailed things. So for the first time this year we were able to enjoy the glorious Devon countryside. We even went horse riding on the moors, you see so much more from the vantage point of a horse's back and you don't have to worry about falling over when viewing the scenery (just falling off). Coupled with good food and beer it was a great break.
We have received several emails and telephone calls from our overseas friends and relatives. We are all OK and have been unaffected by the troubles. Fortunately our youngest son, Lawrie, who is a policeman is away on holiday and so has not been involved in trying to quell the riots. This is a great relief to Julia and I as you can imagine.
There have been many reasons put forward for the riots; the best one I heard was from a black pastor on TV. He said that many parents are now frightened to discipline their children for fear of social services descending on them; schools do nothing as many are put off by all the legislation; the police feel hindered by all the human rights lawyers that appear out of the woodwork. The result is a generation (or two) who have never known discipline. While this analysis may be simplistic I believe that there is a kernel of truth within it. Discipline must start in the home as does education.
Last week I had to go to Mainz in Germany to help with a class that was being run. Julia came with me so while I worked she went to see the various sites. Mainz is a lovely town; I have been about twenty times over the years but Julia has seen far more of it than me in just four days. We did manage a couple of evenings out with a colleague and his wife and saw some of the area as he had a car.
I am a retired Consulting IT Specialist. I have been married to Julia for 45 years and we are blessed with four children; David, Andrew, Lawrie and Hélèna. Not forgetting the "other half's"; Gaew married to Andrew, Lawrie's partner Emma and Hélèna's husband Sam.
In addition we have a grandson - Henry Thomas, son of Lawrie and Emma. Henry was three in April - time flies
I am now ordained as a Permanent Deacon in the RC Church - date of ordination 8 June 2013 so am now in my third year of ministry.