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How things change…

The days seem to be getting longer at last, and we’ve had a couple of sunny days that saw me out in the garden for a while, moving things round, cleaning and sweeping up and going for the world’s saddest bunny title because I’m so pleased with my new proper outside stiff broom and dustpan. It’s amazing how new the little paved area looks now I’ve got all the dirt off it, and the little bit outside the back door has pale grey paving not the browny grey colour I thought it was. It’s more like crazy paving after 137 years but I love the effect of it too much to replace it.

It’s sunken from the rest of the garden, so it’s sheltered and shady and is where I sit most often, so that’s where I’ve been reading about what life was like for women on the Home Front in 1940 and realising exactly how different expectations for women were back then; and what a difference a year made to those expectations.

I know there used to be an Anderson air raid shelter at the bottom of our garden by the back gate, because that’s why the shed is on a lower level than the fruit trees. My elderly neighbour could remember going to shelter in there from the raids and seeing a Nazi plane shot down and spiralling downwards in flames. Her mum cried when she saw it because she said it was another woman’s son I like that thought because it’s such a contrast to all the old war movies.

There’s a house at the top of the road that had bomb damage and you can still see the crack in the building and the metal thingies that hold it together. I’m pretty sure it’s sound though, because if it was going to fall down it’d have done it in the last eighty-odd years! Large areas of Poole weren’t that lucky because of the flying boats and the gasworks and the railway and being beneath a flight route that was used by German bombers so they dropped any bombs they had left to lighten their load their loads before they crossed the channel back to their base at Cherbourg. I know the damage would be the same whether or not you were deliberately targeted but that really doesn’t strike me as being fair!

The more I read, the more I think and wonder and get just a little cross because one common theme when it comes to women seems to be that everyone else is so eager to define what we should be doing and thinking and being and looking like. These days, I’m out of step because I’m quite a domesticated person. I like cooking and sewing and gardening and I’m not one for wild parties. To be honest, I’m happiest when everyone I love is safely in my home and gathered round my table, with their tummies full and not actively squabbling. I know other people feel differently, and I honour their choices and maybe, someday, if I’m really lucky, people will honour mine as well. Would I have been happier living then? Probably not, because I’ve always believed that it was up to me to make myself as happy as possible with what lies to hand.

Which brings me back round to spring and daffodils and crocuses. And hearing about what my friend’s sheep have been up to. And wondering why weeds grow so much faster than plants… Have an amazing week, please because I definitely intend to.

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