I'm not sure who it was that said it, but someone did once say that everyone has at least one good book in them. The problem that I see with this is the definition of good. Some people would rave about Mills and Boon, whereas I would rather gouge out my eyes with a blunt rusty nail than subject them to one word of what I consider to be dross.
I am very envious of my friend Neil, the author of Speedbumps, as he is endeavouring to write a book about his time at school. I believe he has the self-discipline to achieve this goal, even if it does take ten years to complete.
I, on the other hand, seem to lack this sort of self-motivation, as evidenced by my year of CBA when it came to writing this, although there are occasions when I think that certain events would make a good book or could be included in a story. It’s just finding the time on top of everything else to sit down and do it.
However, I did make the time last weekend to write one important thing, a letter to Alec. I have heard from him a couple of times, and it was no surprise that he was somewhat tired. At the moment, he seems to be averaging 3-4 hours’ sleep a night, although that will improve as he gets further into the course.
I was not the only one to write, though, as his sister has also written and I know that he received that letter, because he told her when he telephoned her on her birthday on Thursday.
That's something that I find difficult to believe. It’s bad enough that my eldest child will be 20 this year, but my youngest is now a teenager. I can't help but wonder what has happened to the last thirteen years, and marvel at how quickly they have passed, taking my daughter from the baby floating in the birthing pool to the confident, independent-minded young lady that I now see.
For her birthday, I finally succumbed to her constant pleading and allowed her to have her ears pierced. The look on her face when the earring was fired through her ears made me wish that I'd got my camera with me.
It’s quite a busy time for birthdays, with Maggie's on Thursday, mine today and m'Julie's in two weeks. Again, it’s looking back at the speed with which time is passing, as it doesn't seem like 31 years since I was celebrating the birthday that she celebrated on Thursday, and it is incredible to remember all that has happened in that time.
One fairly significant event from my life was brought to the fore again this week with the resumption of the Iraq Inquiry, and Tony Blair (or B Liar as he's referred to on the Army Rumour Service) returning to answer further questions, although from what I can see, although he spoke a lot, he didn't actually say very much. Perhaps if the private correspondence between him and Bush had been released, then more light would have been shed on the whole business.
My take on the whole subject, as someone who found himself in Iraq in late-2003, is like so many others who were out there. Did the regime need to be replaced. Yes. Were the majority of the Iraqi people happy to see an end to the way in which their country was being run? Again, yes. Did the Iraqi regime have access to the claimed weapons of Mass destruction, and did Blair and Bush really believe that these weapons really existed. To both questions, I think that the answer has to be no. And, most importantly, had he and Bush and their advisors come up with a post-conflict plan to ensure that there would be stability in the region. No, of course they didn't, which is largely why Iraq degenerated into the mess it became.
So why did the British Prime Minister support US plans to invade. I guess that we'll never know, but I truly believe that he was not acting in the best interests of the country when he made the decision to do so. I suspect he was more concerned about his future career prospects, making sure that he had friends in high places. As for him finally expressing his regrets for the loss of life that resulted from his decisions eight years ago, I have to agree with the person in the public gallery who shouted "Too late!" I think it’s a pity that he seems to be walking away from this scot free.
However, at least not all corrupt politicians are getting away with things, all be it on a much smaller scale than Tony, as two weeks ago David Chaytor, the first of the MPs convicted as a result of the expenses scandal in 2009, was sentenced to eighteen months in prison for fraudulently claiming £20,000. Again, it’s a pity that with the current policy on sentencing etc, this crook will probably be out of prison and cashing in on his criminal activity in the form of books and lecture tours in about six months.
Eric Illsley, another of these criminals has also finally resigned having been convicted, although he is still awaiting sentencing. Let’s just hope that all of these thieves end up serving custodial sentences, and not just getting slaps on the wrist.
So now I'm about to have my "birthday tea", and m'Julie's even making me a cake (she sold her first cake just before Christmas and is open for orders). Not helping with my efforts to lose weight so that I fit in my mess kit for the dinner in two weeks, but, not being Royalty, I only have one birthday a year, so I'm going to enjoy it.
It’s just a pity that No.1 Son is the only one not here to enjoy the food, although he has telephoned. He's still knackered, still being worked hard, and still enjoying it. And if he's reading this, no, there probably won't be any cake left over when he comes home in three weeks.