My friend David went to Calais to help build shelters. He reported on Facebook that more help was needed. I sat in my gorgeous comfy warm new home and felt utterly guilty. All the excuses of why i could not possibly go tumbled around my head and tore at my heart. ‘I’m a mother, how can I possibly leave my kid and venture off into the unknown, I can’t afford it, i have to work, i have to write, I have things to do…’
We all have stuff to do. The minutiae of our lives keeps us focused on the banal, the humdrum, the day to day nonsense of laundry, keeping warm, getting fed. It’s easier to snuggle down into the couch, flick through the tv channels for something funnier.
There was snot settled in my chest. My belly was bloated from holiday food. I was cross with my kid for being a kid and I was remembering the days when the poor black babies in Africa were the threats parents used to coerce their offspring into favourable activity. Calais is a ten hour drive from here. That is the same length of time as driving to north Skye and back. Ten hours drive away there are babies dying of the cold.
Ten hours drive from here, there are pregnant women living in tents for the winter.
Ten hours drive from where I sit, in my gorgeous, warm comfy cottage, my mate and his mates are frantically doing something to change a terrible situation.
And then a coach from the child’s old school was caught up in some sort of incident, in Calais, returning from a skiing trip. And a section of the media chose to portray that incident as though the people involved were lawless criminals intent on wounding innocent islanders.
I am going to Calais on Friday morning. I am going to drive. Artists from Moray have donated fifty brand new sleeping bags. Others have donated boots, jackets and the like. They’re all going into the boot of the car. I’ll give them to whoever needs them. There’s a building crew from Inverness/ Findhorn working their butts off to build shelters in order to get as many folk as possible out of tents or shipping containers before the whole place freezes.
We have to help them.
Of course I can’t afford it, but I’ll use my overdraft if I have to. I’ll sleep in the car if I have to. You can help me out – you can donate via the link below, if you feel you can, or you can share the link, or even both. And thank you to everyone who already has.
I have spare seats in the car. A co-driver with great taste in music who can also navigate would be awesome, please? I leave early Friday morning, come on, you can do it – come with me, help get the shelters built…????