I woke up this morning feeling a bit like the protagonist of ‘Before I Go To Sleep’, in the sense that I was completely disorientated. Yes, the improbable had happened and I had slept Right Through the night: this hardly ever happens, and clearly it had done something to my brain because I couldn’t remember anything. Well, I remembered who I was and who Mark was (even though that is at present unclear) and where we live – but apart from that, not much. I didn’t know what day it was, though I seemed to think it was Sunday (it isn’t, in case you were wondering) I had some idea that we were moving house today (we’re going to look at a couple) and I couldn’t remember yesterday at all. Perhaps it was the Herculean (or Sisyphean) task of doing my tax return which blotted it all out – for yes! I have completed that Stygian bit of paper (or rather, electronics) and rejoicing is great throughout the land.
But after that I was at a bit of a loose end, since I’ve finished off all my bits of writing and Mark is quite resistant to the idea of my packing up his books, so eventually I ground to a halt around mid-afternoon. Anyway, send positive thoughts please, as we’re going to look at a house in Clarendon Park which looks ideal but may prove too expensive.
So I can remember yesterday after all, which means that today is not Groundhog day, it’s Mandela Day; the day when the world celebrates his life and mourns his passing. I am entirely in favour of the African idea of it being a celebration rather than a sad occasion: the man was 95, for goodness sake, and when you look at what he achieved, it makes no sense to emphasise mourning more than celebration. To my mind the greatest thing he did, apart from Truth and Reconciliation, was to step down after only one term as leader. The people would have voted him in for a second, and third, and probably fourth term – but how many revolutionary leaders have we seen who have ended up as corrupt as the people they overthrew? Mandela was wise as well as courageous, and that is a rare combination.
So celebrate his life today.