JOURNAL OF A LIFE – Travel On, Travel On, My Weary Travelers
We MUST NOT let our past OWN our future – TWinA wisdom. 🙂
JOURNAL OF A LIFE
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As a great mentor of mine – Joe Schroeder – never tired of saying “A Life Worth Living is a Life Worth Recording”
so today I am here to share another episode in the life’s journey of one of the great people whose life I am privileged to have shared a part of – my mother AnneKaete Pocklington.
The War Is Over – Travel On, Travel On, My Weary Travelers
Imagine, if you will, it is a grey November and that you have no place to live,
Imagine, your daily search for places to stay is complicated by the fact that you have a small baby “in tow”,
Then, finally, your luck turns…
Travel On, Travel On, My Weary Travelers
And so, back up to Dad for a while, and then Bill’s sister Freda, dear Freda, asked us to come and stay for a while in Shipley. Not to live there permanently, she had had to live with her sister-in-law for a while before she got her house. And it was not long ago, and she remembered only too vividly, the agony of two women in a kitchen, the strain of 2 families in one small house. And she had been half a sister and half a mother to Bill, as to her other younger brothers and sisters, after their Mum died, and she could not risk falling out with him through us living with each other. But we could stay as visitors until we found something. She had an attic where we could sleep and store our boxes, three or four very large wooden crates, with all our possessions in them.
And so we stayed, and every afternoon, whilst the November storms lashed into our faces, we tramped the streets of Shipley, looking for attic windows where no curtains could be seen. And then we knocked and politely asked if they would like to rent us the attic. And some of them were inclined to say yes, until they saw the pram, and then we got a definite “NO”. Two people might be a good idea, to bring a little extra cash, but a baby made this an altogether different proposition. So back home we went.
And then it was the 5th of November, celebrated Guy Fawkes day with large bonfires and crackers and bangers everywhere. In Germany we had a bonfire around Easter, the Easter fire which burnt the Winter to make room for the Summer. And we had fireworks at Sylvesternight at 12 o’clock, to let out the old year and let in the new. Here you had this altogether at Guy Fawkes night to celebrate the fact that a Yorkshireman had tried to blow up the houses of Parliament with Gunpowder in the 15th Century.
So, around Freda’s street there was a wonderful street party for the kiddies, and some women made Toffee, some baked Gingercakes, some made Toffee apples, some gave the Potatoes to be roasted in the bonfire, and all was lovely and merry. But I was sick with fright as all that banging brought back very real memories, not all that far back, of another kind of banging, and blood, and hurt and shambles. I had never been all that frightened when it all happened, but now when the banging was harmless, I was terrified. But I went out with my Baby, just to show him the sparklers. And just at that moment a jumping cracker fell between me and him.….. No harm done, but I never ever went outside again on Bonfire night. Always locked the door, the Radio on full so that I could not hear the bangs.
And for quite some years, when I heard them, I would have awful dreams of the past, another bit of the War story.
All Freda’s friends also looked out for us to see if we could get somewhere to live. And then, suddenly, we seemed to be lucky. Through Les, Freda’s husband, we heard about somebody who had an attic to let, if the person would help in the house. We made inquiries, it was one of the long rows of back-to-back houses, not very far from Freda.
Back-to-back means that these houses are built back-to-back. You started below the ground with a cellar kitchen in this house. That was where they mainly lived. The lady of the house had a bed down there and was confined to it. She could not walk at all and had not done for years. She was kind, really, and later I managed to massage her legs every day, and made her get up and walk with my help around the table, and like a miracle she could walk, for the first time for years, around the table by herself.
But that was just by the way.
The point was that we made inquiries and it was decided that I would pay 10 shillings rent for Peter, and I would do all the housework in exchange for rent for me, and this would be renting the attic room, with my own furniture in it. Bill had had 2 months leave and was now due back in Deal, so we were glad to take it. And the deal was struck – and thereby hangs a tale.
If life is the best teacher, doesn’t it make sense to learn from the lives of others?
So what did I learn from today’s episode?
I learned of the complications that my little life added to the struggles my young mother had to overcome, and
I learned that the mental scars of being bombed in war time never go away, even in times of celebration fireworks are a constant reminder of the terror.
So Now it’s YOUR turn, dear Reader. What did YOU learn?
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Published: September 15, 2014, 11:09 | 4 Comments on JOURNAL OF A LIFE – Travel On, Travel On, My Weary Travelers
Category: Real People Helping Real People, The Story Of A Life