They say 'Time waits for no man.' True, and it is interesting to see if we change in any way over the years. Two entries from my diary of 1985. (Then aged forty five, now aged seventy.)
1985, entry one.
My father was born on St George's Day. The man who I am told was my father was born on St George's Day. Almost contradictory, certainly ambiguous statements. Ernest Stevens, foundry labourer, died in 1942 when I was two years of age, my sister not yet one. A man of whom I know little. My mother married Ernest whilst on leave from his army regiment, the Pioneers early in the war. Time has obliterated any observations my mother ever made concerning Ernie.
Relations reluctance and evasions when the subject is broached indicates all is maybe not what it seems. I am amazed at myself that I have done so little to determine the true facts of my birth. But only someone in a similar position (and there were many of us in those war torn years) can fully understand the emotions involved. Presumably it is in part a fear of unearthing unpalatable truths that might forever haunt.
Twenty five years on, little has changed except that I get older but not necessarily wiser.
1985, entry two
How unassuming are the English. St George's Day and not a rose to be seen. The occasional flag flutters from a limited number of buildings. I hear no mention of the occasion from the television.
Noel-Baker School makes no recognition of the celebration, galling to many; especially so when one remembers the flag on our school informing the world that March the First was St David's Day. Mind you, a Welsh headmaster and deputy does make a difference.
Again not too much changes. St George's Day is still in the main a low key affair. True, the BNP and the like attempt to high jack the English 'identity' but in the main are repulsed.
We are indeed a somewhat staid race, but, 'we are what we are.'