Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Chapter Eighty Four

Sorry everybody; I'm getting worse in the old memory stakes each passing day. I thought I had written on this blog on the 12th of November. It turns out I wrote on my other one concerning the Coastwatch.
Here's the 'catch-up'.
Linda has been extremely busy in her new life. Those of you who know her will understand that her idea of relaxation is to be just as busy as normal...but by doing something different. For a good part of the year she has been taking me for walks on Carne beach. ( For Gods sake...I made that sound like I'm an old labrador or something).
I'll start again. Linda and I have been going for walks on Carne beach when we can. I normally take alomg an old mail bag or two and fill them with any old plastic that has been washed up. This always looks better in our recycle bin than cluttering up the beach. Linda meanwhile, has a sack of her own that she collects driftwood in.
 This is her searching amongst the rocks on the beach.
Her artistic talents are amazing and she has been making all sorts of things that rival any of the driftwood articles found in local gift shops. She was selling bunches of flowers during the summer at our local farm shop. She'll be selling these at local craft markets next.
Her other talent has been for the making of jams, chutneys, jellies, and other preserves. I feel like an extra in an episode of the 'Archers'. Its only when you look in her craft room that you can see how busy and how amazing, she really is.
Thankfully, I to am not letting the side down.
I grant you all, that whole praries of grass can grow under my feet before I do something. I also agree that my idea of relaxation is my backside firmly planted in a chair and my eyes locked firmly onto a book. For all that I am getting some writing done. I had my sixtieth article printed in the Western Morning News this week in their Country Notebook section.
It makes no money for us...but it does keep my profile out there for other's to see. Several times, people have stopped either Linda or myself and asked if I am the writer of these pieces. That can be good and any day now I expect to see my name up in lights.
My name is up on a board in Tregony this week for a different reason however. I was asked if I would give a talk on Royal Mail to the local WI. I used to love doing that years ago but gave it up when things got so bad at Farnham. This time I couldn't resist giving it another go and agreed to give the talk. Thats tomorrow and I am more nervous than I ever expected to be.
I was on delivery the other morning when I saw this beautiful looking vessel sitting in the Carrick Roads. It was enormous. Suddenly a large helicopter flew away from it. The helicopter must have been inside the thing because I never spotted it on deck. I did think, I've worked hard all my life, and I couldn't even afford to buy the ships wheel...never mind all the rest of the package.
The weather has turned a little chillier in the wind and the guinea pigs are now back in their winter quarters. This consists of living in the greenhouse. They seem quite happy in there, although on sunny days, Linda puts them back out in their run in the garden for a few hours. Its hard to believe this is our second Winter with them.

Both of us are a little tired at the moment and I think a lot of that is to do with our jobs. Linda finds it very busy in the residential home although she enjoys the people she looks after. Trying to get her own business off the ground is hard on her too.
I am finding it busy at work as well. Although the perceived impression at Truro is that the jobs in the SPDO's are fairly easy...I rarely finish my duty before three in the afternoon. I do work a full eight hour day with no proper break. I love it though and it doesn't bother me at all.
Christmas is showing evidence of itself more and more at work as well. Loads of packets coming through, plus the millions of catalogues that fill the letterboxes at this time of year. I swear that advertising alone must consist of seventy per cent of all mail posted.
Still no talk of industrial action at present so that is a worry put firmly at the back of the mind.
We went to Tregony for the Rememberance Sunday service. As usual it was very well attended and we were happy to take part. The whole thing was very moving and I left a cross in front of the memorial for my my great grandfather.
Linda and I had a chat about things and I told her I would like to commemorate his service during the Great War. As it is 100 years next year since the war began, I told her I would like to go to the war memorial with his name on it in East Budleigh in Devon. I want to go each year for the next five years as a way of commemorating him personally. It means a lot to me.

First Name:
Circa 1877
Birth Town:
Woodbury, Devon.
Resided Town:
East Budleigh, Devon.
Date of Death:
Killed in Action
Parents: Samuel and Jane Hill, of Woodbury, Devon; husband of Annie Hill, of Porch Cottage, East Budleigh, Devon.
Service Number:
Duty Location:
France And Flanders
Campaign Medals:
Victory Medal

victory medalLike many service personnel of World War One, John Hill was entitled to the Victory medal, also called the Inter Allied Victory Medal. This medal was awarded to all who received the 1914 Star or 1914-15 Star and, with certain exceptions, to those who received the British War Medal. It was never awarded alone. These three medals were sometimes irreverently referred to as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred.

Eligibility for this award consisted of having been mobilised, fighting, having served in any of the theatres of operations, or at sea, between midnight 4th/5th August, 1914, and midnight, 11th/12th November, 1918. Women who served in any of the various military organisations in a theatre of operations were also eligible.

British War Medal

british war medalAs with many Armed Forces personnel, John Hill was entitled to the British War Medal for service in World War One. This British Empire campaign medal was issued for services between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918.

The medal was automatically awarded in the event of death on active service before the completion of this period.

Great grandad was an ordinary man who went to war. He didn't have to...but he did anyway. He has always been someone for me to look up too.
I have been at Portscatho for a few shifts this last couple of weeks. I've been doing Ellies job and covering for some of her holiday. Its been a nice change and I've enjoyed it. Her job can be finished earlier than mine because it starts earlier. Nice to be home before two on a couple of days.
Last Saturday was our NCI lunch and I managed to swap my duty with Stephen so that I could finish earlier. It was great fun and I spent time with Chris and Sue discussing the training programme. I am hoping to be able to help out with it in the future. I still find it hard to believe I am a qualified coastwatcher.
Really pleased.
I managed to become the victim of road rage the other day. I instinctively answered my phone while driving the other day. I can't think why because I normally won't answer when behind the wheel. I know it was foolish...but it really upset the bloke in the car behind me.
Although I had long since terminated the call, he followed me off the main road towards a little village, and as soon as I pulled up, blocked me in and really went off on one. He was obviously very upset about me speaking on my phone and issued all sorts of threats. I managed to calm him down and agreed with everything he said. It didn't mollify him but it stopped him from doing something stupid.
I heard a conversation the other day between two ladies in a shop talking about the same sort of incident. It happened to one of them. Methinks there is some sort of vigilante group starting up. I have to admit I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed by himself...but not perhaps in the way he delivered it. I leave my phone in the back of the car now so that I can't answer it. Its daft really...I wouldn't dream of making a call whilst driving...yet instinctively answer when rung.
Just a little word once more on the weather before I finish. A cold snap has settled in bringing bright clear skies and a bitter cold wind. Although I was quite happily delivering in my shorts as usual...I was wearing a woolly hat and a fleece as well. It must have looked very odd.
Having said that; on the same morning I found this beautiful agapanthus growing beside someones front door.
I love these plants and as far as I can make out, this must be one of the last ones standing.

1 comment:

  1. Hello
    I enjoyed reading your thoughts! Particularly interested in your great grandfather John Hill. I volunteer at the local museum which is putting on an exhibition this year as a tribute to the victims of WW1 who came from the Budleigh and Lower Otter Valley area. Please contact me at We would love to have a photo and more details if possible.
    Best wishes