Thursday, February 26, 2009

What's a bomb-scare?

There was a bomb-scare in Belfast today. It's been a long time, but in other respects it seems like only yesterday.

My experience of bombs was real from a very young age; I heard them, felt them, saw them and learned not to be too disconcerted by them. Blase? You had to be there.
Bomb-scares were a part of everyday life. We put up with the disruption, diversions, inconvenience and added time to our journeys that today has caused total chaos in a city that can no longer cope. How quickly things change.

On the other hand, my children's experience of bombs is what they've learnt about World War Two in history at school. So the first question when the news broke this afternoon was 'what's a bomb-scare?'

I explained there was a bomb in town. I could see immediately daughter was worried and explained that it was too far away to hurt us. Anyway, the army were sorting it out. Sudden excitement in son's eyes ... the army ... are in Belfast??! Wow! He stopped short of asking if we could go and see them.

Changed days indeed.

I told them we were very safe, but went on to tell them that once our house had been blown up in a bomb. The reaction: don't be so silly mum - you're not old enough to be alive when the Second World War was on!

I stopped him from going outside to build an Anderson Shelter and her from going upstairs to pack her evacuee suitcase and sent them off to play while I finished dinner.

Five minutes later a flight that had taken off from Belfast City airport flew overhead, and daughter reappeared at the kitchen door. That plane won't drop any more bombs on us, will it mum?


Wils said...

Drew me up sharp that post.... good news indeed, but it's mad to think of an entire generation with no recollection of all that mayhem. In my mind it was all five minutes ago...

Gary said...

I was over in London during the 7-7 bombings, at a conference with two friends from Northern Ireland. There was a Scottish guy with us and he was totally freaked out, whereas we were quite calm, being used to it all from back home.

It's great that the younger ones don't have these memories, and hopefully never will, although it's sad that some idiots could threaten to wreck everything and start up again.

Judith said...

sorry to hear that there was a bomb-scare but encouraging too that Michael and Dolly don't have the same memories as you. Everytime there was a bomb scare or one went off in Lisburn our hall was always used for the evacuees and I can still see Nigel making bacon butties and soda bread for everyone!! Judith

have posted cards to Michael and Dolly this morning - I just hope they get to you as the post office this morning charged a different postage to the post office I used yesterday when sending off other cards!!!

Cosmo said...

Hey Ali, it's Monday and you have yet to make mention of Saturday's glorious (skin-of-the-teeth) victory!