23 December 2016

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Advent 2016

An old Chinese curse says, “may you live in interesting times!” Well I rather feel what with BREXIT, Trump, the refugee crisis caused also by the wars in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, the situation over the Crimea and the Ukraine, and the political situation in Turkey  we have been given it in Spades! What worries me too, is the way the Press in Britain has played a part in the rise of hate, racism and what amounts to fascism. Their manner of reporting is at best scandalous and at worst amounts to a crime. The future looks gloomy and dire, yet I have faith in the good in most humans and pray that we will weather the storm that is sure to come from all this.

Do write and tell me how you feel about the USA and their choice of President and what Brexit means for you. I fear for America and the world, for they may have just, like Germany in the 1930s,  unleashed a monster which they cannot control. It was a big mistake of the Democrat Party not to choose Bernie Sanders as the guy to go against Trump. After a Black President they were not ready for a female and especially not Clinton! If racism has risen despite a Black President what will happen now with a fascist and sexist at the helm?

The future for the UK looks dire or not depending on whether you are a Brexiteer or a Remoaner, as they seem now to be called. I am the latter! In my view you cannot leave a club and expect still to have all the benefits of membership! The club will not countenance such a thing. So I hope that the UK government trigger article 50 soon and then realise how bad it really will be and put the whole negotiated  question back to the people.  Perhaps then the 12m odd people who did not bother to vote will also get off their bums and now do so. The moral of the tale is be careful what you wish for!

My knees add to this equation on a very personal level and have also caused me much pain and heartache! First having to give up on my border walk was hard, but then more or less just sitting around, getting fat in the process, and waiting for doctor’s appointments was frustrating to say the least. So much so that I feel Christmas has crept up on me a bit too soon!

My right knee has lost most if not all of the cartilage on the left inside part and, though the pain is bearable, I am not able to hike any great distance with it. All the time I have been hobbling I have strained the left knee which now is also not able to hike great distances. Even cycling is painful on the knees! All in all a miserable state of affairs for an infantryman!!!     

So mechanical failure in this ’46 Model   Rolls-can-‘ardly  has shocked me to my core for I have suddenly felt very, very old!! Hobbling up and down steps has done it for me. I can’t do all the things I want to and now have to make compromises. I have maintained that I have the heart of a 12 year old boy, out for adventure and excitement. One who wants to discover the world anew like Columbus, or travel into darkest Africa to photograph (not shoot) the wild life like Quartermain. To my further dismay I have the eyes and sexual appetite of a 25 year old, but fully realise that my broken down body is that of a 70 year old so all these things are unrealistic! My one consolation is that I am not alone, for I am sure nearly every other 70 year old feels as I do!

But I am ever optimistic and am hoping that a replacement knee OP in the first part of next year, will give me a new lease of life and that I can go on my adventures again. On the basis of one knee at a time, I hope the right knee will be done before Easter. Then it may well be wait and see. Perhaps the left will calm down and I can hike with it? If I have my way then I will attempt to hike the Camino Portuguese after Easter on new knees!

In July I also hope to sail in UK waters with my Army chums for a week or so; in August  I plan with my chum Jürgen, to continue our paddle down the Weser. (No knees needed) The first weekend in September I am organising the annual reunion of the Old Comrades of the Nienburg Crew, hopefully in the Cologne/Bonn area.

Let me finish by wishing you and your  family a very Merry Christmas and New Year filled with hope, good health and much laughter.