Something to ponder

“Life is so short, there isn’t enough time to love. I don’t know where people find time to hate.”

 

Words spoken by an Imam, Sheikh Hamza Mangera, at the funeral of 7 children, killed in a house fire in Canada in February.

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Remembering the Ten…

Today on BBC Breakfast there was a special programme – on the 75th anniversary of a plane crash in Sheffield there was a fly past of various RAF/USAF planes.

Why? What was special about this particular crash?

It happened on 22nd February 1944, when Tony Foulds, then aged 8, and his mates were playing in Endcliffe Park, Sheffield. They saw the B-17 bomber plane limping back, after being damaged during its bombing raid, desperately looking for somewhere to land. They didn’t realise the state of the plane though, and when they saw someone waving from the plane the boys excitedly waved back, not understanding that it was a sign for them to clear the field. In order to avoid killing the boys the crew of the Flying Fortress steered away from them and crashed into the wooded hillside beyond. All ten airmen were killed instantly.

Since a memorial was erected in the 1970s, Tony has regularly kept plants watered and the area clean to remember the men who died. He says that he feels enormous guilt that the men died in order to save him and his friends, and this is one way of trying to make up for this. Tony says he “loves them like my own son or daughter” – these men who made the concious choice to die, rather than risk killing the young boys playing in the park below.

A report from BBC Breakfast recounted how Tony tended the memorial and how much he wanted to see these men honoured in a fly past. Permission was granted, and the USAF at RAF Lakenheath organised the Fly Past today, the 75th anniversary. This was the news report that started the whole thing off:

So today, thousands of people gathered in the park to watch the fly past, with the Breakfast Show being broadcast live from there. Tony was present, together with relatives of the young airmen who died. Here is a still from the TV report as a B-17 (at least I think that’s it. I may be wrong!) passes over and Tony raises his arms to wave.

It was actually a very emotional segment to watch, as the relatives tried to help assuage the guilt that this man feels “every day of my life” and he watched this commemmoration of their sacrifice.

Please note, I’m not unaware of the irony of the airmen dying while saving the lives of some young lads playing football in Sheffield, when they had just been over Germany dropping bombs on German civilians. But it’s still a moving story all the same.

60 before 60 redux

Thank you to those of you who happily offered their lists of “experiences” or challeges for my perusal – I appreciate the offer…However, that wasn’t quite what I meant. I actually would like you to choose a challenge/thing to do for me…It could be as simple as “Invite French friends for an English afternoon tea” (I quite like that one!!) or a bit more challenging.

I like The Home Place Web’s suggestion of an art exhibition/show…One of my students recently said that a restaurant she goes to has art work for sale on the walls. Perhaps I could explore that possibility.

So those of you who said “You’re welcome to choose from my list” please could YOU choose something from your list…The proviso being that it incurs (if that’s the right word) little or no cost. Sadly, that might put Shazza’s llama trekking out of the picture, but maybe I could visit the llama farm which isn’t too far from here…

So N°1 on the list of A Few Things Before I’m 60 is organise some kind of art show.

What’s going to be N°2?

 

60 before 60…?

I’m going to be 60 next birthday. Eeep, how did that happen?!

People often plan “35 before I’m 35” things to do…I don’t think I can manage to do , or even think of 60 things!

But – here’s a challenge – I’m going to ask each of those of you who really do read my posts instead of just clicking “like” without reading to suggest one thing that I could do. Preferably nothing that costs a lot of money…for example, I’d love to fly in a hot air balloon over the Chaine des Puys…but it’s way too expensive

But something that might be fun, or interesting, or slightly off-beat, or a challenge (but not too challenging!)

And I’ll try to do them! So get your thinking caps on, and put your suggestions in the Comments.

Mr FD has set in motion our joint 60th Birthday treat – he’s booked tickets to see Big Big Train in Newport, Wales on 1st November. We have friends in South Wales and the south of England, so we’ll try to get to see them. We’re going to set up a virement each month into Mr FD’s Livret A account (savings account) so that the money quietly transfers, and mounts up, without us noticing. Not too much, but enough to help spread the cost. Hopefully we’ll be able to stay with our friends, but it would be nice to maybe have one night in a posh hotel…

Here’s a Big Big Train song for you

Oh, how true!

Last night, I had Bib either taking up most of my pillow, or licking/nibbling my ear so I’d lift the covers to let her in (why can’t she go in by herself?!), Millie sprawled between my feet, and Jasper was taking up more than his fair share of the Napping Quarters on Mr FD’s side of the bed. Only Pomme was absent, and that’s because she’s less and less inclined to climb stairs now. Bless them!

But we know that they would always come to our aid, should we need them!

Yeah,right….

1918 – 2018

Four years ago, when it was Remembrance Day for the commemmoration of the beginning of the First World War, I wrote the following post.

Today, commemmorating the end of the First World War, I am going to duplicate the post. It still sums up what I feel:

PEACE HAS TO BE LEARNED

Apparently that great orator (!) Sylvester Stallone once said:

“I could start a war in 30 seconds. But some countries spend 100 years trying to find peace. Just like good manners, peace has to be learned.
I don’t know if this was in a role for a film, or as Sylvester Stallone, but on today, Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, call it what you will, it’s a thought worth thinking about:
Peace has to be learned
And sadly, with its thirst for power – dressed up as patriotism, or as religious fervour, or any other name it is given to justify it – this world (or rather the people within it) needs to learn peace.
I will say no more. I don’t have the skill with words. Many people all over the “blogosphere” will be trying to put into words their thoughts on this portentous day, 100 years after the First World War, the war that was heralded as “the war to end all wars”, but which became the war after which there has never actually been peace throughout the world…
I will simply leave you with this most moving of songs and videos, by the late Clifford T Ward. It is beautiful, and leaves me weeping everytime I listen to it. Please click on the link and take 5 minutes to listen & remember
DAY TO MYSELF
Clifford T Ward
 It’s all so different now
From just a few weeks ago
When April was about to smile on England
And I had to go

So here I am again
Far from where the blackbird sings
And lanes I love to walk along
Lost in my thoughts

And what of you my love
Though you’re so far away
Yet so close to me in all I do and see

And so on my day off
I could have chosen monuments
Historic chateaux, palaces
Or finding ways of improving my French

Instead I wandered out alone
Here where woods and fields abound
And in a quiet corner found the resting place
Of English soldiers killed in war

And what of them my love

Who died so far from home
No last farewell kiss
All that remains is this

It makes me so ashamed to feel alone
Whatever would they think of me
For I shall see my love again

It’s all so different now
From those few years ago
When April smiled so sweetly still
And they had to go