The start of this piece isn’t about Princess Michael of Kent, it’s about a piece of her jewellery. She wore a Blackamoor brooch (above) to a lunch a few years ago that Meghan Markle attended. Some will argue, and many did in 2017, that she was being racist by wearing the brooch.
I received a George Orwell book for Christmas, a slim volume entitled Why I Write (1946) and I read it in a day. I was intrigued by this social -middle class- democrat Orwell who was genuinely interested in and improving the life chances of the poor working class. I’d read Animal Farm (1945) and 1984 (1949) before I was fifteen or sixteen, and perhaps briefly joined the socialist party on the back of that, but I’d not read any of his other works. I immediately down loaded a gratis copy of Down and Out in Paris and London (1933) from the George-Orwell.org website and was blown away even from page one in chapter one by his novel-esque approach to autoethnography.
When my eldest son, Dominic, was killed by a drunk driver on October 4, 2013, our family unit imploded, and we lost perspective in everything; time, value, and in each other. We gladly inherited Lucy, Dom’s young Border Collie, and she became my wife’s focus, walking her 10k every day. It meant Susan could be on her own, thinking about her dead son, and away from me.
And breathe... Westminster has prorogued and has been suspended from sitting for five weeks. Or can we relax? Parliament, deeply divided on everything Brexit and beyond, are still swinging handbags on the radio, the TV, the media and in and out of court rooms this last week.