Friday 8 May

The day did not start very auspiciously as I broke a milk jug which I keep just inside the fridge. It was Hornsea pottery, which no longer exists, and came from my parents’ house. I have other milk jugs, that’s not the point: it’s just a break with the past. But I should remember the German saying, Scherben bringen Gluck (shards are lucky)

Today is 75 years since VE day and we are commemorating the occasion. I watched various events, and listened to Churchill’s speech. I find all these events very moving: the lone piper at Balmoral and the Prince of Wales laying a wreath had me in tears. The bagpipes have a very mournful sound. The veterans’ reminiscences, and the old black and white newsreel shots.

We had our own mini street party here. 5 of us got together, at a distance, on the drive of a neighbour’s. I made lemon drizzle cake and we all clutched our own mugs of tea, and had a natter. The sun was warm, 23C today, and there was little traffic so it was all very agreeable. One of the ladies is in her 80’s, and told us about being evacuated to Wales as a child in the war. She stayed with a distant relative, and was there for about 2 years. She remembered the headmaster sending her down to the village store to buy him cigarettes. These stories are amazing and should be recorded for posterity.

I decided to wear some earrings which I bought in Jordan. I was there in 2001, not long after the 9/11 attack. I was visiting friends who were living in Amman. There was considerable debate as to whether it was safe to visit the Middle East, but I went and it was fantastic. Not only did I visit Amman, but also the Roman remains at Jerash and the indescribably beautiful sights in Petra. I also floated around in the Dead Sea. At some point I bought some dangly earrings, set with turquoise and with silver links swaying below. I think I bought them to give as a present but never managed to part from them.

I have been thinking today about what a surreal situation I find myself in. Probably triggered by thoughts about WW2. My father was a conscript and served in North Africa and Italy. He was not in the front line as he had weak eyesight. He was in the Pay Corps, where he learned touch typing which served him well in later years. My mother was a librarian in Portsmouth, which being a naval base, was extremely heavily bombed. She always maintained that she experienced a far worse war than Dad. But somehow they had a known and visible enemy and one day it all came to an end. With Covid 19, we have an invisible and unknown enemy and who knows how and when it may end? I have always had very vivid dreams, and sometimes I think, this is just another one, I will wake up and everything will be normal. Odd, what games the mind plays.

One thought on “Friday 8 May

  1. I think we all experience reactions which oscillate between optimism and despair as to the outcome. Like beig under siege or held hostage – not pleasant at all.


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