What did we learn this summer?

With that nip in the air and Clarkes shoe boxes piled in the porch, we realise that time of year has crept up again. So with back to school upon us and the bile riding in my throat, I feel it’s time to reflect and reminisce with a summer review. In the spirit in all things educational: with the casting off of flip flops, shorts and bikini (only bikini in Greece may I add – no one needs to see that in my home town); with the alarm being turned back on (…runs to throw up at the thought…), proper grown up clothes and actual shoes being aired ready, and the donning of the teacher’s metaphorical hat, I want to understand what has been learnt this summer?

Bolt is not infallible. Winners get booed and Mo does get flustered.
The World Championships helped fill an Olympic sized hole in my summer. It also got me running every day again and subsequently gaining another hamstring injury. I learnt that, try as I might, I’m no Olympian.

Jack the Shetland pony can help people with dementia.
This is the wonderful story of how animals have been, yet again, proved to help people. I could now rhapsodise about Rosie Dog and her ability to soothe and heal. I could also go on about how our Nan is calmed by her…however, what I will say is,they need to find a cure for this horrible disease – it can’t come soon enough.

It’s 25 years since Eldorado – did anyone watch it? Nope, didn’t think so!!
This was the video which seemed to haunt the BBC News page for days. No idea why? No one watched the show and I bet even less watched to clip. It must have been a slow news week.

The media couldn’t leave Diana alone.
20 years on ft that awful day and they’re still digging. We all shed so many tears and mourned her. Surely it would have been far more fitting for the media to look back at all the good things she did? Why not let her family remember her fondly? Oh that’s right, because the likes of Paul Burrel are skint so they want to capitalise, yet again, on the poor woman’s memory!

On a more personal note I learnt that drinking one jug of iced coffee a day can send you slightly crackers and jittery…
Whilst Little E tried her hardest to learn to use the word ‘irony’ correctly, Him learnt that the A1 to Newcastle is a Very Long Road at 2 in the morning, and the middle one learnt what a streaker was at the World championships; we all learnt (my family and I) what it is to experience a 6.8 earthquake (we thought it was the wine). Seriously though, this sobering experience reminded me what a scary and wondrous world we live in.

Earthquakes, Hurricane Harvey, South Asia monsoon bringing unprecedented flooding and devastation; all natures way of keeping us on our toes. The big stuff which we can’t control. Scary isn’t it? That we live in such a brilliant, beautiful and diverse world and yet try as we might to predict and control we are no match for the elements. What we are good at though is being strong, brave and helpful. I can’t be alone noticing the apparent lack of racial segregation and hatred coming from the images and reports in Texas over the past week. Yet two weeks earlier, In Charlottesville, huge questions were being raised on Americas stance on race hate: had they digressed so far that it was now acceptable to treat fellow man in such a way – all because of the colour of their skin? America’s battle with white supremacy seemed to dissipate when the shit hit the fan. To see all men coming together regardless of who or what they are, showed the true strength of man. Reminding us all of the meaning of equality. Texas, known for being Trump’s stronghold, put two fingers up to all those that judge and came together as one. And Trump et al, unlike the Bush administration who ignored Katrina’s devastating impact on New Orleans, threw all they had at the situation. Although, I did raise my eyebrows at the First Lady turning up in ridiculously high heels – was is a faux pas to wear inappropriate foot wear when every man, his dog and even news crews were rescuing stranded citizens?

Anyway, what Trump did do during such times was focus on his country. Something which, to his credit (can’t stand him but…) he did with strength and determination. He let his mouth shut whilst N. Korea were waving their weapons around for attention again. (What was it I said about man? I’m not sure Kim Jong Un got the memo). Trump showed that deep down he was a businessman at heart and that when your business is in trouble, you send in the troops.

But, this is the thing, in learning how powerful Mother Nature is we also learnt how dangerous man is. Terror stacks were both attempted and foiled this summer. Having to explain, yet again, to my children what had happened in a place which held such happy memories for them – Barcelona. Then being awoken (again) with a BBC Breaking news (Him hadn’t muted the iPad again) informing us that N. Korea had carried out another nuclear test. And that got me thinking because although we constantly evolve, learn, understand and move forward, Kim Jong Un seems to have missed the lessons we learnt at the end of WWII. Now, as old as I may look I was not around them BUT and this is the big one – we all know that none of what happened should never happen again. The quotation goes ‘the more we learn about the past, the better we can plan for our future’.

So what did I really learn? Nothing new really but a sense that to lead a good life, one we are proud of, we need to be mindful of each other. New term, new season, new start…let’s do this!


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