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Memories of World War 2

I have just spent a pleasant afternoon with my 80-year-old Dad. It is not uncommon for Dad to reminisce when I am with him and today was no exception, the memories today were of his childhood in Adelaide, South Australia during World War 2.

Dad was four when the war started and ten when it finished, and he remembers my grandfather taking them for a drive to a local Adelaide beach, but you could not use the beaches during the war as they were covered in barbed wire in case the Japanese invaded.

He also remembers that the people who lived next door would not talk to his family, they would not even return my father’s ball, because their father had been sent to war and my grandfather had not. My grandfather did try to enlist but he worked in munitions so he was sent back to work for the war effort.

Before the war my grandfather used to breed spaniels, at one stage he had over twenty, but as there was no meat to feed them during the war he had to take them to the local council to be put down. Something one never considers when talking about the war, the effect on people’s pets.

My grandfather also dug a bomb shelter in the back yard which he lined with mud as you could not get bricks, and my grandmother used to cook outside using any wood she could get for a fire.

Here we are 70 years later and we take so much for granted, we truly do live in the lucky country.

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Thoughts of a middle aged man…..1 July 2013

Brian and Ian are winging their way home as I type, Brian to me in Adelaide, and Ian to his partner Gail in Perth. I hope their arms are not too tired after the flight from Launceston to Melbourne, Brian should be OK, it is only a short flight from Melbourne to Adelaide, but Melbourne to Perth, Ian could be in trouble.

They tell me they have had a great weekend, it has been good for them to spend some time together after living apart for so long, perhaps it has brought them closer as brothers. In saying that, despite the distance between them, in some ways they are still close.

I have not seen Ian in about five years so am hoping he and Gail will come over for the wedding of a mutual friend in November, it would be good to see them. I know Ian is keen to make the trip so fingers crossed it all works out.

It is almost time for me to go to the airport and collect Brian, I hope his back has held out. He told me today he is ready to come home. Brian does not like to be away from home for long stretches, he always gets homesick before me, maybe this time he is especially homesick as I was not with him.

Time for me to go. Take care, and thank you for reading.