Thanks for popping in.
Back in England again.
The ferry from Dieppe to Newhaven yesterday evening
was pretty rough, I can tell you!!
You know you’re in for a caning
when the ferry is pulled out of the harbour by a tug,
to stop it smashing into the harbour wall.
Dave’s theory was to eat something as soon as we boarded.
“Always best to go sea-fishing on a full stomach”.
Two hours later, he was re-inspecting his beef bourguignon.
I, on the other hand, lay down on my bunk, covered my head with a blanket, and didn’t flinch until we docked.
What a caper!
But it had been über windy and stormy all along the Normandy coastline all day.
We went up to Arromanches, to see where the D-Day landings
took place, and I was barely able to open the car-door because of the howling gale blowing in off the sea.
It was where Winston Churchill and Eisenhower
brought the troups in via the famous Mulberry Harbours.
A potted history lesson again.
In the second World War,
the Nazis had captured all the ports along the Normandy coastline, so the allied forces couldn’t land and certainly couldn’t provide their troops with sustenance, fuel and ammunition.
Therefore, Churchill decided we would build a port.
Literally construct a harbour in Britain, tow it across the channel, assemble it and install it on the beach at Arromanches.
In other words, build our own, inbetween the occupied ones.
But we did it.
30,000 people in Britain worked together to build parts of this mammoth steel and concrete construction.
They made a preliminary wall by destroying old ships,
and then pegged a massive bridge/road together.
Look at this.
They worked at night, and created false fog,
so that the Nazis couldn’t see the lights.
They flew hydrogen barrage balloons above the project at different heights, so that the Nazis couldn’t fly over and bomb them during the daytime.
There was a terrible storm just as they were putting it all together,
but the men kept going.
It was horrendous, by all accounts.
A portion of the construction was destroyed in the storms, but the Arromanches harbour was repaired and what seemed to be an insane plan actually worked.
6th June, 1944 was D-Day.
In other words, the Designated day, or Decided Day.
The Allied Forces, Americans, British and Canadians,
landed on the beaches of the North of France that day,
despite gale force winds and extreme weather conditions.
Carnage and death ensued, with huge loss of life on both sides.
Thousands of troops lost their lives that day.
So yesterday, lying in my bunk on the same water as those poor souls did battle with and in some 70 years ago,
with the waves crashing and smashing against the boat,
bobbing around like a cork,
I lay quietly, and thought about them,
and what I had learned at the D-Day Museum in Arromanches.
War, bloody war.
The violence and senseless massacre of young life!
What a way to go.
Very different to the atrocities of Paris just over a week ago,
but equally disturbing.
There we have it.
Went to France for a holiday,
had a lovely time with our friends,
watched France reel with shock at Paris events,
and came home in a storm via the Normandy beaches.
Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.
Love & peace,