Tuesday, 6 March 2012
They did shoot the messenger......
I sat in the cafe, turning the pages of the newspaper, feeling very sad. I have been reading a lot about the award winning American journalist, Marie Colvin, since her death on February 22nd 2012, whilst covering the siege of Homs in Syria. I read her reports when she was alive but not avidly. I knew who she was with her distinctive eye patch, always reporting from the front line of any conflict, but I wasn't a fan in the way I am now. It must have come as no surprise to her friends that she died doing her job. But I'm sure it was a terrible shock. Marie had made a career out of getting into trouble spots. As foreign correspondent for The Sunday Times, she had been to some of the most dangerous places in the world to tell us about the bad things that were happening there, to bear witness, so we can tut and shake our heads with anger at the horrors going on around the world from the comfort of our clean-sheeted beds and cozy kitchens.
Marie Colvin 1956-2012
Marie Colvin cut across gender and age, as a 56 year old woman in the testosterone fuelled world of hard-drinking-chain-smoking war reporters, she cut a glamorous figure in a flack jacket and eye patch, manicured nails and pearls. She did not conform to the stereo-type of hard-bitten hack but was instead warm, funny, generous and compassionate, always willing to help whether it be to inspire younger journalists or aid East Timorese refugees besieged by Indonesian militias. And always there 'to bear witness'.
The woman lived a big life, committed and brave in her work and relationships, she was, apparently, a girly girl when it came to love and boys, weaving as dramatic a web in her love-life as she did in her work-life. A role model in anytime, there was clearly nothing that could stop Marie from doing what she wanted to do, certainly not her age or sex.
I looked around the cafe where I sat, safe and warm in north London, wondering about the choices we make with what we do with our days on this earth. I watched a women struggling to eat a sausage roll with a knife and folk and thought how ridiculous, has the world gone mad? And then I thought it really is not enough to bear witness to just this.
Top tip: Mad Men is back...... season 5 starts on March 27th on Sky Atlantic...... I know, I know but it's just too good to miss!