The singing continued this morning when Hon. Grandaughter and I looked out of the window and saw the weather - it was lashing down with rain (and hail), and blowing a gale. We both started singing "Oh, the weather outside is frightful". Let it snow, indeed. So we didn't go and buy another goldfish, which was what she wanted to do. In fact we didn't do much except get a bit of shopping in Tesco's (she chose Twiglets and a magazine) and go to a local Artist's studio to pick up the things I bought on my Christmas shopping trip yesterday. We tried to visit BBF's two cats, but having dropped the key in the coal-hole in the dark yesterday evening, I also discovered that the front door had been double-locked, so couldn't get in anyway. BBF and her husband are in New York for a few days as a belated Anniversary treat, and someone else is feeding the cats, so it wasn't critical, just frustrating.
This morning I was mortified to hear that Advertising is the latest target for a Ministerial enquiry. Now it will be "A Copywriter's place is in the Wrong." Actually, I agree with this in principle. I do think it's appalling that children (or their parents) should be persuaded to buy the rubbish we see advertised on TV generally, and especially what's being put out during Childrens' programmes. How much attention they actually pay to Advertising, I'm not sure, but I do think that both clients and Agencies have got away with too much for too long. I have always tried to be ethical and responsible in what I have written over the years, and often refused to work on things that I didn't approve of. I'm not sure that it actually made much difference but it made me feel better about myself. I wouldn't work on cigarette ads, for example, although I had smoked when I was younger. I just didn't feel it was right to encourage young people (or any people actually) to smoke.
Talking about being in the wrong (again), Daughter and I had a bit of a run-in last week, while I was working on my Advertising rubbish. She and Grandson came over to see me on a ghastly rainy morning, and I took a couple of hours off to socialize. When it came time to go, she assumed that I would drive them home and drop them off (which is what I normally do), but I said "Oh no,I must get back to work." This was not what Daughter wanted to hear, and she threw a wobbly which meant that we ended up shouting at each other - with Grandson looking on. I hate that more than anything, and offered to take them anyway, but by then Daughter was in full flood and couldn't stop herself. It spoiled a perfectly nice couple of hours, and I shouted after her "Don't take it out on that boy." But, of course, I still felt that I was in the wrong - even though I knew that I was being perfectly reasonable - and I was working and she wasn't!
There was a programme on Radio 4 this morning about Farmers and how they slaughter their animals. I didn't really want to listen, but found I couldn't turn it off. One Farmer was explaining how he is commercially viable because he sends something like 400 or 500 lambs in one go, in a lorry down to Dorset (from Yorkshire), to be slaughtered for the overseas market. It must be a hellish journey for those lambs -
and their poor mothers must wonder where they have all disappeared to.
My reader in Red Deer, Alberta has actually been in touch, and I have now read her Blog, which is just amazing. I know that we all have different lives and different stories, but hers is so outside my comprehension, and so painful to read, that I felt a physical reaction as I tried to absorb what she had written. Nothing that I have experienced can begin to compare with what she has endured and survived. I felt that I was intruding on something utterly private, but I also understood that writing it down was helping her to come to terms with it. Full of admiration for her bravery, full of sadness for her suffering, and feeling utterly inadequate, I'm going to bed.