My 85h Birthday-December 3rd 2010

Today is my 85th birthday !
Just a few memoirs ! I wish I could have sent this to ALL my Bubble friends !
I joined RedBubble almost three years ago and would like to especially thank all the members in
my groups who have helped and inspired me since I came here as a complete novice . Although I always owned a camera of one kind or another for as long as I remember, I was never a good photographer .
When I joined RB I knew nothing about resolution or what DOF & POV meant, I am sure members thought me a real nut case , many went out of their way to help me and to explain these things. I have made many friends here some on an almost personal basis. I thank them and all of you in various groups who have given me so much help and support as well as something to look forward to and keep me busy in my remaining years ! You are my inspiration !
Excluding family and friends as well as RB my favourite things today are my two wonderful Yorkies whom many of you have met here. My female Shady was my very first investment on buying something through the internet just over 12 years ago and what an investment she turned out to be, the best “online” one I have ever made !
Mischa came three years later, an added joy !
Speaking of the internet reminds me so much of the days before all this new technology started to take over our lives Although I appreciate and enjoy the “Web” I feel it has destroyed humanity in so many ways. We no longer write hand written letters, we used Emails but now even they are becoming extinct through face book or twitter where one makes brief comments instead of writing personal emails.
Younger people often ask me what was so good about the “Good Old Days” may I digress ? As a child I grew up before and during the WW2 years, we didn’t have cell phones, few people owned any kind of phone, we couldn’t text message or call the kids to say it’s time to come home.
We made own amusement in so many different ways with barely any cost to our parents. A tennis ball was worth it’s weight in gold, one could use it to invent so many different games to play .We jumped rope, we played hopscotch on the pavement with a cheap piece of chalk often used down to a bare minimum, a whip and top was also a favourite pastime The boys liked to flip playing cards with marbles.( I never really understood that !) We played cheap board games like "Snakes and Ladders " :) There were no video games , not even a television ! Yes we had a radio.
Those were the good times, then came Hitler ! We Brits held stiff upper lips and continued our way of life as much as possible !
To this day I can still recall September 3rd 1939 , being told to be quiet and listen to the radio, the “grown ups” looking extremely somber as we all sat silently waiting for the next news broadcast. I can still hear the Prime Ministers’ voice Declaring War against Germany along with France. I was 13 years old. We were issued gas masks almost immediately as it was rumoured Hitler threatened to use gas to destroy our country. Eventually we discarded them, threw them in the attic for posterity I suppose when the threat appeared to die out
In 1940 we were all issued ration books with such meager rations how did we survive with
2 oz of tea , 2 oz of butter, 4 oz of margarine per week ?
This was followed by the rationing of meat, eggs, jam and breakfast cereals, cheese, milk and canned fruit. Strict rationing caused many people to buy food on the black market; however people were often tricked with cheaper substitutes such as horsemeat instead of beef. One of the few items not rationed was fish and chips , but the cost of fish increased rapidly. Fresh fruit was almost unknown ! I didn’t see a banana a for five years ! We also lived through the "Battle of Britain "
As I evolved into my teenage years during the war unbelievably they were some of the happiest times of my life.
Youth does not know fear !
My friends and I went to the ‘flicks" as usual , when it flashed up on the screen in a the middle of the movie “Air Raid Alert” we continued to sit and watch the movie while most of the older generation would leave and go to bomb shelters .When the "All Clear” flashed on the screen we would cheer loudly .
How our parents must have worried about us, but we were young and carefree ! On weekends we went bicycling and “bluebelling” in woods which looked like carpets of “blue” with so many flowers
We gathered them to take home to our Mums ! Thus the expression “blue belling”
Sunday afternoons riding our bikes, another simple pleasure. Incidentally bluebells are now a protected species !
As young teenage girls we would go to dances never really needing a date because the dance halls were packed with service men , from many parts of the world, usually five or more men to a girl ! We danced waltzes, fox trots , jitterbug and my favourite the Tango, we danced to "I ’ll be seeing You” and Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas” We lived through the big band era with Canadians , Australians , New Zealanders , Jamaicans also Norwegians , Danish , or occasionally a French sailor on leave in London and eventually Americans when they entered the war.
There were a few tragedies in my own family such as my cousin who was in the RAF was shot down in his plane over the English Channel
his body returned in an iron casket. . My brother had a small tobacconist sweetshop in the heart of London, which was bombed twice and completely demolished the second time, he died shortly afterwards from a heart attack. Stress and depression after losing his whole life’s work and business Perhaps the saddest episode of all to me was when my best girl friend lost six brothers and sisters also her mother and father one night when her home received a direct hit from a bomb. She and her twin sister had stayed with friends the previous night and were spared but they never got over the horror of losing so many family members in one night ! We also lived through the buzz bombs and V2 rockets never knowing where they were going to fall as they were unmanned and had no special targets .
I met my future husband an American GI in the Eighth AirForce , we were married in a church which , had already been bombed but was still functioning. He later went to Paris with his unit while I waited to eventually join him in the USA. Meanwhile we had a baby girl and this was the first time I had ever really felt fear when the German planes were flying overhead after an alert, you could tell their planes as they had a different drone. I was scared for my baby ! I shielded her in my arms sometimes under a table or her crib.
Eventually I came to the United States in April 1945 with my baby
daughter traveling on the SS John Ericsson an American hospital ship carrying hundreds of wounded American servicemen who had served their country well ! I became an American citizen in 1952
. God Bless America and all the free countries of the world !
PS . That baby daughter is now a Medicare recipient !
Gosh you know you’re old when one of your offspring reaches
Medicare status ! :) :)

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