Saturday, November 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Alice - Twenty-one

Graduation with Jorg

Wedding with Dad

Alice with Emma

My youngest daughter, Alice, is twenty-one today. Although I had already passed my parental responsibilities on to her husband, Jimmy, two years ago this December, it is still a poignant moment to see one's children pass into formal adulthood. I'm not sure how significant a date it is these days as there is little that Alice has not been able to do before the "key of the door". Married and with her own little responsibility, Emma; taking college courses part-time and working; and making a home with her husband. Great responsibilities at a young age, and with so much of life still to come. My other four children, Alice's half siblings, two boys and two girls are well into adulthood, but I worry for their well being, especially in such troubled times. Of course I find it hard to imagine they can survive without constantly being told what to do, but they all seem to have made their niches in life. Alice, I am sure, will make hers as she, like me, adapts to her country of choice, by bringing to it a British perspective. If I was to give any advice (and I'm not sure I am all that qualified) it is that we pass this particular way only once, so make the most of opportunities, be true to oneself, and treat the world as you would wish to be treated yourself. The following is one of those Hallmark card type of sayings but has always appealed to me:

Dance like there's nobody watching
Love like you'll never get hurt
Sing like there's nobody listening
Live like it's heaven on earth
And speak from the heart to be heard.

Happy Birthday sweetheart, enjoy the day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New Dawn?

Relax this is not a political post, and we do not espouse political ideology of any variety on the blog. But it would be a nonsense not to reflect on, regardless of your political color, the momentous occasion that we saw tonight. Here were two adversaries the one, gracious and statesmanlike in defeat, offering the hand of bipartisan support; the other equally statesmanlike, accepting it and offering a path to uniting a troubled country in trying and difficult times. A defining moment in US history, that I am sure struck a chord across a world that has been less than receptive to the America of the last few years.

This is not a time for triumphalism, or sackcloth and ashes. As we have commented in previous posts, life is going to be difficult for a while and whoever had won the Presidency was going to have a rough ride. Being able to put aside differences and work together is going to be the key to success. If that also makes for a successful President,whose political philosophy you disagree with, then so be it. After all Presidents come and go! But to make this great country both strong and respected once again will take the combined efforts of those who are the engine room of the USA - the American people.

We rejoice at the opportunity presenting itself, along with all the millions of citizens who made this night possible, and who represent the wonderful kaleidoscope of ethnic and cultural ancestry that make up the United States of America.