Apparently several of the towns which succeeded in becoming "Portas Pilots" and as a result pocketing £100,000 each towards a "town makeover" are having second thoughts. I'm not surprised.
Mary Portas is a great self-publicist but I'm not convinced that the publicity generated by being one of her chosen 12 will be exactly what those towns are looking for. Be careful what you wish for, as my mother used to say (wise women, mothers!)
Apart from anything else, the very title of Portas Pilot seems to label a town as run-down, uncared for, down and out. And yet the energy and enthusiasm demonstrated by the 300+ towns who chanced
their arm and made bids proved that such a label would be patently unfair. Let's hope that when Mary Portas's new TV series is aired, it will help not hinder the regeneration of those lucky (or unlucky!) winning towns.
The flooding in the north of the country, coming hard on the heels of the devastating floods on the south coast, brings us all up short in the face of Nature. Did we really think we were that powerful? Hundreds of
people have been affected and, while the TV and newspapers, inevitably, will soon move on to other topics, the heart-ache of putting flooded homes and damaged possessions back together will be going on for months to come.
The trial in Norway of Anders Breivik, accused of killing 77 people in July last year, ended yesterday - but we won't know until August 24th what the verdict of the five-strong judges' panel will be. It's not that
often that we get an insight into the way the legal processes in other countries operate and I hadn't realised that Norway's were so different from ours. One of the survivors was talking on Breakfast TV yesterday and in just a few, matter of fact words,
conjured up such a picture of horror that it was almost impossible to credit his spirit of survival. Bravery does, indeed, come in many forms.