Yesterday was Mother’s Day here in Australia – all the talk is about how it was a different occasion for mothers in different states. Some states are relaxing restrictions and allowing gatherings of various sizes. The ‘state of emergency’ here in Victoria ends today which is when all these rules and regs. will be reassessed and we’ll learn what we can and can’t do as we slowly bring our lives back to normal…..whatever that will be.
Last week there was much talk and news reporting about VE Day – lots of archival sentimental singing and British street parties as well as those taking place there and then in real time. The celebration was for the ending of a war in Europe – of course we know it certainly wasn’t ‘all over’……it was business as usual in other parts of the world. My mum, her extended family and me as a 2 yr old were in Portsmouth……my dad was way way away with an RAF runway construction unit in Burma, then later in Hong Kong so for him VJ Day (Victory in Japan) later to be known so VP Day (Victory in the Pacific) was more relevant.
We’d all seen the infamous photo taken of dad in khaki along with the ‘bar room hostess’ – I’m sure he was stressed by what was happening and this was a way to let off steam. Those times had a deeper effect on mum, courtesy of bombing raids thunderstorms would see her in the cupboard under the stairs, there’s no way she would have climbed up onto a gun for a photo shoot with her daughters.
Somehow/Somewhere my brother found an old photo of Dad to put on a VE Day post on Facebook – one I’d never seen before. Taken during those war years in the Far East – I see a man I never knew, a young Irishman aged 25. He looks fun, an attribute he never lost, gosh I wish I’d known him then, before he became ‘just our dad!’