You have 2 hours notice to leave, what would you take?
A powerful and emotional piece by John Bellamy imagining what we would go through having just a couple of hours to get some things together before hitting the road NEVER to return . The people fleeing in Ukraine are leaving everything they know behind them.
They had just a few hours to plan and escape on foot or maybe in a car and take with them whatever they may need to survive and everything else, has to be abandoned to its own fate.
So you are in a panic to leave. You can hear the bombs dropping a few miles away and as the enemy advance, you rush to get things ready to leave, but what to take, what to carry, as everything has to be carried as you cannot rely on a car.
Backpacks ready - so what do you take ?
Jewelry - Well hidden upon your person and very useful to use as bribes where money is no good.
Credit Cards - Who knows... Passport and an ID like Driving License etc.
Mobile phone and charger - Again - who knows where you will be able to charge it ... Medication - First Aid stuff. Warm clothing and wear as much as you can so less to carry. Good walking shoes and a spare pair.
Rain wear. Maps. Some food stuff, as much as you can carry and hide from others.
Sleeping bags - Blankets - and any form of camping stuff if you have some - as you will be sleeping rough in fields, in bombed out buildings, in railway stations and not in your lovely warm bed.
What else ?
Come on guys, help me out here, what else should we take with us and that can be carried.
What about my dog. I cannot take feed along for her and I cannot cater to her behaviour as if we are 'on the run;' - but do I just leave her behind to run wild, never knowing what it is like to be a wild dog, and do I just abandon her to her own defences which will not last her long ? I despair at the thought of what she may go through thinking I have abandoned her and don't love her any more, I just cannot see taking her along for the journey some how.
If you have children - You also have to round them up and explain how serious this is to them without frightening the crap out of them, even though you have the fear of God in you and you are absolutely putting on a brave face to save others from a panic as that will help no one, but you are only just holding it together yourself - and you MUST hold it together - for the sake of others.
What about Granny - disabled and slow slow slow and she will hold us all up, so what happens here ? Can't leave her but she may be the reason we all get caught. Should the elderly stay behind and let the young go free with their blessings, just remember their gift to you in staying and allowing the family to get away while you may not ?
Sacrifices will be made all over - people giving up clothing and food for others, guiding, carrying, keeping others cheerful and trying to get away as fast as possible without sounding alarmist to others ...
Everyone on this road to some place else will have a tragic story to share - everyone - and while we see a sea of faces on the telly looking scared and gaunt, everyone is you and me in some way or another and - how would we cope under the circumstances. How many faggots would make it all about themselves - poor me - and these are the ones who get ignored and forgotten about as , like during this Covid Pandemic, how many gay venues or gay groups did anything to help and assist those stuck at home - in any way possible, as it seems - most did nothing but hide.
The most important thing to take with you, is your humour, your singing, your normality that can share a joke even in these awful times and try to keep peoples spirits up. Sinking into despair helps no one while even though horrendous, there will always be a funny side to things and while difficult when faced with despair and horror - HAS to be an important tool to keep yourself and others, including children and the elderly, cheerful and as sane as possible.
In that moment of panic - In that moment of a bomb going off and how they are ' closing in' - and how your very lifestyle and home is under attack and you know, that this is the end of something and the beginning of something new, and the fear that accompanies is real and tangible. Pulling together at this time is important as anyone dicking about will be left behind. No time for morons. Fuck about, and we leave you behind. Period. If you act in a selfish manner, once again, you may be left behind. We are all in this together - and it really is every man for himself, and if you think someone is going to be there helping you all the way because you feel entitled or are just a spoiled brat - then think again. You either get with the programme or die. It can be, and in many cases, is that easy. If you want to live, you get your act together and you hustle out of there. If you fuck about and play games, you get ignored as we all look after ourselves and our kids etc, and you may die because of your own actions.
So, GET WITH THE FUCKING PROGRAMME AND LET'S ALL BE SINGING FROM THE SAME HYMN BOOK AS WE GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE.
Now I am going to make a cup of tea and have a piece - or three - of cake and get dinner ready for the 5 of us here at Hamilton Hall. Spaghetti Bolognese tonight with garlic bread and salad although no one ever eats the salad ... and later with my feet up in the arm will be watching telly and maybe a movie or two on Netflix and later still, all cosy and warm in my super king size bed all on my own - except the dog - and will be toasty all night, while I think of those hiding in fear of their lives, cold and hungry, tied and exhausted from their own fear.
It saddens me dearly how humanity can be so inhumane some times. I TRULY DESPAIR.
My mood sunk down to almost despair as I put this piece together and searched for pictures I thought suitable and as I sit here now writing this, I am so close to tears and it upsets enormously.