Pandemic Pondering #50*

* The late edition.
Apart from garden chores, we had no great plans for today. VE Day has written this late edition itself. The day started, as they all do, with a Joe Wicks Work Out.The picture below was taken during the two minute break between exercises. The dogs love Joe Wicks, the cans are our improvised dumb bells and the velvet cushion , an item that should actually be in every gym, is a great asset for the kneeling exercises. Out of shot are the cake plates.

Once Joe is out of the way it’s time to shower but the dogs were very excited by something outside.A small, unannounced, outdoor memorial service was happening just across the road. Just a vicar and a standard bearer and 5 or 6 people all standing apart, silently witnessing the service. 2 minutes silence in the midst of so much silence was intensely moving.

I was, however, not dressed for church.

Sometime later a Civic group appeared to lay a wreath.

Our poppies put up a natural show of respect.

Clean and sparky we set off on a dog walk. Someone in the estate just beyond the church was playing Glen Miller on a sound system that would not have been out of place at Notting Hill Carnival. The sound was the epicentre of our circuitous walk and we’ve chosen to listen to similar music all day.

This cute window display was just beyond the Glen Miller Sound System.Then a little further on this jeep appeared.

The Nature Reserve itself was unmarked by anything, but in its quietness it has always marked history

During lunchtime I remembered a friend in London has a Union Jack, in pristine condition. It survived the whole of the second World War and spent actual VE day flying from the roof of a house in Grimsby. This morning he ironed it and it posed in his garden and ethereally in his bedroom window, for this blog.

His cat Banjo was perplexed and intrigued. Banjo is a Gipsy Hill cat but not ‘ the’ Gipsy Hill cat.

While we are in Gipsy Hill, on the route of the number 3 bus, we found a shot of a number 3 trying to get through Crystal Palace on VE Day.

This evening we were on a social distancing adventure. The evening dog walk was in Plymouth where we had Click and Collected an order of fish and chips which we ate in the van. The van was cleaned today for its first run out in a month.

Then it was off to the Hoe for the evening dog walk and a visit to the many war memorials. This year there is a new one for the Merchant Navy.

Plymouth Sound was looking gorgeous.

We also found a new sculpture, the bottom and hand prints of the Beatles.

Sunk into the earth where they, the Beatles, relaxed in the sun before their gig in Plymouth in 1967. The moment preserved by an iconic photograph.We finished the day with a cup of tea and a scone. The scones were traded to us by a neighbour for the loan of our hedge trimmer.A cup of tea is a fine way to end a blog on VE Day. The last image of the day is my favourite WW2 picture from the South West Image Archive. The Archive is held by The Box, Plymouth and is of a woman, drinking tea while sitting on the rubble of her destroyed home near Plymouth Dockyard,

Pandemic Pondering#50

Another significant number in Lockdown and a significant day. The 75th anniversary of VE day.

In lockdown this anniversary will be something that we have more time to reflect upon than usual.

There will be no street parties, civil events, sombre church services or riotous family gatherings around our own familial heroes.

Flags and bunting are popping up in our local town, but not in the amount that would have happened had life been normal.

Britain does not wear its national flag on its sleeve or in its gardens or even up its flagpoles quite as much as many other countries. Days like today are the exception. Although our own riverside town has quite a flamboyant exception to this statement.

The Union Inn, on the Cornish side of ‘ The Great Divide’ , the River Tamar, boundary between Cornwall and the rest of the world, is an almost daily fix of the Union Jack.

As I write this I can look out on our local church at a flag that would have fluttered on actual VE day

In the past my daily commute took me up Regent Street, a street that was never shy about getting its flags out.

Pandemic Pondering #50. A significant number and for world history the anniversary of a truly significant day.

Worthy of two blogs I think. This is the Early Edition.