There have been some horrific examples as neighbours from hell but not much can compare to the demolition detritus that the residents of Maengwynne have to look out onto. The saga of this forgotten and abandoned estate has rolled on and on for years.
Most of the homes, which used to be on the estate have now been raised to the ground leaving an almighty mess, which looks like a cross between a Hammer Horror set and a war zone. Only a handful of resilient residents remain. Their homes perfectly kept in contrast with the house of horrors they face en route to the outside world. As I looked at one of those destroyed homes I thought of what memories were made there. The birthdays, the Christmases. All that stands is a tangled wreck.
Piles of tangled metal protrude from the ground along with debris and mounds of earth riddled with rubbish. The wire fencing doesn’t even attempt to mask off this horror scene, which residents have to face every time they look out of their windows or go outside.
The land is a prime building asset with enough space for a large number of homes. Homes a stone’s throw away sell for many hundreds of thousands of pounds. It is an exclusive area and no doubt anything built there will be out of the reach of the majority of young people in Llanelli unless they are on extremely high wages.
The construction company have begun the clearing of the land and erected some small buildings, which resemble mini log cabins. Perhaps they are the temporary homes for the rare bats, which were evicted.
Gaza is a place, which has become a war zone. It is unimaginable what the people of Gaza are going through. Those who have a shred of empathy cannot fail to be horrified at the scenes and the numbers of casualties and deaths of women and children. Anyone with a heart and the minutest bit of humanity would coil in horror and ask WHY?
Those who want to show solidarity akin to that shown for Ukraine, let us not forget the national hysteria there. How many Palestinain flags will we see on buildings in Wales? People have taken to the streets in the thousands across the UK calling for a ceasefire while many of our elected representatives abstained or voted against. The logic behind that behaviour would be incredible to listen to. Carmarthenshire has seen two protests with members of the West Wales friends of Palestine holding placards calling for a ceasefire.
Children too have joined in and question why children are being killed. One attendee told me the figure was one child killed every ten minutes. If true that is an astonishing statistic. During the peaceful protest on Saturday a small group of young people hurled abuse towards the families who decided to take one hour out of their lives to stand and chant in the rain. It is incredible but not surprising given the complete culture of the individual, which seems to prevail in some but thankfully not all young people.
Christmas seems to come earlier each year. We had only just removed our horror masks when the Christmas trees were erected and Father Christmas was hoisted onto floats to wave to children who will be counting the days, all 36 of them before the fella in Red and White, no not Alun Wyn Jones, Santa, pops by and flings the bag through the door, chimneys are not PC these days. Remember it’s 20mph in Wales Santa. Thankfully he doesn’t have to use the roads or public transport and for goodness sake let’s hope he doesn’t get toothache or have an accident, we’ll never see him again.
So it was that on Friday (Nov 17) hundreds lined the streets of Llanelli to watch the parade and launch Christmas. In Carmarthen the event fell on Saturday (Nov 18). This was a huge family event with most of the activities centred on children and choirs performing Christmas numbers for the crowds. Live bands playing carols, a samba band beating the life out of the drums and sending shock waves through the town. There is something extremely Christmasy to hear children singing tunes from Scrooge. For a moment Carmarthen and its old buildings, lanes and alleyways resembled a Dickensian scene. So convincing were the children that I thought Fagin would step out of one of the buildings and get his urchins to half inch the kerchief of the Mayor who was resplendent in his red coat and white ruffles. Thankfully he left the event with his wallet in tact.
It is easy to forget the pain and suffering of others especially as we crave for love peace and happiness in our own lives. Unfortunately some of us cannot find some or all of those in our lives and more so for the people who have all the odds stacked against them. It is a very unequal world that we live in. The degrees of differences are extending all the time and when once there was something as simple as ‘Rich and Poor’ as a measure it has gone well beyond that.
We can now pick and choose who we want to give to and influence or ask our friends to do the same via our virtue signalling on social media. I am supporting X cause for my birthday and ask you to donate to that cause. I wonder how many will ask for those donations to go to the Palestinians in Gaza. Charity begins at home but nowhere is home specified as one particular place. If we think long and hard about things using a long term vision we could quite easily conclude that the World is home for all of us and no matter where we are in that world we should care for each other and strive to achieve said love peace and harmony. Whether you are religious or not there has to be a scintilla of concern that we are self destructing and nowhere more so than Gaza do we see what the human being is capable of. Remember your elected representatives had a chance to vote for a ceasefire.
Let us hope that the outpouring of generosity and good will towards those in Ukraine will also grow and flow out towards those in Gaza, Israel, Russia and to our brothers and sisters all over the world where there is death and destruction.
Peace and Goodwill is what i’d like for Christmas. It’s a great deal to ask for but I live in hope. My message in the card sent to any of the world leaders would be that of John Lennon’s; ‘Give Peace a Chance’.