Monday, November 12, 2007

A Soldier's Lot

Yesterday was Remembrance Sunday which, for once, actually fell on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, and while I was standing at Aspull War Memorial my mind began to wander and I started to think about the role of the soldier in a modern western democracy.

What is the purpose of the military?

First and foremost, defense of the Realm; to repel invasion and ensure that the UK's citizen's are free to follow their dreams.

The second, to buy the time for politicians to get their acts together, find reason and settle their differences diplomatically and responsibly. The military pay for that luxury of time with their lives, and at present it feels it is being squandered and treated with disdain.

The reality is that any conflict is ended once people of good intent sit down and start talking to each other. They may hate everything their opposite may stand for, but by talking, at least there is the possibility of understanding, and from understanding comes peace.

All it requires are the people of good faith to start this process, and until they are found, young men and women will continue to die and be maimed and hold the line, buying in the only way they know, the time for the rest of us to get it together.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rememberance Sunday

For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon (1914)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Administration - The Latest

A meeting on Friday provided some basis for optimism when the Administrators gave an update on the situation.

There is one company they are in negotiation with who wants to purchase the company as a going concern. Obviously, they couldn't give details, but I suspect it will be the same wazzocks that got us into this mess in the first place.

Obviously, everyone at work is very tense and concerned, and a lot of 'gallows' humor is doing the rounds. As a manager, I'm finding it totally exhausting, trying to remain positive and to keep my team's spirits up.

Working in customer services, also means I have our customers to deal with and explain to them that refunds can't be processed at the moment. The last week has been exceptionally hard work, particularly emotionally, and I never want to be in a similar position again.

According to the Administrators, we should know the final position within a couple of weeks. I hope so, because I'm not sure how much of this I can take!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Came back from holiday last week to be informed that the company I work for had gone into Voluntary Administration. This means that the day to day activity of the company is in the hands of administrators, and that the company is being prepared for sale.

The future is looking very uncertain at the moment, and not a little depressing. Obviously, I've now started looking for a new job, just in case, but the administrators are hoping to sell it as a going concern.

Not much to cheer about, however, I should know more about where the company stands by Friday.