Last night we watched the Grayson Perry programme about the Police. He is investigating what it means to be a man in today’s society. There is something really extraordinary about the attention and respect he gives to every single person  – he seems to have an unusual ability to  listen wholeheartedly with very little personal agenda going on.

This programme is set in Skelmersdale and the men who fascinate me are the youths who live on the edge of society in opposing gangs who prowl the boundaries of their council estates – these young men are disaffected societal rejects trying to find a way of getting love/respect/power in any way they can, mainly through thieving and violence.  Grayson interacts with them as they hide their faces from the camera  –  and they sense his non judgement as they tell him about their lives. I find it so moving – how hard it is for them to find a way through life, some kind of meaning or direction that makes them happy.

Today the air is chilly as a friend and I walk by the river in Topsham – a million miles away from Skelmersdale – peaceful and safe….

She asks if I want to go into Topsham but I have the courage to do exactly what I want and say no thanks, I want to go home, be quiet and work in the garden. And so I drive home via the garden centre and get the last lot of slug pellets this summer to have a final go at  rescuing my beans and cabbages.

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