19 July 2012

Posted by DMC on 20 July 2012 in Diary |

Russell’ the lounge chair engineer’ came this morning and quickly identified the problem, it was confined to the hand control unit. This was replaced and chair, once again, worked perfectly well. There was a little problem, in lowering me, with the new sling, in an upright position, it is absolutely useless if I am slumping slightly as there is no way I can shift about moving my weight. Therefore, having deposited me in a chair we had to elicit the assistance of Peter’ the gardener’ in conjunction with Russell’ the chair engineer’ to the lift me back into the lounger in the right position.

Advana, was in attendance, when all this was going on and she told me that she was trying to get a more versatile chair to replace the lounger. In the meantime I begged her to provide some sort of control unit that would not require me to press a small button as I was finding this increasingly difficult with my weakened fingers.

 Speaking of Peter’ the gardener’, I must say I always get pleasure seeing the garden through the windows of the house as I am wheeled about hither and thither. Peter really does keep it beautifully and many pedestrian stop to admire it, or a car will slow down when they see what a pretty picture it makes to see such a lovely thatched house set in an English traditional garden setting.

Continuing what I started yesterday, reproducing editorial from the 1948 Times, reporting on the Olympic Games, today’s contribution comes from Rosemary Bennett, Social Affairs Correspondent. She says:

‘They were known as the Austerity Games the material put together on a shoestring in a matter of weeks using whichever facilities could be made suitable for Olympic sports.

Britain was picking itself up after the Second World War: London lay half ruined with families crammed into those homes that had escaped bombing: food was heavily rationed and money was short.

Not everyone could afford the 10 shillings (50 p, or £15 50 in today’s money) to see the main events. Ticket sales for the opening ceremony was so poor that nurses and soldiers were let in for free to make sure Wembley Stadium was full. On the day, in sweltering heat, 85,000 people watched a simple show, the highlight of which was the release of 2500 homing pigeons. Few in the crowd had a proper sunhat so newspapers were folded and handkerchiefs knotted to shade heads and faces. Dress was very modest….. Frocks, even for special occasions, were hand-me-downs or patched relics from the war years or before.

The photographs showed how thin people were in 1948. The average man was 10st 2lb (64 kg), which compares with 13st 2lb (83kg). today. Women were on average 8st 7lb (54kg) compared with 11st 1lb (70kg). today. No one was overweight. Even by 1960, after a decade of plenty, less than 1% of the population was obese-compared with one person in four today.

 Few spectators could afford the cafes in Wembley Stadium. These required precious ration coupons, so people brought packed lunches …… Crowds at the post wargames were a sea of white faces… Although the first wave of immigration had started weeks earlier with the arrival of 493 W. Indians… And there was not a union jack in sight.

 The Games were viewed as an adult spectacle, and children were a rare sight in the crowds.

 So did the Olympics lift the spirits of a war weary nation? Most accounts suggest that they did.’

 To be continued.

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