Skip to main content

O.B.E.


While I didn't like my GCSE English and English lit teacher very much, he did introduce us to the war poets of the first world war, for which I am very grateful. I hadn't studied history much at school but studying the likes of Owen and Sassoon gave me some insight into the horrors of war.

Remembering


I worked as a care assistant for a year after I graduated from University and many of my patients had lived through the Great War, so I learnt more from them and also from survivors of WWII, including some people who had been interned in Auschwiz, their tattoos an indelible testament to the worst of humankind.


I hadn't intended to find the poem, Glory of Women by Siegfried Sassoon, but was browsing through my book of his poems to photograph something for here. The last three lines might strike a chord with some of us:

O German mother dreaming by the fire
While you are knitting socks to send to your son
His face is trodden deeper in the mud


I have mixed feelings about Remembrance Sunday.  Yes, I think it is vital to remember what people went through, and still are going through in our armed forces, but I also think we should remember the civilians affected by war. The people of Afghanistan who have lived with war for generations, families in Pakistan currently facing drone attacks in the name of the 'war on terror' which creates more terror, just not where I live. The conflicts we hardly hear about through our media as they've been going on for so long and appear so hopeless that we, but not all of us, seem to have abandoned them.

I can get quite ranty about this, however other people can put this into words better than I can such as this article in today's independent from an Afghanistan veteran questioning if it's right for our Prime Minister to wear a poppy while "fetching and carrying for the arms industry".

I'll leave you with one of the poems I studied at school which has stayed with me. While we remember what has happened, the question is how do we stop it from happening again?

O.B.E. by AA Milne

I know a Captain of Industry,
Who made big bombs for the R.F.C.,
And collared a lot of L s. d.--
And he--thank God!--has the O.B.E.

I know a Lady of Pedigree,
Who asked some soldiers out to tea,
And said "Dear me!" and "Yes, I see"--
And she--thank God!--has the O.B.E.

I know a fellow of twenty-three,
Who got a job with a fat M.P.--
(Not caring much for the Infantry.)
And he--thank God!--has the O.B.E.

I had a friend; a friend, and he
Just held the line for you and me,
And kept the Germans from the sea,
And died--without the O.B.E.
Thank God!
He died without the O.B.E.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Deja deja decisions

After all my decision making in my post yesterday, and my eagerness to cast on, my brain interfered again and I spent most of the evening playing with colour combos in Excel.

It looked like this:



I stared at it for ages, showed it to my other half, stared at it again, showed it to my other half*
*repeat until bedtime.

I decided to get stuck in having whittled it down to two possible layouts. I'm still not one hundred percent sure but I'm hoping I'll have a better idea by the time I'm at the next colour change.

Food: easy five spice soda bread

In that idle time between Christmas and New Year some have dubbed Twixmas, I found myself recuperating from spending a week with my very intense mother-in-law by watching mid-morning TV.


I flicked over to Nadiya's British Food Adventure where this recipe for red split lentils and five-spice soda bread caught my eye.

I'm a big fan of curry; it's my favourite cuisine and the combo of lentil soup and soda bread ticked the right boxes. My dad is a keen breadmaker and he talked about making soda bread over Christmas which had tickled my interest. While I like the idea of making bread, I'm unlikely to have bread flour or yeast in and I find the kneading and proving off putting, but soda bread is doable.

The lentil soup was eaten before I thought of photographing it. It's similar to dhals we routinely make for dinner - so cheap and easy to do - though the garlic and butter were a treat. The bread has lasted for a few days as there are only two of us in the house. I manag…

Deja decisions

Almost two years to the day that I cast on for what has so far been my biggest FO, I'm casting on another.

When I found out my first nephew was on the way I um'd and ah'd over what to knit for him; i.e. I spent hours browsing Ravelry looking at ALL THE BABY THINGS.

I wanted to make him a blanket, something he'd hopefully use and keep for several years, maybe into adulthood. While I like knitting modular patterns, crocheting motifs and generally being a clever clogs, my brain kept on returning to a simple yet effective pattern.

#knitting pattern is Teddy blanket by Millamia A photo posted by clarestorry (@gingerknits) on Apr 20, 2014 at 9:44am PDT

I've worked with MillaMia in the past and their oh so cheerful Teddy Blanket had always attracted a lot of attention at yarn shows. It's a very easy knit though it is an exercise in stamina.

After doing more browsing (thanks again Ravelry) I decided on it but using Rico Essential Cotton, not MillaMia yarn, as although …