29 April 2021

Decade

A decade ago today, I was sitting in my lovely "Lotus Room" in northern Bangkok watching live television. I had turned the magic box on because I wanted to watch the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. It was a happy, joyful event beamed to me from London on the other side of the world.

Today we are all ten years older. Normally it is hard to track the aging process after just one year but a full decade is different. Hair is perhaps lost or greyer, eyes become more tired, lines start to form, girth may increase. A decade's worth of old people will have died as a decade's worth of babies arrived to take their places. A kind of shunting along.

Prince William still seems like a really nice guy. You can see it in his eyes. There is an earnestness about him and an innate dignity. He really cares about the plights of less fortunate people. In  Catherine he found a lovely, intelligent  spouse who understands what duty means. So different from the other two who shall not be named. You know who I mean.

April 29th 2011. There was no expectation of a deadly worldwide pandemic. No idea that America would put the self-obsessed host of "The Apprentice" in The White House with his fake hair and fake views. No thoughts of "TikTok" or Ed Sheeran or Tesla cars or Greta Thunberg. Our daughter Frances was just finishing university in Birmingham and our son Ian was still slaving away in men's fashion retail. Shirley and I had not been to New Zealand or The Pacific North West or Malta or Garlieston in Wigtownshire and I had not yet begun working at the Oxfam shop where I put in  over five years of service. A full decade of life. So much water under the bridge.

In April 2011, the population of  our planet was  almost exactly 7 billion. Today Earth's population is 862 million bigger - 7,862,293, 428 as I type this full stop>.  When will this endless population explosion be meaningfully addressed?

What were you doing a decade ago and how has your life changed - just as William and Catherine said - for better or for worse?

43 comments:

  1. It all blended together. I was finished with cancer, but still worried that it might come back. I was finishing a degree. My mother was dying but still mad as hell. My daughter was finishing her master's degree. My son had just begun to date the wonderful woman that he would marry. My grandson was 3 months old. It was becoming evident that his parents' marriage wasn't going to last.

    Ten years ago, I guess that ten years ago, my life was much more affected by things that I had no control over. I'm not sure why or even how that all began to change. There are still those things that I cannot control, but somehow they don't seem to impact my life as much.

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    1. Sounds like you had a hell of a lot to cope with back then Debby.

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  2. Friday 29th April 2011: Sat on bum all morning watching the pageantry of the royal wedding. Walk: dandelions in fields were solid yellow, bluebells out in woods with birdsong all around, not much water in stream. At one time those woods would have been a children's playground. Now their faces are stuck in screens.
    Thursday 29th April 2021: Ironing. Gardening. Later plan walk in woods to see if bluebells are out yet.

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    1. Most of my fellow human beings seem to be stuck to their screens these days. I never expect bluebells around here till early May. Not quite there yet.

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  3. Shunting along! Love it.
    William and Kate behave as we expect royals to behave, humanised by paparazzi snapping Kate sunbathing topless.
    Ten years ago I was working hard. I am now nearly two years retired. My partner worried about my retirement but I have fallen into it ever so well. I do what I want when I want.

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  4. Hmmm. Interesting. Gregg and I were about to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary, and a dark cloud was looming....late in December of that year he was diagnosed with cancer. I had just started my job at the bookstore which ended up being one of the worst jobs I ever had. I'm glad I didn't know in April how challenging life was about to become....the next few years were going to be extremely difficult! It's all worked out well, though, and I'm very grateful.

    I've done a lot of growing in these 10 years, now that I think of it.

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    1. You and Gregg both pulled through. Look at you now. Brilliant!

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  5. Ten years ago we sold our family home, I applied for a divorce, I bought myself a condo, I met my future husband and I started a new job at a cancer hospital. Big changes.

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    1. Good changes too. I salute The Big Guy.

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  6. I couldn't remember what I was doing this time in 2011 so had to look back through my old photos. It seems that we had rented a cottage near Ruthin in North Wales, visiting Llangollen and walking Offa's Dyke, the canal towpath and crossing the dizzying Pontcysyllte Acqueduct.
    Life for me may have changed since then but not for the better nor for worse. Just different.
    Thanks for prompting those memories YP.

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    1. Oh Ruthin. That is a delightful little town isn't it JayCee? I must admit that I have never crossed the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

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  7. 10 years ago we had 1 grand-daughter, now have 2 and 1 grandson. 10 years ago my husband did not know that 9 months later he would be rushed in to hospital with a ruptured bowel and neuroendocrine cancer in bowel and liver but has lived to tell the tale I am glad to say. 10 years ago I was still working and am now happily retired. 10 years ago we still had my mum-in-law. Yes, a lot can happen in 10 years but that's just some of my highlights/lowlights.

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    1. How well your husband has done to add ten more years to his life when in 2011 it all looked so bad for him.

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  8. Well, I only had one grandchild. Now I have five.
    No, we here in this family have not really addressed the population explosion.
    Also, ten years ago I was a lot cuter than I am now.

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  9. We were preparing to leave our homes in New Jersey to move to exciting, thriving London! In fact when we arrived, we got tube cards commemorating the royal wedding. I still have mine. I agree about William -- he seems like a good future king.

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    1. I think I would make a great king but I will never get the chance. "Off with their heads! Send them to The Tower!"

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    2. Agree about William, he is solid. Kate - I wish she had had a career instead of just chasing and waiting for William.
      J

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  10. We watched it on TV in a Formula One room in France. I have no idea now where we were going or coming back from, but we used to spend a lot of time in France. We agree with your assessment of them as a couple.
    Earth's population? It has been a strange source of anxiety for me since I was a child and is the main reason I am childless. (much difference that is likely to make!)

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    1. Were you a Formula One driver back then?

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  11. Have racked my brains to remember something from this day, ten years ago! I do know that my life was busy and I was probably out and about enjoying myself. although I rearranged things so that I could watch the wedding live. They made a lovey couple then, and still are. Two people to be proud of (unlike the others you mentioned), and when I look at them I see hope for the future of the Monarchy.
    Since then the biggest change in my life was been losing my husband in 2017, after his long distressing battle with cancer. I had to deal with Spanish Inheritance laws, and learn to deal with everything to do with running the house - something my husband had always insisted on doing..
    As to earth's population - perhaps the pandemic will help reduce the numbers to a sustainable level, though it will take a good few years. I was horrified to read recently that India's population had reached 1.3 billion! It's also frightening to learn that in those regions of the world, numbers lost by flood, famine, and whatever disaster is thrown their way, they "make up" the population loss in just a few years.

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    1. I wonder what your husband would think if he could see you now and see how you have tried to live happily again enjoying an independence you were not looking for.

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  12. I had to do a search in the photos on my phone to remember any specifics and April 2011 only brought up two photos. That was all it took to remind me that we'd reached a turning point (for the better) in some issues with one of our kids.

    Hard to believe that wedding was ten years ago.

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    1. Glad to hear that that distant turning point was for the better Kelly.

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  13. Indeed, a lot has happened. All that you mention. The death of my husband and my father. The birth of my grandson. The circle of life keeps turning.

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    1. How lovely that the grandson came along to occupy some of the space that your father and husband had occupied in your heart Margaret.

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  14. In the last decade I lost both my parents, finally got to see Kansas band in Warsaw and visited Portugal five times.

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    1. I wonder if there's a band called Warsaw that played in Kansas?

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  15. Time goes by quickly. we get old before we know it.

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    1. If only there was a hand rail we could hang onto to prevent the slide into oblivion.

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  16. Hmmm... ten years ago, I was with RJ and more into ballroom dancing than into hiking, although I have never been completely without a lot of walking and hiking ever since my parents instilled that love in me early on.
    I was not yet working in the same industry as now. I did have an iphone but not yet an ipad. I was brown-haired and skinny, running three times a week instead of one. My cat was still around but already required a lot of care. My parents were much fitter than now, and my Dad still worked at his allotment almost every day.
    Frau Merkel was our chancellor, and Barack Obama was Mr President. The year that would see about one million refugees (mainly from Syria) arriving in Germany was still four years away.
    I did not watch the wedding of Kate and William; no idea what I did that day, but definitely not watch the wedding.

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    1. Where will be ten years from now? Will I even make it to 77 years old? You will be retired and living happily with your husband Herr OK in a wooden chalet deep in the woods.

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    1. You mean in a Snow White pantomime in The Memorial Hall?

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  18. Who could fail to be moved by all the comments here?
    Your estimation of Prince William's character is one most people would agree with, even active republicans.
    The pandemic has demonstrated that we need the Union and the Crown:
    I hope Gordon Brown and Brian Wilson (former minister for Africa) can come up with a good counter-narrative to defeat Salmond-Sturgeon.

    Ten years is a long time. What will the next ten be like in all our lives, if we are still here?
    What is that line in A Christmas Carol? Scrooge sees the Ghost of Xmas Yet To Come.
    *Ah, you are the one I fear most of all,* he says.
    Haggerty

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    1. Given my family history of early deaths I may well not be around in 2031. A thoughtful and heartfelt response John.

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  19. Who could forget that lovely Wedding Day? A beautiful bride on her proud father's arm and an obviously happy groom waiting for her. And haven't they lived up to the promises made that day to love and cherish each other. I hope they have many happy years together.
    For me the wedding was a very welcome distraction from the disaster zone that was Christchurch after the earthquakes of September 2010 and February 2011. With a damaged house, a garden full of liquefaction and the ruined city centre cordoned off and under armed guard, we were living in a state of heightened awareness, never sure when the next one might come. It was unimaginable that aftershocks could continue for 10 years. But they have and we have learned to live with them and see them as a good thing. The earth letting off pressure. But loud rumblings from heavy trucks can still scare you and set your heart racing. Prince William is very well thought of here as he has come here several times to represent the Queen at our memorial services.
    10 years on and our City is a very different place from the one I grew up in. Much of it has moved westward to safer land, new buildings designed to move safely in an earthquake have replaced the old stone and double brick which gave us our "English" feel and the influx of overseas workers who came to assist with the rebuild have stayed making us a much more diverse and interesting place to live.
    We faced tragedy again in March 2019 when 51 people were slaughtered and another 40 injured by a lone gunman while they were at Friday prayers in our two city Mosques.
    We will never forget the evil that took place that day.
    In these 10 years past I travelled to the UK, Ireland and Italy for the first and now possibly only time. I lost my Mum ,my nephew and niece , but gained a remarkable son-in-law and his extended family, became a grandmother to 9 day old Charlotte Grace and reached retirement in a reasonable state of health.
    Hallelujah, my time is my own. It is the greatest gift.
    I am happy.
    Adele

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    1. What a positive and thoughtful comment! You are pretty good at writing lovely comments Adele. Will you always call the beautiful babe Charlotte or will her name be shortened?

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  20. Ten years ago I'd just lost Greg the year before and was sill getting to grips with being a widow. Kate and William's wedding day would have been his 62nd birthday (yesterday would have been his 72nd). A lot has passed under the bridge since. I have become used to being solitary, Kay has got an outstanding degree and is progressing very successfully as a doctor. She has met her loyal and adoring boyfriend. My mother and two pets have died and I've reached the ghastly age of 70. Ten years doesn't sound much until you start to add it all up.

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    1. Ten years is a seventh of your life and a fifth of your adult life. It is a long time - even though the days pass like sand in an hour glass.

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  21. Ten years ago in January my husband stopped coming home. For six weeks he never came to the house. I thought something was missing but reckoned we'd let the cat out by mistake. Turns out the coward had moved in with his bar-room skank and finally came to tell me that he wanted a divorce mid-February. Of course he never actually filed so since I didn't like his gf I filed in his place. It took a while for the divorce to go through but I am so relieved to be out of there it's wonderful. For the last 10 years I've gotten my life back, I no longer lie in bed at night dreading his key in the door at 2 a.m. wondering what his booze-riddled brain will want to argue about now. And oddly enough, I have money in the bank because I'm no longer repairing his and other people's cars when he's been drink-driving (AGAIN)! The thought of going through lockdown with him would have done me in, but nope, 10 years later and life is great!

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    1. Thanks for sharing this Treaders. It must have been like carrying a huge weight. This is one situation in which it is probably very true to say "Time is a great healer".

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