Archive for the Stories and reviews Category

Why War No More…

Posted in Current affairs, Poetry, politics, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2017 by kathydasilva

Traveling home tonight on the bus, I met a young man, who had his legs across from one seat to the seat opposite. It was at the time, when hardly any seats are free, I had ended up sitting next to him, but, he did explain that his leg had been injured, and therefore, he was resting it. He was from Afghanistan, and his story was amazing and awful, in one go. He lived with his brother, his brother, supposedly was looking after him. But, at twenty three, you would normally in this country be seeking some independence. He said, he was housed in with his brother, but, had no benefits, he looked disabled, but, was able to work a bit. He showed me his left arm, and it was not a good shape, apparently a bad mend to a broken arm, from a car accident in his native Afghanistan. His chest was partially caved in, too. He was slight and thin, and he told me he was very hungry. His brother, was supposed to be looking after his needs, but, it seemed he only afforded him one evening meal and that was something like a cheap chicken and chip take out. He worked for his brother on a building site, but, with no wage, only his living needs shelter and accommodation paid for, and £20 on a Oyster card. Is this a form of enslavement? I tried to give him some advice for his own sake, but too, his leg needed an X-ray. I hope he went onto the hospital. I came home, put a crumpet in the toaster, and felt sad and horrid and all those things, because, I believe he genuinely was hungry. It has become that bad, that the poorer people who travel by bus have taken to asking strangers for the odd pound or two to stay alive. It is time the Conservatives delved into their pockets for genuine change for the good.

I had just tried to catch something of the Craig Murray trial or pictures outside the Royal Courts of Justice today. Why is Jake Wallis Simons summoning, this wonderful human rights speaker to court? Why is trying to analyze world political situations creating such unease? Is someone afraid of the truth ‘leaking out’? The slow drip colander sifting through debris left by uneasy war cry in countries most of us have not frequented ever, and certainly would not think of as a holiday destination for some time to come. And yet, Afghanistan has a history, and there were good places to visit, and for what it is worth, overnight cultural historical sites are and have been demolished, and artifacts and wonders of ancient other ages, plundered. He spoke he said in Persian the boy on the bus. Who creates these uneasy wars? The war wounded are beginning to emerge, from behind the ruined walls. Craig Murray, often speaks on human rights issues. He was blogging about how Israel was destroying the homes of Palestinian residents, and stealing the land, for their own homes. I cannot see how it might seem right to do this thing. If someone decided to bulldoze my living quarters, I would be pretty traumatized, and devastated. I understand the need for calm though from the Israeli view point of wanting to maintain some semblance of a democratic society, amidst  a neighborhood of Arabic states who mainly have very dominant leaderships, and possibly to our western eyes, these seem like dictatorships as the countries do depict, their leaders on posters, like a kind of big brother approach, that the leader can see all that is going on at all times. Yes well done Israel, for maintaining the election systems. The Palestinian children, should be enjoying childhood however. I cannot condone, a system, that jails a juvenile, without the proper process. We do have juvenile courts in England, but, kids, who throw stones out of inherited hate, why are they ‘shot at’ with guns. Too much killing over land. The sale of arms to Arabs? Why anyone can justify this while watching Yemen’s children starve?

Yes what can Craig Murray possibly have said to Jake Wallis Simons of the Daily Mail. It all centered on the talk about the difference of the word Zionism, and Semetism.. two words really.. Zionism, is a slightly more modern, term, and possibly more secular in meaning, more about the state of Israel, than the inherited religion and it’s weight and value to the world. Yes, Holy Israel.. we would love you more if you spoke of your Messiah Jesus. That would be my personal wish. Humanism, versus faith religions. Is this whole argument a product of our modern age? I cannot see anything, wrong with good debate, there is no insult intended. Yet there the argument is, Craig thinking, like a lot of humanitarian people, that you cannot just stand by while one nation applies such damming force against another ‘tribe’, who after all, the other tribe, could be anyone. Jesus did say with the new Covenant that all that went previously  before, was changed. He was the pascal lamb, the last sacrifice required. The new Covenant is achieved already. All men can be free if they chose it. This though plain and simple is exactly the truth of our God. And be like little children who come unto Me, says God. I prefer to choose our loving God, Jesus. And all human troubles are the troubles we all have to live with. We after all are in an incomplete world if God is not with us. Heaven and earth will pass away and a new Heaven and a new Earth will be made in its place. Revelation. And still who bothers to now listen to the Word of God. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God. It is the first line of the bible, and it always fascinates me. If all men have the right to be Holy, then, why is it that just one section of the world community cannot share that loving God? If the row between Craig Murray and Jake Wallis Simons is purely about racial origins? Craig makes the point that the Labour MP’s who have been brought up ‘sharp’ about their opinions, in the press, with the press ever trying to indict our Jeremy Corbyn with one accusation or another, one of which seems to be ‘antisemitism’. The suggestion is that if you ‘accuse’ Israel of anything but, fair play in politics, then you are being critical of the whole Jewish race. I think this is the argument. But, I am so mindful, of a book I read about the second world war. I am so mindful, because it genuinely disturbed me. There was something very noxious about the Nazi mentality. There was something so ‘corrupting’ about the forces at work, around that period of war. There was report of Germany encouraging Jewish people to return to their homeland, and be spared their lives, but, too, that they would be ‘allowed out of the country’ on some agreed conditions. The conditions economically benefited Germany. And something too, and this will sound terrible but, I must say it, that just suppose if Germany with its warrior spirit or the original planners of World War Two, who decided, that this was the way to control ‘us’ the caretakers of God’s word and creation, put among us some ‘terror’. And the ‘terror’ lets call the it a human, one with deceit written in his heart. This ‘terror’, would influence, the world to further wars, when it suited. But, this man, would not be honest not an honest person at all. People it is said are powerful if they have money or knowledge and sometimes both. The German fascists were genuinely terrified of a true God, because after all He could intervene, and inspire, courage and strength in the faithful. And God looked after our ‘rights’, our rights of passage. Our rights to life. Have you ever wondered why our age has become so material? There is something very flawed about our material obsessions. There is the side of me that says Israel is very brave, because it is situated in the midst of Arab lands on all sides. But, we have to show grace. We have to be better than any enemy, we cannot be found guilty of hurting ‘innocence’.  And this again is where Craig Murray holds up an argument of pure humanitarian concerns, with the people who are neighbors to Israel. And I hear from God …what if everyone could realize that they could reach to the heavens for forgiveness, and the love of God? What if the Good News ..got out? All transgressions forgiven, all can be saved should they turn to the Truth, but, and yes it will be, the doorway, is labelled with the glorious sign.

King of glory my Savior is His goodness faileth never. ..here is where you enter, Jesus says all can come but, they must come through Me…. the portal.

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The Glenn Greenwald Experience

Posted in Current affairs, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2017 by kathydasilva

 

This evening, I traveled to the Royal Society of Arts headquarters, London, to see David Miranda and his partner former Guardian, award winning, journalist Glenn Greenwald, talk about their experiences subsequent to the Snowden revelations, and their return to a country that had been out of their reach for about four years. Leading the discussion was Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, Shadow Attorney General and member of the House of Lords. This was quite a unique event, in that Glenn Greenwald, and his partner David Miranda, had been at the center of the most controversial of whistle-blows, possibly this side of the millennial change. Here we are in the twenty first century and, society has become tight lipped, and hidden. We behave like mice who have been put in a maze, with only certain doors open to us for expression. Tonight, was all but, an hour. A very short hour. Only enough time to cover essential facts, about the two courageous subjects, who for all the glory of the huge Snowden, story had become fugitives, unable to guarantee their own safe transition between one country or another, with possible threats to their freedom, and indictments hanging in the air, like lightning strikes.

It was, an emotional moment for the two of them. David Miranda’s own account vividly described to a live audience, who sat completely transfixed, as he described his nine hour ordeal at the hands of British GCHQ operatives, who bombarded him with questions and threats of incarceration. He had had to leave all his personal laptop and mobile phone equipment with the port at which he had arrived, hoping for an onward flight to Rio his final destination. He had decided to sit the nine hour ordeal, without taking food, or allowing a local British lawyer, to be brought in, for his knowledge of the law was such that a prisoner is only allowed one call to a lawyer. He was quick witted enough to remember this fact. His partner Glenn, had been called only after three hours of David’s detention to tell him where he was and when to expect his return. The talk and exchange lasted about half an hour, with question time from an audience only given twenty minutes. But, clearly the audience had an eager interest, in the whole topic of surveillance state, and Glenn’s book No Place to Hide, which now is in paperback and available through all good bookstores and online, was barely mentioned.

The audience questions were fast and flowing and surprisingly, dominated by women, who were keen to explore the subject of state intrusion and privacy on the internet. One person had said the net had been lost (they meant to the globalist agenda), well I hope not, I hope encryption will still make privacy possible again. There could be many worlds within worlds in computing. The Tor Project has proven, that I.D.’s can be scrambled, and therefore state intrusion kept out. I am in favor of invention with this respect.

I wondered that how all of this discussion was going on, in a building, which had association with ‘royalty’. Something of an institutional background with the whole room, covered in painting from a classical past, that, had me thinking, how distracting particularly because one of the paintings had quite a lot of semi undressed ‘gods’, and nymphs dancing about in a country scene. And then again, what a perfect simmering down from the ‘high’ alert that the two men, had had to endure for four years. Why is it journalists revealing big stories, become, vilified, for their efforts?

My friend from the Assange vigil Emmy, stood up to ask some questions, at the end, and became quite emotional. She is a Greek citizen, who now lives in Britain, with her family. She is someone who, takes an active interest in politics in general, but, also particularly in her country of origin. Her point was to emphasize, the how we as a world community have become entangled with Amercan NSA surveillance and sometimes, without much discussion. That the prime minister of Greece had found his own phone tapped by the NSA/CIA and had been threatened, and made to leave his job, during the time of the Greek Olympic year, 2004. His family had been literally kidnapped, and his hand forced. The citizens of Greece had been victims surveillance by the NSA initially for security during the Olympics, but the surveillance had continued for nine months afterward, when it should have come to an end. The publication of this fact, had only just recently come to light, and it was indeed Pierre Omidyar’s, The Intercept, who Glenn Greenwald writes for,  that had brought it to her and the public’s attention. So much has been occurring, in all of the European countries,  with regard to a tightening security grip, without public knowledge. Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, whilst on the whole did a splendid job of presentation, could not handle, the emotions being, poured out at the end of the talk with Glenn Greenwald and his partner David Miranda. In fact it slightly became frustrating, that not enough was discussed due to the small amount of question time.

I am pleased to have seen Glenn Greenwald live tonight and indeed to have listened to David Miranda tell of  his involvement in the Snowden revelations. I wished we could have had more time! Why no signing of his books??.. I was hopeful to get my hard back copy signed!

 

 

 

The Incomprehensible!

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2017 by kathydasilva

I have it is true a fascination for learning about computing, but, so far, the more I have delved, the worse, the old software/ computer, becomes and now I have found most of my files, sitting on my USB software files, as if it is a memory stick! Not actually on the stick part, but, inside the software on the computer? Well, update time, is due, and perhaps a change of machine. I am thinking, now, that not much is safe these days if held somewhere in transit on the internet either. Oh hail the old typewriter, for it was only the business of words to worry about, and I completely understand Will Self, for treating the whole business of internet as a thoroughly annoying distraction too.

I seem drowned in fear of ‘invasion’, however, and whatever, form, it might take, for my thoughts are precious , even if others, may think they are not. Privacy became an issue in all the debate about state surveillance, and the machine, the main culprit being the computer and its software, the main net, literally.  Glenn  Greenwald is about to come and talk in England, hooray! It took some time, and probably a vat full of courage, to tread on our soil again. I hope, we all are there, and overflowing with some appreciation for his wonderful efforts and writing. The new book, idea I had a week ago for publishing my blog pages, the ones I had to take off, are nearly ready to upload, but, I want to add some other pieces, and illustrate, the cover, maybe with some cartoon art. And progressively, I have been moving toward, some more art and essay work.

Sundays for me now are about keeping my sanity over, the whole thing of change, and adjustment. My sister, Alison, died two years ago, from motor neurons, and it is only now, that the absence of her calls, letters, and family moments, at Christmas, has begun to sink in. I had a tearful moment last Christmas, but, I have progressed through this year, surprisingly more focused than, the year in which she passed. And am about ready to get back to the main chunk of Storm.  Autumn is my favorite time, and we the ‘English’ can get back to our classrooms and are educative processes. The rigor of all that is ‘usual’.  It is like a gift the way I am feeling now. When I went to art school in Winchester, there were earlier memories, accompanying me, and the historical element of the buildings, and the earthy nature, almost suggested within the  building fabric especially the churches, and the courtyard flagstones. The town, is a true scale of what a person, can endure, without feeling lost. Such happy memories of sitting eating tea with my father as Alison tried for entrance for St Swithun’s School. Had she passed, both myself and Alison would have probably been boarders. I drew the high street on my foundation course, with people flowing up and down, abstracting the lines until they all merge, or cross over each other. My au plein air effort catching the eye of someone, who said I could sell it. The dreams and love of books, were just beginning to emerge. Even just holding an old style book with yellowed pages, and words perhaps belonging to another century, unfolding as a person reads down revealing, the nature of a previous generation who perhaps had better manners, more sense, who knows! Catherine Cookson, often talked of an earlier period of history in her novels. John Fowles also has used history to illustrate a certain mood, or feeling perhaps a loss of moral interest. If humans do not have boundaries, to live by, perhaps, we all become less grace filled. There is much to note that a good education and upbringing, can be so much better, than, young people, not really emerging knowing their own mind’s worth. The cathedral at Winchester has a tall steeple, and a long history.  The center of town, is mainly pedestrianized, and has a Tudor feel in the beams, and small windows. I took a walk to the top of the highest point in the autumn, with my aging mother trailing beside, me, with my medium format borrow from the college. King Alfred, is said to be one of England’s first real kings. His statue is erect in the lower part of the high road, which is open to traffic, and the small black lanes, are visible from the distance. I like to think of this moment, as perhaps, one of the last times, my mother had a sensible conversation with me, with all her lucidity intact. There a lifetime, there something lost too. The climb up the hill took us both along a winding path of glorious orange/brown leave litter. And at the top, I was still this uneasy person who had tried for a life of expression, and visual art. I had longed for something, still uncertain of the end. Erecting the camera, on a tripod, and trying to pick the view, that might pass as an idea for a ‘Rough Guide to Britain’. This was an assignment, for a course I had started to refresh some of my lost art career. The Rough Guide’s was a real competition. I have files now, that need to be digitized, at some point, but, it too shows, me sometimes that although the new cameras are quick to process images, the film backs, have a slightly more natural appeal to the end product. My mother had lived through, two marriages, and had ended up, realizing, that she had regrets. We had had a drink in a local pub, and something to eat, it was one of those habits of our teens, that our working mother, a landlady, chose to on occasions eat out. It had become a habit. The best part of my life, had been the times, when life trotted past, the windows of restaurants. And sometimes, food, the very thing that sustains a person, the warmth of which had a  heartening element. Overwhelmingly, today’s society, is splitting into the haves and have not, groups and it is uncomfortable to realize, this. I have since that time, born a child into the world, and suffered his loss, and my mother, then had got ill, possibly from the shock. She had had strokes, and still wonderfully, for as long as she could, she had been a counselor, and a solid friend.

I have been typing this, and repeatedly the sign saying Windows Synchronization has stopped, kept bleeping and appearing, and I have to stop and close the window in which it appears. I take this as an intrusion. A form of harassment, and it simply could be, just the software. Or the back door elements. It is totally unsettling, that cached data, can be removed without a person knowing, and yet too, this is going to be published, so why the need? I am Jane Austen, I am Charlotte Bronte, I am Katherine Da Silva. I am concerned, people, think it is OK to hack.

 

A Time of Reflection…

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva on August 17, 2017 by kathydasilva

‘It was summertime, and, weeks of adventure ahead, and playhouse dressing up. Our house at Cobbett Road had many enchantments, a large garden, and some wasteland beyond, where, we as children had endless game play, snaking through grasses and climbing the tall, horse chestnut tree.’

‘The tree bore conkers every autumn, and every autumn, there was a certain expectation. Firstly as a child, I had grown use to new garments of clothing being bought for myself, most importantly a new pair of shoes for school. I thought myself fortunate, and loved the whole palaver  of entering the shoe shop and trying different pairs of brand new, shiny new leather shoes on my feet, with a mother whose bag held over one arm, would extract her purse and cheque book and make the purchase on my behalf. There was always a kind of atmosphere of expectation, with all the thoughts generally being toward the academic year ahead, and the progression of this child’s mind at least. Even before schooling started, my mother had lined the shelves with ladybird books, and paperbacks, possibly handed down from an older sister and brother for I indeed was the youngest and trailing behind all the other part of my mother’s brood. The house in which we lived, had the grandeur of another epoch. The whole place was ours, and it stood detached, and with a good sized garden front and back. The bay tree, out front, stood at one corner of the square which had a raised lawn, and stood beside the drive. The rest of the front was bordered by a thick brick wall, with the traditional Victorian shaping, built alongside the house, that had once bore the name of Ellis. No doubt a family by that name probably existed. I knew a Tim Ellis later, whom studied art as I did at Southampton College, just before going onto doing a bachelor certificate,  in London. Ellis House, was our family home, for about nineteen years.

There was forever, an iron swing, painted in pale turquoise out the back. The garden furnishings were, mainly pet housing, and some remnants of an air raid shelter near to the kitchen window. Our grass quite often got left to grow wild, and grew ankle length, and occasionally knee length not infrequently, due to my father’s bad back, and slipped disc condition. Airplanes flew above us, at regular intervals high above from south to north of the city, and north to south, and sometimes low enough to see the details of windows and doors, for landing was not so far at Eastleigh Airport.

Summer if it was not at Cobbett Road would always be spent somewhere, like the Isle of Wight or Cornwall, though I know two summers at least were spent in Wales in an old fashioned traditional beamed Welsh cottage. I was ten. And  I was seven, and the memory, of a grandmother sitting in the garden with a bowl of freshly grown pea pods, which she and I shelled together, in readiness of cooking them. My grandmother, was always a woman of slight form and white, cotton wool, fine hair. My mother’s sister, had housed my grandmother over the years with her family, all of whom seemed ten years older than myself and sister. I had been given a wild, black hare, one year, brought to me by a cousin, for the sake of saving its life. It had been devouring all the veg  grown in patches along the gardens, all up and down where they lived. I had named her Beauty for in fairness, she reminded me of the horse, by the same name, with thick black hair of a silky softness…..’

to be continued… (Looking For Pearls..soon to be published..)

 

 

No It’s Not Hollywood!

Posted in Current affairs, health, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2017 by kathydasilva

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I am mindful of the event and the post event news of the Glenfell Tower fire as I speak. My own head did the analysis thing, of weighing the information as it was bled to us the public via news media and television reportage. My heart and mind did the thing of saying so how did the people, above floor twenty think, how did they think they could be rescued? And the sad surreptitious bleed from an off duty fireman to a fellow ‘brother’ revealed a significant detail. The man passed the information privately, but, still it came to be known via a twitter feed uploaded video. The information told us the ordinary public, 42 people had been found dead in just one flat. And amongst the forty two people were young children, and elderly mainly. They had hope of rescue, and were organized, as far as possible, probably sheltering in the least damaged flat, at the outbreak of the whole ordeal. The firemen, never came, the ‘airlift’ possibility never came about. I think of the famous film Towering Inferno, and the reality was and is, there is no Steve McQueen,  or  Paul Newman, let alone some swanky additional, like Harrison Ford to come and do ‘rescue’. Yet and I repeat, yet! They could have thought outside the ‘box’. Why no use of say a helicopter for people on the roof survivors? Why no thought of ropes and pullies, and some sort of bag or stretcher to let people too frail to climb or come down stairs, be rescued? The fire raged for about four hours, from about midnight. And most of the victims, suffered really badly from smoke inhalation. But, too, smoke can make the way ahead so difficult to see, so they tripped and maybe fell and knocked themselves out too. The building housed at least 600 tennants. Someone saw a child on fire, and then they fell out of a window. And we blame it on the time of day. There are people, who can climb with the minimum of equipment the height of one of these towers for sport. The sea rescue crews, are familiar with almost impossible situations, would it have hurt to call upon their skills? Mountain rescue teams similarly, carry ropes, and safety equipment, in the most hazardous conditions. It was also tweeted, from a fireman’s phone, obviously a young fireman, because the whole horror, of what they found, was unlike anything else before that they had seen before, he had captured using the iphone technology, the picture of the tower from floor to roof, in flames and had asked the question, ‘How are we goint to get in there?’ This was uploaded to twitter and maybe youtube but, it made me think how film obsessed we have all become. ‘We’ are being brought up on the wrong architypes. Not everyone is going to be an action hero. If it is hard to contemplate what the need to have the nerve to risk one’s own life is like, then, perhaps, this decision is already something fireman have come up against. I think men have to be the heroes they were destined for to be. And that might be a risky business. Some young muslim men, did go knocking doors all round the tower block vuluntarily. No one paid them. They did it out of the duty of good will, that God teaches us all. It is the sort of situation that Edward De Bono, would have used his ‘lateral’ thinking cap for. How do you get over a hundred people of possibly frail disposition down to ground level, through thick poisonous smoke fumes? The book of ‘how’ needs to be written before the next big tragedy, and maybe it is preventative measures only that will succeed in overcoming our high rise fears.

Assange Five Years in the Ecuadorian Embassy, London.

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2017 by kathydasilva

I was feeling challenged today, as two news items have caught my attention. One the shocking fire at Latimer Road, area of London, and the other, the hard to fathom, wait for the freeing of Julian Assange, as today is the fifth year running, of an anniversary. Julian Assange yet again, postponed appearance at the balcony and live speach, because the British government, had made an assertion of willingness to participate in negotiations toward the goal of freeing him. The cat and mouse of the political gambit. It seems wholly unfair, that Assange should still have to remain, like a fugitive, caged in a foreign embassy, whilst Chelsea Manning, now roams free thanks to a relaxing of the sentence awarded her for whistleblowing. I saw that as a pardon from Obama, though he himself says, she had served enough time for the offence of revealing secret documents.  Whatever, legally bound Britain to his arrest warrent, surely as this is now dropped, it is a matter of pure diplomacy now, between governments. Julian Assange, from the outset of his creation of a whistleblower site, has asserted his anti-war, anti-oppression opinions. His goal, to create perfect anonymity for the whistleblower to enable, the revealing of corruption. He has loyal friends, and associates. His followers, and supporters of the publishing site Wikileaks, have funded and helped, and emotionally stood with him for the nearly ten years of publications. Fellow journalists, have applauded the facility of the Wikileaks site, as a help in their research for items of news. All the major papers including the New York Times and our Guardian, have also benefited from publication of materials originating from Wikileaks website. It seems so turncoat, of them, to turn around, the argument of freedom and transparency, as and when the colour fits, bowing to government influences, and thus curtailing proper criticism of the politics surrounding our generation. It is refreshing to see a surge in youth interest at election time.

Grenfell Holocaust

Posted in Current affairs, health, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2017 by kathydasilva

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(picture copyright of publisher K Da Silva 2017)
I continued my journey from Knightsbridge to see for my self, the horror of what has happened in the last week. It was not made easy for, all the surrounding tube stations, and it seems also buses coming into the immediate area of this fire, have been stopped from picking up passengers, and dropping them in the vercinity. I managed to walk from a further tube stop, nearby, I knew this area from a long time ago as an art student, Nottinghill is adjacent. I am grateful too, that on such a sunny day, this route proved, more of a spiritual walk of faith, to attend something so fundamentally right, and acknowledging the scale of the disaster, as a goal. I regarded this afternoon as a prayer walk. I had thought about the whole dilemma of tower block residents. I had too been in a top floor apartment, in Barkingside, but, my block had a fire hydrant point with miles of hose wound round a wheel all ready for when firemen attend to put a flat’s fire out. The one thing I do remember is the stairs in this council block were not that wide, they were narrow and not deep. So if a few hundred people tried through foggy smoke, to make a hurried way downward, you can imagine, the trouble, and accident it might cause. People who survived did describe this inability to see ahead, through the smoke. I did some fire training once with the ferry group Stenna Ferries. Infact, I went for a whole day to the fire training center in Sussex. The firemen, told us bluntly that our catamaran, which was the type of ferry we would be hostessing on, was made of a similar material to aircraft, and mainly aluminium, and it is the only metal that will catch fire. So inevitably all ferries have sprinkler systems onboard. This is the issue being raised it seems by everyone about the panelling in the Glenfell tower block. What an almighty blunder to have placed these panels all over the outside of the building. All the evacuees, needed a guide down the main staircase. They needed some training, previous to a real fire. The smoke, disables everyone’s vision, so you have to learn to descend feeling your way down (like a blind person), usually touching the left hand wall, and get everyone to put their right hand on the person infronts right shoulder. I can imagine sheer panic, because of no guide being there and it seems lessons yes, will be learned. Why no advice on the phone from the fire brigade other than placing a wet towel around shoulders?
The pictures tell their own story. People have lost homes, and loved ones, and there is no solace.

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