Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Memories



Next week I am going down to Surrey to stay with my sister for a few days. Recent phone calls to her have got us both remembering the days when we were small. One thing I remembered would spark her off to something I had forgotten, and so we went on.

I think it is valuable remembering things that happened, and doing it with other members of the family. Often what we always recalled as odd or even had never understood, become perfectly clear when brought into the light of collective memories.

My sister had always thought her little red bicycle was bought specially for her, but I myself had had a little red bicycle, and in the summer that World War II ended it was obvious that "my" bicycle was handed down to her. I got a grown up bike, ready to cycle to my new Grammar (High) School, but it was almost certainly second-hand at that time of austerity.

So today I have posted a collage of photographs taken by my father, all before 1945. The big picture is of me at a "tea party", and the others, from the bottom left-hand corner upwards are:- Me and my sister at the seaside in 1939; me as the littlest bridesmaid at my Uncle and Aunt's wedding; Christmas morning; Our house that was subsequently bombed. You can see the sandbags protecting the front door; feeding chicken (and I hated cleaning them); and me sledging in the winter. We didn't always get that much snow!

It seems like another age now, which I suppose it is. The UK and Europe were never the same after 1945 and the years afterwards, when shortages and rations were the order of the day, moral standards were changing (or slipping according to your outlook!) and thousands of refugees moved across Europe as they sought their homeland.

Sometimes we look at the changed world we live in and wonder how our children will cope. The answer is, of course, that it will all look perfectly normal to them, and they will just get on with living their lives, albeit in a way we perhaps can't imagine, or even understand. I know my own mother would never be able to comprehend the problems that faced me as I brought up my own family, any more than I can fully take in the stresses that my daughter is under. (I do try, Sue, honestly!)

All we can do is the best we can, and pray for God's help, protection and strength for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

16 comments:

VioletSky said...

Oh Gilly, you don't look particularly happy being a bridesmaid! Did you lose your whole house in the bombing?
have a wonderful visit with your sister, and I hope things are better for you by now - or soon will be.

Gilly said...

My little headdress was very scratchy and kept falling down towards my nose! I was a solemn little thing, anyway!

KathyA said...

What lovely photos. What a devastating and defining time that was for all of your nation and for the nations across Europe. I have a friend who lived in England during the war -- she learned how to dance in bomb shelters. I can't even imagine...

Cloudhands said...

Have a wonderful visit. Sharing memories has become a favorite past time for me as I enter my elder years. We have a family reunion to attend on Saturday and I am really looking forward to talking to the older generation, they have memories of my mother that I hope to add to my own. I love your pictures especially the tea party.

Awareness said...

Gilly...I LOVE those photos! They remind me of the photos my grandmother passed on to me of my Mom and my Aunts and Uncles.

Is that the Velveteen Rabbit having tea with you? My mother in law passed on her china tea set she had as a little girl to my daughter Martha....her only grand-daughter. It's a precious treasure now the GrandMim (Martha's name for her) has passed on.

Have a wonderful trip.....and stay up late and share all those stories. :)

kenju said...

I love seeing the photos, Gilly. You were so cute!! Have a wonderful time with your sister!

Diane said...

What lovely photo's! I love your sentiments about each generations getting harder. I think its swings and roundabouts. When I look at my own kids, I think that they have some things a lot harder than when I was their age, and then other things are much easier for them. I worry about them being able to make their own way in life with employment (or rather lack of it) being as it is. But at least we are not being bombed out of our houses - that must have been really hard. Sending you and Sue lots of love. xxx

cheshire wife said...

When I think about how life used to be I do wonder how people managed, especially during WWII, but whatever the situation we learn to cope.

Enjoy your trip to Surrey.

theMuddledMarketPlace said...

Loved those old cots!

Marja said...

Oh I love the pictures especially the one with the bear. Brings back memories for me too. Yes the children today have a very different life but they don't know any better. i do prefer the time when I was young

Jen said...

I feel foolish for worrying so much about my problems when I remember that I have plenty of food and it's not likely that a bomb will land on my home any time soon. Not everyone can say that even today.

Have a wonderful visit with your sister.

Jen said...

I am new to this forum and looking for blogs to follow. I have added yours to my list. I hope I have as many fond memories when I look back on my life and I hope I am able to handle the struggles as gracefully. Thank you for sharing.

much2ponder said...

"Sometimes we look at the changed world we live in and wonder how our children will cope. The answer is, of course, that it will all look perfectly normal to them, and they will just get on with living their lives, albeit in a way we perhaps can't imagine, or even understand."

words of wisdom here:) Thanks for this endearing post Gilly. It made me smile and ponder. You are a blessing. I love that picture of you with the tea party.

Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

Have you heard of the poster "Be Calm & Carry On?" In 1939, the King of England had them made up to let his people know it was going to be okay. My daughter just told me that in response to my post "A Crisis," about Kurt losing his job. She provided a link in her comment if you want to see the poster.

www.GreenerPastures--ACityGirlGoesCountry.blogspot.com

g said...

What wonderful childhood photos!! I would love to hear stories of your childhood.

Rainbow dreams said...

wise words Gilly... much appreciated too... you are in my thoughts often..thank you, :)x