So, 14 Baxters descended upon Sri Lanka for two weeks of sun, sea and sand and fun and frolics. The poor locals must have been worrying that the days of Empire had returned. We chose Sri Lanka because it was roughly equidistant between the UK and Australia, where brother Toby and his mob live.
The whole lot, reading from left to right: AJ, Zac, Faith, Toby, Guin, Mary, Nora, Molly, Me, Josh, Fo, Matt, Laura, Otto above. More of same below.
It was AJ’s first time on a plane and, as is our wont of not doing things by halves, we decided to start her off with a ten-hour long hauler. The flight itself was fine, ably assisted by some pretty potent sedatives she had been prescribed, so she slept the whole way there and back. The challenge was getting on and off. They have these teeny weeny wheelchairs that are specially designed to fit along an airplane aisle, which are great but they don’t have any support. I turned away for a second once and AJ tumbled to the floor, oops. We also needed to have special plane seat for her, which needed assembling and disassembling as all the passengers on very full flights tried to get to their seats. Incidentally at the other end of the transport scale, we also discovered that tuk-tuks are also not massively wheelchair friendly.
Anyway, the holiday was a massive success. It was fab spending time with all the famalam. From seeing cool cousin Zac teaching the littlest ones, Guin and Nora to swim, getting AJ breakfasted by Laura and Molly, to having to stay up late and drink a shedful with Toby and Matt so Toby was awake to greet late arrival Josh. And of course and massive hats off and thanks to Mum for sorting it all out. Most of us got some sort of stomach bug, Mum was pretty touch and go for a bit and Otto was projectile vomiting on New Year’s Eve but other than that, it could not have been bettered.
On the AJ front, we are a bit worried at the moment. Her tremors are getting worse and they seem to be discomforting her. She is not one to grumble but she does seem to be in some pain. So it is back to googling yet another medical condition, dystonia, to see what can, or it seems, in this case, can’t be done. So far it seems to be: no cure, pain management.
Spot the difference. Both these photos below are of me and AJ going for a walk, one was taken in Sri Lanka and the other, a couple of weeks later, in North Buckinghamshire. Can you tell which is which?
So enough about that, on to Armageddon. I was listening to a very serious political podcast, Talking Politics, link here. And they were discussing how Trump and his team probably don’t really expect all the ghastly things he is trying to do to get past the judiciary. The US constitution is set up to rein in the president’s power but he is quite happy having the judges stymie his moves while he trash talks them on Twitter. But when something bad happens, and it will, he will then be able to say, “I told you so, I warned you there were bad dudes and those judges let it all happen,” and then he would have popular support for his arseholery. The academics on the podcast were very careful not to stray into anything that smacked of conspiracy theory but it got me thinking. Now, I’d hate to think of myself as a conspiracy theorist but… taking this thinking just a little further, what Trump really needs right now is a 9/11 all of his own. Even though Dubya was caught looking gormless, reading a kid’s book about a goat as the towers fell, he did somehow manage to turn it around and present himself as something that enough people considered to be presidential in adversity. Likewise, Maggie Thatcher’s ratings were through the floor in the very early eighties when Galtieri conveniently invaded the Falklands/Malvinas for her and she was suddenly the new Churchill.
So just imagine how much good it would do Trump to have some bad dudes do some bad shit, to make him look like some sort of prophet/saviour. And now to stray firmly into the realms of the conspiracy theory, is it entirely impossible that he and his team might try to engineer this? I mean, if it can occur to me, they must have game-played it in some darkened room somewhere, no?
If I were a betting man, I would place some money on one or all of the below, which would cover all sorts of Trump bases.
- A dirty bomb made from Iranian-supplied fissile material = so we can totally ditch Obama’s attempts to keep a lid on Iran’s nuclear missile development programme
- Planted somewhere on the West Coast, apparently Calexit is a thing, i.e. a Californian secession = take that you pot-smoking liberal judges, oh and hopefully take out a few speechifying Hollywood types
- Planted by a Syrian/Yemeni asylum seeker = I told you they were bad dudes
I would obviously genuinely love to be proven wrong on this but just in case, I would like to get it down in writing and out on the internet, so as to be able to bask in the most unsatisfying “I told you so” ever, as I stockpile peaches in syrup and read up on “butchering your own sheep” to await the long night that awaits us.
Buenas noches señores y señoras…