Thursday, 11 January 2018
It was like living in a cloud today, not that I noticed as I did not arise from my pit until almost nine in the morning. I keep waking up around four or five and remain awake for ages only to find it is late in the day. The misty day was worth missing and by the time I had got round to eating and checking whether the mouse has got through the steel wire (he had failed to do so) and then read the emails etc it was lunchtime.
I did spend some time on newspaper forums arguing with people. The 'Daily Mail' is always good for a historical laugh. The history much loved and accepted by the readership bares no relation to what actually occurred but this suits their wishes perfectly and all the problems are the fault of the migrants who flood the land, or the unemployed or benefit scroungers or Europe or someone else but we don't know who but it is not us and bring back the England we knew in the past (which never existed) and do it now!
They don't like me.
Neither do the gay/secular types who cut and paste the same queries day after day on suitable items. Offer an answer and they offer the next question or excuse in line, there is no real debate. This is probably because these 'bots' just post and run and do not want an answer and those that answer don't want the honest answer just one they like.
They call me names, I am upset.
However I managed to finish the 'Wilfred Owen' book that I was reading, one by Dominic Hibberd. It certainly is a big book and Dominic has spent much time going through as many letters, books, poems etc as possible in the writing of his work. It is a good book and the details regarding Owen's war experience appear to ring true to me, and they offer an insight into the young officers life in action while doing so.
Too close to his when young, strangely close in my view, a mother steeped in Victorian evangelicalism but also steeped in class consciousness, a class awareness that never left Owen and often saw him, rightly I suspect, considered a snob. His joy at being accepted by the poetry society in London, mostly gay as he was, revealed yet more snobbishness as he was delighted to be with 'gentlemen' who had studied at 'good schools' and then university, something he would have liked to do. His lower middle class background did not reach this level and failed to prepare him for his short attempt at joining the ministry.
Altogether a somewhat mixed up chap who took too long to get away from mother, his dad appears to be OK but his nearest brother a bit of a dreamer, and once he was finding his feet in the real world the war broke out and intervened with his life.
As an officer he appears to have been decent to his men, though they were of course just 'course' and he found 'batmen' who he was attracted to in a way that the rest of the platoon might have made comment about if they had known. One at least was shot dead in action alongside him.
His fear was being regarded as a 'coward' and this thought may have just been in his own head, his misreading of another officers attitude towards him. His time at Craiglockart Hospital, where he met Siegfried Sassoon and altered his poetic style, was replaced by light duties and then back to the front line. There his courage won him the Military Cross and a few days later death by opposition fire as he led his men across the Sambre Canal.
He died in action on the 4th of November 1918 the armistice arriving at 11 am on the 11th of November almost at the same time as his parents received the telegram regretting to advise that Wilfred had been killed in action.
Having finished my book I wandered in the mist seeking fresh air. Here I met an old postman who informed me of the death of another postman who died on Monday, that I believe was the very day he came into my mind for some reason. Then in the gardens I spoke to the chap who twice a week has the job of tending this large space, (that's him in the distance, I was unable to offer help today) occasionally with help and more occasionally with volunteer help. While it looks dreary at the moment it is still full of birds and beasties and as it lies low the garden prepares for the soon to be Spring show of flowers abundant, blue sky and sunshine, hopefully.