Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Change your life

Since embarking on this little voyage of discovery I have forsaken the Bronte sisters, Hunter S Thompson, Hemmingway and Orwell in favour of devouring anything any war reporter has ever had to say. Some are frankly dull, others are challenging but there are a few that have really grabbed me and transported me into the hyperreality of the world of war.

I had to immerse myself in it physically, I longed to see it and smell it. I went to the Imperial War museum, the closest I could get to anything like war from this western utopia that is relatively all I have ever known.

I did the ‘trench experience’. Shushing my companion, I closed my eyes in the drafty funereal fa├žade letting the words of Jackie Spinner, author of Tell them I didn't cry wash over me, “The first mortar sailed over our heads, we barely glanced up. It seemed too far away. The second mortar shot over us, we looked up. 'That was close' I said, the words barely out of my mouth before a large crack and a flash of fire exploded over us. We looked at one another for a split second, a collective recognition on each of our faces. We were going to die”. I wanted to feel the cost of truth.

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A piece of the berlin wall that stands outside the Imperial War museum in London

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the experience left you (and us) with a lot to think about as did your Jackie Spinner quote. Well done.
We need to be reminded of the cruelty and inhumanity of war.
But do we learn from it? Do we go to war again and again?
In a letter to Josiah Quincy in 1783 Benjamin Franklin said 'There never was a good war, or a bad peace.'

Anonymous said...

What a GREAT shot Katriona!

Anonymous said...

It's a pity George Bush doesn't take note the words of America's great historic leaders. USA's current criticisms of Blair's 'weakness' for not being tougher on Iran is chilling. The basic ingredients for conflict are brewing with regards to our UK servicemen, but for all our faults it looks for once like the UK is ignoring our warmongering yankie mates in favour of trying to solve this volatile situation by diplomatic means

Anonymous said...

Katriona. Good for you. I hope your fascination with war is a temporary thing. I'd hate to think that a bright young woman like you might chose to be a war reporter.
Stay here! We need some good honest well written news and opinions.

Anonymous said...

Why not? Coz she's a girl? I grew up with Katie Adie and she woz brill. Brave too.

Anonymous said...

now it's a debate about sexism? Alive an well sad to say.

Anonymous said...

In reply to the above, I don't think it's sexist to say that we need good journalists here in the UK. I can understand Katriona's interest in war but that doesn't mean she's going to become a war reporter.

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