Smells and childhood memories

July 1, 2011 Childhood memories
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Tweet Sometimes a childhood memory comes flashing in and you wonder why. Then the cause becomes apparent, a familiar and unmistakable smell pervading your surroundings and, this time, not immediately associated with the distant event. With the smell of chopped parsley, I recall standing in the kitchen, aged maybe four or five, nose against the […]

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June 22, 2011 Childhood memories
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Tweet During WWII, it was so difficult to find wool that knitters had to be quite inventive, both in finding a source of it and also in using every scrap available. Mother, with three toddlers, always had a garment on the go. She used to hunt around for old discarded pullovers or cardigans and laboriously […]

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Colorado Beetle

April 7, 2011 Childhood memories
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Tweet I was 6 years old, WWII had ended. My mother, my three younger brothers and I were still living in the school house of a small village in Normandy. My father had just returned from captivity in the concentration camp of Buchenwald, very poorly indeed. For the first few weeks of his traumatic return, […]

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Bleuette – my mother’s china doll

March 31, 2011 Childhood memories
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Tweet WWII was over and family units were gradually reconstituted, men folk missing or back from the war in an appalling state, women exhausted by the burden of running family and work together in great hardship. Now was the time for my parents to lick their wounds and face a new life. As soon as […]

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Father’s return

February 2, 2011 French Resistance
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Tweet A car stopped outside the school house where we lived and the man got out slowly and painfully. We’d rushed to the window as we knew Papa was due back today. Maman raised her hands to her face and gasped. She yanked the door open , rushed toward the gate but stopped short. He […]

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The arrest

January 27, 2011 French Resistance
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Tweet July 10th 1944, the Allies were progressing down country slowly, liberating the population from the grip of the German occupation. They were still to reach my parents’ village in this part of Normandy. Times of terror as the oppressed fell victim in the last throes of a losing army, a most dangerous and unpredictable […]

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Twinkle twinkle little star…

January 20, 2011 Childhood memories
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Tweet Normandy1943… My brother and I were increasingly in the care of the live-in maid, Simone, employed to help my mother with the house chores and the “babies”. Life in the school house was full of excitement for us children. Both our parents were busy teaching in the school part of the building and going […]

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The Pram

January 7, 2011 French Resistance
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Tweet Normandy, Spring 1943 – 45 Baby Michel was born, in the middle of an increasing turmoil that would end in disaster for the family. What a start in life! Mother and father were both doing their utmost to resist the overwhelming presence of the occupying forces. The Resistance movement was, by 1942, better organised […]

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Come and see my etchings!

December 16, 2010 My family
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Tweet ‘Stop!’ She stopped a couple of steps into the room, her eyes closed in anticipation of the promised surprise. ‘Freeze ! Don’t move!’. His voice was urgent. ‘What could it be?’ she thought. She wanted to open her eyes but she didn’t want to spoil the fun. Jean had prepared her for this for […]

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December 16, 2010 French Resistance
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Tweet 1940 She was standing on the doorstep waiting, her 10 months old daughter perched on her hip, her belly not swelled yet with her second pregnancy. Jean, her husband had been called up into to the “Arme de l’Air”. On her own in the school house, she knew “they” were coming. The past few […]

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