What a Week for the Emotions!

Friday 6th June 2014

Am wrung out after all day D-Day on TV. And that after Robert Nevil’s 60th Birthday, and the State Opening of Parliament. All thoughts of Shirley Conran’s Launch for her new Maths software for girls in the Aston Martin garage in Park Lane last night swept aside, even though Sir Moss present.

I’d thought to be quietly catching up with my German River Cruise, even my tulips, my Bologna visit, but events have been overwhelmingly. When they sang ‘The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, is Over’ at the Service in Bayeux Cemetery this morning – just unbearable. It’s not just D-Day itself, the great noble cause and astonishing boldness, the awful subsequent fighting. But the memory itself now is fading. This is to be the last such commemoration. The veterans are in their late eighties at best. But only the other day they were sprightly, and these anniversaries were quite jolly affairs. Suddenly it is all slipping away. Those who remain have grown frail in more senses than one, are more inclined to tears and to recall more frequently perhaps the horrors they faced at 19 or 20, and their companions who were lost either at the time and afterwards.

So I can turn to the elderly Americans on my River Cruise last month who seemed at first ridiculous with their tiresome complaints, ruthless vacation schedules and doddery old anecdotes. But you had to give it to them in the end. Staggering past a tourist junk shop, some of the wives contemplated going in. ‘Don’t bother,’ said a very old man, forging on up the 100 steps the guide had warned about. ‘Whatever you buy, your kids will have to chuck it out sooner or later.’  Or one husband to another: ‘You know the secret of a happy marriage in retirement? You say, “I’m sorry… it’s all my fault….I won’t do it again…’ Yet there they all were, carrying out the 4-hour visits, the guided tours, attending the lectures, clambering on and off the coaches…

Finally I come to Dresden. I’ve been dying to tell you about Dresden and what a miracle it is. I had no idea. I thought it would be a ruin. But it rose again from the ashes. It was rebuilt. The Zinger is astonishing. I thought it must be Belle Epoque, late 19th, but in fact it’s 18th century, rococo, I suppose. I’ve never seen anything like it.

The Zinger at Dresden: It Rose Again from the Ashes

The Zinger, Re-built after We Bombed Dresden: Unbelievable

 

Posted Friday, June 6, 2014 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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