I cant help recalling that Cassandra's ability to see the future of Troy was a curse. Some kind readers like Tom - keep telling me to buck up and see the bright side. On some days I can. But this week, with Mumbai, I have hit a bit of a low.
To divert myself I am reading Nigel Hamilton's 3 volume biography of Monty. This is a Homeric story - Monty is an Achillean Character whose personality is his greatest asset and his greatest vice.
I have been pulled back to Monty not only because Hamilton has written an epic but - like Hamilton himself who met Monty as an 11 year old boy - I met Monty several times as a boy and fell under his spell.
A widower, Monty had a son, David. David went to the same prep school as I. In 1942, as Monty was called to Africa where he would make his name, David had left Amerbury and went to public school. Monty was determined that his mother would not get her hands on his son and at the last minute asked Major Reynolds, the headmaster of Amesbury to be David's guardian.
Amesbury became Monty and David's home for the rest of the war. Monty had dinner with the boys the night before D Day. After the war he kept his command caravans on the property.
I arrived in 1959. Monty lived close by near Hindhead. He liked to come and see us. We experienced first hand the Monty Briefing. We all thought he was the most special person that we could ever meet.
I don't know what David thought of Amesbury. He had a very tough childhood. Amesbury was his only real home. It was mine too. We were both emotional orphans of parents who were never available.
Nearly 60 now - the loss of a real home gnaws still. But my appreciation of Amesbury - the people, the place and the way of life grows.
So I am comforted by reading about Monty's determination, drive and clear thinking in terrible times. I am comforted by my own memories of being happy as a boy.
Last year I wrote 4 posts about Amesbury. Here they are again - in tribute to those wonderful people who gave me my best start in life.