Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


3 Comments

The Forgotten Army

Remembering VJ Day

When you go home don’t worry about what to tell your loved ones and friends about service in Asia. No one will know where you were, or where it is if you do. You are, and will remain “The Forgotten Army.” ― attributed to General Slim.

My Mum often told me how hard it was for her, when everyone was celebrating VE Day, not because she wasn’t of course delighted, but because her sweetheart, my Dad was serving in Burma, with the Royal Engineers, and for him the war was not over. So remembering VJ Day is a matter of importance for me.

He’s on the right in the foreground of this photo.

Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 3

 

This is the letter she sent to Dad, on hearing the news he was coming home, in November 1945, Marian was his older sister.

VJ letter home

The letter arrived too late for Dad, he was on a ship home by the time it arrived. It was sent safely back to blighty,  to his sisters address. I think Mum would be cross with me for posting her letter on the World Wide Web, but then  again she wouldn’t want anyone to forget either.

Dad used to tell just a few war stories, the same ones often!  But  I’m pretty sure they were what he considered palatable,  we never got to hear the full story, he came close once, to telling my brother, but stopped when he became tearful, and he had nightmare throughout the rest of his life.

Fourteenth Army

Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 2Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 3Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 4Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 5Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 6Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 7Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 8Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 9Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  EngineersBurma 

My Dad died eighteen years ago, when Joe was just a few weeks old and Tom was two years old, so sadly they have no memory of him. Joe got his A Level exam results on Thursday, and of course it was one of those moments that you want to phone mum and dad and tell them the news:  looking at these photos, maybe it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Joe has chosen to do a degree in civil engineering…  As they say around here ‘what’s in the tree comes out in the branches’.


1 Comment

Welcome Home Ocean Valour

Salcombe gave a warm welcome home yesterday,  to two young me, Tom Rainey and Lawrence Walters, who had been at sea since May, rowing across the North Atlantic, from New York to Salcombe. It’s a long way in a small boat, that’s them in the centre of the shot

Ocean Valour 5

There were about 200 boats out on the water to escort them into harbour, Mr uphilldowndale was amongst them.. He is easily identifiable in the photos as the only small sailing dingy in the flotilla,

He assure me he wasn’t as close to the lifeboat as he appears to be

Ocean Valour 2

Mrs Ogg and I joined the  watching crowds on dry land, and whilst we kept our feet dry, our eyes were not;  it was very moving.  Tom and Lawrence, set out on this epic adventure, in memory of Tom’s Dad, Luke, who died of a brain tumour and to raise funds for The Brain Tumour Charity. They broke two world records en route, for the youngest pair to row the north Atlantic and for the distance rowed in twenty four hours

Ocean Valour 7

I can’t start to imagine how good a nights sleep might be after such a voyage, but I’ll bet they slept well, and that their families, especially, Tom’s mum, slept just as soundly, knowing they were home safe.

The expression on Tom’s mums face, (in the white jacket) say’s it all.

Ocean Valour Tom's Mum_

Donations can be made to The Brain Tumour Charity at Tom and Lawrence’s Just Giving page.

Ocean Valour 9

Technorati Tags:

the press with the Royal Marines

Ocean Valour Press boat_

A seaside assortment….

Ocean Valour 11

 

Ocean Valour 13

Ocean Valour 12

Ocean Valour 15


5 Comments

Sea and Sand

We’re back again, in south Devon, for the 14th consecutive summer. Its just as beautiful as ever

East Portlemouth ferry

Mr Uphilldowndale snapped these fish on his way to get the morning paper.

fish in the sea_

As ever we have joined with a large extended group of family and friends, our children are growing up now, they come and go, but they all want to get here if they can. Which is just lovely.

silver light_


5 Comments

Thirty days wild. 16th June

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_16

 

The best thing that you can do for nature is too make it part of your life. That’s why we’re asking thousands of people to make room for nature in their everyday lives this June. Please spread the word amongst friends, colleagues and family and get them to sign up, too! After all, all our lives are better if they’re a bit wild… ‘

I’ve signed up to 30 Days Wild with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust,  with the aim of blogging each day, a little bit of the nature of my world.

 

Don’t go losing you head

headless cow_-2

But seek zen calm and contentment

contented cow


6 Comments

Thirty Days Wild. June 2nd

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_02

 

The best thing that you can do for nature is to make it part of your life. That’s why we’re asking thousands of people to make room for nature in their everyday lives this June. Please spread the word amongst friends, colleagues and family and get them to sign up, too! After all, all our lives are better if they’re a bit wild…

 

I’ve signed up to 30 Days Wild with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust I endeavour to bring you a post everyday.

 

Well that was certainly a wild night if not a day wild. A storm did rage.  What a difference a day makes, this morning not a dandelion clock could be found, not one in sight, in four acres.  Where ever the seeds were blown too, at least they would have been well watered.

30DW Clock_

 

Dandelion clocks are a joy

I had planed to show you some of the goings on at the nuthatch box that Tom fixed up for me at Christmas, it seemed to have a nest of blue tits in it, yesterday I could just about see a beak or two, and their was a lot of cheeping;

30DW Bird box_

today it is deserted. Either that or they are having a long lie, after such a wild and disturbing night. I hoping for more shots like this.

Little bird 2

My nest on the other had is full, Tom is home, for a few days, before he goes off on a big adventure.


11 Comments

Anniversaries

This week is my blogs eighth birthday, fancy that, eight years ehh? A long time in the blogosphere I suppose?

This week also saw the hundredth anniversary of my fathers birth, now that really is a long time ago.

 

As a teenager I remember being amused by a waitress telling Dad he had ‘laughing eyes’, it wasn’t something I saw in him then, but I can see it here…

Dad baby

His mum died of TB when he was seven, he was raised (and indulged, so my Mum said!) By  maiden aunts, post the First World War, there were a lot of Maiden aunts.

 

Blanche Marian Joseph Ford 002

He didn’t like school at all, reading and writing did not come easy for him; but as an adult he could read an engine like a book ( he’s on the back row, eighth from the left)

 

 school 1926

He was one of the first Scouts of a Group that still runs  in the village to this day, his hat was so big they he to pack it with newspaper to stop it falling in his eyes.

 

Dad 1926 scouts

Turning heads as a young man, clock the girl on the far right, on a grand day out.

Dad 1932

And off to war…

 

Joseph Ford, off to war

After service in Burma, in the Royal Engineers, home to love.

Mum Dad

Dad died, eighteen years ago, when Joe was just a few weeks old.


6 Comments

The Easter Bunny is Dead

Please don’t tell the children. When Mr Uphilldowndale opened the kitchen door yesterday morning, Jammy  the kitten-cat shot past with a baby rabbit in his mouth, he shot through the hall and jumped up on to the widow ledge where he hissed loudly and defensively over his catch. Sadly it was a very dead rabbit; not the sort of Easter gift we were hoping for.

 

Today the sun has shone, a beautiful spring day, there has been a frog fest going on up at the pond, Spud the dog found it very exciting

Spud frogs

Which wasn’t very helpful to me, trying to take frog photos.

I had to make do with them swimming below the surface.

frog 2

The bees were a bit more ‘up front’

 bee tulip

The chickens were a little too keen on eating my beautiful spring flowers

rocky and roxanne_

However, Roxanne the little black hen has surprised us all this week by laying three eggs. The first since she and Rocky moved in last September. Excellent.

eggs

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 508 other followers