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Today is Dad’s birthday, a complex man, loving, charming but often struggling with hidden demons we knew nothing of. After serving with the RAF he moved us all back to Scotland to a market garden. Roses and the smell of green tomatoes still bring memories of him flooding back.

Burma Star” rose named for veterans who fought in the conflict in Burma during WW2 . Veterans who felt that they fought in a forgotten war… Rarely did he ever speak about the things he saw or experienced. When he did it was to honour the doctor who kept POWs alive in Changi prison. Or stealing a water bowser from the army and quickly slapping RAF paint on it, denying all knowledge to the Army MPs!  Or stealing the Chindits food because it was better than theirs (the food drops had different parachutes to identify them!) (Getting irritable with Errol Flynn in “Objective Burma“). When we played with his medals, we never really thought to ask about his career as an armourer. He is mentioned somewhere in despatches.

dad in flying suit

A very young dad in his RAF gear, ready to serve in Bomber ground crew.

Rosemount Greenhouse

One of the greenhouses in 1962, filled with a grape vine and Chrysanthemums (told you mum secretly longed to be a florist!)

1908

The same greenhouse in 2011, sadly derelict and broken.  As a teenager I longed to bring them back to life, the old vine is still there along with a few roses that refuse to give in to the wildness. (I could have taken it on but Dad always told me, in no uncertain terms, how stupid it would be!)

So “Happy Birthday Dad – hope you are still gardening somewhere where the weeds don’t get you down”

 A wee song for you too…

(Oh and I missed another  milestone – 200 blogs this is 201 – July 11th is my blogs birthday – if I remember!)

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