Archive | 10:29


27 May

I have two anniversaries coming up this month. On 30th June thelaughinghousewife will be one year old. Look forward to an exciting post: I’ll share my statistical analysis with you to celebrate.

That’s the last day of June; on the first day of June I will have been married to the Hub for twenty-five years. Look forward to a…umm…post: I’ll share my autopsy with you to celebrate.

Today, however, is a real anniversary: it is seventy years since the evacuation of Dunkirk began. I don’t know if this story is known anywhere except in Britain, so let me give you a brief summary:

In 1940, the Germans forced British and French troops back onto the beach at Dunkirk in France. British Navy ships couldn’t get in close enough to rescue them so Churchill sent out the call for everyone with a little boat on the coast of Britain to sail over the English Channel and help out; around 900 responded. In just over a week, almost 340,000 men were saved. We consider it a victory, despite losing all of our heavy equipment. Whenever Brits pull together in a crisis, we call it ‘Dunkirk spirit’.


Wikipedia has this interesting fact: The St George’s Cross

flown from the jack staff is known as the Dunkirk jack and is only flown by civilian ships and boats of all sizes that took part in the Dunkirk rescue operation in 1940. The only other ships permitted to fly this flag at the bow are those with an Admiral of the Fleet on board.

I was privileged to once meet a Dunkirk survivor. As a teenager, I went to visit my Nan and she was out. Her neighbour invited me in for a cup of tea while I waited for her to return; I spotted a framed certificate and he told me he got it because he was at Dunkirk, and proceeded to give a first-hand account. I was fascinated but this happened thirty years ago and I very much regret that I don’t remember anything of what he told me; I wish I had kept a notebook in those days.

Sky News is showing the flotilla of original Dunkirk rescue boats setting off for France this morning to commemorate the anniversary. Sky News is getting on my nerves at the moment. They need to sack the person in charge of the news ribbon at the bottom of the screen because their spelling is dredfu. I almost lost it yesterday when it came up with, ‘Should there be more academies?’ I started to write a snotty email to them saying, ‘Yes, there should; then you might be able to employ someone who can spell “acadamies” properly…’ and I realised that the Sky spelling was, in fact, correct. I have sworn the Hub to secrecy and after twenty-five years he knows better than to disobey me, so I think my error will remain unknown to the world. If it does get out, he better hope somewhere there’s a little boat waiting to take him to a safe harbour.

PostScript: You can read all about it here:

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