Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Magnificent diary.
A real treat.
It conveys so much about the times also my grandfather lived in.
He was a war hero in WW1, MC and bar for his trench service in France, witnessed the Xmas truce in No Man's land (the only war story he ever told me) and came back to inter-war civvy street as a Standard Oil salesman, failing to make a decent living supplying rural garages with a few pints of oil a week.
So he signed up again for WW2 and worked as Quartermaster in the Army. He spotted some illegal black marketing of Army wares, reported it and was sent to India for his pains.
After 2 wars he was a walking case of shell shock, spending hours building ships in bottles, pottering in the garden and helping my grandmother run a small boarding house in Wimbledon. He spoke rarely, but had a dry wit, especially in extremis.
After 16 heart attacks he'did been given Extreme Unction so many times and seen his family gathered around his deathbed, he apologised for keeping everyone waiting!
A devoted patriot, he would have jumped off a cliff if his King has asked it of him.
'Ours not to reason why'.
He was nice to me, gentle and soft-spoken, but I could see the pain in his eyes.
He used to say I had to 'learn the value of money', which became a truly meaningless phrase even back in the day of three penny bits and farthings.
Just as with the salaries and house prices you mention Helen, the value of money was something as different from 20 years later as chalk and cheese.
He grew up in an 'Angela's Ashes' scenario, children barefoot on the street he lived in Muswell Hill as a kid.
This diary has a doughty melancholy and a proud resilience coming through between the lines.
Congratulations to your parents and to you for having penned this excellent tribute to their lives.    

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Aug 5th, 2017 at 12:47:10 AM EST

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