Love her or hate her, Margaret Thatcher was a leader of strength and personal integrity, and she spearheaded a country that was in turmoil before she entered number 10. I don’t usually write from any political standpoint, but I have mentioned before that I class her as an inspirational woman, although that’s not the reason I’m writing this today.
The eighties shaped me: music, big hair, shoulder pads, Diana, parties, riots, the lot. Margaret Thatcher showed girls of my generation that it was no longer a man’s world and we could achieve anything. I’m not commenting on her political strategies, the miners, the Falklands or anything contentious – I’m simply saying that, throughout a tumultuous decade, she conducted herself with more dignity than some I could name today.
But I really have to say how disgraceful the public celebrations have been, and how appalling of the press to endorse the views of people who weren’t even born when she was in charge. All this does is highlight the general ignorance of a large section of the population. The man who proclaimed it’s her fault he hasn’t worked for 30 years is clearly unemployable by anyone’s standards. He claims to live on the breadline, yet this poverty-stricken person can still manage to buy 30 pints of beer in celebration…
Enough said, apart from my favourite thing about the late Baroness – she invented Mr Whippy ice cream!! One Twitter friend’s retort was “…with the milk she stole from schoolchildren?” which did make me laugh. Then I went and ate a bowl of ice cream.
The impending funeral arrangements are forecast to bring the city to a standstill on Wednesday, so I have cancelled a lecture I was attending at Postman’s Park. If you’ve never heard of this beautiful garden close by the Barbican, I can tell you that there’s some true inspiration there. Built on the site of a former burial ground, it houses the Victorian ‘Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice’: dedicated to the memories to ordinary people who died saving the lives of others and who might otherwise have been forgotten. An understated shelter is decorated with beautiful art nouveau ceramic tablets, each one recounting the dreadful fate of people who drowned or burnt to death a hundred-odd years ago, saving the lives of others. Community spirit – something I hope emerges again in the city on Wednesday.
Some people think Postman’s Park is a bit morbid. But, as I’ve told you before, I do love graveyards. Witchiness comments aside, I love the tranquility and beauty of crumbling Victorian stones overrun with ivy and moss concealing the swirly engravings. Marion and I have spent many happy afternoons wandering through the damp grass, somewhat removed from our afternoon activities of 1983, when we first met and created havoc up and down Regent Street. If you’ve been reading this blog for the 18 months it’s been running, you will know a little of our naughtiness (and – by the way – thank you!). If not (you can get it here), Marion is my crazy friend from Hamleys, now ensconced in the Scottish wilderness. Thirty years of friendship is something worth celebrating, plus a big birthday (hers, not mine). Have a wonderful day, GKYDI.
And for a week celebrating a woman’s life, this reminds me of our nights dancing in Carnaby Street, in the pub where our policewoman friend broke the loo bonking the toy shop security guard… (This story is too rude to add to the blog title now, but people were less professional back then…!) “Anything you want done, baby, I’ll do it naturally… I’m every woman, it’s all in me, I can read your thoughts right now – every one from A to Z.”
And while we’re on that subject – I’m offering a free copy of my guide “Words that Work: an A-Z guide of plain English words and phrases.” Sign up on the left of this page for your free copy!