Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's My Party, And I'll Wander Off-Topic If I Want To.......

There is currently a financial crisis that has cost many people (including me) a large chunk of their life savings.
But I am one of the lucky-sod generation, born just after the war. I have had to cope with economic ups-and-downs, but I went to a grammar school, thanks to the 1944 Education Act, and thence to a university that was flush with funds, and at which I received £360 per annum grant. There were no tuition fees to pay, and a handsome room with full board cost me £6 per week. In the student bar beer was (in new-fangled money) 9p per pint.
My father, an intelligent man from an impecunious family, left school at 14, became an apprentice, then a tradesman, and at the age of 23 married my mother. The gathering clouds in 1938 were not economic ones, and in 1940, after less than two years of marriage my father was conscripted and shipped off to the Middle East. He was shot at, mercifully without result. He did not see my mother again until the end of 1945. In the interim she had no idea where he was, what he was doing, or if he was even alive. When he came home they must have been virtual strangers, as were many thousands of other couples.
So it could be a lot worse, could it not?

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