May 2010


70 years ago an incident took place that was to give a small but resolute country a hope. A hope that they could beat the tyranny that was coming their way. But it started not on their shores but rather in France, in a small coastal town that was to be synonymous with the saving of so many lives. The incident itself brought together men, and women from different backgrounds but with one common purpose, to save as many lives as they could. It involved a flotilla of  “Little Boats” that set off on a spring morning to the shores of France and into unimaginable horror. Horror most of these sailors had never seen before. Death was all around, in the water and on the shores. But one thing shone above all that horror and sense of sorrow and grief and that was hope. Hope that, if these little ships along with their bigger sisters The Royal Navy could get just one man of the beaches it would have been a success. Along with top cover supplied by the RAF AND the fighting spirit of the troops on the shore these little ships performed a miracle. A miracle that, even to this day has never been surpassed and on those bloody beaches a phrase was born. One that epitomizes the spirit of each and every man, woman and child that comes from these great British shores. That phrase was “The Dunkirk Spirit.”

Those Little Boats managed to take off those bloody, death strewn beaches 338,000 British and other Allied troops in what Sir Winston Churchill described as a “miracle of deliverance.” All the while rear guard forces containing British and Allied forces where fighting a rear guard defence to stop the marauding German Forces from taking the beaches of Dunkirk and totally wiping out the British Army along with most if not all of the French. There were other forces there too, the Dutch, Belgium’s and many other forces from countries that the Germans had taken, all there to do one thing. Get off those beaches, get to England, rearm and get back in there and fight for freedom.

338,000 troops were pulled from those beaches and taken back to Britain to regroup, rearm and get ready to take on the might of the German Army in the cities, villages and fields of Europe. To wipe out that nasty Nazi tyranny that had spread across Europe and was threatening the shores of the last haven for freedom and democracy, The British Isles.

Those Little Boats performed something no one has ever surpassed in the 70 years since that awful encounter, and in the coming days we should all sit up and think about what these people and their Little boats did over the next few days all those years ago.

They didn’t do it because they wanted to be heroes although they all were, they didn’t do it because they were ordered too, they didn’t do it because it was the “in thing” at the time. No they did it because they wanted too. They did it to protect yours and my freedom from something that was threatening the very last bit of free land that was the British Isles. They did it and because of them 338,000 British and Allied troops were taken off those beaches which otherwise would have perished. The beaches of Dunkirk would be forever remembered for the spirit and fight that the free world had against Nazi tyranny and for one other thing:

The Little Boats.

Now where’s your Dunkirk Spirit?

All week it’s been cloudy but really humid sometimes as much as 96% humidity. Today was the same but the clouds parted for a few hours and the sun came out. At its highest the sun shone down and the temperature in the back garden shot up to a fantastic 31 degrees!

So there was only one thing for it, I had to work outside and enjoy the sun afterall I had just sat through the worst winter I have ever witnessed and the worst here since 1941.

So I trotted off outside with laptop in hand, and keyboard, mouse, speaker, papers and pens, sunglasses, reading glasses and, erm the monitor. Yes a 15 inch CRT monitor! Why! I hear you ask! Well the laptop has a damaged screen and I can’t work on it (I’m a writer) and my netbook only has a 9 inch screen and I didn’t fancy squinting trying to read what’s on the screen.

Thats a point. My netbook a Fujitsu Amilo is supposed to have a anti-glare screen. YEAH RIGHT!!! An anti “can’t see anything when the sun comes out” screen more like it. I love it though I didn’t want to use it today.

Anyway it took me 10 minutes to set up my work station then I sat back, drank coffee and, erm, smoked. (Don’t tell Kathrin!)

Is that a monitor?

Well I wrote for a few hours. I had some articles to finish off for a deadline tonight and hate to have to do them at the last-minute. I then decided to do some gardening, my other pleasure.

I hadn’t done much when, out of the corner of my eye I saw something flying towards me. I turned to see something veer away and fly off. Was that a bat? Stuff me it was! I watched it fly around for a few seconds then came to rest on the gable end of the house. I grabbed my camera and blatted off a few pictures before it flew off again and disappeared.

It's not dark yet

During the summer when it’s warm we have bats flying around the garden and grabbing the insects as they gracefully fly around. I have been outside sometimes and have had to duck as they have come straight for me!!

beautiful

It was about 5cms long (plus wings) and is stunning. I have no idea what type of bat it is but it’s lovely.

I can't see any fangs!

After a few minutes it flew off and kept circling the porch at the back of the house. I have a feeling they live in the roof of the house, not that I am bothered. I sort of managed to get it in flight, sort of.

In flight

1 thing I will say about Sweden and where I live and that is I have seen so much wonderful wildlife when I have been here from lizards to snakes, birds to bats and lots of other insects, animals and birds, some of them I took for granted back in Blighty.

If you are looking for hints and tips about environmental issues then why not take a trip to my other blog here.

It’s a new blog which I hope will concentrate on many issues including recycling, alternative products for things like gardening and everyday use plus anything else I can think of, including cooking and recipes for which I have a few.

I love this beautiful planet and want to do my small part in making it stay that way.

Why not hop along and have a gander and please participate. Everyone’s welcome.

Sensible Living.

Usually it’s very quiet here where I live, just the odd truck, car and bus but yesterday was a little different.

There was a rally going on and part of the course was through the village I am staying in.

I have no idea where it started or finished but there were about 40-50 cars driving through the village over a 3 hour period.

I tried to get as many pics as possible but my camera decided it needed the battery charging so every so often I had to rush indoors and stick it on charge!

I thought it was great to see some lovely old cars driving through the village. It certainly made an otherwise quiet day into a busy one.

One or two drivers got lost and carried on down the road instead of turning right at the bottom of the hill, then when they realised had to turn round and come back!!

Nearly all the drivers let on or smiled as they realised a crazy Englishman was taking their pictures!

Some of the pictures aren’t the best. My Kodak camera is about 4 years old now and rather slow. I had the setting on “Sport” but some are still a little blurred. I’m not very photogenic either but I hope you like them.

Well almost. I always say that when I see swallows, swifts or house martins that summer has arrived and guess what. Yep I have just seen some swallows. Or was it swifts? God they look the same, even when I Googled them!!

Is it a swallow or swift??

Anyone know what "make" they are!!

On top of that the farmer across the road has finally let his cows out into one of his fields. They were jumping around probably relieved at being let out at long last.

Looking relieved

As you can see I have too much time on my hands, or maybe the quietness has sent me mad (probably that. Jack Nicholson and an axe springs to mind) but anyway I am happy at seeing the swallows/swifts!!

The 8th of May 1945 saw the end of the European campaign of World War 2 when the remaining German forces surrendered to the Allies, Winston Churchill announced the end of hostilities in a radio broadcast to the people and there was much celebrating on the streets of the UK. BUT, the war cost the lives of many, many millions of not just military personnel but civilians too and ON BOTH SIDES. Today if you have a spare couple of minutes spare a thought for the dead of an awful war and remember that without them we would have a Nazi tyranny ruling Europe now.

Today, the 8th of May 2010 is 65 years since that historic day and we call it VE Day. Never Forget.

We had a bit of a storm yesterday. First the sun came out then these big black clouds appeared. Then the thunder and snow!!!

Wheres the alien ship?

This time last year the temperature was into the late teens/early twentys’ but this year I am lucky if it gets to 10!

Is this the sign of things to come?

I hope that the weather does get better as I have lots of things to do in the garden but the weather people don’t give me much hope.

Here comes summer

Here in Southern Sweden this type of weather is normal so I just better get on with it, but last year really spoilt me! No rain whatsoever in April last year and temps into the twenties. God I hope summer will be nice. Mind you I will be somewhere else.

Still no signs of a ship

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