After the funeral service of one of our friends in Folkestone, England, we visit our friend’s wife at home.
We know that there will be some time needed before she will feel like a holiday abroad, but make it known that she is always welcome at our home in The Netherlands.
She made several visits with her husband before, we know that the first one without him will not be easy.
We have a very early start the next morning because we have to be back in the Hague in time to pick the kids up from the locations where they have been billeted.
The journey on the channel tunnel train goes smoothly, and soon we are exiting the Calais area.
At once the tall barrier fences everywhere become obvious: needed because of the constant stream of refugees and people seeking a better economic future in the United Kingdom are risking life and limb to cross the channel by getting into the channel train tunnel.
They also try and gain access to the Port of Calais, board tourist campers and vans, and commercial trucks, and we saw on this trip and previous one, pairs or groups of people walking close to the fences, looking for a way through them or around them. It’s a sad statement about the inequalities of not just standards of living around the world but also the huge variations in political stability that forces people to be desperate enough to make these dangerous attempts. These fences have grown and grown in recent years, so now we can be even quite a way out from Calais and we see the fences starting. They are a sign of the current times… whatever you think about the situation that makes them necessary: opinions are usually starkly divided: no one seems to be sitting on the fence.