Please don’t, Stephen

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Can you believe this is North Wales?

I have been blogging for almost a year now. Ever since my first two enraged rants I have been promising myself that I would settle down with ‘’Blogging for Dummies” and other how to blog books, and work out how to do it properly with links, and tags and all sorts of other bells and whistles. With my computer literate son home for the summer—the one who won’t let me do Facebook—I hoped this would be a good time. However, he is in serious training for the London/Surrey 100K cycle ride on July 31st. I gather it involves climbing Box Hill and Leith Hill and so far his training has been strictly on the flat in Dubai. So he is spending his days riding up and down hills in Snowdonia and I baby sit. He can’t complain about the heat and, as you can see from the photo, I don’t have anything to complain about either. Except that there aren’t enough hours in the day.

So, though I am again in rant mode, I am only posting something I wrote earlier!

A few days ago I read, possibly in the Mail, that Stephen Fry and his husband, Elliot Spencer, would like to start a family. What I would like to say to him is:

‘Please don’t, Stephen. There are so many infinitely better ways of spending your money and filling your Californian mansion.’

I wonder how I can get him to listen.

He’s clever, well educated (not necessarily the same thing) and, if his early TV programmes are anything to go by, great fun to be with. Remember Fry and Laurie, Jeeves and Wooster and the incomparable Blackadder?

I don’t remember when he ‘came out’. It wouldn’t have been something I would have thought much about one way or the other, though many people think I must be a bigoted homophobe, simply because I believe marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

I must admit, when Stephen married Elliot Spencer last year I raised my eyebrows and pursed my lips, because Elliot is 30 years younger than Stephen. Then I realized I was being prejudiced simply because they are two men. I wouldn’t have reacted in the same way if they’d been a heterosexual couple like Ronnie Wood who is 69 and who has just had twin girls with his wife, Sally(38).

I congratulated Stephen, in my blog of February 16th, (this is where I need a clever link) on stopping Twittering. I suggested that he would now have time to read the Psalms, which I thought would have greater appeal. I also think he would respond to St Mark’s Gospel; that’s beautifully brief and concise, but with all the depth that an intelligent man would appreciate.

Switch on your smart phone and look at the news anywhere in the world. There you will find reports of millions—yes, millions— of needy children, desperate to know that someone, somewhere, cares about them. There’s a lot Stephen and Elliot could do, without going down Elton John’s route. Adoption is rarely appropriate though part time fostering for holiday and weekends might be an option. But simply showing an interest can make a tremendous difference to any abandoned child.

I am reminded of the actor, Raymond Burr, better known as Perry Mason and Ironside. OK, Burr was something of a fantasist and made up personal stories, including one about losing a ten year old son, but I suspect that was mainly to cover his own homosexuality. There’s no doubt at all about his kindness, his generosity and his philanthropy. He ‘fostered’ over 20 children, many with medical problems. (No NHS in the States.) It’s easy to write cheques but wherever he was in the world he kept in touch with all those children, individually, writing letters and sending cards, week after week, for years.

Celebrities wield an amazing amount of power. People want to look like them, eat like them, dress like them, follow them. If more of them, like Stephen Fry and Elliot Spencer, were to set an example in this instance, that could make a big difference, and not only to the individual children who received the letters and birthday cards and photos and knew they really mattered to someone out there.

Perhaps people like Elton John would then stop setting one example—a very selfish one— and find a way to set an infinitely more worthwhile example. Perhaps ordinary people, like Mrs A, who is hell bent on having her own grandchild, would look around for some other way of remembering her daughter, rather than bringing an orphan into the world.

Show a child you care. Show a child he matters. That is giving. Having a baby by extraordinary, unnatural means smacks of simple greed.

 

 

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