Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King was murdered on April 4th 1968 in Memphis, USA by a man called James Earl Ray.

Ray was known to harbour a strong hatred for black people, though in 60’s America, this was not a strange thing.  The KKK was prevalent in many states, though there is no evidence of Ray joining the Klan.

King was a religious minister who had become a widely outspoken leader in the black peoples’ civil rights movement during the 50’s and 60’s.  He received the Nobel peace prize in 1964, for his work in fighting for equality through non violent methods.

He was an obvious target for white supremacists such as Ray.

King was visiting Memphis to give a speech about a proposed demonstration for civil rights, when he was killed.

He had checked into his hotel, and gone onto the balcony to take some air, when Ray fired one shot at him from his rifle.  The shot struck King in the face, and he fell to the floor.

A number of other civil rights members were in the hotel room and rushed out when they heard the shot.  He was taken to a nearby hospital and operated on, but he died later that evening.

Ray fled the scene after firing only the one shot, driving to Canada, where he obtained a fake passport.  He travelled on said passport for two months before being arrested at Heathrow Airport in London.

After being sent back to the USA to stand trial, Ray pled guilty to the murder, therefore avoiding the death penalty.  He was sentenced to a full life term, and died in prison almost 30 years later, from natural causes.

Who knows whether Ray planned to kill King that night, perhaps he saw him on the balcony and took a fatal spur of the moment decision.  Maybe others were involved in helping him, or maybe he worked alone.

But I ask, what gave him the right to even think about taking the life of another person that day?  Whether pre-planned or a ‘lucky shot’, he played God with the life of another person, when he took that gun into his hands.

I am not a fan of guns.  They get into the hands of people who do not fully understand or care about the consequences of using them, and innocent people lose their lives as a result.

It is a huge problem in America, but I read only yesterday that young people are also being shot on the streets of London.   A young girl died in the arms of her friends, all she had been doing was standing with them, and a car drove by, and BANG.  She had done no wrong.

There is a lack of respect for the lives of each other in today’s society.  It scares me and sickens me.

Plenty of illnesses and accidents take lives every day, but to deliberately take the life of another person?  I could never understand what must go through the brain of someone who does that.

There is an excuse in self defence, if someone threatens yourself or your family, then it could be understandable, such as the man who killed a burglar in his own home today.  And I will not claim that I have never hated anyone to the extent of wishing ill on them, that would be a lie.  But to take the precious gift of life from someone who has done no wrong, or fought only for good, as King did, is impossible to ever forgive.

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Arthur of Brittany

Young Arthur was born to Constance, Duchess of Brittany after the death of his father, the Duke.  This made Arthur the new Duke from the day of his birth.

His father was Geoffrey, a son of the English King Henry II.  His elder brother was Richard I (the lionheart), and his younger brother was John, who would become English King also.

When Arthur was around 3 years old, he was declared heir to his uncle Richard, should he die without heirs of his own.

Richard I died in 1199, while Arthur was only 12 years old.  It is said that Richard changed his mind about the succession on his deathbed and proclaimed John as his heir, thinking that Arthur was too young for the role.

Arthur and his mother fled to France for safety when John took the throne.

Three years later, Arthur attempted to retake his inheritance by invading Normandy.  He captured Eleanor of Aquitane, his grandmother and mother to King John, at Mirebeau.  The castle was besieged by Arthur’s men.  King John caught them by surprise and took Arthur as his prisoner.

He was initially taken to Falaise, then to Rouen, under the control of William de Broase.

King John was also staying at Rouen when his nephew was brought to the castle.  He is said to overseen the torture and eventual killing of young Arthur while there.  Some records even state that John actually killed Arthur with his bare hands and thrown his body into the River Seine.

Noone is entirely sure how or when Arthur died, though it is generally believed that he was killed in the first few days of April in 1203.

Maybe he even escaped and lived under the radar somewhere.

It is a mystery to rival the ‘princes in the tower’ !!

Falklands

On the 2nd of April 1982, Argentina sent an invasion force to the nearby Falkland Islands.

They claimed that the islands had always belonged to their country, so they were reclaiming their territory, from the British.

Unfortunately, most of the inhabitants of the Islands were British, or of British heritage, so Britain was bound to defend it.

Within a few days, Margaret Thatcher had convened a war cabinet in London and plans for evicting the Argentinians from the Islands were put in place.

Submarines and warships were deployed to the south Atlantic with orders to regard the area as a war zone.

The UN, EEC and USA backed British forces, with many South American countries backing Argentina’s forces.  Strangely, Chile sided with Britain, providing intelligence to London.

The war would only last for 74 days, but it would leave 650 Argentinians, 250 British and a few islanders dead.  Britain triumphed, sending the Argentinians limping home after their government surrendered on the 14th June.  It led to a wave of nationalist pride in Britain and Thatcher was returned to no 10 with a huge majority the following year.  Equally, the Argentine government was brought down shortly after their surrender.

More recently, a democratic vote in the Falkland Islands brought a majority over 90% wanting to stay as a British territory.  Argentina still claim to own them, but so far they remain British.

I often wonder if there is ever a point to wars and killing each other.  This particular war has always struck me as a waste of human life.

The Falkland Islands have their own government for their own people, why should any country claim control over that?  The people of any country of the world should have the right to have their own government, of their own choosing, to make the decisions for them.

Isn’t that only fair and right??

I’m baaaacccckkkk !!!!!

A little later than I had hoped, but I am finally back, with time to write this blog again!

Hello to any who have missed me.  I do still have the usual facebook and twitter handles if you want me, though my phone number has changed, anyone who wants that,please send a private message.

This year has so far sent my family a whole heap of illness, at one point I thought the sweating sickness had made a return just for us !!

I am sooooooo tired of cleaning up vomit.  Though as it is Easter egg day, there may yet be more of that tonight.

And there is a thought to leave you on ……………….  HAPPY EASTER.

Sad

Depression is a very difficult illness to cope with.

In too many instances, people try to hide their feelings from even their closest friends and family.  And far too often, they succeed in hiding this.

It is too easy to act the part of the life and soul of the party, make everyone believe that you are fine, and pretend to the world that nothing is stressing you at all.

But, hiding those feelings often doesn’t help the person.  Opening up to someone about these feelings can help in more ways than can be imagined.

It is sometimes hard to open up though.  Thinking that you will upset other people, that you will just be a problem for them, that your sadness is only for you to deal with by yourself, these are all common reasons for holding back and letting these feelings fester inside you.

When you are young and feeling depressed, it can be even harder.  Sometimes, you don’t understand yourself why you are sad.  You have a full life, friends, family, but you cannot lift that low mood inside you, which slowly eats away at you, making you feel useless, lonely, unwanted, unloved, a waste of time and space.

Too often, these feelings lead a person into that dark road that leads to suicide.

When you get to that point, it is often too late to ask for help, to tell someone how you feel.  You feel like you are doing other people a favour, that they will be better off without you around.  In most cases, this is totally untrue.

If one person out there in the blog world reads this and realises that they are depressed, or that they need help, then I have done a little bit for the world.

Death is difficult for anyone.

To cope with someone taking their own life, is far harder to everyone that is left behind.

Please be a shoulder to those around you, listen to them and offer to help.  Sometimes just the offer can make someone open up.

Above all, remember that life is precious.  No matter how down you feel, you matter to someone, somewhere.

Don’t give up, there is always a better day around the corner xxxx

longest reign

Two years ago, in 2015, our current Queen, Elizabeth II, overtook her great-great-grandmother in terms of the length of her reign.

When Queen Victoria died in 1901, she had reigned for 63 years, 216 days.

Queen Elizabeth’s reign currently stands at 65 years, 217 days.

Rumours abound about how much longer she may wear the crown of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

At the age of 91, it can possibly be understood why these questions might be asked.

Her mother lived to the ripe old age of 101, why should we not think that Elizabeth may survive for another decade, or more?

The most recent rumour that I have read, is that a regency will be set up once she reaches 95, and Charles will take control without the title of King.  Though by that time, the Prince of Wales will be well into his 70’s too, will his abilities be much better??

Many ask if Charles should even still be heir to the throne.  How can a divorced manbe the head of the church?  Besides the fact that he married a divorced woman, the fact which caused the abdication of his great-uncle Edward VIII, less than a decade ago.

Our country has changed dramatically since the abdication crisis, though has the monarchy changed as much?  It is a dated institution, but that is part of the allure.  England has had a monarch for centuries, the longest continual monarchy in world history, should it really change to such an extent to allow Charles’ accession?

Personally I do not have a problem with him becoming regent or King, though I do object to Camilla becoming Queen.  In previous posts I have compared her to Anne Boleyn, the Mistress who married a King and became Queen.  Diana was beloved of the country and many still find it difficult to think of her husband’s mistress wearing the crown that should have been Diana’s.  In my comparison that would make Diana into Catherine of Aragon, I suppose.  She died at the neglect of her husband, Diana is said to have died because her HRH and police protection had been removed, there is some similarity then.

Then there is the train of thought that Charles should be overtaken in the succession by his son and wife.

There was a very interesting drama on BBC recently called Charles III, it looked at a time when Charles took the throne, then was forced to abdicate in favour if William and Kate.  A good watch if you can find it online somewhere.

William would make a popular King, I am sure, but is he ready?  He has started a young family with Catherine in the last few years and another baby is due soon, I read the other day.

(I wish her well with her hyperemesis, I suffered it with all of my pregnancies and know the pain and stress that it causes.)

I think William should be allowed the time with his young family that the Queen did not have.  Her children had to be brought up almost solely by nannies and in boarding schools, how about we let the Cambridge children have a little nearer to normal upbringing?

There are a fine number of heirs to the throne at present, with Charles, WIlliam, George, Charlotte and the new baby on the way.  I doubt that any of them will acceed to the throne at an age to exceed our current Queen’s record for her reign.

At any rate, when she does go, there will be many people who question the future of the monarchy in general.  Queen Elizabeth has been the Queen for most of the population’s lifetimes, she is like everyone’s favourite grandma, and it is difficult to imagine anyone taking her place.

It will be interesting though, to see who actually does win the throne after her, on the strength of popularity, or respect?