Tag Archives: The Blitz

Four Things

8 Sep
An used toilet paper roll

Image via Wikipedia

Have you noticed the date?  8/9/10 

That’s all I have to say about that.

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Sad news for us: we lost our littlest fish: she who must not be named because I named her after a friend and I don’t want to say ‘X is dead.’  She was just a weak fish, we think; though she had a hearty appetite.  I gave her a worthy burial with the crisp packets and apple peelings.

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I was going to write that today marks the seventieth anniversary of the start of the Blitz but I got it confused with the fortieth anniversary of the founding of Saatchi & Saatchi; don’t ask me how.  The Blitz anniversary was actually Tuesday 7th September.  1000 German planes flew across the North Sea to see us off. And failed miserably.

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I’m still enjoying Vivinfrance’s war memoirs; they are fascinating.  She told a story about her Dad and some black market sugar, and it reminded me of my Dad and the toilet paper.  When we emigrated to South Africa in 1982, we had no money (one of the reasons for emigrating in the first place).  Dad was working for Sasol, a huge corporation that turned coal into petrol.  To help our grocery budget, my father the usually honest would come off shift with a toilet roll taken from the men’s loos.  One day, he heard from a colleague that the company was cracking down on staff pilfering – stationery, equipment, and so on – and he went home in a panic and he and Mum spent an entire night ripping up a hundred half-used toilet rolls and flushing them down the toilet.  What really made me laugh was that it was unmarked paper and the company couldn’t have come in to the house asking to see it.  The price of a guilty conscience, I guess: a huge water bill.

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Of This ‘n’ That

12 Aug

You may recall I wrote about the Hub’s trip to Madagascar a while back, and the awful poverty he witnessed, particularly amongst the street children.  I just read a cheering article in earthtimes which reports on things being done to give them the tools to improve their lot.

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I get quite a few hits from people looking for information on how life was lived during the Second World War, so I’m going to direct you to Vivinfrance, who has started posting her memories of life as a child during the Blitz.  Highly recommended!

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The Big Tent prompt this week was ‘possessions’.  I did write something which isn’t very good, but I thought this one I wrote a couple of years ago about the run-up to the first free & fair elections  in South Africa was better.  

Pre-Election Jitters 

Civil war is on the tip of the country’s tongue.
You might have to flee for your life:
what do you pack in your truck?

Dried goods
Canned food
Water
Candles
Matches
Can opener
Two 25 gallon drums of petrol
Ammunition for the firearm
you keep at your hip
A map to Zimbabwe

The things you need to survive.

You fear the day is coming soon.
You might be one of the lucky few
to be airlifted out of the country
by your former government.
What do you put in your tiny suitcase?

Family photographs
Video tapes of your baby
His first curl
The battered jewellery box
that was a gift
from your parents
on your 11th birthday
The jewellery in it
(inexpensive; sentimental)

The things you need to survive
to make surviving matter.

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