I have been rather quiet this week on the writing front. I have been very busy at some points and hopelessly bleugh at others … a victim I think of the lurgy which is doing the rounds. What didn’t help either was staying up late for two nights, watching the miner rescues. I am quite puzzled by my response to this – I am not one for “reality” (how’s that for a misnomer) TV and although I really enjoy my detective programmes, if I miss one, I am not particularly fussed.
Having given it some thought, I guess that the miners’ struggle to survive, the efforts made to save their lives and reunite them with their loved ones and the coverage were all very unusual. Miners across the world work (and in many cases live) in appalling conditions. South Africa has a terrible record for treating miners like animals (in fact, worse than some people treat animals), China is not much different. I always assumed that South America, being less developed would be similar. How’s that for English, middle-class prejudice?
It was amazing to see the Chilean president put his weight behind a rescue, even before anyone knew that they were alive, never mind before knowing whether they could be rescued. I was reading an interview today and the president said that he was advised not to do it – if the rescue had ended in disaster, he would have lost his presidency. He is a man who grew up in a very rich home, with every advantage; a man who one would think had nothing in common with miners, who perhaps would not think of them particularly as people with individual lives and loves; at best an expendable commodity. My grassroots working class prejudice is clearly showing here :-).
And there he was, at the forefront of the rescue, there to greet virtually everyone who came up and who has pledged not only to ensure that the miners have the opportunity of getting away from mining in the future but has also promised greater controls on health and safety in mines in his country. Given his efforts in the rescue, I hope his subsequent efforts are equally successful.
So my response should not be that much of a puzzle to me. I was rooting for the miners, the rescuers and everyone with an intensity that is unusual – whilst I am a keen newsreader, I tend to let news items wash over me to an extent and I never bother with “celebrity news”. The news that strikes my interest tends to be nature-related (big surprise there :-)). But this story had everything – bravery, hope, triumph over despair, teamwork, everyone working for a common goal as well of course a happy ending – all the ingredients for the ultimate good news story.
I only wish we could behave like that all the time – helping each other; supporting and comforting one another and working together – if we did that, the world would be in much better shape.
I also spent some time at the Budgie Haven (another misnomer, Diane rescues a lot more than budgies) boot sale. I sold a stack of incense, bought a lovely brass bowl for 50p, helped out with the books and had several excellent giggles – nothing like doing some good and having fun at the same time!