Thursday, May 07, 2015

The news continues good. My husband was actually in the lavatory when I got there yesterday, and tottered back to his chair – not to bed – on his own feet, with the help of a nurse and a zimmer frame. And no oxygen tube. I gather the hospital occupational therapist is actually going to come here and inspect our arrangements before they let him out. And Greek Helen will be here today to take things in hand.

And today is VE-Day. I learned a lot, 20 years ago, when the 50th anniversary was celebrated. The Queen Mother came out onto that Buckingham Palace balcony, as she had in '45 with her husband. For a while alone, in '95, and then flanked by her daughters. Vera Lynn sang about the White Cliffs of Dover. And I thought, gosh, this is wonderful – what will they do in August? when the war actually ended? The answer was, virtually nothing.

It's understandable – but it was a lesson learned, for me. My husband was serving in the Far East at the time, as I've mentioned here before. He believes that the bomb that fell on Hiroshima saved his life – he was about to be parachuted into Singapore. There is a lot that he and I don't agree about (he has the Marshall Plan somehow mixed up with WWI war debt), but we both remember that the war ended in August, not in May.

A nice man I sat next to in that glum queue at the Eye Pavilion on Tuesday had travelled and worked in the US – I can't remember his position on pocket squares. He mentioned Utah, so I told him how I went swimming in the Great Salt Lake the day the war started, and how my father told me to remember the day. He wasn't born until '45, himself, and seemed flatteringly impressed that I could remember 1939.


I did a bit of knitting yesterday, although this odd life is not as productive as one might hope. I've resumed the Tokyo shawl.

I thought this would be a good time to get back to Craftsy – but I didn't want lessons that would require me to do anything. So I signed up for Know Your Yarn and have enjoyed and perhaps benefited from the first lesson about crimp and staple.

And then this morning they emailed me about the Short Rows Fantasy shawl pattern which I bought at once. As if I needed a shawl pattern, but, gosh! So maybe I'd better sign up for Carol Fuller's (I think it's her) Craftsy class about short rows.


  1. Dear Jean, I have been reading your blog with much pleasure for some time now and have appreciated your wry style and general appreciation of the important things in life, including knitting! I followed the link to the shawl today (it's delightful) and thought you might also like this one

  2. I wonder if it was because the war in Asia seemed so far away. With Germany it was daily threats of bombs and invasion? Yet so many British forces were in the Far East. My parents always spoke of VE and VJ day, but since my father was in Europe, that got more attention.

  3. Your good health news has put a big smile on my face!

    (While purchasing A Dark-Adapted Eye I realized I also had Jane Gordham waiting in my wishlist for me to try based on your recommendation so thanks again.)

  4. Very good news indeed that your husband is out of bed and sitting up. A review of the home is pretty standard practice here in New York State when older, frailer patients are being released from hospital. Very good that Greek Helen will be on hand, although I suspect that you would hold your own just fine.

    My father was on a troop ship headed to Japan when the bomb fell on Hiroshima. He, like your husband, believes that it saved his life. He was studying chemistry in university at the time he was drafted into service, so he grasped right away how horrible and devastating that bomb was. The whole experience of wartime service is not something he can talk about without weeping.

    Enough lurking. I get so much pleasure from your blog, it's past time for me to write back to you.

  5. So happy Hubby is improving! Oh and Carol Fuller's class is a great one on short rows, am sure you will enjoy it.

  6. Anonymous5:29 PM

    Absolutely August for the end of the war: I was a war baby by only a few days. I have the ration books in my name - that went on for some time in the U.S. after the end of the war.

  7. Like your husband, my Father was certain that the bomb saved his life, regardless of what he thought of the the using of it. He was on what they called "Tiger Draft" which meant turning up every morning with packed bags, and as many as there was transport available for were on their way to the far east. He and Mum never forgot that August. I was not born till 1947.

  8. My grandfather, who passed away in 2000, was on a ship in the Pacific. As I understand it, he was not in a combat role. The vignettes I remember are: his immunization record being Iost and his therefore getting all his shots at once; peeling potatoes on KP duty and handing one over to Bill, only to discover that Bill had fainted clean away in the heat; and being given half a sandwich by General MacArthur.