Tag: WW1

A Hundred Years of Calais

You took us to your window To see the cliffs of dawn Across the miles they shone like sheets Hung on a washing line We knew, you said, beyond the chalk On scribbled boards you waited And prayed that you were searching, too For those who searched for you… ┬ęStephen Tanham

Voices in the Mist (2)

Continued from Part One. From a distance it looks too stark to be a monument. The eye is, initially, disappointed as the form makes its modernistic impact. Both the height of the pylons and the width of the base ( a massive 6,000 tonnes of steel-reinforced concrete) look devoid of detail… but this is an illusion, for the Canadian National Monument on Vimy Ridge … Read More Voices in the Mist (2)

Voices in the Mist (1)

We had never been to the First World War monuments and graves in northern France. As a young man, I considered them part of a national mindset that glorified war. But, over the decades, that view was moderated and I realised that such places are the result of something much deeper in the national psyche. And not just national. Like a vast whirlpool, WW1 … Read More Voices in the Mist (1)

The Faces of Shiva (3) The Colour of Kin

We began this series by looking at how, at certain times in the life of civilisations, a ‘perfect storm’ of events overtakes and paralyses the forces of commonly perceived ‘good’ and cohesion; a state established over a long period of time. We can consider that, in the case of America and the UK, this former consensus is in decline, and the shift of extreme … Read More The Faces of Shiva (3) The Colour of Kin

A game of three halves (3 of 3)

Continued from Part Two So, this one day, considered in all its facets, resolves itself into a journey, a destination and an arrival – an arrival at a meeting with a French relative we have never met, and whose unlikely presence, here in the north-west corner of Wales, completes a cycle of mystery and loss lasting ninety-three years… As we journey along the spine … Read More A game of three halves (3 of 3)

A game of three halves… (2)

It is, still, all of it, only one day… Though now the winds that buffeted the bed-and-breakfast farmhouse have abated. I look at my watch. We have two hours to go before we need to leave to drive across Anglesey to meet a young woman named Juliette, who holds the key to this entire story. She will be waiting, at noon, by the red … Read More A game of three halves… (2)

A game of three halves… (1)

It is, after all, only one day… Have you ever re-assembled a day into a different sequence? Been so involved with its contents that the threads seem to weave themselves, again… and differently. But it is only one day… and at the halfway point she will be waiting; waiting near the red tower where we will meet for the first time. And then the … Read More A game of three halves… (1)

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