Today, after packing a reasonable number of parcels, I started loading a selection of maps, went on to empty coin cases and then started on some books. We have a very interesting book at the moment – and as a result of reading it I now know what arrangements were made for pregnant women, victims of shipwreck and people who made gloves from rabbit skins as a side-line. I can also tell you what arrangements wee in place pertaining to pre-war fabric, second hand goods and fund-raising bazaars. Fascinating stuff – and I mean that sincerely. The administration must have been a huge task, and that was just one small aspect of wartime life.
The second book I looked at was, in some ways, more interesting, purporting to be a journalist’s evaluation of German paratroops. He says they dropped into Poland and Holland in disguise, dressed as regionally appropriate peasants in Poland and, amongst other things, nuns and British soldiers in Holland. My view, as it always has been, is that these were just stories. Look at it logically – you look up and see a nun on a parachute. Is your first instinct to wonder why a nun is parachuting, or wonder why the Nazi is wearing a dress? It’s bad enough jumping out of an aeroplane and being shot at without having the additional distraction of a stiff breeze blowing up your wimple.
So there you go, a day of education.
The advert in the header is from a map of Hampstead. It’s a Volvo P1800 as driven by Roger Moore in the Saint.