This morning I ate my porridge whilst watching the chile miners being brought to the surface - a pretty tearful breakfast, I can tell you. What a wonderful feat of
engineering which has allowed these 33 miners to see the light of day again after
700,000 tons of rock trapped them for 69 days. (They are not all up to ground level yet but we live in hopes that it will all end happily).
The Atacama desert is a pretty unforgiving environment to start with - these chaps would have had a pretty awful life down that mine in normal circumstances - my goodness me, they are tough - and they have needed to be over the last 1600 hours. I suspect that this is an area where men have to be seen to be tough - and they have not disappointed.
There seems to have been a marvellous community spirit down there too - as all the men wanted to stay at the head of the shaft to welcome their comrades. But they are being taken to a field hospital instead. And don't let's forget the brave rescue workers who went down to them and who are staying until the last man is brought up.
Where did I get this information? You know, of course. I got it from the television live broadcast this morning and from The Times which I read from cover to cover every day. The media can be a wonderful thing, bringing this amazing feat live to our living rooms.
Why then did that same media - The Times, yesterday - find it necessary to go all the way to the Scottish Islands in order to pester, and photograph, the grieving
parents of Dr Linda Norgrove - the brave woman who has tragically been killed in
Afghanistan? They had said they did not want to make a statement. They have maintained their dignity throughout and have apparently been well-supported by the local community. But it is still thought necessary for us to see Linda's parents out walking with their dogs. And still maintaining their dignity, I might add. You could have forgiven them if they had set their dogs onto the photographer.
There is a line which should not be crossed and I really feel The Times has crossed it this time. I am sure our hearts go out to the parents and sister of Dr Norgrove - but I am equally sure that we would rather not see a photograph of them,
P.S. If you have enjoyed the few poems by my friend Joan Cairns which I have put on my blog recently - go to Poet in Residence's blog today (from my side bar) where he has done a feature on Joan and her poetry.