Today marks the day when the undeniably mighty Armada, reeling from a night attack by fireships and blocked from retreating down the Channel, was pummelled by English ships and scattered northwards by storms. Unable to regroup, they tried – and many failed – to get home the hard way, via Scotland and Ireland.
It’s often said, often bitterly, that we get the leaders we deserve.After all, ’we voted for them’, right?Or at least broadly 100,000 have: in a population of 65-million-odd, way less than 1% have made Boris ‘Bolinbroke’ Johnson our Prime Minister.Quite clearly ‘the will of the British people’ in the twenty-first century is a highly elusive and nebulous concept.
Right here, right now, the question of the type of leader we want, need, or deserve is as urgent as it has been since the end of the Second World War.As is the debate about whether we prefer harsh truths or comforting lies …
As comfortable middle age approaches, he’s broadly minding his own business, apart from the desire to perhaps go on a few more foreign holidays. Sure, he’s a little eccentric, and keeps a more eclectic circle of friends and acquaintances than many. But fundamentally a ‘nice, well-spoken gentle-hobbit‘, as Gaffer Gamgee might say. Looking forward to not much more than another 50-60 years of smoking his pipe on the doorstep of Bag End; hiking through the Shire at night; writing; and keeping out of the way of those dreadful oiks, the Sackville-Bagginses.
Adventures? No thank you.
All is well, until that meddling magician, Gandalf arrives …
Today marks the beginning of one of the most eagerly anticipated parts of the school year … the final summer half-term. The countdown’s on, for teachers at least: 7 weeks; 35 working days; a maximum of 28 lessons with each of those classes.