Slush Problem

Feeling I would not see Jane, Valentina and Sebastian again in this earthly existence, I wailed, yes that is the right word. Days feeling bad. Immovable phlegm too far for suction, nausea, the loss, sitting in a recent bowel movement, not eating, poor sleep, discomfort, the future. Jane holds me and rubs my heart. ‘Keep going, Daddy, Keep going, I am proud of you’, said Valentina. ‘You like it when I juggle’, said Sebastian, with three satsumas in the air. A change helps me feel a little better. That’s when I wrote The Last Post?, because I didn’t know if I’d get up again.

Over the last few days, I have been eating better. I now class a good day as being physically comfortable, and as being mentally and spiritually at peace. Each setback is harder to recover from.

We agonise over material and experience choices. When you face what I faced, It doesn’t matter. You’d be fine with either of the choices or one half the price. You’ll see what I mean. Some older Bulgarian, Romanian, East German and Russian staff tell me of joyful communist childhoods, where they were happy with what they had, and didn’t miss what they didn’t know existed.
Thank you for emails of support, and to Phil for re-routing his flight home, to be with us for a day.
You will know that I take an interest in the Skripal poisoning case. The UK government provided evidence that Alexander Petrov and Rusian Boshirov committed the crime, as shown in this Link. The Russian government interviewed the same two men, who visited, they say, Salisbury on a short holiday, as shown in this . I will not provide my view on which version of events I believe to be the truth. The non-Russian media and the Twittersphere have enjoyed highlighting the inconsistencies of the Russian version of events.

 

There is one element of the Russian version, which fascinates me, and which I will reach with some preamble. We always checked the weather forecast for our destination, and bought, then packed or wore the item as required. This is how Jane and I thought. However, some people don’t check the forecast and, if the place is quite near home, wear the same clothing. Petrov and Boshirov abandoned their first visit to Salisbury on March 3rd, because the footways were covered in knee high slush. Russians from freezing Moscow gave up on seeing the cathedral, because of slush. Maybe they are not the types to check the weather forecast. Why didn’t they go to a shop in Salisbury and buy Wellington boots? If I had come all that way to Salisbury to see the cathedral, I would not be defeated by slush, even knee high slush, whatever that is. These two wimps would not have pushed back the Germans in World War 2 on Russia’s western flank, they would have been at Costa Coffee in Leipzig station, waiting for the next train to Moscow. What I would have done, which we previously said is a dangerous way of thinking, is walked to the cathedral and spent a few hours inside. Instead, they were in the city for less than an hour, and spent about 45 minutes in Costa Coffee at the station.

They had allowed all of Sunday for London, but, instead, returned to Salisbury, to see the cathedral, Stonehenge and Old Sarum, possibly taking the three hour bus tour, which conveniently departs from the station. They spent two hours total in Salisbury, finding time to visit the Skripal’s road again, and Salisbury cathedral. They didn’t see the other sites, because the weather deteriorated, so near yet so far.

Back in Moscow, I imagine the men chatting with their cathedral loving friends about the trip, which cost €500 minimum, and explaining how they wre beaten by the weather. Wimps, the friends must have thought.

In the West, we believe that Glasnost and Perestroika were a good thing, but they represent a loss of Russian power in world affairs. This explains the love for Putin.

The story of the short holiday reminded me of the excuses fellow pupils would come up with for not doing homework, cross country runs and Wednesday afternoon sports.

Andrew Knowlman

I am a 50-year old father of two children, married to Jane. I live in Hertfordshire, UK. I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in April 2015.

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