For those who have been checking the site in vain, I apologise and, in mitigation if not justification, claim that I have been busy. Too busy. For reasons with which I will not bore you.
It is not as if there has been a shortage of subject matter in the last couple of months.
We have had a general election. We have had Bob’s 74th birthday and I have managed to acquire a good seat for one of his October gigs in the UK. We have had a brief but welcome sojourn in France. Two daughters have celebrated birthdays. The Sox are under .500, with issues in both offence and defence. England have won a sensational test match at Lords. And, most remarkably, Lara and Adam married on a wondrous day in Gloucestershire, the bride wearing a creation designed and made by Jill which would have done credit to a previous occupant of the Hilles House, the famous fashion stylist Isabella Blow.
But in each case, by the time I found myself with a spare half hour – one of the restrictions that I impose upon myself for the writing of these essays – to address the subject in hand, things had moved on and the topic was no longer topical.
The election is a case in point. As my friends will confirm, I had a lot to say about this, both before and after the day itself. The campaign itself, with its paltry and petty point-scoring, moved me to anger; the result moved me to tears. When a new government decides that its No 1 priority is the slashing of welfare and the repeal of the Human Rights Act, under the hegemony of the egregious Michael Gove, one despairs.
The Human Rights Act is not perfect, but it protects us all against exactly what is now happening. The clue is in the name. It deals with fundamental rights of all humanity.
It is not a political toy, which can be abandoned as part of Cameron’s internal issues with the Eurosceptics and the threat he perceives from the nearly four million citizens who voted for UKIP.
As a democrat, I am appalled by the fact that four million votes produced only a single member of Parliament; as a private citizen, I am delighted at that outcome. But I am anxious that there is no effective opposition to the Tory plans. Labour is currently leaderless and in the early stages of a leadership election in which, as things currently stand, my ballot paper will state ‘none-of-the-above’. The Liberal Democrats have got what they deserved. And, although I echo the anti-austerity rhetoric of the SNP, I fear it is just that – rhetoric. Their concerns, legitimately of course, lie elsewhere.
If this sounds as if I am struggling to maintain my innate optimism, that’s because I am. But until it is restored, I will put my faith in friends and family, in the happily married children and the current and future grand-children.
And I will report back on my mood changes more regularly. I promise.
Today from the everysmith vaults: Josienne Clarke, a discovery of Jill's. A beautiful voice delivering some haunting lyrics.