Monday, July 18, 2005

Hogwarts, flowers, sunshine, bird song. And reflection.

Yesterday more flowers arrived from BBC online team, who have been lovely. Then my neighbour from the upstairs flat called with a bunch of flowers. He had been sent the BBC diary link by a friend in California and had read it, then discovered my full name in other reports, and realised the woman he had been reading lived on the ground floor flat below him!

The sun baked down all day and I read Harry Potter 6 in the garden. I needed the literary eqivalent of a white bread and sausage sandwich with ketchup. Took 4.5 hours to read the adventures of Magikal Mallory Towers. I sunbathed, in a slow daze, drank beer and 'John' did the same. Birds made a racket in the ivy smothered garage. Local kids played football in the street on the other side of the garden wall ( the ancient wide wooden door set in our back garden wall functions as a 'goal' for all the local 7-10 year olds. Often I find them climbing over the wall or clambering precariously on the rotting garage roof to rescue their footballs).

Today I have done much the same thing as yesterday. Sunbathing, mind drifting like a raft on a lake, reading the papers and catching up with my family on the phone. And dashing in and out to finish the blog off. I needed to paste all the back-posts from the BBC site.

Another message on urban 75 arrived from someone whose boyfriend was on the train. That is ten people who've got in touch who have been directly affected. I am glad that reading the diary is a small help to people. I've emailed back.

This weeks events have affected so many people.

'Last Thursday, I wasn't on the train with the bomb, but my boyfriend was. After a phonecall from a stranger who had found him wondering the streets I walked from Finsbury Park to Kings Cross and found him in a cafe. He was black with soot, his clothes were torn and splattered with blood, and one side of his face was covered in cuts. He was clearly deeply traumatised. His phone was broken in the blast and he barely knew who he was. As you have described in your diary, he found talking about the experience helpful and I believe a piece he rattled off quite quickly for one of the papers was one of the most therapeutic things he has done. But he is still profoundly troubled [...] I do think talking to people who were there may help him considerably. He appears preoccupied with the missing, seemingly convinced he may recognise them, and I know he is haunted by the conversations he had in the dark with his fellow passengers. I know you, or [the other survivor who posted] or anyone else who was there will want to get on with your lives, but if there is anyone out there who may be equally troubled and seeking opportunities to talk it through with someone who was there, a therapeutic pint on a certain weekday evening may be just what we need. My father has lost his colleague to this atrocity and my friends' mother is missing. For some reason this has touched our lives from many sides, yet if I go into work or walk [road mentioned where she lives] it's like it happened in a different country.'

In Iraq, the bloodiest week so far. A doctor from Iraq was on the same BBC Radio 4 Broadcasting House describing how dealing with blast victims is a daily occurence. People are maimed and blasted to pieces every single bloody day there. Many of the bombers are foreign fundementalist militants.

A surge of attacks in the Gaza Strip. Kurdish miltants behind bomb attacks on tourist area in Turkey

In the U.S, meanwhile, further revelations of abuse and sexual degradation of Islamic prisoners at Guantanomo, were 'authorised by the Pentagon'

Hate upon hate, violence upon violence, degradation in the name of 'revenge'. And ordinary people all over the world watch, wait, try to go to work and bring up their children.

More than ever, what we think, how we act in our daily lives,

what we believe, who we blame,

whether we act on our anger,

whether we can hold onto hope of peace,

or succumb in impotent rage and despair to nihilism and anger and furious bloody revenge

is not just important.

It is vital.


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