Yesterday morning I looked out my Victorian costumes ...
Oh dear... my first choice was too small for me... but I did manage to find a blouse that fit but had to wear a different hat, the one in the picture just didnt match.
Then I put some of my Victorian women's periodicals into a bag and set off for our local village hall - where I was to give a talk to an audience of about 35 people.
It has been quite a while since I did this sort of thing. I looked at the sea of faces and went almost totally blank...
but they were all smiling so I picked up one of the books and read a little to them. It went really well and I soon got into my stride and we were having quite a laugh at how Great Grannie's world was strangely very similar to ours today... even though there is so much that makes it different. Sometimes I feel like we stand still and the world simply whizzes by us.
I picked up one book of women's magazines dated 1900 and read the editorial which proclaimed how awful 1899 had been and the hopes for a better year and new century to come. The gist of it was that war was awful - and Great Britain was in the midst of the Boer war at the time - and that their lives were full of death and terror and those people who spoke of heroes and swashbuckling adventures had obviously not been touched by the reality of war. I felt a catch in my throat and said to everyone... couldn't that have been written today?
When I got home my son was waiting for me with some sad news. The best man at his wedding (and his best friend for many years) has been injured while on foot patrol in Afghanistan. He is seriously injured and as I type this, undergoing surgery.
I had been given a donation for doing my talk - a donation that is going to my son's Help for Heroes kilimanjaro challenge. When we listened to the news on the BBC they reported three soldiers killed - they did not, and they never do, report on the number of casualties who survive but who have life changing injuries. Along with Tyler were three other soldiers badly injured - whose families and friends are in shock right now.
War is a terrible thing... and has been around FOREVER! Why do we put up with it? Why don't we ever learn anything of value during our stay on this planet? Homo Sapiens have got to be especially stupid... how many times must we do this until we finally learn... War does not solve any of our problems!
My thoughts and prayers are with you Tyler and your family (far left of the picture looking a bit shy and handsome too!).