Symbols, Strength, Support and Magic


In the dim and distant past, when I was fruitlessly trying to warn non- compliant adolescents of the danger of their ways,  I often wished that, instead of lecturing, I could just lay down the cards. A bog standard teacher has little credibility.  (As one pupil in a truly dreadful school acidly commented,  “If you know so much about everything, Miss, what are you doing working here?)

A Tarot reader, on the other hand, is a keeper of the mysteries, a seer, a purveyor of ancient wisdom. 

In the 60s, when such things were terribly hip, I had learnt to read the cards.  I gave it up, because it became a bit alarming how readily and unquestioningly people welcomed their interpretation.

Had I laid out a tarot spread for my sullen teenager and revealed the Tower, one glance would have had more effect than preaching.

The image is worryingly uncomfortable.

But the cards could be comforting too. They could convey the joy of fellowship, the presence of supportive figures and the reassurance that you could survive difficult times to win through.

Sometimes people just needed a symbol. One that said “You may not recognise it, but you have the ability get through this.”


We all need comfort, support, affirmation and reassurance when faced with cruel blows in life. 

Sadly, the bereaved families facing a battle for accountability and transparency over the deaths of their children are having to find almost superhuman strength when they are at their lowest ebb.  No wonder despair is hard to overcome and the struggle for justice is so hard.

Yet one of the most valuable aspects of #107days and #107 days of action is the bringing together of all kinds of people with a variety of knowledge and practical experience to share their individual insight and counsel, thus building a common resource of support and information.

This is the real life magic, the impetus and the strength that is going to carry us through.

Though an image to help remind us wouldn’t hurt!


I Was Going Back To My Knitting, But Then I Changed My Mind

LB #107days and after..


I was thinking of retiring Wisegrannie and going back to being Badgrannie, spending my pension on age unsuitable clothing and drink.

You get very tired as you get older. Tired of all the dialogue out there and the holier-than-thou pontificators on every bandwagon that rolls along. You just yearn for a bit of peace and quiet.

I started blogging for LB #107days, because (like all the varied campaign supporters) I felt outraged at his death by neglect. I stopped drinking too (more or less!) and donated the drinks money to the campaign instead.

But at the end of 107days, I wondered.  What comes next?

It’s a lot easier to begin something than keep it going. You jump into a course of action because you’re incensed or desperate to do  something, anything, to show support.  And it feels good to be part of a great team.  That’s something you miss when you’re not in the working world.

But after #107days? The wearing, draining slog to call the health authorities to account goes on, and LB’s family will continue to need  practical and moral support for many months to come.

However, a new suggestion arose out of the #107days campaign- to promote a parliamentary initiative, an LB Bill, to safeguard the rights of LD adults to live in their own home. An open group was set up on Facebook to gather suggestions and ideas regarding this.

This is a whole new angle on the situation.  It brings in all sorts of interested parties. Everybody can have their say. And everybody will!

But the impetus for action will not be the same. This is a planned, political initiative to bring about change. It won’t be raw, grass roots stuff like #107 days.  It can’t be. It’s a different strategy, though no less valuable. Both have their place in improving the life-chances of LD adults.

And let’s be clear-sighted about this.  Once you get into this kind of campaigning, there will be all sorts of different interest groups pushing their own agendas. It won’t be cosy!  There’s going to be argy-bargy! 

So let’s not get too huffy with each other. And let’s not get above ourselves.  No one of us alone has the answer, but together we might just hammer out a way forward.

Perhaps I won’t retire Wisegrannie just yet!