Letter’s From The Past

My 8 year old daughter is currently learning all about World War 2. My 92 year old Grandma was in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF), so I suggested she write a letter to her Gran Gran asking her about her experience of the war.

I was conscious that the generation that served and fought in World War 2, are now beginning to pass away, and although many historical facts live on, the family stories are being lost, and I want my children to understand a little of what past generations lived through.

My Grandma sent a lovely letter back, with lot’s of information in – and I’ve just been typing it up for my daughter to take to school, and thought I’d like to share it:

I hope I’ve answered all your questions about World War 2.

I joined the WAAF, which was the women’s branch of the Air Force. We were dressed in an Air Force blue uniform, in skirts instead of trousers, although for work we had Battledress, which was a kind of blouse and trousers in a thick serge material, our hats were a soft top cap, with a shiny peak and the Air Force badge.

We had cereals or porridge, toast and a spoonful of jam for breakfast; midday stew or meat and veg, and for pudding we had sago, tapioca or rice. Teatime we had, macaroni cheese, potato pie, bread and a spoonful of jam.

My job after 9 months training was Flight Mechanic. I was sent to a maintenance unit where airplanes were repaired. I worked on the engines, changing plugs, oil and cleaning. Every 4 weeks after the plane had been flying, it came into the hangar, the engine was taken out and a new one put into the plane. Then everything had to be put on in order – plugs, put oil and coolant in, and the propellers put on. When everything had been checked, we took it outside to the sergeant in charge of our gang. He would get into the cockpit and start the engine up and test it, to make sure it was ready for the pilot to fly a test flight, so he could say everything was working.

In civilian life, the people had ration books with coupons in; food was rationed so everyone had the same amounts:

  • 2oz butter
  • 2oz cheese
  • Bacon and other fats
  • Portions of food were controlled as well.

In the forces, we had the NAAFI shop and when we got a sweet ration we had no choice – we had to have whatever sweets they had, just a small piece of chocolate or a ‘5boy’, also cigarettes as well, again what they had, only once a week, sometimes every two weeks. You had to be first in the queue or you were unlucky.

But it wasn’t all gloom; we had lots of fun – dances, cinema, NSA shows.

On our day off, which was Saturday, we went into the nearest town, and there was always a canteen which catered for the forces so we could get a cup of tea, beans on toast, or cheese on toast, quite cheap.

I also attached a couple of pictures of Grandma in uniform, that mum has recently e-mailed to me:

Image

Image

I know the story she tells is quite a soft one, edited for an 8 year old, but I love the picture she paints, and as an adult, I can add the depth myself.

I hope you enjoy reading my Grandma’s story. Don’t stop learning about your family – you may find out something incredible!

Update My mum has just reminded me of Grandma’s war injury – a family in joke! She threw herself in front of an oil barrel that was rolling away and cut her thumb!
Joking aside, she would have been punished if the barrel had hit the plane it was rolling towards.

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Letter’s From The Past

My 8 year old daughter is currently learning all about World War 2. My 92 year old Grandma was in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF), so I suggested she write a letter to her Gran Gran asking her about her experience of the war.

I was conscious that the generation that served and fought in World War 2, are now beginning to pass away, and although many historical facts live on, the family stories are being lost, and I want my children to understand a little of what past generations lived through.

My Grandma sent a lovely letter back, with lot’s of information in – and I’ve just been typing it up for my daughter to take to school, and thought I’d like to share it:

I hope I’ve answered all your questions about World War 2.

I joined the WAAF, which was the women’s branch of the Air Force. We were dressed in an Air Force blue uniform, in skirts instead of trousers, although for work we had Battledress, which was a kind of blouse and trousers in a thick serge material, our hats were a soft top cap, with a shiny peak and the Air Force badge.

We had cereals or porridge, toast and a spoonful of jam for breakfast; midday stew or meat and veg, and for pudding we had sago, tapioca or rice. Teatime we had, macaroni cheese, potato pie, bread and a spoonful of jam.

My job after 9 months training was Flight Mechanic. I was sent to a maintenance unit where airplanes were repaired. I worked on the engines, changing plugs, oil and cleaning. Every 4 weeks after the plane had been flying, it came into the hangar, the engine was taken out and a new one put into the plane. Then everything had to be put on in order – plugs, put oil and coolant in, and the propellers put on. When everything had been checked, we took it outside to the sergeant in charge of our gang. He would get into the cockpit and start the engine up and test it, to make sure it was ready for the pilot to fly a test flight, so he could say everything was working.

In civilian life, the people had ration books with coupons in; food was rationed so everyone had the same amounts:

  • 2oz butter
  • 2oz cheese
  • Bacon and other fats
  • Portions of food were controlled as well.

In the forces, we had the NAAFI shop and when we got a sweet ration we had no choice – we had to have whatever sweets they had, just a small piece of chocolate or a ‘5boy’, also cigarettes as well, again what they had, only once a week, sometimes every two weeks. You had to be first in the queue or you were unlucky.

But it wasn’t all gloom; we had lots of fun – dances, cinema, NSA shows.

On our day off, which was Saturday, we went into the nearest town, and there was always a canteen which catered for the forces so we could get a cup of tea, beans on toast, or cheese on toast, quite cheap.

I also attached a couple of pictures of Grandma in uniform, that mum has recently e-mailed to me:

Image

Image

I know the story she tells is quite a soft one, edited for an 8 year old, but I love the picture she paints, and as an adult, I can add the depth myself.

I hope you enjoy reading my Grandma’s story. Don’t stop learning about your family – you may find out something incredible!

Update My mum has just reminded me of Grandma’s war injury – a family in joke! She threw herself in front of an oil barrel that was rolling away and cut her thumb!
Joking aside, she would have been punished if the barrel had hit the plane it was rolling towards.

The Seven Dwarves & Me

This week I have personified all of the seven dwarves.

On Monday, I was Dopey & Sneezy. I had the Monday blues & couldn’t get going, plus think hay fever may be starting as I was sneezing all day!

On Tuesday, I was Sleepy. I’d been on a course the night before & just couldn’t keep my eyes open.

On Wednesday, I was Grumpy. Frustrated at work and growled at everyone. That was the night my husband handed me a G & T and offered to cook – always a sign I’m in a foul mood.

On Thursday, I was Bashful & Doc. I was embarrassed that I’d been so grumpy the day before, so put my pragmatic head on and took the lead and fixed the problem.

On Friday, I am Happy! Despite my multiple personalities this week, I’ve managed to stay on track and have lost 1lb, making 18lbs in total.

Think I like being Happy: Heigh Ho!

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Slow Cooker Cider Cooked Pork #scsunday

Recently Mediocre Mum has started a conversation across Twitter and bloggers to link up and share slow cook recipes, called Slow Cooker Sunday I thought I’d join in this week and add my adapted version of Slow Cooker Cider Cooked Pork.

I orginally found this recipe via The Vicar’s Wife adapted it for my slow cooker and it was delicious!

The original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients

1 Pork steak per person
Bacon, about 4 rashers, chopped
Large onion, roughly chopped
Potatoes and vegetables select from carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips, leeks all chunked.
Cabbage, sliced
2-3 bay leaves
1 tbspn vegetable (or chicken) bouillion powder or a stock cube
200ml cider

Using a large pan, brown the pork steaks and put to the side. Then add the bacon and onion and fry until a little crispy. Then add the chunked vegetables (not the cabbage) and fry them a little too, till the edges start to brown a little.
Then add cider and enough water to almost cover the veg. Add your bouillion powder and bay leaves and bring the liquid to the boil.

Then transfer the vegetable and bacon mix to the slow cooker, add the cabbage and place the the pork steaks back on top.

I cooked mine on low in the slow cooker for 6 hours.

I served the veg and steaks in bowls, then transferred the cider gravy to a pan on the stove and boiled for a few minutes to reduce/thicken the gravy.

It was declared a hit and went in the do again list!

Lost my way not my weight.

Not a good week this week.

It’s been back to work and I hoped back to routine.

I put too much faith in routine and didn’t concentrate enough.

One high point, a friend bought me a cup cake, I managed not to eat it & avoided offending him. It would have been 14 WW points, which is 1/3 of my daily allowance!

Despite this success, it was too little, too late and I gained 1/2lb this week.

I annoyed, but I know what I did and thoroughly deserved a gain.

Back to basics, and a new week awaits!

Easter Excesses!

Another week gone!

The children arrived home from their ‘holiday’ with their grandparents on Thursday, then on Good Friday, following minor water damage from a leaky cistern, off we went for a family walk. We are lucky to live in an area with a vast canal network, so can explore for miles – I blogged all about it here

On Easter Sunday, we attended church. We have a lovely tradition here, where the bare Lenten cross is decked with spring flowers to symbolise resurrection & new life and is rather beautiful!

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(thanks to @publictatmummy for creating the picture above from my photos)

Then it was off to the pub for Sunday lunch with the family.

The children were spoilt rotten with Easter eggs this year, but both me & hubby asked for none as we’re both trying to be healthier. Instead he got a bottle of whiskey & I got a bottle of vodka! (I know there’s an irony in there somewhere!)

On Easter Monday, it was a bit wet & miserable, so we had a fantastic day out at RAF Cosford (again, I blogged it here )

Hubby went back to work Tuesday, so me & the children had a soft play day, and Wednesday my daughter’s friend cane to play. This involved a lot of giggling, crafting, running and an indoor picnic!

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Then on Thursday, I took the children to meet up with some (adult) cousins for pizza and then to the cinema to see ‘Pirates and their adventure with Scientists’. What an awesome film! If you haven’t been yet, borrow a child and go!

So all of this Easter excess has got to have had an impact on my weight loss.

I’ve kept track & not kidded myself. And there will be no excuses.

And, I think because of this, I’ve had another pleasant surprise, I’ve stayed the same!

I’m happy with this as I’ve had an amazing week and had fun without going too mad.

Back to the routine today and here’s to a smaller me next week!