08/05/20 – 75th Anniversary Of VE Day

When I woke up, I was absolutely exhausted and felt weak as a kitten. The shaking was nowhere near as bad, and I think after a rough few days my whole body was just heaving a big sigh of relief.

I decided to take the day for myself, turn my phone off, properly give myself a break and some much-needed TLC.

Before I turned my phone off, I got this text…

They’re really going in on the whole shielding thing. I’m not complaining though.

I fell asleep in the morning. When I woke up I ate a big bag of crisps, and then went back to sleep again.

I didn’t so much sleep the second time around, more just kind of lay there listening to my plinky plonky relaxing sounds while thinking about things – most specifically my old job that I used to have as a Deputy Manager of a children’s home. I thought about people and things I hadn’t thought about for years.
I was way too tired to sit up and be conscious, but not quite tired enough to fall asleep.

My mum made some scones in the afternoon, but I was in bed so said I wouldn’t have any. She felt really bad for waking me up.
I was just so exhausted.

I went downstairs for dinner, which was a BBQ, so we sat outside while my Dad cooked. I felt much more rested, but still whacked.

In terms of VE Day, there was loads of bunting and flags out on the street, and keyboard man was out in full force treating the whole street to choons such as ‘Knees Up Mother Brown’… There were loads of people out on the street watching him, but we stayed in our back garden.
My mum and I said we found it all a bit Brexity. Like, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we defeated the Nazi regime, but I don’t feel it’s something worth celebrating, it’s a sombre occasion – so many people died, on both sides.
At one minute past midnight on VE Day, the Russians dropped the remainder of their bombs on my Granny’s hometown in Czechoslovakia, killing her best friend’s parents.
I just don’t feel like that’s worth celebrating.

My mum and I got talking about my Granny again, and some of our family heirlooms.
Before WWI her family were Austrian nobility – there’s a street in Klagenfurt (Austria) named after her Grandfather. They had a lot of their money in government bonds, which obviously bombed after the war, and they lost a lot of money, but we have some artwork and silver that survived both of the wars.
Apparently, my uncle has a Nazi medal that was given to my great grandmother for producing four Arian children.
Mental eh?

Our conversation continued over dinner. We talked about what my maternal Grandad had done on VE Day. He apparently went out and danced in the streets. He was 21, and shortly after was posted to Italy. He then blagged his way in to the Intelligence Core in Austria (which is where he met my Granny) by saying that he knew German. He said ‘Ich liebe dich’, and they were like ‘cool, you’re in’.
He didn’t speak German.
But he taught himself after that.
My Granny said that when she met my Grandad, he was always drunk. Him and his friends were 22, and having the time of their lives. Can you imagine sending a load of uni students abroad to be in the ‘Intelligence Core’? They’d go mental and proper live it up.

I asked about my other Grandad. He was still too young when the war was going on, but afterwards was apparently posted for a while to India, which I didn’t know. Most of my relatives on that side of the family were ‘essential workers’, mainly in agriculture, so none of them were really posted anywhere.

After dinner, we went for a bit of a walk around the house, my mum showed me some of the artwork that came from my Austrian family, and told me their stories.

We had a really good conversation. I really enjoyed dinner time, so I decided to stay downstairs with my parents for the rest of the evening.

We watched the Queen give her speech at 9PM, then Gogglebox, and then the news, which was mostly about VE Day rather than Coronavirus, which made a nice change.

I didn’t go upstairs until 10:45 – waaaay past my bedtime! But I didn’t have too much of an issue winding down and going to sleep.

All in all, a really good day.

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