Surviving the U boat sinking of the RMS Laconia 12 September 1942 — Broadsides – A collection of bits and pieces

What John doesn’t mention here is that he was a young schoolboy in Gibraltar in the 1950’s and has fond memories of his many escapades there. You can find further details on his blog and he also contributes, on Facebook, to Gibraltar Old Photos 2.

I lived in Gibraltar, as a serving Royal Signals soldier, from 1974 to 1976. I was a Corporal, and single when I first arrived, living in Governor’s Cottage camp. I was promoted shortly afterwards and move to the Fortress Sergeant’s Mess, in Town Range, just above the The Convent.

I returned home to get married in July 74, and my wife joined me in Gib, even though we had nowhere to live. We hopped from quarter to quarter when people were on leave in UK and then ended up in 263/7A Main Street, a very small flat that cost £14 per week.

Our daughter was born in October 75 and holds dual nationality, so Gibraltar, of course, holds a very dear place in our hearts.

Gibraltar:  British families, survivors from the RMS Larconia, torpedoed by German U-Boat on the 12th September 1942 RMS Laconica was originally commissioned as an ocean-going luxury passenger ship for the Cunard line. With the outbreak of WWII she was requisitioned by the Admiralty and fitted with eight six inch guns and two three inch guns. […]

Surviving the U boat sinking of the RMS Laconia 12 September 1942 — Broadsides – A collection of bits and pieces

New baby

I love your little fingers and I love your little toes

I love your dimpled chin and your little button nose

I even love your whimpering and all your wild kerfuffles

And probably the best of all I love your snores and snuffles

But p’raps there’s one or two things that annoy me all to hell

I hate it when you vomit ‘cause I cannot stand the smell

There’s one thing that would really make me very very happy

And that’s the day you learn to live without that dreadful nappy!

Song Lyric Sunday – 27 December 2020 – Heart of the Country

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. Jim has given us Odor /Scent /Smell /Taste this week to be included in the title or lyrics.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

This week I’m pondering on the final concert, and the final public performance, of The Beatles, Paul and Linda McCartney’s move to the Mull of Kintyre, and the beauty of that part of the world. I was fortunate to live in the Outer Hebrides for two years, based in Ballivanich, on the Isle of Benbecula. Wild, sparsely populated, enduring some tremendously strong winds and wild weather but beautiful, captivating, and instilling a sort of desert fever in those who are lucky enough to experience it.

The Beatles’ final paid concert of their career took place on 29 August 1966 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. The band played to an audience of 25,000, leaving 7,000 tickets unsold. They had become disillusioned with live performances, singing the same songs time and again, unable to hear themselves playing. They had upset many fans with John’s statement that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus.

The Beatles’ rooftop concert on 30 January 1969 marked the end of an era for many fans. The group did record one more album, Abbey Road — on which work started the following month — but by September 1969 the Beatles had unofficially disbanded.

To save some money from the taxman and as a bolt hole from Beatlemania, Paul had, encouraged by then girlfriend Jane Asher, bought High Park Farm in Campbeltown, near Argyll’s Mull of Kintyre in 1968. But it was only when newly married to American Linda Eastman in 1969 that he decided to make it a home.

He said: “Going up to Scotland was real freedom. It was an escape – our means of finding a new direction in life and having time to think about what we really wanted to do.”

The farm, which was rustic to say the least, would become home to Linda’s daughter Heather and the couple’s first child Mary. Stella, now a top fashion designer, arrived in 1971.

But it was also the place where Paul’s next music project was born.

The new expanded editions of Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway include never-before-seen pictures of the McCartneys’ life in Campbeltown, which in time would inspire his love letter to the area – Mull of Kintyre – a 1977 Christmas No1. 

They released the album ‘Ram’ together in 1971 and formed the band Wings in the same year. The couple were also nominated for an Oscar for their song ‘Live And Let Die’, the theme tune for the 1973 Bond film of the same name.

“When she came to Britain and we got to together the greatest thing about it was we both wanted to be free. We did what we wanted and she took pictures of it all.”

Linda McCartney died after a battle with breast cancer on April 17, 1998. She was 56 years old. 

The song I’m offering is Heart of the Country from the album Ram released in 1971.

The video shows some great examples of the free and easy life in their dream home. A great place to raise their children, grow their own food, ride in deserted areas (UK horseriders may note they use American style saddles and tack), and generally enjoy life.

The song aint bad either!

If you want to see more then there is some lovely pics, and music, at the bottom of the lyrics.

I look high, I look low

I’m lookin’ everywhere I go

Lookin’ for a home

In the heart of the country

I’m gonna move, I’m gonna go

I’m gonna tell everyone I know

Lookin’ for a home

In the heart of the country

Heart of the country

Where the holy people grow

Heart of the country

Smell the grass in the meadow

Whoa, whoa, whoa

Want a horse, I want a sheep

I wanna get me a good night’s sleep

Living in a home

In the heart of the country

I’m gonna move, I’m gonna go

I’m gonna tell everyone I know

Livin’ in a home

In the heart of the country

Heart of the country

Where the holy people grow

Heart of the country

Smell the grass in the meadow

Whoa, whoa, whoa

Want a horse, I got a sheep

I’m gonna get me a good night’s sleep

Livin’ in a home

In the heart of the country

I’m gonna move, I’m gonna go

I’m gonna tell everyone I know

In the heart of the country

Heart of the country

Where the holy people grow

Heart of the country

Smell the grass in the meadow

Whoa, whoa, whoa

Rapid rhyme #33/ Melissa the mouse

I talk to them, they talk to me

in easy stages one two three

First greet them with a bright “Good Day”

and ask them if they’ve time to stay

Then if they have, ask how they are

and have they had to travel far

Are they alone or with their spouse

Do they live in a hole or house

It’s truly magic, meeting friends

the joys of walking show no ends

 

Some of you may know that I go for a walk most days.  I talk to the trees and anything else I encounter along the way.  In these days of Covid I have changed my route and now I mostly go through fields, woodland, along the river and canal.  I stay away from roads and people as much as possible!

Today I had a real bonus meeting and conversation.  Apart from the cattle, horses, swans, spiders, grasshoppers, and birds, that is.

I quite often come across a dead mouse, or vole, and that’s what I saw this morning, and then……she moved.  It was a teeny tiny mouse, and her name was Melissa.  I know that for a fact because she told me.  You may think me a little potty, nuts, crazy, or whatever.  I don’t care.

I asked Melissa if I could take a few photographs to remember her by, and she agreed.  In fact she was quite happy and so that her friends on Mousebook could see what a big girl she is she asked if I could put a Pound coin alongside her to compare with. A pound coin is 23.43mm diameter.  That is 0.922 inches in old money!

Melissa was exploring her neighbourhood for the first time but couldn’t remember how old she was.   Baby mice grow up very quickly.  After just six days, they have fur and can move and squeak.  After 18 days, they are ready to leave the nest.  Female mice can start having babies when they are just six weeks old.  They can produce 10 litters every year, with up to 12 babies in each litter.

She soon went back to the nest which was accessed by a small hole in the ground.  Another of her siblings popped his head out to say a quick hello but disappeared and didn’t want his photograph taken.

Seriously though, folks, isn’t she gorgeous.  So much so that I am not sharing her space with any other friends I met today.

Song Lyric Sunday 15/12/2019 – Baby

song-lyric-sundayJim Adams, who hosts Song Lyric Sunday, gives us the chance to share lots of familiar, and some not so familiar, songs.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

My offering today  is by The Hollies who are one of the few UK groups of the early 1960s, along with the Rolling Stones, that have never disbanded and continue to record and perform. They also happen to be the group that I have seen more than any other – many, many times over the years.

It is a song released in 1970 that was a number one hit in Australia and New Zealand but never released as a single in the UK.

It tells the story, familiar at the time, of a young couple who have got married in spite of their parents telling them they were too young. The girl was pregnant, a huge stigma for all the family, and normally blamed on the girl with little blame being directed at the father. However, they did get married and, despite living on the breadline and only just keeping their heads above water, they have managed to raise a family. They struggle every day but both have a dream of better times ahead!

This song, written by Tony Hicks, contains the word “baby” twice, so fits the theme admirably. I do hope you enjoy it. There are two versions to choose from, a live performance recorded in a German TV studio, and the original recording.

Too Young to Be Married

The Hollies

She wakes up early every morning
She get up long before the sunshine
Greets the milkman who’s still yawning
And reads the paper for a short time
Calls the kids “get out of bed”
They never hear a word she says

Husband stands to leave the table
She says “I hope you have a good day”
He thinks “one day soon as I’m able
I’ll get a job where I get good pay.”

They find it hard to make ends meet
But they don’t mention it because they have each other
And love is free while they’re supposed to be …

Too young to be married
Too young to be free
Too young to be married
But what could they do? They were going to have a baby

After the kids have had their breakfast
Now they’re off to get some schooling
She cleans the house and makes the beds
She starts to dream but knows she’s fooling

She swears one day she’ll stay in bed
But for now she knows she’s got to keep on working
’cause round and round inside her head
She hears the words her mother said …

Too young to be married
Too young to be free
Too young to be married
But what could they do? They were going to have a baby

Too young to be married
Too young to be free
Too young to be married
But what could they do?

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Tony Hicks

Too Young to Be Married lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Rapid rhyme #16

Sometimes, just sometimes, I forget that I am a compassionate and caring gentleman. This afternoon was just such an occasion.

 

Would it be awful if I were to say

I cannot be bothered to see you today

I really don’t care that your leg has dropped off

And couldn’t care less you’ve developed a cough

You breed just like rabbits, producing more louts

Your lifestyle’s renowned by all hereabouts

You’re on your seventh partner in only four years

I can only surmise it’ll all end in tears

Please don’t come to me to try to explain

I really don’t wish to hear you complain

It’s hardly surprising the neighbours all glare

Please don’t come to me, I really don’t care!

 

I talk to the trees………..

This popped up in my Facebook “memories” today. I thought it may be of interest, even though it is rather a long read.

Peter's pondering

Not only do I talk to the trees, I talk to all manner of things.

Each morning I go for a walk.

I have various routes, but all take in fields, woodland, the River Erewash, the Erewash canal, bridges, a main road, and suburban streets.

Some days I hardly see a living soul, others I see far too many!

My normal route takes me down my road, which has only some 9 houses. At the bottom of the road I have my first conversation, with a brazen hussy who rolls on the ground and will not let me pass before she is satisfied. Somewhere close by her brother will be watching. He is more timid and undemanding. Their Mummy lives at the end house and thinks they are both boys!

I explain that I have to get on, and continue on my way. She follows, then runs ahead. It is…

View original post 1,667 more words

Song Lyric Sunday 16/06/2019 – Dad /Father /Barbecue

img_1345-3Thank you to Jim Adams, who tirelessly hosts Song Lyric Sunday and gives us the chance to share lots of favourite, and some not so familiar, songs.

The theme for this week, Dad/ Father/ Barbecue, is apt in some ways for anyone in the United Kingdom in that it is Father’s Day, as it is for the vast majority of countries, although not all. However, we are experiencing some pretty awful rainy weather at the moment so you’ll have to forgive me if I pass on the Barbecue!

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

Not everyone wants to be a Dad, although, for me, I reckon it is one of the best things in the world.

I consider myself very blessed to have been able to be responsible for my little girl, and to have seen her grow up into a fine young lady, and to get married to a marvellous, loving, and caring husband. So, to celebrate that fact, I have chosen to share with you Daddy’s Little Girl written by Robert Burke and Horace Gerlach in 1949, and recorded by Steve Conway, in 1950.

Steve was one of Britain’s leading 20th Century popular singers. Born Walter James Groom in Bethnal Green, on 20 October 1920, he came from a very poor East End family. He began his singing career in local talent contests before being spotted by Reg Morgan and Charlie Chester (it was Chester who originated the stage name Steve Conway). Together they ran the Victory Publishing Company and managed to get Conway an audition for the BBC. Steve Conway appeared on several BBC shows and also began to appear on the club circuit, singing for such orchestras as Joe Loss, Maurice Winnink and Lew Stone. As Steve Conway’s career progressed so too did his popularity both in the UK and in America, with celebrities such as Bob Hope seeing Conway live. Arguably his best remembered broadcasts came in the Sunday afternoon series “Sweet Serenade”. Later he broke into post-war television work which began with the variety show “Melody And Mirth”. Steve Conway was plagued with a heart condition for most of his life. He died in London’s Guys Hospital, following surgery, on 19 April 1952, at the age of only 31. His death received wide coverage in both the musical and national press. He was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium on the 25th April following a service at 2:30PM. A congregation of about 100 attended which included bandleaders, vocalists, musicians, recording executives, music publishers, song writers, artistes, agents, managers and reporters. Amongst the many wreaths from fans and stars alike was one from his daughter. It was in the shape of a miniature chair inscribed “Daddy’s Little Girl”, a poignant memory of his hit song.”

Bio by: Kieran Smith

Daddy’s Little Girl

You’re the end of the rainbow, my pot of gold
You’re daddy’s little girl to have and hold
A precious gem is what you are
You’re mommy’s bright and shining star

You’re the spirit of Christmas, my star on the tree
You’re the Easter Bunny to mommy and me
You’re sugar, you’re spice, you’re everything nice
And you’re daddy’s little girl

Little girl of mine with eyes of shining blue
Little girl of mine I love you, yes I do
No one else could be so sweet
You have made my life complete

You’re the end of the rainbow, my pot of gold
You’re daddy’s little girl to have and hold
A precious gem is what you are
You’re mommy’s bright and shining star

You’re the treasure I cherish, so sparkling and bright
You were touched by holy and beautiful light
Like angels that sing, a heavenly thing
And you’re daddy’s little girl

I am adding links to alternative versions below. The Mills Brothers recording is particularly good, but there are very many versions and the song has become quite a popular Father/Daughter first dance at weddings.

The Mills Brothers

Al Martino

Michael Bublé

 

Twittering Tales #136 – 14 May 2019

It’s time again, for Kat Myrman’s wonderful challenge, to write a story, inspired by her picture prompt, in 280 characters or fewer.

Here is this week’s prompt and my contribution.

Check out all the fabulously creative entries here and, if you’ve never had a go, why not try a story of your own? You may surprise yourself!

nrd-1002460-unsplashPhoto by NRD at Unsplash

The egg had to be kept at 40° F for 2 weeks then sat on, by Mum, for exactly 17 days. Dad took no part in the process!

Mum had been asked to leave the light on overnight, so she had left the fridge door open.

Dani, the baby dragon was dying!

Just because she was afraid of the dark.

(280 characters)