Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Iron lady (and some others)

Margaret Thatcher has died. She was Prime Minister for all my early childhood. I was too young to have any real opinion of her; she was just someone I saw on the telly a lot. She certainly polarised people: some (like my grandmother) thought she was Britain's saviour; others demonised her. If I'd been old enough to know and care what she was doing, I don't think I'd have been a fan. Yes she did make Britain a better place for some. Our family were perhaps some of the lucky ones. In the mid-to-late eighties Dad's paintings were practically flying out the door.

One thing's for sure: the Iron Lady was clever. For the big announcement that the Channel Tunnel project would be going ahead, she was called upon to deliver a speech in French. The snag: she couldn't speak a word of the language. No problem, someone gave her a quick crash course at Downing Street just before she hopped across the Channel. When she came to make the speech, she still didn't know what she was saying (she was just making noises according to some pronunciation guide) but those noises somehow combined to produce passable French.

Last night we had a special "games night" at the autism group. Tracy brought along a selection of games; the one we played was a collaborative game (a good idea, and something I'd never tried before) in which the object was to rescue people from a burning house. It featured an octahedral dice - I'd always wanted to play a game involving dice with more (or fewer) than six sides. We "won" the game by the skin of our teeth. The "house" was single-storey; when we finished I said it was crying out for another floor or two. Tracy said you can purchase an extension that provides just that. I was really pleased with the way Danielle seemed to come into her own as we played - she got to grips with the rules faster than I did. That's what's so great about a board game - everyone gets to participate more or less equally. That's far from what happens when people just talk.

I saw Julie tonight as I usually do on a Tuesday. I haven't seen her express this level of complete and utter hopelessness before. The only potential bright spot is that she should be moving out of the rest home soon.

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