Archive for humanity

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.

Random Day

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, health, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , on March 16, 2017 by kathydasilva

If walking through the park was something of a regular need for the daily constitutional, well, that is, I think,  something I should be doing. And for better or worse now the weather is improving, I must make some sort of effort to get my body moving and my health will follow. It is I am sure something writers and artists always struggle with the whole isolation element of writing or making art only to find, that the whole goal is to communicate, and yes, the isolation is only good for the purpose of concentration on the finer details of what you make. I am glad that within the four walls of my apartment stroll two adorable cats, with their own idea of what enjoyment is. And they both individually select their place of repose, sometimes on a window sill, and sometimes snug up against the heater, balanced on the back cushion of the sofa. In my humble, and rather small reception room or lounge, I have the best sofa, as yet, having  only purchased second hand furniture mostly, but, one sofa bed was indeed new. The burned orange colour of the cushions, is enough to make a person feel the warmth of summer sun. I am glad, now, that the ‘bargain’ in the heart shop, came to be mine, one drissly winter’s day, back in the autumn of I think 2012. I was lucky to have acquired it. Anything of true value will always be at least over the £400 mark, this one only a fractional cost at £40. I am all up for the recycle if you can, and especially if it’s for charity. And the heart shop holds a unique place in my own life history for my son, had caught some bug, as a baby, and his heart had suffered the distortions of cardiomyopathy. Enlarged left ventrical. The anti biotics and meds, ensured the heart functioned as good as near new. And I believed he would live a whole life, alongside me some of the way. And as we head toward a weekend of rapturous celebration of motherhood, I find myself left with a horrid sense of loss.  When my sister and I were kids, we made presents for our mother, made her the first cup of tea of the morning, and raced through to her bedside, in a wholly excited mood, to see what she would say and the delight of her face lighting up with a smile, and the inevitable ‘Thank You!’ And why not? Why not celebrate everything, to do with the whole act of making a family. I am glad there is still some humanity in our culture. There is still some wonderful thing ahead, but, I am going to have to make it happen. And if remembering what is wholly good about life through my memories of  childhood, revisiting places that do just that will be just where you will find me this summer. Sand in my shoes…