Sunday, 16 December 2012

Never again

I read something on Facebook about a shooting, and I must admit, I thought "Oh, not another one". From a distance, it's possible to become somewhat hardened to mass shootings in the US.

Then I saw a news headline about what happened in Newton and felt sick to my stomach. It's not a parent thing, it's a human thing - because what person wouldn't feel appalled and upset?

It's incomprehensible. I can understand the sort of twisted logic that might prompt a bullied high school student to lash back at his peers in the worst possible way - still inexusable and horrific though it is. A grown man slaughtering children is just beyond any understanding.

Yet it's the second time it's happened in the comparatively short number of years I've been on Earth. The mass murder at Dunblane happened when I was a teenager. You have to wonder what sort of planet has produced not just one, but two, entities of evil like Hamilton in less than 20 years.

After Dunblane, school security became massively tighter here. Parents who'd previously been lax about uniform demanded it be enforced, heavy doors were fitted at the entrances to school buildings. Gun law also massively tightened up and is becoming tighter still; there's no "right to bear arms" culture here, and many in the shooting lobby agreed that, if it prevented another school massacre, it was worth it (and these measures have been very effective).

But that's for people in the US to think about, another day. Right now all my thoughts are with those poor children, their teachers and their families. I wish I could think of something I could do to make a difference, but really, there is nothing and no-one that can heal those wounds right now.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Royally irritated

I thought I'd stop feeling that old flash of pain at someone's pregnancy announcement, and I mostly have. But for some reason, news that Kate and Wills are expecting is irksome.

I guess there are multiple reasons, some to do with infertility, some to do with the whole OTT madness.

The recent indicent where a royal fan gave Prince William a babygrow was absolutely cringe-inducing. Who does that? She might as well have handed over an ovulation tester and some folic acid, and perhaps some condoms with a pin stuck through the middle. But I bet the woman in question is all very smug about it now. Which is annoying.

Then there's the media coverage. As far as we know, this is an early pregnancy announcement. But the BBC have gone into full gush mode. I read yesterday on their website that the baby will grow up to be the head of the Church of England, the British Armed Forces, the monarch of however many Commonwealth countries, and much more besides.

But it's an embryo, for Christ's sake. It hasn't even been born yet. And aside from me feeling a bit superstitious about going overboard with early congratulations, there's no guarantees that, by the time whoever is currently baking is ready to take on the throne, that there will still be a Commonwealth, that the British monarch will still be the head of the C of E, and all the rest. I mean, the wee one's grandad still hasn't had his shot at being the head honcho yet, and during the next few decades some of the Commonwealth might reasonably decide to be republics, and there might not even be a UK as we know it.

Embryo might marry an American divorcee, renounce all royal ties and hang about fascist dictators - these things are not unknown. Or he or she might even convert to Catholicism, which, if I remember rightly, would rule him or her out of the whole kinging or queening business.

And there's the endless chat on Facebook. Loads of people on my feed apparently think it's very funny a woman got admitted to hospital with severe morning sickness.

So, I hope the baby arrives safely. It must be crap being that ill when you're pregnant, and having to press release the news in case someone sees you in hospital and leaks it, rather than telling people in your own time.

I also sincerely hope that we're not going to get daily news bulletins about how the pregnancy is progressing. And I feel a bit sorry for all the women out there who are going through IF and dreading getting someone's pregnancy rubbed in their face in the most out there way imaginable.