Sunday, 2 November 2014

Nothing is missing


A couple of years ago, these adverts started to appear around the place for the annual poppy appeal. The idea is that they make you feel something in response to not wearing a poppy.  "How would you feel if you weren't the one wearing a poppy?".

I resent the assumption that everyone wishes to advertise their charitable donations by wearing a visible symbol.  You simply can't assume that everyone who isn't wearing a poppy hasn't made a donation.

Wearing a poppy has become too empowered over the years.  No longer is it "something that some people wearing around this time of the year" but it's turned into a obligation. You do (genuinely) gets looks and stares and sometimes even get asked about it if you approach 11th November without wearing a poppy on your lapel.

I am a poppy-non-wearer.  I never wear a poppy.  But then again I never wear any other charitable symbol.  Not a red ribbon, nor a pink ribbon, nor a wristband or red nose.

Some people choose to make charitable donations and some don't.  But not everyone decides to advertise their favoured cause with an outward symbol.  If somebody wants to, then that's absolutely fine, but I think it's unfair to judge people for not wearing a charity symbol visibly.  It's fallacy to assume that lack of symbol means lack of donation, or worse - that it means lack of sympathy for the cause.

Personally, I consider charity a private thing.  I may or may not make donations to any particular cause - or to none at all.  But just because I don't choose to pin my donation to my lapel, please don't make any assumptions about which cause I do or don't support.

I may have donated to the annual poppy appeal, or I may not - but I don't see why I need to broadcast the fact to anyone either way.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The passing of time

I am starting to feel old.  I don't mean that I'm starting to creak and need to hold the banister when walking up the stairs, but I mean that things are happening around me to make me realise I'm not 20 anymore.

I mentioned on Facebook, the story of the survey on the phone, so apologies if you're already read it there, but I repeat it here as it didn't help stop me feeling old.

A guy called and was from a survey firm.  Having done a few such surveys before I actually don't mind doing them, and he said this one would only take a few minutes.  He asked me a few questions about Brazil, and whether I'd go on holiday there.  He asked whether I knew of any events happening in Brazil, and I said "I think the World Cup is in Brazil, but don't know whether it's happened yet. Has it?".  He then went on to ask me whether I went to the World Cup. I presume he was reading from a script rather than being that stupid.

Anyway, we got to the end, and although I'd said a few things such as not wanting to go to the Carnival in Rio, not particular being into nightlife, nor being into beaches, I didn't think I'd come across as particularly lifeless.  But when we reached the part of the survey where he gathers the demographic information, he decided to help me by narrowing down the age options "Are you 50 to 55, 55 to 60 or 60 and over?".  "I'm thirty nine" was my response.


And then on Friday night, we went to "Frankenstein: The Metal Opera".  It was rather good actually. Plenty of guitar twiddling and bombastic drumming.  Anyway, at the Box Office, they were offering ear plugs.  I declined.  Given I list to a lot of music, and have a studio at home where I record my own, I think any damage to my hearing thanks to listening to loud music has already been done.  But the lady at the box office was insistent "Why don't you take a pair, just in case you decide halfway through that it's a bit loud?".


I know I'm not young anymore, I really don't think I come across as being that old.  But these things just keep happening to me as if to act as signposts that death may well be nearer than birth for me now.  The weeks really are flying past more quickly than ever.  Even years are flying past at the rates I used to count the hours.  I blink and find that enough time as passed for the flowers in the garden to grow, blossom and fade.  Best before dates on items in the cupboard which seemed so far away as not to matter come around with disturbing regularity.


And so it seems as though I was young, a University, curious what life would hold in store.  And then I blinked and here I am, fast approaching 40, with my life running its course.  I'm not unhappy in life, I just wish I wasn't flying past me quite so quickly.