| It Has Been A Rough Year |
I am adding this additional chapter to my introduction, because after I initially wrote the introduction, it was very difficult to come back to it and try to make sense of all that I have experienced through the various stages of my life and the trials that I have endured or overcome. I wish ...
| The Birth of Charles Leonard Wiggins |
The story has already been written for awhile on my blog "From the heart of Praise, Prayer and Perseverance. 0; Here is a link to that posting, Below are the pictures of the blessed event.
http://fromthehea rt-dotwigg.blogsp ot.com/2008/03/an other-2-prayer-re quest-answered.ht ml
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Jameson's Story > Chapters > 36. Alan's War. 36.
| Date Range: 01/01/1940 To 05/08/1945 ||
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The car was a wreck. All the cars at the kerb and in the front gardens were very definitely dented. Our bonnet was on the pavement and the engine space was full of bricks and so was the inside. The one behind looked like somebody had tried to set it on fire and there was one burning down by the entrance to the pier, it's glow lighting up the overturned ice cream kiosk.
Uncle, Aunt and Mum were talking to Constable Smith and an AA man. The Constable was now wearing a brown bandage on his head and looked like one of the men on Support the Troops poster.
Some of the hotel owners came over and spread the word that if anyone whose car was damaged was unable to get home that night, then they could stay the night half price, which considering that they had all lost a lot of windows was 'pretty decent.'
Uncle wanted to know what we wanted to do, as he would have to stay and sort out the car. Did we want to stay at the station house as intended or did we want to go home?
Auntie decided that we should go home after making sure four or five times that he would be all right without us along to get in the way. He would stay at the station house and come home tomorrow. Chris and I were really upset as we had never stayed in a real hotel before, so we just sulked.
Mum would take no messing and so after a while we said goodbye to Constable Smith and some of the others who we now knew by name, and who in a short time had shared events that made us friends, and waving set off walking through the rubbish to the station.
A train was waiting when we got there and we sat in it for an hour before it left. Auntie got very nervous about being in a train so near to the coast. She thought that German fighters could see the fire of the engine and attack us; it had happened before but in the end after a lot of noisy foot stamping the whistle went and the train chugged out into the countryside but it was actually scarier than being in the car! Chris and I and Auntie spent most of the journey staring out of the windows into the night sky trying to see-well we saw some planes but they were probably ours.
It took nearly an hour to get home from the station and Christopher was almost asleep walking and we didn't realise how tired we were until we passed through the front door, and we nearly all collapsed and had to run for bed. We got away without so much as a wet face wipe with a flannel, but were caught with a bath the next morning, which as the fire had been damped down all day and night, was almost chilly and we were glad to get out.
Uncle came back the next day and bought a second hand car a few weeks later. It had belonged to a local farmer and reeked of something although he said he had cleaned it out with Dettol. He did try cycling to work for a while and would probably have continued, but Autumn was coming on, and Auntie kept joking about buying a tandem. We all knew that she was serious with her hinting, and as the saying goes, if you know which side your bread is buttered you will take notice of serious hints
There was no doubt who was the boss in the Shead household. She may only have been little, but Uncle John had a lot of love and respect for auntie. We heard them having their little arguments, mostly in bed at night, when you could hear her bashing him with the pillows if he did not take notice of what she was saying. Actually, now that I think about it you could not hear her bashing him with the pillow, 'cos they were feather, but you could hear the bed making a racket as she swung at him. Sometimes we would walk into the kitchen and walk out again as we caught 'Lofty' and 'Shorty' having a cuddle.
"What's the matter with you?" she would say coming after us. "Haven't you seen two people cuddling before. Doesn't your Mum and Dad have a cuddle?"
Mum had to admit that she was missing a lot of cuddles. We tried to make up the loss.
Uncle John would tell us the news from the radio, but most of the talking was done by Auntie and our Mum. Uncle would listen, and make a face at us or raise his eyebrows, which were bushy for a head with hardly any hair.
He did not forget appointments that had been made, because she did not let him forget them.
"We are having our hair done today. Mrs Chambers is doing it for us. Pick us up at 4.30. I have an appointment at the Vicarage at quarter to five. We'll get there for five."
Every morning, before he left for the station, after his breakfast of two or three eggs, mashed potatoes, or 'bubble and squeak, which was yesterdays leftovers from dinner time fried up with scrambled egg. Sometimes there was a rasher of bacon, which was a treat, usually reserved for Sunday, but there was no doubt that he left for work with a good meal 'under his belt.'
"Have you fed the rabbits?"
He didn't say:
"If I have fed the geese and the chickens and the ducks, is it likely that I would have forgotten to feed the rabbits?"
He just said:
"Of course." That was nearest to talking back, and she would still give him a look.
"Have we finished cooking the meal?" She meant the swill from the school, which he cooked every day that he collected it in case it attracted flies.
"Yes." No protest, just a simple answer.
"One of the geese was favouring it's foot, but I could not catch it. Did you notice?" She knew he did as he missed nothing.
"It has a cut on it's foot. Don't know how it happened. I have penned it on some straw. See what happens in a couple of days."
"Was it a cat?
"Cat wouldn't get near enough. Finish up sightless."
"Got your lunch?"
He held a bag. It would contain sandwiches filled with salad and tomatoes or fish paste or just fresh made bread and Auntie's chutney. He used to say that he did not have to clean his teeth when he went to bed because the chutney killed any bacteria, and kept his teeth clean and gleaming.
They certainly did gleam, but I tried Aunt's chutney on a toothbrush and it made the inside of my mouth shrink, and some of the bristles came out.
The German's were winning the war in Russia, and they sank an American Battleship in the Atlantic.
"That's it." said everybody when it happened. "They'll be in the war tomorrow. Thank God."
Tomorrow became last month and they weren't coming and they didn't.