Tuesday, July 28, 2020


Yesterday morning, I'm getting ready to go into town. My bank first, as I need to set up internet banking so I don't have to actually go to the bank ever again and then Waterstones to pick up some books for my sister. And I might as well get some wine while I'm out. I'm going to wear a mask, a white cotton one that looks like I repurposed my knickers.

Upstairs changing into something civilised and I hear a siren in the distance. It gets closer. I look outside - a fire engine. Then police cars. Something bad has happened. I go to town and do my errands. It's not until I get home a few hours later that I hear what the bad thing was. Just one and a half miles from here three people lost their lives in a devastating car crash. Three people in their 50s, one woman, her husband and her brother. It made the news that evening. Six years ago there was another fatal car crash at the same crossroads, three English soldiers returning from a fishing trip, they overshot the crossing and collided with a tractor. Two died. We heard the sirens that day too.

 The thing is, that woman, her husband, her brother - yesterday morning, they were just living their lives, doing stuff, making plans. And now they are not. This isn't the city. Sirens are notable, recalled. This isn't a war zone, we're not used to sudden death any more. We were once, but the Troubles are over now. We lead quiet, uneventful lives and we like it like that. But, as Seamus Heaney wrote, 'Anything can happen.' And this, just this... because anything can happen, be good to each other, meet people half-way, say the kind thing, patch up your quarrels and hug your darlings.

The road, by Sinead

Today was my mother's birthday and it gained another layer of meaning. 


Mage said...

I hate it when there's an accident like that. We have a corner a block away where disaster happens with some regularity.

Nelly said...

Yes. Even when the people concerned are not known it casts a pall. It turned out that the people who died were from a Republican background. BTW, that means something entirely different in Northern Ireland. Some people had left floral tributes at the scene and some other people (probably Loyalists) had thrown them away. I'm not entirely in favour of flowers at accident scenes because I'm not a florist and think the money could be better spent elsewhere,
but I'm also not in favour of the blatant bigotry and disrespect that was shown to the victims simply because their political beliefs were different.