Bletchley

They seemed like a group of WI or some nursing home had a day out … but it was very different. 

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These men and women were gathered to remember the outbreak of war in 1939. They all worked at Bletchley Park during the second world war and were part of a highly secretive group who were there to intercept the German communications and break codes that the enemy was using to keep their movements and plans secret.

To others they are heroes, a term quickly dismissed by some of the group who were in this reunion, which, to me, strengthens my belief that these people are unique and should be celebrated. They didn’t see that their work was in part bringing an end to the mass killing of millions of people. They didn’t need medals or adulation, they were simply doing their job.

The UK and the world would be a very different place had Hitler and the Nazi’s succeeded in their quest for dominance. I have the utmost respect and honour for these people and proud of the work that they did in breaking Germany’s secrets. In a time of uncertainty and ‘rumours of war’ I feel we can declare these people ‘heroes’.

Church and the Second World War

I have been reading again in the past few days peoples comments about how people responded to the terrorist attack in Manchester. It was again a stark reminder of the way that some people use this atrocious incident for their own political gain.

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“We didn’t light candles and put on pop concerts” is the summing up of some. But we DID back then. It was carried out with the same dignity and decency, as we have seen in our towns and cities, in the churches and cathedrals around the country. The difference is now is we have brought grief to the streets. Primarily because this is not a nation (whether we like it or not) that does not adhere to Christianity as it once did.

Church attendance in the UK at the moment stands around 750k each week. A huge decline since the Second World War. This decline isn’t unique to the Church of England but to all established Christian denominations.

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The above graph is taken from The Church Society’s website. Further information is available on it.

A decline in church attendance doesn’t mean though that some people aren’t spiritual. When harrowing life events take place, a majority will still hold onto the belief in an afterlife. Some won’t necessarily equate it to Christianity or any other religious belief but a spiritual understanding of the world. Lighting candles and laying flowers is part of this.

When mum died I sat and talked to her in the care home. I sat for at least an hour telling her how much I thought of her and loved her. I told her that despite ‘her leaving’ that she would forever be in my heart. This is for me a non-religious way of coping with her death. A way of me acknowledging her passing.

People naturally will want a way of coping with such a shock. It isn’t wrong for some to lay flowers or light candles for people that they have never known or met. It is a way of showing solidarity and love for a nation in mourning.

1940s

I adore the 40s. I admire it so much over the next few years I am going to slowly turn back the time on my house. I currently own a lot of furniture inherited from two generations of family members. First being my grandparents who’s dark earthy furniture was always seen by mother who insisted her house contain items that were fashionable in the late 50s and 60s. So the next progress is the furniture of parents from a time just before my arrival on earth.

I am not a fan of some furniture of this time. It’s a minimalist, thin and to me bleak appearance. Bear hallmarks of science fiction and cheaper materials it leaves me feel cold and physically uncomfortable. Give me old huge sofas with bouncy cushions and floral design that wouldn’t be out of place in a Miss Marple living room.

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Round up on politics

I was trying to reflect on the past few months. Trying to think what it will be like in 6 months time. I have a 5 year plan and maybe a 10 year one. Then my life and my brain kept thinking about the news and the appalling dreadful toss pot Donald Trump. I know that we have a few in our political sphere in the UK. I have been blocked by a certain George Galloway on Twitter. I cannot remember trolling him or telling him directly how much I hated him and his politics but he must have got wind of it and decided that he was going to blot out the comments.

That brings me quite horribly back to Trump. His very name is a euphemism for a fart. I hate the idea that he like others is pandering to the lower common denominator and leeching off the fears of Americans who are concerned about their country. Using the old chestnut of saying that foreigners and migrants are to blame for the country’s ills rather than looking to prominent features of economic downturns that have happened globally.

Various far right groups in this country use their racist and misguided beliefs to blame generations of people who have established themselves in this country for the economic disasters of the banking industry which allowed greed and corporate finances to spiral out of control. It’s easier to pick on the weaker people in society and blame them where the actual blame is centred on those who have allowed greed to flourish for years.

I am certainly not a person who advocates that we march against capitalist agenda. Communism and getting rid of the free market does not work. We have seen regimes time and time again turn into dictatorial disasters. The rule of one man over one country might seem in itself to others to provide stability and moral cohesion but they always come undone by corruption and self-preservation.

My thoughts are with those who are the outcasts in society. The ones that are living on the edge where they don’t know if they are able to feed their children let alone themselves. The poor, the homeless and those who have been marginalised and used as a scape goat by the greed of politicians. A government should be allowed to rule as we voted for those in power in a democracy; we voted for those people to take control of the nation’s finances. Individually they like us should be made accountable to those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

So every time I see Trump on the stage promising to get the Mexican’s to build their own wall I am reminded of those who were made to dig their own graves in concentration camps throughout the Second World War. He is no use to America and the rest of the world. We need a stable world to build assurances and growth so all of us can live safely without fear.

1940s

I really like the 1940s. I have a passion for this era. I am extremely interested in the Second World War. This for me was one of the most interesting periods of British History. So much happened in this decade and it was certainly a turning point for Britain and how it is shaped today.

One of the things for me that defined this era was the spirit that pulled people together. The bombings of London and other cities in Britain during 1940 worried the government of the time. They thought that there would be a total collapse of morale and they thought that there would be mass panic and disorder. But the people of the time worked together to look after each other and carried on as normal.

When I see how people talk to each other now I am shocked. When someone is trying to do their job or someone is getting on with their daily life and they are treated badly it astounds me that people thinking this is acceptable. Politeness costs nothing. There is nothing wrong with arguing your case you just don’t need to resort to rudeness.

I am lucky to live in a street where my neighbours look out for each other. We speak and say hello. We wave at each other when we are driving past. I just hope that some time others can look at their behaviour and think about the freedom that we have and the sacrifice that others made for us to keep it.

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the barefoot tree

Still grumpy

Gari Wellingham

UK-based musical theatre geek previously living with a brain tumour!