Being Scottish, I do not handle heatwaves well. Add to this the fact that the humidity seems to make my asthma almost unbearable at times and it explains why I am indoors writing this at 18:15 on an absolutely gorgeous evening.
The Government announces that ID cards will never be compulsory for British citizens, causing me to ask once again what the point of them is?! By this stage it really seems that the sole reason for them progressing in any form whatsoever is that Gordon Brown doesn’t want to be seen to be making a massive u-turn.
So, Michael Jackson. I was genuinely saddened by this – it’s hard to imagine that there are many Westerners of my age who didn’t grow up with his music and the sheer spectacle of his life providing a backdrop. I had tickets to see him at the O2 and I was hugely excited by it – not least because he was the final one of my original musical idols that I had yet to see. One hugely heartening thing about it is that the outpouring of love for him as an entertainer has felt so genuine and powerful. I walked through Trafalgar Square on Friday and there was a large gathering of people listening to his music, singing and dancing along, while passers by stopped and joined in for a few minutes before continuing on their way. This wasn’t grief for grief’s sake. Hell, it wasn’t even grief at all. It was a celebration of a man whose work brought joy to millions of people, and it brought out the best in so many. Even my brother was inspired to send me a touching message about the way that life that throw you curveballs and the need to appreciate people while they are here. It made me feel good, feel that people aren’t as bad as we are always being encouraged to think they are. When it matters, most can drop the scorched earth irony and cynicism.