Its Black and White
With V.E. Day approaching at the end of this week, I asked my very active (but currently shielding) 93-year-old mum to remind me what she was doing that very day in 1945. She was a WAAF Corporal (Signals) at the time. This is the Watsapp reply that she texted me from her smartphone.
“The signal came in in the night. A girl on duty bound into our hut shouting “it’s over!”. A couple of friends and I got up and dressed and went for a walk across the fields, falling over the cows laying down. We danced singing though the village back to camp. We went into town later. It was a very hot day. We sat outside the pub in good company, that night I was on duty.”
I asked her how the circumstances of the global pandemic and UK lockdown compares with her experience of World War II. She said "I think myself very lucky today, for one thing, we didn’t have the communications we have today, being able to keep in touch daily and speak to the family". Of course, Mum is not typical of her generation, making daily use of her computer, smartphone and having her own Facebook page. She explains that “also, we had to live with blackouts. That meant that streets weren’t lit, and on foggy nights in London people lost their way, and my friends and I would help them get home. We could barely see the pavement’s edge. When the air was clear we sometimes had the benefit of the bright moon to help us see ahead. Although I’ve never been afraid of the dark, I’ve always loved to see the moon rise.” She also reminded me that food was scarce and rationed at that time, whereas nowadays most of us have more than enough food. Mum is normally active and out and about several days a week, but she has graciously accepted her temporary lockdown with gratitude and consideration for others. I know for sure that she will be making up for lost time at the earliest opportunity! Here is a photo of my mum Ruby Anne Wish at the age of 17: