Colour and Fairytales

Had a fantastic week off work.

Its the first time in over a year I’ve had more than a few days, no shows, not being ill, just good quality time to do stuff, and do stuff I have! There have been a few things that I’ll go into in later blogs that took up time, I got to have some great family time with hubby and sons, and all in all just get my act together a little bit more. One of the things I haven’t done is clean the house so its in as much of a shambles as it was this time last week. Oh well, lah de da.

Did you watch the Royal Wedding? I wasn’t going to but there was nothing else on the telly! And boy do you get sucked in by all that pageantry. The bride was lovely in her Grace Kelly-ish dress and the groom looked handsome in his uniform. Plenty of swords there amongst the uniformed guests’ posessions. Could have been interesting if a rammy broke oot at the purvey (tr. “If a fight had broken out at the reception).

The whole thing was worth it for the laugh when we got to see the two York gels dribble out of their limo dressed as the ugly sisters for the panto. Why didn’t anybody say anything to them? Costumes by Central Casting, mascara and eyeliner by A Clockwork Orange. Jeez.

I could never have attended. Three hours in church without a toilet break? My idea of hell. Funny also to see the priests all dressed like peacocks in their finery and the two nuns looking miserable in their greys.

I once knew an apprentice nun who was lovely and who’s order wore navy blue. After she’d been to her first massed meeting of nuns she exclaimed that she’d never seen so many shades of navy blue in her life. A feeling I later reflected on when I was asked to attend the reception of a Glasgow footballer’s wedding and I realised I’d never seen so many shades of blonde and spray tan in my life. And as for the ladies… boom tish.

Anyway, it seems that the theory of the purpose of these royal weddings is to distract the people from what’s really going on. It had its work to do here in sleepy Adelaide, as about 2km down the road from us, on the same day as the wedding, there was had a triple shooting and seige. A man opened fire on his neighbours, three people were killed, one injured and then a policeman was shot and his colleague injured. The shooter then holed up in a neighbouring house and didn’t come out for nearly 12 hours. All very horrible stuff.

It was very weird, because that part of the main road was blocked off for almost 24 hours and the three things I had to get to that day were on the other side of the blockade. The whole situation felt very wrong and absurd. I had to get the dog to its clipping appointment, yet three people had been killed. What was horrifying was that I could consider this dilemma quite rationally. Part of my head is yelling “PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED FOR GODS SAKE!” and the other side is going “Yeh but how do I get to the poodle parlour?”. I’m not trying to minimalise or trivialise what happened here – the ability of our minds to rationalise the situation is quite scary, and by the looks of the number of vehicles who still tried to get through the blockade (while the seige was still going on) I wasn’t the only one. Businesses were carrying on, walkers and joggers stood at the borderline of police cars to have a look, and the media hovered there as well in search of the latest updates.

Have we been desensitised to others’ tragedy? What pushes us forward with the routine when things like this happen? Is it our safety zone, that if we keep on doing as normal then it’s proof to ourselves that it hasn’t happened to us? Those poor families tied up in this, losing loved ones to bullets and, it seems, mental illness, is too much to comprehend – especially when it happens on our safe, Adelaide suburban streets. Where do you go when something so horrible happens within coo-ee distance of home?

Apparently, we retreat to the safe, to the known, and we sit down and lose ourselves in a pageant of colour and fairytales on the other side of the world.

Published by Maggie

Writer, traveller, observer.

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