Ray examines recent disasters and potential problems from Guy Fawkes
I guess everyone is still shocked by the terrible earthquake in Pakistan? It seems that recently it has been one disaster after another. Yet so many brave souls still appear at the scenes of devastation to help recover victims and improve their chance of survival. Then there are the other wonderful people who put their hands once more into their pockets to provide essential financial aid. On Radio Norfolk this week, members of the public were asked about their reactions to this latest catastrophe and many said they had become almost disaster immune from the sheer weight of appeals launched over the past few months. How sad if this is a true reflection of people's ability to rally to provide relief to those so badly affected by the latest disaster?
November is the month of two of our nation's great events; Guy Fawk's night and Remembrance Day. With regard to the former, our recent shopping trips suggest that many outlets are breaching the recently approved laws regarding the sale of fireworks. From what we could see, almost anyone of any age could purchase any type of firework with a minimum of checks on their suitability. As always, please ensure that your families follow the basic fireworks code; how tragic it would be if the days following a great family event are marred by frequent trips to the local hospital. AND, PLEASE, DON'T FORGET THE ANIMALS!! Many domestic and farm animals are terrified by explosions and, in their fear, often take flight and hurt themselves.
Remembrance Day this year is on 14th November. I was stunned to read that there are still four British 'Tommies' alive who survived World War 1. Their combined age is well over 400 with the eldest a remarkable 109 years of age and the youngest a mere stripling of 103. Apparently, the last German survivor died earlier this year. How incredible that these men, who suffered such privation and horrors, have the strength and morale fibre to become some of our oldest citizens? They all still have remarkably clear memories of these events and all speak of their sad memories whenever they are asked about their experiences. This year and every year for the past 87 years they will pay their respect to their fallen comrades on Remembrance Sunday.
Finally, I cannot close without some reference to the weather. What a warm and pleasant October it has been? As one of my neighbours said, "The poor old flowers don't know which season it is!" And we also saw day old chicks running around a field in Fakenham only last week! Is this global warming or just a freak of nature?