Bergen Belsen


Several month’s ago my grandmother died.

It was only at her funeral that I found out that she had been in the first group of nurses that attended Bergen Belsen.

Entering the concentration camp a few days after the British troops was an experience that changed her, how could it not ? I think it was as a consequence of this that she didn’t claim the medals she had been entitled to.

This account below was written by Joy Trindles (nee Taverner). It’s odd to think that she and my grandmother must have known each other. My grandmother nursed British and Allied troops as well as German and Italian POWs. After D-Day, like Mrs Trindles, she crossed to the continent.

Apparently, there is a memorial to the nurses at Belsen and my grandmother’s name is on it.

It is astonishing to what degree experiences help form our views and understanding.

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At the End of the Day

The Slog

I’ve been having some lughole trouble over the last week or so. It happens every two to three years: when I’ve been swimming a lot in the pool, ear wax mixes with the chlorinated water to produce an unpleasant plug, so I get irregular deafness. None of this, of course, will evoke widespread sympathy from those scraping by on a part time job as a single mum, but sooner or later I wind up going to the GP to get the ears syringed. This is something of a hassle because first one needs to lie on one side for a day while softening chemicals loosen things up, and then sit for ages in a waiting room until Mme le Medicin gets busy with the power jet.

What I therefore tend to try (in the hope it’ll clear itself) is doing it myself. This isn’t as difficult as you’d imagine. All…

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Sarkhej Roza



Sarkhej Roza is a magnificent complex built on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.  It is composed of  a  modest, but graceful old  mosque, a library, a lake, gardens and palace ruins.  It was built by the city’s founding monarch as a memorial for his spiritual  adviser and  Sufi saint, Sheikh Ahmed Khattu who was  buried in the mausoleum.  These beautiful carved screened windows are in the library. They let in light and air but provide privacy for those inside looking out, especially for the women who are not to be seen except by their family.


This is the ruins of the queen’s palace which is an integration of Muslim,  Hindu and Jain architectural elements.


Another shot of the queen’s palace which now is in ruins. There was a huge lake in front of these buildings which as you can see is all dried up. But maybe not now as it is…

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Postcards from my past

Mae's Day

Hydranger close up

I’m never really sure when to count my “cancerversary” and the moment I was free of it. Is it the lumpectomy or the mastectomy date? I usually go with the date of the lumpectomy probably because it comes first and I can’t wait to count off yet another year. In the long run, I don’t think the amount of years past the “main event” even matter. I know people who have gone 20 years and then the nasty little death star (a term used by Scorchy over at The Sarcastic Boob) lights up.

My mastectomy anniversary was this past weekend. It coincides by a day with Bastille Day and I have linked the two in my head. No, I don’t sing I Dreamed a Dream but there were many moments during 2010 that song would have applied. I have a paper calendar from that year with little notes on…

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