Friday 26th February
My Mum and Dad were War Kids. We were constantly reminded of it growing up, but not by them, they never complained about their own upbringing – tough as it must have been. But the War was on the telly a lot, all the Politicians, Wilson, MacMillan, Callaghan etc: had served in the War, and Churchill was still around when I was a kid. And they must have had it tough, these War kids, rationing was on but as they had known nothing different maybe they didn’t really notice. Even in Suffolk there were air-raids, and growing up there were a few spaces between houses, like a set of bad teeth, where a house had been bombed. There was no telly, of course, and the evening news on the radio must have seemed strange to those kids, places like Al Alemein or Burma – if you could find them on a map, must have seemed like distant planets, but Uncles and Cousins were being shot at and occasionally killed; Fathers often absent for years at a time with no real news.
And that generation is still with us, tottering on, getting to grips with mobile phones and i-pads and trying to enjoy their retirements, when the highlight of the week might be another funeral to attend. And here in Eymet there are one or two still tottering on, though most of us are nearer to Seventy than Ninety. One of them, James, was in the Café today – he doesn’t say much but just totters on. And if we think we have seen some changes it is nothing compared to our parents. I wonder what they think of our generation, the baby-boomers, who had every opportunity and squandered most of them, who have had full employment and rising house prices and really quite an easy time of it all. So, let’s raise a glass to the war-kids, old as they might be and hope they keep tottering on a while longer.