Bombgate is over. The WW2 device has been safely detonated and while nobody was hurt, a streetful of people have lost windows and doors (see photo. I hope the homeowners are compensated). There are cracks where there never used to be and a motorist lost a bumper in the blast. Now that the dust has settled, I realise that the event taught me a few things, five to be precise, and here they are:
* Everybody needs a home or at least somewhere to call their own. Even though I had use of my sister’s place for two days, I missed my own home. I felt displaced and it made me think about what it must be like to be a refugee. Two days in relative luxury were a strain – how does it feel when your home is a pile of rubble and there is no financial recompense? Today I volunteered to do some shifts for Refugee Action who are planning to host lunches in our local church. It is the very least I can do.
* A positive frame of mind goes a long way. While I was Googling ‘Who pays if a WW2 bomb destroys your house?’ and had panic attacks when I read that home insurance doesn’t cover acts of war, others in my neighbourhood were buzzing with Blitz spirit and assuming everything would turn out okay. Many of my neighbours chose to stay in their homes during the explosion and nobody was harmed. My shoulders were knotted with stress at the end of it all, which on reflection, was a pointless reaction.
* Gratitude is a habit. Whenever I think I have mastered gratitude, life happens and I start to grumble about little things, like the stain on my ceiling or the drafty windows at the back of my house. Having a bomb in your back yard really makes you appreciate your home. I love my house and am lucky to live in it. May I never forget that.
* Bravery is not for the faint-hearted. A team of men and possibly even women, risked their lives and worked around the clock to diffuse the bomb. That is a job I could never do. I am too jittery. I don’t have enough faith. I go through life fearing the worst – if I could, I would wear a tin hat 24/7. This is something I need to work on. I must believe in the highest and the best. Always.
* Life is precious. You never know what is around the corner. The digger that dug up the bomb, dropped it at around the time my husband planned to walk to the station on a route that would take him just feet away from it. In 2016 he very nearly boarded the same train as a terrorist whose bomb fortunately, failed to go off. Calamity is often a whisker away, which is why it’s important to make the most of life, right here, right now.