There was a really 'nice' person, worthy of deep respect on Desert Island Discs this morning - the surgeon, Dr David Nott, OBE. When I hear people like that, I understand how trivial my working life has been.
He received his OBE for the surgical work he has carried out all over the world's most troubled areas - Gaza, Syria, Nepal, etc. etc. and his session with Kirsty Young had him in tears for quite a lot of the time - through stress and gratitude (both for his wife and child who he never expected to be alive long enough to create), and for the sheer disbelief at still being alive after all he has been through.
His account of the luncheon seated on the Queen's right hand when he collected his gong, also had him - and me - in tears.
The Queen turned to him and said, "I hear you have just got back from Aleppo."
Being in the throes of the latest bout of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, he found himself completely unable to speak. Not one word, and not just because he was awestruck by being in her presence.
I have always known that the Queen is clever, but in this case she proved that she is more than that, she is well used to dealing with people on a purely humanitarian level too.
She sensed his inner turmoil, and said, "Let me help you."
She turned to a footman and asked him to bring in the corgis and a tin box, and pretty soon the lunch party was swarming with dogs. She opened the tin and asked Nott to help himself to the biscuits inside - to feed the dogs by hand.
As he did this, she chatted away about dogs in general and corgis in particular - how many she had and why she preferred them (I have often wondered about that).
What a clever and sympathetic woman she must be. Dogs under the table at lunch!
Operation Dog Snot Removal and Other Thoughts. - A week ago I walked up from Westminster Pier and into the sunshine which bathed Big Ben. It was 2pm in the afternoon. Oh for the grace of *" something" *...
10 hours ago