6 Word Saturday: Barely Keeping My Head Above Water.

I haven’t spent much time watching my Backyardigans lately, but hubby spotted Mr. Turtle cruising around. I wonder if this is the same one who we had outside our garage door last month. If so, little Terrence has really grown a lot.

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If any of you have noticed that I’ve been missing in ‘inaction’ for a while, It’s because I’ve been down with this dreadful coughing flu  ‘adenovirus’. Some days I’ve managed to surface for a couple of hours, and most nights I’ve spent coughing myself silly. My son and family arrive on Friday and I’ll be really busy catching up with chores until then, and also have an article to write for our club magazine, so I’ve decided to take a blogging break for a while. Please feel free to chat amongst yourselves whilst I am gone.

Have a great weekend.

Debbie Smyth of ‘Travel With Intent’ blog is now hosting  ‘6 Word Saturday,’ so do hop over there and add your contribution.

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Lest we forget those who gave their lives

“They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”  ~ Robert Laurence Binyon

Today being Remembrance Day, I’m again thinking of family members who served, and especially of those who gave their lives during the 2nd Word War, and how it affected our family in particular. I shared some of these memories and photos a couple of years ago on my old blog, but today the feelings of loss once again well up in my mind.

When I was growing up in England, we often visited my Great Aunt Sue and Uncle Harold, and my eyes were always drawn to the photo of a handsome young man in army uniform, which stood on their piano. Alfie was one of the many young casualties of the second world war. The piano had been his, and was never opened again after his death. Here he is in happier times, with his mom and dad, who never stopped grieving for their only child.

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My mom often spoke with pride of her older brother Fred. He was her hero, a great swimmer and competition diver, diving from the top of cranes in Hong Kong Harbour. The two of them were very close and had lots of fun together.

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Fred went down on an unmarked Japanese POW ship, the Lisbon Maru, which was torpedoed by the allies in October 1942. A Military Medal is little compensation for the loss of a beloved son and brother. His name is at the bottom of the first column on this segment of the Roll of Honour.

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I know I would have loved to have had him as my uncle. Maybe he would have taught me to play the trumpet, as well as how to swim, which is something I still haven’t mastered.

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This pretty birthday card was the last correspondence mom received from him, and it’s now one of my most treasured possessions.

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Mom’s Uncle Bob is another relative I would have loved to have known. He would have been my great uncle, if only he hadn’t also died in the war.

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My dad’s dreams of studying to be an engineer were shattered by the outbreak of war, and he was in his late teens when left his home and family in the Dutch East Indies, now known as Indonesia, to join the Royal Dutch Navy on the submarines.

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At the end of the war, he fell in love with my mom in England and they married. Because he spoke very little English, he was forced to settle for a very mediocre job as an electrician in a coal mine. Times were very hard, and any job was better than nothing, especially with a young family to support.

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My dad survived the war physically unscathed, but he never saw his mom and dad again, and my sister and I didn’t ever meet our grandparents. My grandfather died at the hands of the Japanese, and my grandmother passed away when we were very young.

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These faded B&W photographs fill my heart with sadness, thinking of how war can change the course of people’s lives for ever, and usually not for the better. These words spoken by General Robert E. Lee, are so true: “What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world.”

Family Vintage Motorcycle pics for Cee’s FFC

This week, Cee’s fun topic is ‘Bikes and Motorcycles’. These photos are from my family archives, and are over 80-years-old. I’ve shared these before, a couple of years ago, so some of you may remember them.

Here’s my dad and his big sister in Old Batavia Indonesia, probably around 1930. I think the motorcycle is a ‘New Henley’, made in Birmingham England. If you click on the image, it will enlarge and show you all the detail.

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This very grainy pic one is of hubby’s uncle in suit and tie, posing in the backyard in front of the garage and the garden shed in England.

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Of course the people here have all passed on, and I guess that the bikes are also long gone. I hope you enjoyed these two blasts from the past.

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