An item on the local TV news today covered a special tribute from a 70 year old son to his dad on his 100th birthday.

Apparently Dad was entitled to 6 medals for his service in WW2 but declined them at the end of the war because he did not want to be reminded of his wartime experiences, the friends he had lost and the sights he had seen.

For his 100th birthday, the son had the “missing” medals minted and awarded to his dad as a special tribute.

How bloody insensitive can you get? 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is real and possibly forever.  Resurrecting bad memories after 70 years is not likely to help.

What can help is a donation to , the charity that strives to help those who struggle with their memories of war.

Plus ça change…

Today, while doing the ironing, I watched two railway/railroad based films/movies.

The first is typical of its time, featuring a multi-racial cast, and depicts an initial corporate failure leading to a disaster with actual massive loss of life, but in our story, after several personal triumphs by our hero the final result is a happy ending for most of the group we are following.   There are some humorous moments and many of high tension.

The  second is typical of its time, featuring a multi-racial cast, and depicts initial failures by two individuals leading to a potential disaster with massive loss of life, but in our story, after several corporate failures the final result is a happy ending for most of the group we have been following.  There are some humorous moments  and many of high tension.

The films?

A C21st kit issue.

Today my combat boots/desert boots finally gave up, after several months’ daily use.  The steel bar in the sole popped out through the instep, simultaneously on both boots.  So I chucked them in the bin and got out the back-up pair.  First job: coat the new boots with leather protector.  I did notice that the pair I just chucked away were noticeably darker on the front of the right boot from playing football with Sparky.

(Sparky says: “Sparky does not care about your boots.  Just play Ball with me”).

Time to buy a new back-up pair of boots.

Sparky says…

Sparky says:
“Today we went to The Woods for my morning walk.
Nothing special happened except when Clever Sparky had to find The Ball under a really tricky holly bush. Good Boy Sparky Who’s a Clever Dog?

In the after-second-food We went on the “around-the-block-and-to-the-shop-and-wait-good-boy-Sparky” walk. But today We did not go to the shop. It was hot.

What a boring day. We did play Ball when He put the what-They-wear on the string across my play place to get them dry.”

The effects of battle

I have been listening to the BBC “Beyond Today” six-part podcast: “The Deadliest Day”. The podcast is a series of recordings made by the survivors and the relatives of those who died, were physically wounded or otherwise suffered from 9 Platoon, 2nd Rifles that suffered the highest casualty rate on the day of the highest casualties inflicted on the British Army in Afghanistan since the Victorian period – July 10th 2009.
The interviews are very frank, very enlightening and occasionally very distressing.

I believe that these experiences are common to many soldiers and their families in all the wars of history. The difference is that today the survivors – in all senses of the word – are prepared to talk about it, and that their resulting life problems are officially recognised. Not solved, but at least recognised.

If you want to make a difference, make a donation to

All credit to the BBC for making this series of programmes, and to all those who were prepared to open their hearts to us.

Highly recommended.

Sparky says…

Sparky says:
“Today we did our usual quick walk with some Ball play, and I did a poo to please Him, so He was happy.
Then I went to play with some other dogs at “Number 10” while He took My Car away.
Later He came back with another Car, and I did not know who it was until He knocked the door of No.10. I knew it was someone at the door so I shouted to say “A Burglar is coming”, like I always do at home. Then I found it was Him and I was happy and We went Home and played Ball for ever so long in My Garden.
Later we went for our usual walk, play Ball, have a Poo near the collect-a poo-bin (Good Dog Sparky), hook up outside the Shop, go Home thing. It was a normal boring day, except for the “play with other doggies” bit.

Walks with my dog, the future.

Just to advise any followers of this thread that following veterinary advice long walks are suspended.
I will try to find similar short walks, but they will be described from Sparky’s viewpoint and will be tagged as “Sparky Says”

Sparky has already started giving his views on our life over the last few days. If I could understand how to use the new WordPress editor I would link the posts, but so far the method has eluded me.

I will ask Sparky for help. Sparky’s a clever dog. Meanwhile you will have to search my recent posts.