It feels odd to have not blogged for some time. There have been posts, but they’re ones to which I’ve committed. I’ve not felt like I’ve had the time to give. It seems, with reflection, I’ve been regrouping. The alternative is, of course, that I’ve just runaway from everything. And that’s probably also true.
The time to reflect has made me realise I do this a lot. If I actually kept proper diaries I could probably find an overall pattern. Or maybe not. Marriage and children prevents running away to a greater extent, regrouping is as good as it gets.
I think regrouping in my world means wrapping yourself up in a metaphorical duvet. Protecting yourself from the world. Trying to protect those who I brought into this life.
I didn’t tell them about the Manchester bombing. I read online about how best to talk to children about it. And I decided I just didn’t need to tell them. Until CM came home and told me what the Manchester Love concert was about, and I had to correct her (I daren’t type what she thought it was, such is the mind of a child). And as I walked to Messy Church with B I found myself explaining the general election- someone had a post in their garden. I tried to explain it in colours, teams, of MPs and Leaders. B’s had conviction, I should definitely be voting for Gareth Bale.
I couldn’t explain Borough Market. They know I work in London every week.
London is just a place, the minutiae of geography is too much.
I got on the train to London on Tuesday morning.
I had to move my day off this week, I ended up getting my hair sorted on Friday (I’m now on a 6 month commitment- a great improvement from my previous measure of an annual hair cut).
I ended up getting into the conversation- “You work for the … don’t you? How much of this can you make better?”
I talked, about why my job can’t really make this world of difference, of the things I had read in wanting to understand.
But unlike Manchester and Borough Market, this isn’t down to the actions of the few. Of individuals.
This time it’s of our making. Of how we vote. The cost savings we expect our local authorities to make. Of austerity measures.
This time, and yes it’s completely timely that this weekend is the Great Get Together, there is a feeling of anger.
Because unlike Manchester and Borough Market where there is an understanding that unity can overcome.
Of Grenfell Tower I just feel guilt. Guilt that we actually had the power to not let this happen. That everything was within the gift of those running our country, representing our views.
And I lose where regrouping is going to take me.
I’ve felt safety, of embracing my family, of carrying on as normal, because that’s what’s important.
Travelling up North with our family, working in London, being us.
But this time, this week, it feels like carrying on as normal is burying my head.
It’s saying that I’m ok with my local MP being one of those who voted to allow those in rented properties to be given substandard.
Until now it’s been ok that we have no idea what goes on beyond our local boundaries, to only see what is comparable in our own eyes.
The timing of the Great Get Together seems as timely as it’s not.
I’ve spent the past year wanting to understand, wanting to understand life from another perspective.
But this week has made me question everything. I feel repulsed. Whilst I’ve felt the impact of changing governments from a policy perspective, the week reiterates that the passing of the buck shouldn’t cross elections. We have responsibilities regardless of the colour of the government.
I feel we have a responsibility to come together as a nation to prevent this ever happening again.
And maybe that’s why the Great Get Together is timely. We do have that responsibility, and it’s not about us. It’s about everyone who lived in Grenfell Tower, it’s about everyone who’s having to sleep in a tower block wondering about cladding, it’s about everyone who is negatively affected by unjustifiable cost-saving measures.
It makes me love my family even more.
But it’s selfish. I know that.