I remember what I was doing on March 6th, 1987. My brother hadn’t long moved out of home, I hadn’t long got back from Basic Training with the Territorial Army and the crippling snows had nearly all gone.
My brother and I went to a bar that had a lock-in and when we walked in, there was silence from everyone, with just the noise of the newsreader on the radio. I thought he was telling a story from the descriptions he was giving. I said to my brother something along the lines of it being quite a vivid description and wouldn’t mind it being a film so we could watch it. That’s when one of the other patrons said it wasn’t a story. It was real, and then the full horror of it started to sink in.
A ferry had left the Belgian port of Zeebrugge bound for Dover, It was the Herald of Free Enterprise. A red and white Townsend Thoreson ship, one that was referred to as a RoRo – Roll On – Roll Off.
As it left the port, the doors were not closed properly and a wave entered the bottom level of the ship and caused it to list and it was in trouble.
Just ninety seconds later – One and a half minutes. Less time than it takes to boil an egg. Less time than it takes most people to use the toilet. Less time than a commercial break on the TV. 193 people were dead.
After my last post “Mind If I Pop-Up” where I posted the cover of a book “The Pop-Up Book of Phobias” with the caption “I see no way this could ever go wrong”, Joy Pixley shared a link to a video where someone is opening this very real book with a video to it.
Here is the video. Watch it if you dare. It does have some common phobias in there
HOPE is a four letter word that can sometimes be seen as a cruel word that mixes in with other vulgar four letter words. We all lose HOPE at some point. Something comes along and we see no wait out. We see no way of going forward. We see no help on the horizon. All we do see is a tunnel with a power cut. No light can be seen and there is no way to avoid it. The metaphorical embankments are too steep to climb. You try, but you fail. You try again and keep slipping down, maybe seeming to make less headway each time due to tiring. Then you only see the way out being through that tunnel. A dark, empty, tunnel.
Then as you walk through it, time seems to slow down. You don’t know how long you have been there. Hours. Days. Weeks. Months. Years. Then you see a light coming towards you. Now, HOPE starts to come in. HOPE at the thought of finding a way out. The light comes around the corner and it is someone with a torch, and your HOPE dissipates. That low that you feel couldn’t get any lower, there it is proving you wrong.
Then the wonderful thing happens. That person with the torch? They stop and talk to you. They tell you that they have been looking for you. They are there to help you, to light your way through the rest of the tunnel. It is a long walk, but you see the end of it. Finally, your HOPE returns with fervour and you fairly run out of that tunnel, dropping to your knees and thanking whoever for helping.
HOPE has not abandoned us. It is always there, trying to find a way in.
I think the memes that came out of the image of Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka were excellent, and he never asked for them to stop, so maybe he found them amusing. In light of today’s sad day, I thought I would add this one.
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