Too unhappy for birthdays
REMEMBER when we used to celebrate really special anniversaries? You know, centenaries and so on. So when did this change to marking silly birthdays like the one I spotted on my computer screen this morning.
For anyone who doesn’t use the same search engine as me – or even bother with the wonders of the tech world – some of us are blessed with ‘Google doodles’ which regularly pop up on our screens. Whether we want them or not.
Today, when I switched on, I learned that Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (Mr v L), ‘the father of microbiology’, was celebrating his 384th birthday. Presumably not with a McDonalds Happy Meal then. Do we really need to push the boat out for a 384th?
When I was a student I was in a drama celebrating a big (proper) Shakespearean anniversary. I played a Puritan. In the next production I was a prostitute. My parents were pleased I wasn’t getting typecast.
Actually I’m not happy at the moment, or I might have been a bit more generous and sung a birthday anthem.
I’m in mourning for the villages, houses, schools, churches and historical sites in Hillingdon borough, which apparently counted for nothing when the Government came to a decision last week about our community.
A third runway at Heathrow, which has now been approved, will see buildings demolished and others unable to function so near a ‘slip road’ full of aeroplanes. All of Longford and most of Harmondsworth will disappear.
Yes, there will be consultation and a vote in parliament before it is signed, sealed and delivered. There could even be a public inquiry, but my memory is long enough to recall the long drawnout fifth terminal debacle.
I have long admired the protest organisations, local MPs and Hillingdon Council, who have opposed the plan, but it seems they were they drowned out by the big noise of business and commerce. Did the Government really listen to Gatwick, which would love a new runway and has the space for it (in startling contrast to built-up Heathrow).
Greenpeace UK chief John Sauven said a third runway at Heathrow will increase air pollution and “be a waste of time, money and lives”. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said the news was “devastating”.
And still the Government thinks it is OK. Does anyone still have the energy to protest?
Email me: bmailbarbara@ gmail.com