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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

call ourselves a civilised society or the kindness of strangers

Short Stop today and at 3.30 the phone rang, a lovely man from the Refugee Council wondered if I could place a lady and her children, aged 5 and 6. They had been sent to Leeds from London by the relevant Government agency to make a claim and tomorrow, maybe, they would be deemed vulnerable and given some accomodation (it will be in a hard to let high rise flat). Surely the most bigotted must see that whatever you are escaping from must be really bad if you also have 2 small children with you. So we come to the kindness of strangers; of course they would take them in, when I said that there might be a need for a plastic sheet (the hosts are young people without children) that could also be arranged. I cried when I thought of what that mother and her children must be going through.

In between that call and others I gardened in the sun, cutting grass, weeding and clearing the pond of detritus. Wondering as I did so how one of the richest societies in the world could be like this. Only yesterday I was reading about the hundreds of thousands of refugees that Kenya has taken in from Somalia.

Tomorrow I will be pulling out rhodedendron on the coast, I can imagine who I would like to be pulling out!