Sunday, 14 November 2010

Remembrence Sunday

It felt strange posting about this on 11th November as it is now Michaels birthday. So I thought I would say my thanks to our nations heros, past and present, today on Remembrence Sunday. This morning we have been listening to the radio and their special programme. At 11am we observed the 2 minute silence. I always give thanks that my grandads returned from WW2. Without their return I would not be here. Thanks to both of them for their service, in the army in Africa and in the merchant navy xxx

When I was about 13/14 I discovered the poetry of Wilfred Owen. A soldier who served and died during WW1.

These are my 2 favourite poems:

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? 
Only the monstrous anger of the guns. 
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle 
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; 
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, –
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; 
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all? 
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes 
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes. 
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall; 
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds, 
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
                                          September - October, 1917

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nine that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud 
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest 
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.
8 October 1917 - March, 1918

Poems copied from to save me typing them up from my book. There is also alot of information about Wilfred Owen at this link.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Happy 1st Birthday Michael!!

My gorgeous nephew is one today!! Wow...time really does fly!!

I can remember my brother ringing me to let me know that they were at the hospital, then sent home, then back again....then baby!!!!

Happy 1st Birthday Michael lots of love from Auntie Liz and Uncle Darren xxx

Monday, 8 November 2010

Where did the weekend go?!

So I hope you all had a fun and safe weekend!! Lots of fireworks, bonfires, toffee apples and pie and peas!

We usually go to either Darren's parents or his sisters house for Bonfire Night as we always have a party - it is his mum's birthday on 5th Nov! But this year it was decided that we'd all meet up at his sisters for the birthday cake and then walk on to a local pub. There was a great bonfire, fireworks and food there.

I HATE fireworks and always have. I hate the whistles and bangs. Also, the thought of leaving Lady at home makes me sick as she hates them too. A nasty incident last year left her afraid of them. At the family party, whilst we had a break from the fireworks, the children and dogs were in the garden. However, very stupidly, the person setting off the fireworks began them again before telling everyone. Lady had just been to the loo, Darren was clearing it up. I was stood close by (as were several other people), when the fireworks started again. Lady was under the table where they were being set off!! My poor dog has been terrified ever since! Who can blaim her!

Anyway - we had a great time on Friday, the kids loved it! I do love the small of a bonfire, being wrapped up against the cold, all huddled together to keep warm!! The flames were really lapping up and the twins (8yrs old) and I were saying what shapes/things we could see in the flames - pretty cool night!

On Saturday we went for a meal with Darren's work mates to celebrate a 40th birthday. We went to our favourite Indian restaurant...yummy!!!! I went despite the fact that I was working the night shift after, I had to leave by 9pm to set off...never mind!!!

When we had all finished Darren asked for the bill and he managed to get them to use his discount card (15% up to 10 people) depite the fact we had 12 in our party. They used it on 10 peoples meal and the other 2 were full price. Which we thought was good! It was just over £207, so divided by 6 couples I said to call it £35 per couple (£210), but that's not including a tip. Interestingly when all money was gathered, only Darren and I had put a tip in!! Now the service there is exceptional - you couldn't fault anything...even if you were really fussy! Does anyone else not tip? Would you never tip, or are ther just occasions when you do/don't tip?