Friday, 25 September 2015

Stranger in Paradise


HELLO, this is Ed Black posting to you from his island home in the Aegean.
Roy is busy publishing a humorous autobiography entitled Only The Good News, which should soon be available (look on our Books page, near the top of column - right).
The last time I posted, (Plea At Our Door) in June, it was about refugees arriving on our island. They're now mostly gone but I'm glad we helped before they moved on to places with more space and opportunity.
However, one young woman and child remain. Icky, as we nickname her, and her toddler were otherwise alone. Her husband had tragically drowned in their migration from the Syrian battlefields, where their home was destroyed.
She was taken in temporarily by an old couple but has stayed, as a helper. Icky and her child are now like an extended family for them, having none of their own. We welcome her and each time I see her happiness, or the child settling in, it reminds me of the dreadful plight of many of her people.
I always call our island Paradiseo in these posts, since it is still a paradise to me and we have sufficient tourism in summer. Now it's time to relax after months of seasonal work. I shall be reading Roy's new book with interest, as it recalls Hong Kong, where we met in the media industry.
I'm reminded of one man's generosity in adversity there, which also brought joy to others and himself. American Guy Searles was an eminent but elderly editor, who had a rambling apartment in lively Wanchai. During a typhoon he found a couple and child sheltering in his doorway on the stairwell - and took them in. They were displaced boat people. When the husband later died in an accident, his wife became Guy's housekeeper and her child grew to be as dear to Guy as if he was his own. The incident inspired a novel, The Last Ghosts, which you can read in our Books page.
Autumn is a good time to reflect upon our blessings, to read of others' lives and views on the world, then appreciate the warmth of home, family and friendship.
We are indeed fortunate and may you find your paradise too!

Yassas, my friends.
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