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There is an internet phenomenon currently gathering half a million hits per day and media coverage all over the world  http://www.wwar1.blogspot.com/ is the letters from William Henry Bonser Lamin a soldier from World War 1. The “Blogger” is his grandson and with a stroke of true genius he is publishing the letters exactly 90 years to the day since they were written. It is a wonderful insight into the life of an ordinary soldier and his life in Word War 1 which has captured the imagination of millions all over the world.

I came across the Harry Lamin Blog when there was a story about it on Yahoo news. As I have recently posted some cards and telegrams from my Dad’s time as POW in Singapore on my blog I thought I would take a look.
I found a beautifully presented blog which is extremely evocative of it’s time. The photo’s and original documents draw you in to Harry’s world and the personal, intimate nature of the letters make you want to find out what happens next. As I’m sure you’ve seen from the comments many people are keen to share their stories of their relatives time during WW1 and WW2. As indeed I was when I discovered my Dad’s correspondence.
From my own point of view the 2 wars represent a time of honour, bravery and right among the ordinary people which is a complete opposite of the apathy of today. No claims for compensation, no claims for “Gulf War Syndrome” just an absolute belief in doing the right thing regardless of the cost. I truly believe the majority of people yearn for a return to traditional values but we are all swamped by the media rollercoaster that drives us further down the road to degredation, cruelty and apathy. Harry’s world and his letters give us a taste of another time, a time of war, poverty, death and illness but some of us believe (maybe a view through rose tinted glasses) that people were basically happier because they were not part of todays “want” culture and rampant consumerism. Having less choice left less chance for disappointment. A different version of the Buddhist 4 Noble Truths if you like.
There is also of course the basic intrigue of a great story. It’s like a soap opera and each letter is like the cliffhanger scene in any daytime soap that makes you desperate to find out what happens next and tune in to the next episode.
The internet will always throw up this kind of phenomenon and word of mouth and ready access to the internet makes The Harry Lamin Blog the perfect “Have you seen” for the workplace, the media and families. If I was a teacher I would certainly use this as a teaching aid,  far better than a boring text book.
I stated in my post on my dad’s time as a POW that that perod of time ask questions about todays society that could be saved for another day. Well this is that day.
It is inconceivable to believe that a time of world war could be perceived as a “better” time than 2008 but it depends on your perception of “better”.
Harry Lamin in WW1 and my dad Bill Ross in WW2 and millions like them fought for a cause they truly believed in with out question or hesitation. They were prepared to risk everything for what? I believe it was for their country, for their King, for their family, for God, for their identity and their Britishness. I know the racist police will claim that what I’m about to write is wrong but ask yourself a simple question. “Would you or your loved ones put their lives on the line today for their country, their queen, their family, their identity, their Britishness?” I would bet that some of you would agree with family, but the rest, I doubt it.
Harry and Bill were English in a time when being English meant something. They identified with their neighbours, they identified with every Englishman wherever they were in their country. They recognised the need to protect that identity, they were proud to be English and the German war machine was threat that was going to take that freedom away. They were prepared to give everything to keep what they knew for them, their famlies and future generations. How disappointed they would be to see being English in England something not to be celebrated but to be hidden away behind the threat of a racist accusation? The Cross of St George is banned in some cities as being inflammatory, St Georges day our national day is not celebrated for fear of upsetting non English and the only time it comes out is during the bi annual football tournaments (not this year obviously). We are being stripped of our identity without a fight or even a whimper. I understand immigration is a natural progression, evolution in action, we are a haven for any waif or stray from around the world, we have no need for a guilty conscience. We have done our bit and continue to do so regardless of the consequences.
In less than 100 years, the very thing that was fought for by so many over 2 wars has been eroded by government apathy and ineptitude. We are a country in decline, riddled by segregation not integration. The reason Harry’s blog is so popular is because it pricks peoples sub-conscious and reminds us of a time before the politically correct brigade convinced us all that identfying with your country, your history and your flag is wrong.
Long live Harry and Bill’s memory and long live everything they stood for and fought for.
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I have learnt many things in my first 5 months blogging. There are some decent people out there, some nasty people out there, some opinionated people out there and some complete lunatics out there. But we all have the need to be heard in common. Differences can be seen in many aspects of what we all do and one in particular got me thinking about my favourite word BOLLOCKS!

I used the word in a comment on a particular blog, a very talented American talking about many different subjects didn’t know what it meant. So I sent him an explanation and he has assured me it will become part of his vocabulary. Global learning, evolution of language via the internet, love it.

So, why is bollocks my favourite word? I think it stems from the fact that most of the four letter swear words are now so common place in the media,  even the “C” word no longer shocks the way it did. So I need a word that covers all, that has impact and still gets a reaction but you have to say it right. When said correctly and in the right context there really is nothing else to be said.

This is the explanation I sent my American blogger.

“Bollocks” is an English slang term for testicles! Can be used as an exclamation i.e. “My team just lost, bollocks!” Can be used derisively i.e. “That environmentalist talks a load of bollocks” It is a word for all seasons and the more you emphasise the “boll” the more offensive it sounds. “All that fuss about David Beckham is a load of “BOLLocks”. Typically for us limeys there is an English term “The dogs bollocks” which is used as a complimentary term i.e. “Your blog is the dogs bollocks.” Seriously that is a compliment and I’m not talking bollocks

So there you have it my favourite word “BOLLOCKS”, what’s yours? Please let me know and maybe I’ll learn something new too.

 

 Does what I’m about to say make me sexist? I hope not, I love women; mentally, emotionally, physically in every way they are everything that is good about the world. But something, somewhere along the way has gone wrong. I will try to explain and I hope you will understand.

I’m not religious and if pushed my views would favour evolution but even then I’m not sure, but I think this sets the scene. There is obviously a need, whatever your view of why we are here, God’s will or chance, that there are different sexes, male and female, man and woman. Both have attributes that have developed over millions of years and whether you believe Adam and Eve or a family of apes determine our origin, you cannot argue that we are different and different for a reason. Even the most ardent feminist would struggle to argue with the fact that women are designed for motherhood and that doesn’t stop at the physical act of pregnancy. Childbirth, weaning, feeding and caring for children right up to the point that the children can care for themselves is part of the internal programming that makes a woman female. 

The 20th century phenomenon of feminism has changed things forever and I don’t belive that it is a change for the best. There was a need for womens roles to be addressed, the vote and equal rights were only part of the things that had to be changed, but it’s gone too far. When did being a wife and mother become something to be avoided, sneered at or a sexist point of view. I am going to write this in bold because it is the crux of my argument. BEING A MOTHER IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND. It is not something to be fitted in around a career, it is not a fashion statement, it is not demeaning. It is vital, empowering, essential it is at the very core of society and where we need to be to begin putting then world back in line.

Women want to be builders, policemen, firemen, soldiers even recently beefeaters. This desperation to prove themselves in a man’s role is so misguided. What are you trying to prove? You are not designed for these roles but that doesn’t make you less worthy. You are capable of so much more, any idiot can lay bricks only a woman can create, nurture and develop a new life. You literally have the future of the world in your hands. Stop underselling this gift, this right, this destiny. 

Women need to be available for their children, children need the comfort of knowing a mother is there when they come home from school, with a decent meal for them, for conversation, development, education, life skills to be passed on. I cannot believe that this has become the radical point of view. Yes 21st century living throws up hundreds of obstacles, finances, time, peer pressure, consumerism, just the need to be everything to everyone; just be a mother you can’t achieve anything greater. Yes I am being slightly idealistic believing this is the answer to the worlds ills, it isn’t, but it’s a big start.

A man’s role in this is essential, men need to be supportive, protective, loyal, faithful, respectful. Understand that they are there for their family to provide a stable environment for the mother of their children to perform her role for the future of those children. That means not running when things start to get tough, not going after the first bit of skirt that flutters her eyelashes, being proud of being the man of the family and proud of his family. As far as I’m concerned marriage is a dead tradition, it doesn’t mean a thing any more. People get married for the day not for the rest of their lives, it’s time to just put family first not a marriage certificate. Marriage won’t teach your children anything, solid parenting, being there and setting the right example will

I’ll repeat that I cannot believe that my opinion has become the radical view and I repeat that a woman staying at home with her family is the very essence of being a woman, it is what society is built on and the day those foundation stones were first removed the house of mankind started to crumble. It’s time to start rebuilding and this is the most important job of all. It’s time to call in the builders and this time they can all be women.