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30/03/2013 at 22:40

Verdun, some say this virtual world is sterile yet and it is a big yet there are times you feel a faint cry for help. Fairygirl /Daughter touched something, what? how can you explain? and it turns out her Dad and I experienced almost the same things.
I see writing on these boards as a helping hand to new gardeners who wish to know and on the odd occasion maybe a strong arm to comfort, I do not turn away, never have. What do you make of that.

Frank.

30/03/2013 at 22:58

I haven't been on this thread much but have really enjoyed reading it tonight. I wish I'd kept up with it since it is great to get to know people better.

The assessment of my character that I read a few pages back is not far from the truth! Not sure I'm sensible though - a dreamer, in many ways. I just can't bear to see people belittled or hurt without speaking out.

30/03/2013 at 23:06

G/G, we know you are caring although there are times to speak out and times to say "nowt" I do worry we all may give a little too much information at times, we see what happens on other social media and at times it frightens me. I am not easily frightened though we all know information can be used by others. Take care.
Frank.

30/03/2013 at 23:24

Thank you Frank. I'll just say that I'd prefer to make myself vulnerable by speaking out than to allow something to continue because I was too much of a people-pleaser to say something.

https://ff.duckduckgo.com/favicon.ico

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https://www.google.com/favicon.ico

Tonight I realise there are a lot of "nice" guys on this forum. All strangers, all anonymous but all wanting to encourage, support and assist. Over the past couple of weeks I have come to know ...and respect....many of the fellow members posting here. It's good to argue but never row, it's good to have a bit of banter and it's mischievously energising to stir the pot occasionally with some pointed views ..i do it myself.....but I think it's all well meaning.
I'm glad I started this thread ...I've enjoyed meeting you all
31/03/2013 at 00:48

Frank, Father-in-law was in the REME to do his National Service.  He really enjoyed his time there, and would have been a lifer, had he not had a vocation - to Teach.  I never knew him as a teacher, but he would regularly talk about some of the things he had to do - there's one famous story of having to go and pick some tanks up from the station at Minden in Germany, he got a load of lads together, not enough for one observer and one driver, so the front and rear tanks had observer and driver, the rest had to play follow-the-leader.  They spent the rest of the week on cleaning up duty, replacing all of the gardens and walls they'd wrecked getting the tanks back.

My Mum was a very young girl during the war, and her stories of being terrified by the doodlebugs got me hooked on history - truly, all things are connected, what we do now will have repercussions down the years that we cannot imagine.  I also like mechanical things, and unusual things (probably why I married my husband - he teaches engineering to apprentices).  I'd love to have a DUKW (didn't fancy a SEEP), I knew about the tyre pressures thing.  Looks like the RAOC weren't as observant as their names suggest!  So I have a family connection to the REME through OH, and Mum's brothers were all old enough to have to do National Service (Uncles Alan and Ken in the RAF got me interested in Aeroplanes), Uncle Colin was the youngest and he was in the Army (don't know which bit), and Uncle Dougie, who was the eldest, and I never got to meet, was in the Navy, again, don't know which bit.  My Grandad (Mum's Dad) got invalided out of the Army as he was Diabetic.

Think there's a lot to be said for doing National Service, but there's not the money or inclination do do it nowadays.  And you'd have to have GIRLS doing it too!!

It's lovely to come on here and have a natter, and I've got to 'meet' some great folk - Frank, you remind me of my Father in Law, gone, but missed every day, Verdun, you remind me of my Uncle Alan, a very naughty Joker with a huge heart, and Gardening Grandma, who will defend others that might otherwise be walked all over.  So you're all like extended family, who sometimes bicker and fall out, but make up and help each other out when needed.  There are others, too, each with their own qualities that makes this forum a great place to spend some time.

31/03/2013 at 07:56
Mummy muddy paws,
Nice post to read over Brekky. Us gardeners can get away with "sentimental"
31/03/2013 at 08:23

MMP- you're so right. I'd describe it quite simply- it's the kindness of strangers. 

And they've been some of the kindest I've ever 'met'.

My Dad was a Londoner (born in Shepherds Bush) and used to work during the day and play in bands at night. He walked through London at night during the Blitz yet never thought anything of it- even when he was stopped and asked what he had in his 'case'... 'my saxophone' was his reply. He couldn't understand why anyone would think it could be anything else!

31/03/2013 at 08:25

MMP, I have enjoyed your contributions, too. You also have a big heart and a courageous attitude.

31/03/2013 at 11:41

Mummy Muddy Paws this is turning into a love in, most soldiers I knew would much rather make love than war although at times it was hard to tell the difference.
I started life in the Durham light Infantry because that was what I wanted, I loved it. Along came a directive from the MOD any soldier who had engineering skills would transfer to REME as from yesterday, the REME was being expanded into a Corps to repair all things army. I fought it but lost to be cast adrift in a sea of "Oh not another Boilermaker we have millions of them" and became the pet of all the General Duties S/Majors because next to the the REME lads I was polished gleamed and straight as a ramrod. Being held up as an icon got me into some good battles, as I was a boxer it also got rid of a lot of my aggressive disappointment at ending up in that situation, the PT instructor took me aside and said "just hurt them a bit don't kill them, yet".
Asked yet again is there anything else you can do I said yes I drive, my Father had his own trucks so driving and repair I had grown up with. "Why the hell did you not say so" not many men joined up with driving skills and the army trained drivers had left in droves at the end of the war, there was a shortage, ten minutes in a 1936 Leyland Hippo and I had a licence and was out on the road in the ration truck.
They then discovered that stripping engines and things were born into me and I was off on the slippery slope to my final WO1 position.
Believe it when I say my present soft attitude to life was not always the case, questions were asked as to whether I had issued from parents or solid rock, you do not reach high rank being a wilting lily.

Frank.

31/03/2013 at 14:57

My Father in law got his licence by doing 10 minutes around the parade square in something bit and loud with a crash gearbox (think it might have been an Antar??), stopping when the CO dropped a handkerchief.  He could scare the bejaysus out of me in a car (my OH is much the same, car pulls to the right and the throttle sticks), but was very safe.  He was more a studious type than a brawler, but could hold his own if he needed to, and had his Marksman's award.  There was another story about recovering a truck that had fallen down a ditch into east Germany as a load of soldiers in grey uniforms approached, another one about his first weekend pass when he went out on Friday, and work up in barracks on Sunday afternoon (strong German lager), and the one about the next weekend pass when he poured half his beer into a grate, not realising there was a cat kipping there, well, the cat staggered out two hours into the drinking session, drunk as a lord and staggering all over the shop.  There was the sad story too, about one of his mates that had a half-track fall off the back of the wagon it was on, onto him, cutting him in half and killing him instantly.  No-one bothered to tell him it was his mate under the blanket, so he went to look, and went straight into shock.

Boy, did he know some rude songs!  The boy stood on the burning deck was quite polite compared to some stuff he knew!  We miss him every day, or son's middle name is Barrie after the brilliant Grandad he never got to meet.  I know he didn't stay a sapper, but I'm not sure what rank he reached when he left.

31/03/2013 at 16:23

Mummy Muddy Paws, probably a Scammel as the Antar with its twelve cylinder detuned Merlin a Meteor was indeed a beast but came later, we also had Diamond "T"s.
Germany was the place for adventure and often when clearing a mobile workshop tank park any one who could drive Officers included would line up and away to Fallingbostel or where ever, no observer up top but we could raise the seat so your head was out.
Hamburg could be a bit wild at times and we had to rescue lads now and again as the bent local police and bar staff tried to roll them, had a couple of run ins stopping that.
A run in with some of those silly youngsters impersonating Nazi's trying to frighten the girls in our local watering hole, they thought all the village men at a football match and did not bank on us arriving, it got a bit bloody and somehow they got broken windscreens no idea how that happened. it got us free drinks when the village men came home. I did have some wonderful times and met some very good friends who had once been enemies, that is life.

Frank.

01/06/2013 at 21:31

Hi- If I may join in.

 Reivers were the Border mercenaries between the Scots and the English. Fought together , fought each other, cattle and horse thieves, Stole each others women and usually regretted it--- All in all nowts changed.

 I too was in the Army. Farrier Corporal-of-Horse. That should confuse some of you.

I didn't realise WO1's were capable of speaking to mere humans, Things have changed.

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