Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Mumbles
Aside


Goodo! At last we ‘over 60’s’ have a champion. She’s bright, intelligent, articulate, a northerner (Stockport) and used to be known as the thinking man’s crumpet when she used to host ‘Late night line up’ a few decades ago. She’s had a play written about her by Harold Pinter, who had a well documented affair with her and now she’s been invited by the government to look out for we oldies, with no strings. She’ll do nicely thank you.


Yesterday I was really looking forward to a programme by Jo Brand about Vera Brittain, who I mentioned in yesterday’s post, and it just didn’t happen and I neither saw nor heard a reason why. Buck up B.B.C!


One last word about WW1 then I’ll shut up for another year: Harry Patch a Somerset lad was an 18 year old apprentice plumber when he joined the army; He fought at Passchendale in Belgium, was wounded and saw his three best friends killed. He never spoke about his experiences until he was 100 and swore he would never return to the battle field. Now aged 110 he changed his mind and wanted to pay homage to the German soldiers. He met up with a German survivor of the battle and with companions who could translate, had a moving chat about the futility of war and how they bore no grudges. With difficulty they both leaned over the table and clasped each other’s hands in a long moving handshake. Harry said:

‘Too many died. War isn’t worth one life.’

18 comments:

Bob-kat said...

Very moving story Pat and oh so true but it seems as a race, we never learn. My dad (now in his late 70's has only just started to talk about his experiences of combat too. Much of it has been a real surprise to us). I always wear my poppy with pride.

Joan Bakewell should make a marvellous champion :)

Thanks for popping by and for your words of wisdom. It was really kind of you :)

Shane said...

I just read that the Vera Brittain / Jo Brand programme went out at different times in different regions - all inconsistent with the published listings. And what is doubly disappointing is that the programme is not available to watch again through BBC iPlayer. Auntie mucked up.

scarlet-blue said...

My Grandad came back from the trenches and only spoke about his experiences to my Dad just before he died. My Dad won't repeat what he was told.
Too many died.
Sx

Guyana-Gyal said...

I've always been a great fan of folks 60-plus, so much entertainment, so many stories, lessons, and just the fact that I'm not judged, just plain ol' accepted for being me.

Kim Ayres said...

The Jo Brand progamme was on, but it waas half an hour later than advertised in the Radio Times. For some reason the Beeb decided to swap the news & the prog timeslots.

PI said...

Bob-kat: it's always a pleasure to drop in on you and I hope the news gets better.

Shane: thanks for letting me know. I have had time to calm down so will not use expletives but the arrogance of the B.B.C. is breathtaking.

GG: and she's going to combat ageism which is alive and well even in blogland.

Scarlet: that's one thing about programmes like the History channel it has shown the old veterans that it's OK to talk about it and I think it is healing for them. So many of the survivors felt guilty because their mates hadn't survived.

Kim: I was really cross - it was going to be my Sunday treat. Did you watch it?

Kim Ayres said...

We set the timer for it, then put the TV on to watch the news and realised it was still on so hastily had to start recording again. we've not watched it yet, but there will be about 4 minutes missing out the middle now

PI said...

Kim: better than me. All our equipment is getting very old and I keep promising myself we'll get up to date with an all in one thingy. My recording is very hit and miss and the tapes past their sell by date. The next son to come will have to sort it out. Blesa him!

Lizzy said...

Hi Pat, I saw it, though quite by accident. I shan't try and describe it in the way that you descibe your progs, as I'd be useless as it. Maybe the BBC will repeat it?? I hope so. I know that there have been lots of complaints about the Beeb and their scheduling lately - Little Dorrit has been all over the place...

Anyway - do look out for it just in case, as it was VERY good, and so very moving. Such a lot of tragedy for one person. I'm trying not to sound like I'm teasing with either too much or too little info, but have a feeling I may not have succeeded!

PI said...

Lizzy:no I'm glad to hear good things about it and will certainly watch if I get the chance.

Kanani said...

excellent coverage, Pat.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

How true is that! I LOVE that after all this time, he wanted to meet and be able to put the past behind them...Very touching and Very Inspiring....! And, he is so very correct!

PI said...

Kanani: thank you for your kind words:)

Naomi: it was very touching and one felt both of them looked at peace with each other - only the two of them - at this moment in time, have any conception of what it was like.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I heard on the News here yesterday that here in The States there is only ONE Man still alive that fought in WW1....And he is 107 years old, I believe they said...!
To think that there are so few of the very brave people who fought in World War 1.....I guess it a miracle that there are still a few who ARE still with us.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I endorse that fight, Pat, I see so many older folks getting sidelined, hurt, the media have played a great hand in this, glorifying youth, leaving the wisdom and humour of older ones behind. My neighbour told me that as she gets older [she's only in her late 50's], she's feeling more and more vulnerable...and she used to be so tough, she said.

PI said...

Naomi : we had three at the ceremony at the cenotaph yesterday. I think the eldest was 112.

GG: you also start to become invisible. If your neighbour hasn't got a partner it must be unbelievably hard. But fifty is no age. I hope she can start to believe in herself and not waste the years.

rosneath said...

sorry about the Vera Brittain programme but I caught it on Sunday. It was very good and I didn't realise what a strong family likeness there was through 3 generations. Shirley, Vera and her mother all looked so alike.
Mind you, I thought Cheryl Campbell looked like them too - I loved that series - did you watch it?

belleek

PI said...

Belleek: lucky you! No I didn't see the series. Shirley is everywhere at present and she never did learn what to do with her hair.
She's still got her marbles though.