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To be honest Robert, I don't usually read your posts here because they require me to engage with your thoughts - and indeed the world on a much deeper level than I normally do. I used to think in this way but have become lazy in recent years, especially since lockdown began in the UK. This realisation makes me ashamed and I don't know why I chose to read this but what you have to say strikes a chord with me. I am not sure that Bryony and I quite see the world through a single lens (yet) but we seldom disagree.

I certainly think you are correct when you say 'all (hallowed) sources of information are now suspect', though why it has taken quite so many years of lies and misinformation for many of us to realise this, I really don't know! Those of us who are from minority groups have been so busy fighting our particular corner that we have always known that injustice exists and I think many others would agree that it has also made us perhaps more aware of (and sympathetic towards) other minority battles.

Perhaps strangely, the Covid 19 virus has made us not only more aware of the the lies and deceit of the media and governments, but brought us closer to not only our friends, families and neighbours but to people in need of help. The sense of community engendered by clapping for the NHS outside our homes on thursdays was so much more than just that act of thankfulness as we met people we have never met before - everyone was smiley and waved to each other as they clapped, car drivers tooted and waved as they drove past. The closeness too of speaking with our families on Zoom every week. It has taken a virus to open our eyes - but already things are changing to a 'new normal' of arguments about wearing masks (or not) and the selfishness of those who clog our beaches with litter or those who refuse to socially distance - but all this is caused by fear, panic and mistrust of the government as we enter a second wave of the virus.

Thank you for making me think on a deeper level for once. I tend to read books that are fairly easy and require few brain cells but maybe now I will read one of those you have mentioned!

Christopher Anthony GODDARD

Hallo Robert & Carole... Somehow, Robert's/your writing has moved into a different plane recently... and this piece is to my mind the best & most provocative so far... I have the feeling that all this could be leading to a great novel as yet unwritten.

Robert Goddard

Well - thank for your comments chaps and chapettes! Yes, we writers need to have our ego stroked from time to time. Yes, a new novel is on the card and this idea if floating through my head.

Out of the blue, an old man receives an invitation to attend the funeral, in a foreign country, of a distinguished colleague, friend and rival of many years previously. As soon as the old man had read the letter, he sat back in his chair and daydreamed.....

Robert Goddard

Chris - I don't think the writing has moved into a different plane, but I change style according to the subject. This one is written with a slightly academic tone.

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