I didn't sleep very well last night so Christmas Eve passed in a bit of a haze, with the occasional unscheduled nap. I had wanted to run round the reservoir but that wasn't going to happen, but the wife and I did manage a walk up the gorge as the sun was setting. We passed the weir that I wrote about yesterday and perhaps due to that 1980s crime, the wishing well part is now caged off to stop any money-hungry teenagers diving in and helping themselves. It's also a more official charity collection though, with any money going to the Cheddar Vale Lions (I am not sure there are any lions in town, so it's probably another scam or maybe they will buy some if they can raise enough cash). The river was high due to the recent adverse weather but was flowing fast and I couldn't helpe thinking that my friends had taken an unnecessary risk for their £1.80. I thought about them diving down into that hole, at night, in the dark, in their pants, scrabbling around on the floor for coppers and five pence pieces and returning with maybe 20p a time. I laughed at those idiots. Sometimes it's easier to earn money legally than to attempt to steal it. Though I felt sad that this rite of passage has now gone for Cheddar teenagers, unless they have access to some kind of metal cutters or welding gear (which again would heavily impact on their potential profits). My dad, having heard about my blog from my mum called me a wimp for not joining in with the caper. I think he would have looked upon me less kindly had I been brought back to the house, in my underwear, dripping with dirty river water, having been caught by the fucking pigs. He would probably have had to resign as headmaster in shame. But he was right. I should have been there with my friends. Sometimes friendship is more important than the rule of law. Plus with my excellent diving and grabbing skills we might have made an extra 20p.
And UK hero and code-breaker Alan Turing (who arguably did more than any other individual to win us the Second World War) was today given a royal pardon for his "crime" of being homosexual. Which not only comes a bit late, given that he was chemically castrated upon conviction and then committed suicide, but also seems to still imply that he did something wrong, but has now been forgiven. I don't think it is Turing that needs to be pardonned and I would say a grovelling apology might get closer to achieving some kind of closure to this sad chapter in our history (but even then, it's a bit too late). Though it's unfair to judge the past by the morality of the present, just some kind of "fucking hell, I can't believe we treated people that badly so recently" would be a positive step forward. And it would be nice to see that apology extended to everyone who was punished for their private lifestyle choices, not just ones who did enough for the country to "make up" for it.
It's a positive step in some ways, and even though this is really just semantics I'd have preferred an apology to a pardon. And who pardons the pardonners?