We’ve always chickened out from taking C on the underground when in London. Stampede scenes and missing push-chairs come to mind, and we’ve always played it ultra-safe and parked near where we intend to go, and walk our way from there. It’s always worked brilliantly, we did it when we visited Paris earlier this year. We never took an underground, always opting for walking.
This weekend we changed our plans suddenly and found ourselves having to use the underground. The first obstacle is that the majority of undergrounds do not have a lift service, so you have to either use the escalator (I was holding the back and A was at the front), or else close the push-chair and hold the baby, which we dismissed because she is too heavy to hold for more than a couple of minutes. We were lucky to find non-busy carriages on our way to/fro our destination. C, as expected, loved the underground ride. She did not move an inch, her eyes were fixated on the glass windows and doors, and she was studying each passenger that came aboard.
My fears and worries were worth it, when we saw C’s face light up upon seeing the beautifully-decorated Christmas tree in a department store! But her absolute favourite was the enormous reindeer she could not stop looking at 🙂
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Then on Sunday night we heard the awful news that a fireworks factory in Gozo had exploded, killing four men, one as young as 23. The pictures and messages flooding Facebook are heart-breaking. Friends and family can not believe what happened. Two years ago a similar accident had taken place just a couple of metres away from where it happened this time round. That time round, six people had died – one whole family was destroyed.
Firework working may be a passion, a hobby, a past-time. But surely, nothing should be this dangerous. When shall the rules regulating the working of fireworks be enforced, when shall safety prevail over these activity which is really a ticking bomb? Shall it be as it always is in Malta? A furore will be caused, investigations will be carried out, and then everything is forgotten till the next accident, and the victims end up being just a figure on statistical sheet?
I feel for their families. I understand the sense of sudden loss only too well. And the saddest thing for me is that after this storm has calmed down, after every ‘expert’ on Facebook has given out his opinion, after the funerals are held and the investigations carried out, everyone apart from the very close family will resume their everyday life and things will be forgotten. When my father passed away I remember looking out my balcony the morning after, watching people walking down to church to hear mass, watching housewives carry shopping bags, watching children go to school and our neighbours go out for work. And I felt so sad that life resumes its’ normal pace. You can not hold back time, life has to continue, and even though you may wish for your life to end at that particular moment and just wallow in pity and grief and have everyone else do the same, it doesn’t and you have to somehow face another day. It was one of the hardest thing to accept and do.
May their families somehow find the solace and faith needed to survive the coming days, weeks, months. It will not be easy.