A Weekend..of Ups and Downs

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.

C does the Central!

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 🙂

Not that interested at first…

Two girls in a Christmas shop! (I get as much as, if not more, excited than young children in Christmas shops. I want to touch (and buy) everything. And I do even protest when it’s time to leave).

C and her new friend!


* – * – * – * – *

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.


15 thoughts on “A Weekend..of Ups and Downs

  1. You know what, I have found myself thinking about that ever since my dad died also. How everything just returns to normal except for the families. I often find myself thinking about the family of the six that died last year and victims from traffic accidents and the shrines at the side of the roads that always have fresh flowers and candles regardless of how long they have been there and how everyone has forgotten. But not the families…and there was a sense of feeling so freaking small and insignificant especially when I go to hospital. We are just another patient to the doctors. Meh….

    • Time does help make life that bit more bearable to live, but it never completely heals the wound. A part of you will never be the same. The family will live with the pain day after day, not just on anniversaries or birthdays. I never experienced the hospital-visiting and the ill relatives, except for when my nanna was there for a week, but I can understand you. It may seem like that at times – we’re just a number, wherever we go and whatever happens. Your tragedy comes, passes and then it’s like, who’s next?

  2. I haven’t lost my parents yet but live in fear of that day. I cannot start to imagine what the victims’ parents, children, siblings must be going through. It’s no secret I am not a fan of fireworks and the deaths caused by the factories here is just absurd, especially since they sometimes kill innocent people who have nothing to do with that ‘hobby’. As for Cesca and the pushchair ordeal, I have two words for you: baby sling!

  3. I read your post from last week, but don’t you feel the baby weight as well? And I don’t know how C would take to it – she hates being constrained in any way. The push-chair is already too much for her a times!

    • I think Cesca’s heavy like Robin (12kgs?) but I honestly don’t feel the weight unless I’m walking for more than half an hour. Then I need to sit! For going in crowded places it’s excellent. Robin doesn’t like to be constrained either and hates the pushchair, but being close to us in the slings doesn’t bother her. She actually gets excited when she sees it.

  4. Josepha, for this last year I have been frequently pondering about this point which you have just cropped up i.e. how the rest of the world quickly forgets about a cruel event which happens to you. The only conclusion which I came up to is that (us) people are designed to swiftly erase from our psyche all those things which do not touch us personally. In more direct words, this is what we call ‘selfishness’ and ‘ego-centrism’. We are a world of individualists. Solution to that: It is more convenient to learn how to be cold and indifferent so that we keep on going….cause otherwise, when you think too much or feel too much for others, then there’s the risk that we turn mad. Sorry for giving you such an ugly view of life but I think this is the Truth!

    • I do understand the point – it would be rather selfish to expect others to keep on feeling what you feel so intensely, for as long as you do. It just makes it that more painful to see everyone resume their normal life, while your life will never be ‘normal’ again.

  5. I am so insanely jealous of your Christmas shop visit! There are a few shops on the high street in Hamrun that have full displays up now and I love it! It seems to me that the UK really knows how to decorate for the festive season 🙂

    • I can safely say, London does Christmas much nicer than Hamrun! It’s such a beautiful season here. Decorations have been on since last month, but now after Halloween, they’ve just exploded! I’m loving it 🙂

  6. I remember feeling angry.. Yes angry at everyone, after my dad passed away. I just couldn’t understand why people were walking around as if everything was normal… I feel for the men who perished in last sundays explosion, but I have been praying for those left behind every moment I remember…

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