I woke early again . The bedroom was still in darkness . Tossing about I found I could not get back to sleep. My mind was going round and round . Odd thoughts . Day 49 - how many hours have we been locked down. 1176 hours or thereabouts. I could have begun to convert them to minutes and then to seconds . How many blogs have I written since lockdown? 49 of them . How many words ? Rather a lot . How many photographs? How many miles had I walked ? It must be well over 150 miles by now . That is all the way from Chesterfield to St Pancras Station in London . If I carry on I will walked to the Channel Tunnel or from east coast to West . From the Lancashire fells to the Yorkshire Dales . From the Irish Sea to the North Sea . But here I am getting up, making breakfast and I have got no further than our house or our back yard .
My walk today had a purpose . Not the fields nor the lanes but the housing estate . I wanted to see if anyone had
put bunting up for VE Day. Were any of the householders having street parties to celebrate VE Day? As I walked I saw a few Union flags on flagpoles or in windows . But not every house nor were the flags fluttering the breeze. The air was still so early in the morning and the flags hung limp. Red , white and blue bunting was strung up across hedges but not as much as I had expected . Perhaps it was the same as work . Everything on hold . Celebrations seemed perhaps like the wrong word on lockdown week number 8. The street parties cancelled although it seemed that some neighbourhoods were still going to do their best to celebrate the end of war in Europe . "Join your neighbours in a national stay at home street party " Deck your garden with red, white and blue . At 11 am stand in a two minute silence to remember the war, the end of the war and the dead. At 3pm switch the TV on and listen to the wartime speech given by Winston Churchill. 4pm Tea and Scones or coffee and cake . 6pm Over dinner raise a
glass to neighbours. At 9 pm join the nationwide singalong "We'll meet again " with the British Legion and finally listen to the Queens address to the nation. Should we celebrate the day? The older generation amongst us who can remember our fathers fighting, rationing still in place will celebrate the end of it . We will remember too. For me personally I won't remember VE day so much as VJ Day . Dad fought in Burma alongside the Gurkhas . So for me it is Victory in Japan that I will celebrate and remember. The young don't want to celebrate . They see it as glorifying war . They see it as unnecessary . They want to airbrush it from history .
As I walked I thought about all those things plus holidays and bridges . We love a good bridge . The Pont du Gard , the bridge at Avignon, at Cahors . The Menai Bridge and the Tamar . The bridges of Venice . Millau and more . We have crossed many of them sometimes more than once . We love their style , the audacity of the builders . The beauty of their structure ,
Today we would have probably been in Sweden . Malmo and the Oresund Bridge . We would have ticked off another country, picked up another magnet or two. We would be digging deep into our pockets to pay for the crossing of the Oresund Bridge and the tunnel beneath. At the other side we would emerge in Denmark and Copenhagen . Another country , another tick in the box and another magnet .
I wonder how those countries will celebrate or remember Victory in Europe . It would have been wonderful to have shared it with them .
11am - I stood outside . Only myself and one neighbour . Deep in thought . 2 minutes of reflection . What would the world have been like had things been different ? Were others standing inside for two minutes? The silence was deafening . Was it because it was a Bank Holiday ? Was the quietness because of Covid 19? I don't suppose I ever will know. I thought of dad though. All those years ago . In the jungle of Burma . Malaria ridden . The monsoons . Brave men all of them and never to be forgotten . Not by me anyway . Here's to you dad .
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