Friday, 22 August 2008

Thursday, 21st August 2008


IW: The moon wakes me early again, but it is five to eight when the sun climbs the Col and pours light onto my screen where I write. I have to shut the shutters to continue.

The 'newsfast' also continues. But 'The Shop' starts to leak in, inevitable I suppose, in fact only surprising it has taken this long. A friend stops by and tells me of the war in Georgia.

"It really is quite awful, very bad," he says.
"Yugoslavia bad?"
"Not quite. But terrible attrocities, both sides."
"That's why I'm on a newsfast. I saw it coming, many months ago." I don't need to see the denoument.

Later, I call my mother.
"Isn't it terrible, this plane crash?"
"What plane crash?"
She is astonished, that I don't know. "Ian, you're joking? You really don't know?"
"No. That's why it's called a fast." There is silence. "Well now you've told me, tell me.
"You truly haven't heard about it?"
"No." I think of all the conversations I have had that day, at the market, the cantine. Not one person mentioned it.

A plane, a charter plane she thinks, took off from Madrid yesterday, full of holiday makers en route to Gran Canaria. It crashed and exploded. 157 people died.

Later Han tells me more. They knew something was wrong, they were returning to the airport, full of fuel. There was a giant fire ball. 19 survivors, many presumably burnt to near-death.

Do I have a responsibility to know this, of events beyond the 'The Valley'? Or would I be better off living without such knowledge. "Then you'd be a recluse wouldn't you?" she asks.

I don't know. I'm not a recluse from The Valley.


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