Given a chance, most of us can live in peace
ITORE myself away from relaxing with Mr F, the Sunday papers and a nut roast, to join the Hillingdon Walk of Peace on September 21. Traffic was halted and people lined the route as we followed the mayor, Catherine Dann, and a pipe band up the High Street towards intu shopping centre.
Many of the spectators, I’m sure, assumed the bagpipes meant we were marching for the Scottish who had just voted to stay in the UK.
Actually it was an Irish Pipe Band that led the way but the march did have everything to do with unity.
Beneath the escalators in intu, people from many faiths talked about their desire for peace.
We are led to believe that it is cynical, apathetic and prejudiced people who make up most of society, but when Uxbridge shoppers saw banners with slogans like Love For All, Hatred For None, they didn’t snigger, yawn, heckle or walk away. In fact they paused from buying and browsing to gaze from the top tier of the shopping centre to watch dancers and singers performing for peace.
They heard Muslims tell us that true Islam is about peace, tolerance and equality.
Best of all, faith leaders from many religions publicly signed a document to condemn the terrorism, kidnappings and murders which have dominated the news.
Everyone listened to hopes of keeping Hillingdon a safe, peaceful borough and there was real optimism in the air. It was great.
A few days earlier, I was at the launch of a new female-focused garage, designed to take the macho out of mechanics for drivers who often feel out of their depth in a world of Jeremy Clarksons.
A very knowledgeable Randeep Reehal, who has helped her father run a garage for many years, decided to set up The Pink Garage Company specifically for women.
Former mayor Mary O’Connor gave her support and praised Randeep’s adoption of Hillingdon Women’s Centre as her charity, and we all toasted the company’s success in pink champagne.
In a very busy week I also attended a book launch at Covent Garden. Tired and heading for home via Leicester Square Tube station, I took a few wrong turns and got hopelessly lost. Eventually a friendly couple pointed me in the right direction. But oh, the shame. They were American. Catch up at www.getwestlondon.