Still here, sort of

Well. Facebook and Instagram and so on seem to have overtaken blogs like this. That, and the sense that I am no longer sure what I have to say.

I brought myself to watch some of the movie ‘Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot’ tonight. A terrible rendition of Afghanistan, but close enough in some parts that it has taken me a long time to consider looking at it. (For your viewing information, when the lead actor arrives at ‘Kabul’ airport, it is in fact New Delhi railway station they filmed… look at it closely… all the writing is in Hindi.)

I got to the bit where the camera man, played by Martin Freeman is freed from capture. At a party that night, he produces a handful of bullet casings as gifts for his friends.

Something about that made me stop watching; a memory overtook me.

I remembered gathering up shell casings. Digging them out of walls. I’ve still got some on my shelf, less than a two metres away. My son has some in a box, in his cupboard.

What is going on there? What has happened that we take these articles of death and hang on to them?


Its hard to look at it squarely, but going to Afghanistan took a lot more than we expected, than we realised, and than we allowed for.



3 thoughts on “Still here, sort of

  1. Hi Phil, I love your writing and perspective. I can’t fathom why articles of death are trophies either, or why ‘snipers’ are heroes, or deaths are celebrated. I can’t imagine what you have each been through but I’m sure you each have memories and encounters that have touched you deeply, some laying dormant still. Your writings, these snippets and fragments of your experience are prismatic lenses, helping to change my distorted vision of a ‘land far away’. Thanks for sharing and please keep writing.

  2. I just second what Louise has said. I don’t know how to add. It is all so awful, and I feel for Phil and the memories.I have a beautiful photo taken by Peter of a group of charmingly dressed nurses from the Eye hospital in Kabul just before the Russians came in. And disaster from then on. Love Gwenyth

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