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Me & Mine 2014; August

02/09/2014 18:44
August.
Not the idyllic summer we had hoped for as our minds were, and are preoccupied by concerns for a sick father/grandfather.
three amigos at dinard
Excitement for the prospective adoption was tempered by these worries, but rooms were prepared, paint was applied and our home was readied for its two new occupants.
st malo beach
on st malo ramparts
Summer concluded in France, where the rollercoaster weather reflected our spirits.
tickle fest
We made the most of it all. These are the memories my children will savour when it is me who is reaching my end of days.
dear beautiful

Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Nervous debility”

22/08/2014 08:55

One of my Uncle Joe’s letters will be posted to this Blog each and every Friday until they are done. Please see below for a link to Joe’s full story and the other letters in this series so far.

Joe and crew have experienced their first few bombing raids over Germany, the first of which ended in disaster. Joe is flying out of Chedburgh in Suffolk, New Year 1945.

 Letter 105; 20th Feb 1945

letter 96 20 feb 1945 page 1letter 96 page 2Letter transcript:

“Ched. Tuesday.

Hello Mom.

Well I’m back at Ched’ again. We went to Wesel on Sunday in daylight and had to land at another ‘drome ‘cos of bad weather here. I got back today.

I can only write a few lines as it is midday now and we can sleep ’til four pm for an op tonight.

dortmund attack feb 45

I hope you got that £1 ok. I must write to Jean in a minute too, I last wrote to her on Friday. She’s away from work according to today’s letter with nervous debility or something. She asks me to ask you if it’s ok for her to come to our house for this leave I’m due for!! I first suggested it anyway. Drop her a line if you have time.

Well this is all for now so God bless and keep smiling, I DO!!

Your loving son, Joe xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx”

family stories

Cramming sleep and worrying about his girlfriend. No wonder Joe is feeling low at the moment. Little details of these raids in his letters, just dates and places.

family stories, joseph To read more about Joe’s letters please follow this link. There you will find the full selection of letters to date, as well as more information about his fascinating yet ultimately tragic story. He was our family hero. He IS our family hero. If I knew how to complete an effective RAF salute, I would salute you now, Joe. Long may your memory live in our family stories. I hope to post a new letter from Joe’s correspondence with his Mother here every Friday until they’re done. It will be a turbulent and heart-wrenching journey. Subscribe to the Blog to make sure you don’t miss any of it.

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Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Failed engine & low spirits”

15/08/2014 09:45

One of my Uncle Joe’s letters will be posted to this Blog each and every Friday until they are done. Please see below for a link to Joe’s full story and the other letters in this series so far.

Joe and crew have experienced their first few bombing raids over Germany, the first of which ended in disaster. Joe is flying out of Chedburgh in Suffolk, New Year 1945.

 Letter 104; 18th Feb 1945

letter 95 18 feb 1945 page 1letter 95 page 2letter 95 page 3
Letter transcript:

“Ched. 10.30pm Thursday.

Hello Boofull.

Well first of all we got back ok. Mom as you can see we were in that  big Op last night to Chemnitz but we had to come back before we’d even crossed the battle line in the south of France. One of our engines cut out but we got back on 3 OK.

Alec our navigator is in hospital with sinus trouble. I pity him ‘cos I’ve had it and it’s hellish painful. He fainted from it once on our way back from Dortmund. 

By the way Mom will you try and find out what shows there are on at the ‘Hip’ and Royal I think it is. In time for my leave as I would like Jean to come down to our place this next leave, if it is ok with you? I will send you the money for the tickets so that you can book them for me if you will.

Whilst on the subject of money I’m enclosing a £1 for you to help you out with whatever needs it most. It’s not for the theatre tickets but for you. 

If I don’t write much this time I hope you will excuse me as I’m feeling pretty low. I don’t know what’s the matter with me today.

Jean has been going through hell with her feet, I don’t know what she’s done. Has that knee of yours got any better?

Well goodnight and God bless. Keep smiling, I do.

Love Joe xxxxxx

Sorry about the pencil.”

family stories

So unusual for Joe to sound depressed. Fatigue, homesickness, stress of the job? Perhaps all of these things are conspiring against him.

family stories, joseph To read more about Joe’s letters please follow this link. There you will find the full selection of letters to date, as well as more information about his fascinating yet ultimately tragic story. He was our family hero. He IS our family hero. If I knew how to complete an effective RAF salute, I would salute you now, Joe. Long may your memory live in our family stories. I hope to post a new letter from Joe’s correspondence with his Mother here every Friday until they’re done. It will be a turbulent and heart-wrenching journey. Subscribe to the Blog to make sure you don’t miss any of it.

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Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Tour of Duty increase”

08/08/2014 11:12

One of my Uncle Joe’s letters will be posted to this Blog each and every Friday until they are done. Please see below for a link to Joe’s full story and the other letters in this series so far.

Joe and crew have experienced their first few bombing raids over Germany, the first of which ended in disaster. Joe is flying out of Chedburgh in Suffolk, New Year 1945.

 Letter 103; 6th Feb 1945

family storiesletter 94 page 2letter 94 page 3

Letter transcript:

Dear Mom,

Well I’m back!! We got in at 10 past 12 last night. Gosh! What a hell of a journey. I had a couple of cups of tea at dinner time (the train went at 2pm instead of 11.45) and I never had another drink ’til 11.30 in Bury. I was dry as the desert! Jean packed me some apples and sandwiches and I can tell you I was glad of ‘em during the journey.

We had a wonderful time, as always. Jean ‘took me’ to a Panto on Monday night. It was a pretty good show too. Albert Wheelan and Colinson & Brean were the only big noises in the show but it was entertainment. I came back to camp with Joe (I told you he was in Liverpool), I was glad of the company.collinson and dean

We got the ‘gen’ that we will have to do 35 Ops instead of 30 now. Still at the rate the Russians are going we may be finished this war before we have got to 35!! Here’s hoping anyway.

By the way we are to have some sort of official presentation of our ‘Gold Fish’ (for the ‘ditching’). I’ll tell you all about it (IF I go) ‘cos I’m not keen on anything in the way of a parade especially when I’m the centre of it.

Well there’s nowt new so I’ll sign off for now. Roll on the laundry!!

Toodle-oo and God bless. Keep smiling.

Love and lots of it,

Joe xxxxxxxxxxxx”

family stories

So the RAF have decided to increase an official Tour of Duty from 30 to 35 Operational sorties. I’m sure that went down like a lead balloon, and would do so again when they later receive news that it’s to increase to 40! 
Joe seems underwhelmed by the idea of receiving an ‘award’ for crashing into the sea. I wonder why?!!!

family stories, joseph To read more about Joe’s letters please follow this link. There you will find the full selection of letters to date, as well as more information about his fascinating yet ultimately tragic story. He was our family hero. He IS our family hero. If I knew how to complete an effective RAF salute, I would salute you now, Joe. Long may your memory live in our family stories. I hope to post a new letter from Joe’s correspondence with his Mother here every Friday until they’re done. It will be a turbulent and heart-wrenching journey. Subscribe to the Blog to make sure you don’t miss any of it.

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Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Pantomime antics”

02/08/2014 14:12

One of my Uncle Joe’s letters will be posted to this Blog each and every Friday until they are done. Please see below for a link to Joe’s full story and the other letters in this series so far.

Joe and crew have experienced their first few bombing raids over Germany, the first of which ended in disaster. Joe is flying out of Chedburgh in Suffolk, New Year 1945.

 Letter from Mum; 5th Feb 1945

letter olive 5 feb 1945 page 1letter olive 5 feb 1945 page 2Letter transcript:

“Dear Joseph,

I thought I should have heard from you by now to say that you had arrived safely – or otherwise – on Tuesday. I hope all is well anyhow, and in your parcel you will find an envelope which Aunt Emm gave me to send you, the P.O is from ‘The Bridge’ and the other 5/- she gives you, so try and drop her a line or two and say thanks.

We all met as arranged on Weds for the Panto and trotted lively up the stairs and to our seats in the Circle only to find them all occupied. On looking again at our tickets the attendant discovered they were dated for Thursday, and I had to go to the booking office where they were “sorry but the only seats now available are in the gallery, but you an have your money back if you wish madam.” Needless to say madam did wish, and so I collected the remainder of the troup and we all trudged up them there stairs to the top floor! The show itself wasn’t too goo but it was an outing and we all made the best of it.

Have you been doing any jobs of work since you went back? By the way, next time you come you can do a spot of digging for me, I don’t know how I shall ever get the garden done this time. Remember us all to Joe, hope his arm is better. We are all OK still, hope and trust you are too.

So wishing you all the best and with love I’ll say

Good night and God bless son, from Mother xxxxxxxx”

family stories

Even a world war can’t hold back a good old British Pantomime at Christmas time! It sounds like it’s a popular one too if Olive had to spend two hours trying to get tickets!

family stories, joseph To read more about Joe’s letters please follow this link. There you will find the full selection of letters to date, as well as more information about his fascinating yet ultimately tragic story. He was our family hero. He IS our family hero. If I knew how to complete an effective RAF salute, I would salute you now, Joe. Long may your memory live in our family stories. I hope to post a new letter from Joe’s correspondence with his Mother here every Friday until they’re done. It will be a turbulent and heart-wrenching journey. Subscribe to the Blog to make sure you don’t miss any of it.

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Me & Mine 2014; July

31/07/2014 08:51
July began and ended with hot sunshine.
But underneath the sunny skies a tiny cloud has followed me around, and lingers still. My 79 year old dad underwent complex vascular surgery on 8th July which almost took him from us. Aside from the difficulty of living a 3 hour drive away, I have found myself in the strange position these past few weeks of being the responsible adult. My mum is gone, my aunt is infirm and my brother was on a well-needed holiday in the Outer Hebrides. It all seemed so wrong. He is my parent. He takes care of me. Maybe not any more.
I won’t bore you with the details, but although dad has most certainly progressed, we are still regular visitors to the Intensive Care Unit in Birmingham, where he is engaged in the fight of his life to get well.
me and mine july
 They say that for every dark sky there is a rainbow. So, we’re standing underneath our sunflowers to brighten up the mood.
 We also tried a ‘selfie’ at Ripley Castle with the remote control this week.
selfie 1
We all got a little carried away.
oops
Two days ago we agreed an adoption ‘match’ with a little boy and his baby sister. Our brood of 4 is soon to be 6 and our bedrooms and hearts will be full. Pitiful beginnings of neglect, criminality and chaos which can never be exponged, are soon to be anaesthetised by our normalness.
Dad really needs to stick around for August, September and October.
dear beautiful

C’est God’s Own Country, n’est ce pas?

09/07/2014 07:22

What I love about living in North Yorkshire is how incredibly fortunate we are to live just a few steps away from this. God’s Own Country.

dogs family stories

This was the weekend when Yorkshire showed her petticoats to the world. As ‘Le Tour’ passed through our back yards and the Royals and the Red Arrows graced our local stately home of Harewood House, I realised that Yorkshire was batting her magnificent eye lashes to the media.

Picture by Shaun Flannery/SWpix.com

Picture by Shaun Flannery/SWpix.com

Yes, my love, you are truly beautiful.

It’s fair to say that our dogs are equally enamoured of the rolling hills which surround us here, especially when the Zorbers are out on one of our regular walks. Very good fun to chase.

3

And since Yorkshire was swathed in yellow this weekend, it would seem rude not to join in. Not necessarily willingly.

4

 


Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Dortmund – ‘coned’ in spotlights!”

04/07/2014 08:24

One of my Uncle Joe’s letters will be posted to this Blog each and every Friday until they are done. Please see below for a link to Joe’s full story and the other letters in this series so far.

Joe and crew have experienced their first few bombing raids over Germany, the first of which ended in disaster. Joe is flying out of Chedburgh in Suffolk, New Year 1945.

 Letter 102; 2nd Feb 1945

letter 93 2 Feb 1945 page 1letter 93 page 2letter 93 page 3

Letter transcript:

“Ched’

Monday.

Hello Mom,

How’s things? Good or duff? Well I got your letter and the washing OK, thanks a lot ‘boofull’.

Well up to now I’ve only done one op since coming back from leave and that was on Saturday night. We went to Dortmund. It was the WORST spot we’ve been to so far, worse than Munich and that’s saying a mouthful! The whole of the Ruhr seemed to come to life in a big way that night! It’s a bad spot at the best of times but that raid was a ‘pip’. We were coned by searchlights once! And on top of that we were being predicted by Heavies FIVE times but got away with it by the skin of our tonsils! They came damn close anyhow.

We have found out since that OUR bombs were the best for the Squadron so it wasn’t too bad an effort. Still that’s enough of the line-shooting for now.

You asked if I know anything about that watch. Well it is now ready I guess but I don’t want to trust it by post so I think Jean had better keep it for me ’til I’m next on leave. Which incidentally is on the 8th March (or at least I hope so).

By the way we now have to do FORTY Ops for a Tour!! And the targets are getting harder instead of easier!

Who is this bloke ‘King Kong’ anyway!!?! Well there’s nowt much in the way of news so I’ll sign off for now saying God bless and Keep Smiling,

Lots of love Joe.

xxxxxxxxxxxxx

P.S. I’d love a dozen pancakes right now! xxx

family stories

Even a world war can’t hold back a good old British Pantomime at Christmas time! It sounds like it’s a popular one too if Olive had to spend two hours trying to get tickets!

family stories, joseph To read more about Joe’s letters please follow this link. There you will find the full selection of letters to date, as well as more information about his fascinating yet ultimately tragic story. He was our family hero. He IS our family hero. If I knew how to complete an effective RAF salute, I would salute you now, Joe. Long may your memory live in our family stories. I hope to post a new letter from Joe’s correspondence with his Mother here every Friday until they’re done. It will be a turbulent and heart-wrenching journey. Subscribe to the Blog to make sure you don’t miss any of it.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it using the buttons below!

 


My younger self

02/07/2014 07:32

 That’s me, right in the middle of the back row.

family storiesI think this was Christmas 1989. My beautiful nan, Lily is still alive, although looking slightly confused!

This is the last year that the 4 generations of our family were all together…both mum (back right) and nan are gone.

We have always been a small family, with few branches or siblings, and it’s a rare photo of all of us.

Look at the shoulder pads in my sweatshirt! From memory, they were detachable by Velcro! LOL.

What I wouldn’t like to say to me now….


Me & Mine 2014; June

30/06/2014 13:51
No sooner have we hailed the arrival of June, than it is over.
This was a busy month, with school activities running in top gear and our garden renovations also peaking.
It is hardly fathomable that only three weeks of the school year remain.
Three weeks for my 7 year old to find new faces with which to sabotage every family photo.
family stories
There has been much basketball this month, following the installation of the teen’s hoop.
he shoots he scores
I got a knee trembling light aircraft ride and the best day of my year was spent with WWII veterans at the annual aircrew reunion.
There was a charity netball tournament, raising funds for the cancer charity which is helping one of our team members with her personal battle.
mine
I want to stop the clock for a few weeks.
The weather is warm, and the summer is already moving too quickly.
pergola pic
dear beautiful