Thursday, April 10, 2003

It seems so strange lying here watching the jubliant masses running amok on the streets of Kirkuk.

Just over a week ago I was crouching on a ridge a few kms away, watching the gas burn-off and the shimmer of the city through binoculars. Now, it looks as though anyone with a four wheel drive and a half decent sense of direction can stroll straight in.

In the past week my life, and those of millions of Iraqis, have changed beyond recognition. But the story I lived and breathed for two months doesn’t seem so important now.

Well yesterday’s entry was a bit self-pitying, wasn’t it?!

Yesterday the enormity of what’s happened and what’s still ahead came crashing down on me like a bronze statue of Saddam Hussein in the middle of Baghdad.

What’s got me through this far and what will continue to help me through are the cards, flowers, e-mails and discussion board entries from old friends and people I’ve never met. I’ve been so pumped full of drugs (see – there ARE some benefits to being in hospital) these last few days that I’ve only just begun to work my way through the good wishes. But every single one is very, very special. I don’t want to get slushy but I feel loved up – and it’s a wonderful feeling.

You’ll have to bear with me for a couple of days before I can start writing at any length and replying to the questions that are piling up. The absence of an internet connection is probably good for my recuperation but it’s driving me crazier than the itchy plaster cast at the end of my right leg. As soon as I get back to my parents (hopefully within the next couple of days), I’ll start work in earnest. I’m particularly keen to start exploring the various forms of anti-landmine activism I could get involved with, details of which will follow in due course.

Sadly the black dog that was snapping at my one remaining heel yesterday came back for a second bite this morning. He didn’t stay around for long, though. I think my brain just doesn’t know how to process all that’s been thrown at it this last week. From accident in Iraq to amputation in Wales in eight days is a lot for a tiny mind like mine to deal with. From time to time it flails out in a strange direction. I’m just trying to let it do its thing at the moment.

My boss from London came down from London this morning with presents, cards and – perhaps most importantly – words of reassurance. My job is there for me if I want to return to it…..and at the moment I do, although in what form it’s a little early to say. I think I may have had my fill of wars for a while.

Discuss Northern Iraq Weblog


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