Friday, 23 April 2010

Thoughts on St George's Day.

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.'


Von said...

Ken sometimes it's our fear that haunts us and the facts are far more palatable than we expect.Knowing who are ancestors are is so basic, we can build happy, fulfilled lives but that niggling in the background that won't go away can be eased.It would be so easy today to ask for your birth certificate and see what is says.If no father recorded you're no worse off.Once everyone who knows your story has gone it will sadly be lost for all time.Good wishes whatever you decide.

Sueann said...

"I am amazed at myself that I have done so little to determine the true facts of my birth." Sometimes one feels it better to let sleeping dogs lie.

rhymeswithplague said...

The man who raised me was not my father, nor was my mother married to the original sperm donor. So I can relate. I have a small black-and-white photo of the fellow, I know his name, where he was from, and where he died (by searching online our Social Security Death Index), but I cannot make myself investigate further. I may have half-sisters and half-brothers out there somewhere, half-nieces and half-nephews, but I prefer not to know. If my mother was not good enough for him, he and his ilk are certainly not worth my time.

I can't help feeling how I feel. I suppose I sound ridiculous. It would be good for my children and grandchildren to know their medical history, at least. But I cannot bring myself to do it.

Any advice?

ADDY said...

Yes, it has always struck me as strange that we are not too patriotic as a nation and almost apologise for our customs or heritage. In this day and age of computers and geneoloy, are you going to start digging round for info on your father?

MsCatMinder said...

And isnt there some research saying that a high proportion of children who believe a particular man is their dad are wrong anyway ?
Best Wishes

Nakamuras on Saipan said...

I seem to agree with Slommler....sometimes it is best to let sleeping dogs lie...speaking out of personal experience...

Grumpy Old Ken said...

I have my birth certificate, labelled, father unknown. My mother thought of everything. Thanks for comments

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Agree totally with your sentiments. Thanks.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

rhymes with plague
You do not sound ridiculous at all. Your background is amazing. It is also interesting when you write about such things, ie this post, so many people have similarly complex backgrounds.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Very interesting comments and the answer to the question, probably not.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Hi and welcome. Re your comments, now that's one hell of a thought1

Grumpy Old Ken said...

How many of us seem to have 'murky' backgrounds. This sort of blog relates to so many, how interesting.

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