This year, I have something very different on my mind. Perhaps, like me, you have watched the Italian coastguard trying to rescue the drifting cargo ships full of migrants. Over 500 of these desperate people are the victims of human smuggling. Over 3000 have already drowned off Italian shores. I always think “There, but for the grace of God go I”.
I couldn’t live in Sangatte. It’s near the channel port of Calais and the place where many people hide, whilst waiting to escape. Last August, while I was sitting in my car waiting to board the ferry, we saw a crowd of people, mostly men, being rounded up like cattle before being driven away in police vans. One can only imagine what they had endured already. If any of them had asked me to hide them on my rear seat, I could not have refused!
My friend and passenger said that there was no way he would have agreed. Luckily the situation didn’t arise. On leaving Dover and driving home to Bristol we were in a slow-moving queue. At times it came to a stand still. Suddenly the back canvas on the lorry ahead of me was unzipped from within and two bags came flying out. Then out jumped a young couple who grabbed the bags and ran up an incline. I often wonder what happened to them and hope that someone helped them.
I wish this was a two-way “conversation” so that I could hear your opinions. Would you have helped, or do you agree with my friend? If you know me, please tell me. I’m sure we all agree how lucky we are to live in such a safe country. I wish you a very happy and healthy February.