Interaction with my readers – the SS Great Britain I’m coming up to my 250th diary entry now and nearly up to 300,000 words. I’m quite intrigued by the lack of response when I know that sometimes I’m being quite controversial in what I say. I was quite delighted therefore to come across on Facebook a comment on my article on rape “so called rape allegations” A person who knew me responded robustly. “I’m left a bit speechless by this. Appalling lack of compassion or understanding Brian. Really saddened to read this” In my turn, I responded by saying “ my remarks apply to only one section, the self-seeking publicist who twists the story. It does not include taking advantage of young people, children, the disadvantaged, many categories. My point is that ambivalence prevails. Why not write a forthright note on the website itself then we could get a discussion going that would be great”. When we see a piece written on an emotive subject such as rape or any form of violence come to that we look at it with the whole experience of how we have been treated, and how our friends had been treated plus what we have learned about human nature and we react accordingly. I used to give talks quite frequently and used to ask people what they remembered and from the comments received you wouldn’t think it was the same talk. I find that through disagreement a mid point can be reached which acknowledges both sides. My approach was to discuss the duplicity of people who seek attention at any cost and the writer started with a discussion of the pain and the perceived lack of compassion which she saw. To move this one forward it would be necessary to have a dialogue on the matter in which the strong and weak points of each argument would be presented. I do wish that more of this would happen using the feedback form below. I do not use Facebook and Twitter because I find that medium to ephemeral and too ‘bitty’. I prefer a longer coherent statement taking perhaps one or 200 words to present a case. in general I find that communication consists of a series of shot across the bow. This is partly due to the nature of the medium or mediums and also because the decreased attention span. I find the environment for having a dialogue is from a fairly specific. I will not have discussions, or participate in discussions, in noisy areas such as a public house or restaurant. I need silence. Unless I have silence, I cannot hear what the other person is saying all feel what they are feeling. I’m certainly not going to shout over somebody. I think we all need to learn to listen more without jumping in and be in a non-reactive non-survivalist state of mind and then we can learn much more from each other. ***** Today, lunch at a local village called Tunley at the excellent King William Inn. There were about 16 of us made up of the art class that my wife goes to and the odd spouse dragged in for the occasion. Somewhere in China there are groups of people thinking up the most dreadful jokes which are so bad they are good. Crackers and hats and plastic toys that may have a use for 5 min with someone with attention deficit syndrome are all part of the season and we enjoyed every moment of it. Later on at Camerton village hall an excellent talk on the SS Great Britain, the role of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, drama on the high seas, storms and tempests given in a very professional manner by a skilled orator. He gave a very good account of the trustees of the ship that is now moored in Bristol Harbour after navigating the world for 1,000,000 miles. Forty people attended on a cold evening. The countryside can be very deceptive, a place in the middle of nowhere has a very lively social and cultural life built up through the hard work of many people over a long period of time. Without such volunteers all the money in the world could not create this community atmosphere. ***** In the last days I have joined an international prayer group. We have about 50 members who had been invited to join, friends and colleagues of a lady who lives in Spain. Since they were informed about my membership I have felt a definite shift in consciousness and a healing balm which is with me all the time. I’m what is called a body psychic, in other words I feel people’s thoughts. This is a blessing and a curse. Overall though, I know it’s very unfashionable to say this but nothing equals the power of prayer. I’m very grateful to my parents for bringing me up in the Christian faith and although they made a hash of bringing up a family basically through too much ‘guilt motivated’ action, the faith remains.