Actually, I never when very far away. I did go into hospital in Cambridge in early December and had my left knee replaced, but that isn't, I guess, very far.
I strongly urge anyone who is advised to have a knee replacement to give it some considerable thought. By comparison, I'm reliably told, hips are a piece of cake. Recovery time for knees is long – about six months. Now, after three I'm beginning to see the benefit. But, my knee is still worse than before it was done. I wasn't counting on that! Actual improvement is by very slow steps, with some one-up and two-back involved.
Summing up: it ain't no joke!
The pain in my knee is overshadowed by the dreadful news from Afghanistan today. Six soldiers have been killed by a massive road-side bomb. Over 400 British servicemen have now died in what is a a waste – a dreadful waste. Over 1800 American troops have also lost their lives.
The politicians are struggling to explain. Quite right as there is no real explanation.
The Afghans have been fighting, mostly each other, for hundreds of years. The whole society is based on tribal warfare. The old adage “rather fight than eat” fits perfectly. They have no real state as we know it. They are bandits and drug lords. They have no concept of democracy and are unlikely to get one. The Soviet Army could not do them in the 1980's. Britain's involvement goes back into the 1840's when Britain couldn't do anything with them despite a lot of trying and a lot of dying.
Everyone, including all politicians, knows this. That's what makes it so despairingly tragic!
What's the solution? Get out. Get out now. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
By comparison, my knee is a trifle. It hurts a bit. It's a bit depressing. Six young men, mostly in their early twenties are not coming home from Afghanistan. Six families are doomed to a life-time of remorse and agony. It's a travesty for politicians to pretend that there is no alternative. There is.