Walking for the Chilean Miners

A power-walk to Heptonstall to pick up Lisa, and a stroll back past Heptonstall Quarry. Nothing unusual there, but thinking about 33 guys being snatched from a hellish hole in the ground in Chile was

I had the miners in my thoughts as I strolled along with Lisa, enjoying the fresh air and thinking about how those poor guys had been trapped in a stinking mine for months.

When I heard about those miners being found alive 69 days ago, my immediate thought was – ‘how will they ever get them out of there alive?’ I imagined that they might be kept alive for months or even years by sending supplies down the original narrow shaft, but they would gradually all go mad or be at each others’ throats. I couldn’t believe that they would be rescued.

All I can say is that this is one of the most uplifting stories I’ve heard in a long time (ignore the pun!). I’m so fed up with bad news, selfishness, arrogance, aggression and greed. To hear for once about a big group of people working towards a common goal, helping others in desperate need and there being a happy ending – that was just great!

We hear about rescue teams going out to the aftermaths of earthquakes and tsunamis but it’s always about damage limitation. They save a few, but thousands are dead. It’s just so depressing.

A real good news story for once – hooray! I stayed up until 02:00 today to watch the last few miners being brought to the surface.

I read that the youngest miner was very subdued and withdrawn when he was brought out. I hope that they all recover psychologically and physically, but two of the men have already got Silicosis. I’m sure that they will at least be very well looked after financially once Hollywood gets a hold of the movie rights to their story.

We take people like those miners for granted, and what do they get paid? Yes, a tiny sum compared to the huge bonuses paid to bankers. The world is set up in a very crazy way. I don’t want to be told what to do by communist dictators and I do believe in a generally free market, but the way that bankers have been allowed to operate is totally unacceptable. To be able to ‘earn’ more with a couple of keystrokes than a miner could make in a working lifetime underground is just plain wrong! Even more so when the risks the bankers take backfire so spectacularly on those very same poor workers. And then the bankers are protected by public handouts which enable them to carry on dishing out bonuses to each other as if nothing had happened…

Hmm, my blood pressure is rising again! Calm, calm, calm…

Er, we went to a different cafe in Hebden Bridge for a change – Watergate Tearooms. Have a link on me! There are some tables out the back by the river so the views are nice. (It would be good if somebody either pulled down or renovated the former Hebden Cord building opposie though because it is becoming an eyesore!). Only one criticism of the cafe – the extractor unit on the rear wall was a bit noisy which slightly spoiled the tranquility of the riverside until it switched itself off.

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