Will you not stay,
Put up your caravan
Just for one day?
etc Ralph Hodgson
It is more than a month since I posted here. My three email inboxes are bulging and I still haven’t posted flyers for Surviving the Death Railway to friends and relatives on my mailing list… A week today on Thursday 28 July, I will be giving a lecture at The National Archives in Kew titled Writing to a Ghost: Far East POWs (by this time a week today it will be over!). But this is the first of five going into November.
At the two launches for my book many people sweetly offered the same theme, with variations: ‘You must be so proud, now you can relax.’ I am proud of the people in the book and very happy that others have been able to recognise their achievements now and yes, I’m pleased that I played a part in that. Relax? In my dreams.
In between these events I continue to attend the local Toastmasters Club, where I am learning to overcome my fear of public speaking. This is the warmest safest environment imaginable. Many bright young things, often giving speeches in their second language, as well as several of my own age – a very buzzy, happy, honest, international crowd – and that in spite of the nightmare of Brexit and many other world horrors. This provides a good reminder that the newspapers only tell us the bad stuff, there’s plenty of the other.
And, the hedgehog still attends nightly (looking a little anxious about being photographed). I even saw three of them one night. Of course the garden, a little neglected, will still be there when this caravan limps into a parking space. (These so-green photos were taken before the current heat wave!)
See you all again soon.