June 6. 75 years since D Day
Today is a special day. It is the 75th anniversary of the D Day landing. When we (The Allies, Britain, South Africa, America, Greece and lots more) finally struck back at Hitler in a final battle for victory in WW2.
Did you know, Bushy park, where we played for so many years, was where the American commander, Eisenhower, made plans for the D Day landing in Normandy. The year was 1944. The day was 6 June. The Germans were finally being beaten after failing in Russia. And some 2 million soldiers gathered to recapture Europe from Hitler and his army. On this day 75 years ago, the invasion began in Normandy. It is a huge memory for me and for many people who were involved in the war as I was, because my dad fought in the British Army against Hitler.
Do you know, when you were 6 months old, I took you to Normandy, for a four day visit to the famous locations fromt he Normandy landings. You have walked on those very beaches, Omaha, Juno and so on. And you have been inside the bunkers at Pointe du Hoc. And the amazing American cemetery above Omaha Beach. I will dig out the photos sometime. I carried you round in a capoose in front of me. It was so cool.
I love learning the lessons from that war. I wrote a little blog yesterday about it. Might be interesting for you if, like me, you have an affection for History, and more importantly, an accurate and informed version of History.
This week I had a visit from my brother in law, John Souglides, who I hope you remember? You have known him all your life. He was going to be a witness in the court case in April 2015, when I hoped to have you come and live with me in California. But the judge, a switch judge, not even supposed to be the judge that day, decided that she was not going to allow any witnesses, because, of course, she didn’t like what the witnesses had to say. They all wanted you to be with me. But the Judge, Michele O’Leary, said. No witnesses. And that was that. Can you imagine a legal system where that kind of behavior goes unpunished? Only British family-law.
John is well since you last saw him. His wife, Chryss, died very sadly. (I attended the funeral in Milos Island.) His lovely daughter Poppy is in her final year of school. I have some beautiful photos of you with her, from about 6 years ago. I will dig them out
We had a great time for two days in California. he left yesterday. Here we are having Gelato. Chocolate and vanilla. Mmmm Mmmmmm.
Yaya is doing well. She has had a big recovery after her fall last year and I am super pleased to see her progress.
I emailed your brother last week. He is well. I am hoping he will come visit me in America soon. He is always so business doing brain doctor stuff.
Here’s a picture of me with John taken in Bushy park. In 1990. Right where the American buildings stood when they were planning D Day.
You also spent many years on those same fields with me. This picture is twenty years before you were in that same place with me. Kind of cool I think. The photographer is Johns mum, Catherine, who you met. (In Bath for Johns 25th.) I have a picture of me with you in that exact same location in Bushy Park. 20 years later. 2010.
Hoping you are well. And reading good books.