No matter what our problems, all our thoughts and prayers must be on peace being resumed

Torbay Weekly

I was going to write about the horror taking place in Ukraine, but there are better informed people than me who are witnessing and reporting on this latest human disaster first-hand, brought about by what appears to be, the actions of a megalomaniac. Personally, I think all wars are pointless. In times gone by, leaders would be at the front of their troops taking them into battle showing great courage and dedication to their cause. These days of course, the leaders all sit behind desks, usually in very great comfort, deciding where to send their troops into battle and towards a premature death. These days a leader can cause massive harm on a global scale without leaving their highly protected cocoons.

I can’t see any of the current world leaders leading their troops into battle, possibly with the exception of Volodymyr Zelenskyy whose country is currently being violated. He is showing outstanding courage by standing firm against impossible odds. My prayers are with him and the people of the Ukraine and also the poor Russian men sent by Putin to give their lives in his pursuit of yet more power.

Meanwhile in my own little world, I have been moving house. Yes, it is without doubt one of the worst things you ever do, and my husband and I have undertaken more than our fair share since we met in 2000. However, this one has proved the worst by a very long way. I have found it both physically exhausting and surprisingly emotional, and at times distressing. I presume that it is because of getting older as I have never felt quite so mentally drained about this type of thing before. Normally I am gung-ho about pretty much anything and everything. Tiredness makes everything more of a challenge.

It is going to be a very long haul because we have turned a commercial property into a residential home. I didn’t realise how different and difficult it would be. However, I am inordinately fortunate to have around me an amazing team of builders, decorators and a very resourceful gardener. All of whom save me having to make a daily call to Samaritans.

I have always been a hoarder, always thinking that I might need whatever it is and keeping everything for a so-called rainy day, including a vast number of clothes that it is unlikely that I will be able to fit into again. I always dream that I will of course.

In truth I have acquired a mass of junk. So, for the first time in years, I have been, what I think is ruthless, others of course may disagree – but there have been a vast number of skips going backwards and forwards from our old house. Now in the new property, I find I am still chucking things away, and yet the packing cases are still piled high – and the movers are coming back with more tomorrow!

The one thing that I have never been able to throw away are my treasured photographs. My mother was an avid photographer and liked to record everything and everyone. We all used to moan every time she started clicking her camera but were always so pleased that she recorded so many memories. Before we even decided to move, I had scanned over 10,000 images on to my laptop as my screen saver. As the move loomed, I decided to empty the vast number of photo albums in the cellar and keep the images but jettison the heavy books. I now have 10 very large shopping bags full of photos ready to be scanned when I have the time. So eventually all the images will be digital, and I will be able to enjoy seeing my memories every day.

Still my problems are miniscule. Currently, all our thoughts and prayers must be for Putin to withdraw his troops and for peace to resume. If not, the horrific impact will reverberate around the world for decades to come.