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Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's the End of the Year,not the World!


As  2012 draws to an end it's time to reflect upon the immediate past while it's fresh in our minds. In a previous blog I have already said that this has been our Year of the Miracle, so clearly, overall my opinion of the year is favourable.

The news from the United Kingdom in the form of the Olympics and the stunning performances from the Paralympics gave viewers from around the world great pleasure and new respect for human courage. We were simply amazed by what can be achieved after the human body has been destroyed. It has never been difficult to respect top athletes who are able bodied, but no longer will the Paralympics be considered "that other lot." That is a very good thing indeed!

Over in America confirmation was received that what the country did four years ago it is capable of doing at will, not by accident. America chose as its president an Afro-American in the form of President Obama simply because it believes that he is the best person for the job at this time, and that augurs well for the future. It is perfectly reasonable to expect a woman at the helm in the future, be she black or white,
if that is the correct choice to make when the time comes.

On a very sad note, America finds itself at another crossroad. There is overwhelming violence and anger in America, and there is virtually out of control gun ownership, and that is a perfect recipe for a tsunami of Sandy Hook killings to come. America must help itself by getting rid of the violence and anger, or the guns, or preferably both. Until that happens America should not expect the world around it to have sympathy when these things happen. I said when they happen because the next atrocity is already being planned and it will be bigger than Sandy Hook as that is the nature of shock and awe.

This past year has not been kind to Spain. The economic crisis has deepened leaving people in dire straits. The only thing to happen that has turned the situation around for a great many people is to win some money on the national lottery. However, the lottery was never designed to be a financial plan but for many it is the only source of hope.

Added to the country's woes our Summer has been extremely hot and dry and that has led to one massive fire after another that has affected the whole country and even the offshore islands. In a previous blog I reported that my own neighbourhood was over swept by high winds and fire that surrounded my house, burning my hedges and roses and arch and fruit trees, but the house itself was never touched because the fire came with very high winds that created a pressure system around the house that held the fire from actually touching the building. I can only show you where hot embers pitted my hammock and the plastic table cloth on the outdoor dining table. Our situation might have been a lot worse had our hero not appeared to ensure that it did not happen.

Our neighbour to the West, whose house lies in a little valley, has two sons. One lives in our village and the other lives in Valencia city. The son here in the village tried to contact his father at the height of the fire to ensure that he had evacuated, as the father lives on his own. He could not make contact, so he worriedly called his brother in the city at 5am. That brother arose from his bed and made the 50 km drive to our village, and proceeded by foot into the hot zone to see what the problem was with his father. There was no problem, the father had simply slept through the emergency. however, the son noticed that our garden and hedges were well alight and the fire was creeping closer to our house.

He jumped over our nine foot wall with barbed wire on top, picked up a hose and put the fire out! That is the description of a true hero. He doesn't flit from one building to another like a spider; nor does he have a cape and super natural powers, he simply takes action as is necessary to do what is within his power to affect a bad outcome. He is our hero! It is a very peculiar thing to have a real, genuine hero all our very own.

So, goodbye 2012! You have been many different things to many people. You didn't bring the end of the world, nor truthfully did we really expect that you would. You brought the end of life for far too many under circumstances that should have been avoided and that was a real pity. We lost a good and wonderful friend whom we would rather have had more years to share with, although she was ill and her passing was a release to her from her suffering. She has simply gone on ahead of us so we will catch up with her in the fullness of time.

Welcome to 2013, but as a year with the number thirteen the superstitious among us are already pulling their hair out. We will simply have to see what each day brings and take the good with the bad.

Copyright (c) 2012  Eugene Carmichael