Gosh i am feeling virtuous after all these days out AND all this blogging. Going to blog this one quickly though as i want to do something more important afterwards – plus, with September looming, i have an unaccountable urge to orgo-plan. Haven’t felt the need to do that for ages, but think it is probably because now the business is off my hands, i’ve got time to do so 😆
So, today we trooped off to Audley End, once i’d got myself out of bed for the second time, having had an overwhelming urge for more sleep after breakfast. We drove there a slightly long way round but had a trip through several Essex villages which i’d never been to but which immediately awoke odd senses of familiarity in me, presumably because they were similar to places i used to go through as a very little girl when i lived there. It was quite an odd feeling, almost a type of deja vu and a bit uncanny. Was quite glad when our circular route (it wasn’t me driving for a change!) took us back to more familiar Herts/Cambs land. Did like it though – sure when i was little it was always late summer and sunny.
Audley End itself is clearly beautiful with loads to see and discover, but today it was in full English Heritage EVENT mode, which i have to say i think they do very well. So we stuck mostly to that side of it and resolved to go back there very soon and do all the rest.
Audley End was Station 43 during the war and trained the Polish division of the SOE (Special Operations Executive). The entire day was themed around what went on there and at similar places around the country. Thought it very funny that the SOE was also known as “Stately ‘Omes of England” due to their tendency to commandeer large country houses as training centres 😆
Now here is something i didn’t know. The Germans had a clever camouflage poncho, like the one this man is wearing
which could button up in several ways depending on what you were doing but if put together with the ponchos of 3 other soldiers, could be made into a tent. Clever.
The Americans had a similar thing (and Eastern Germany, Finland and Russia continued to use similar to the German one into the 70’s) but the American version was just 2 pieces (not sure if also a poncho) and you buttoned it with a friends to become a small tent, not unlike one of these, though i think perhaps smaller (?)
The Americans were known to complain they were far too small, so small that you couldn’t even let a ‘sleeping dog lie’ in one and so they became known as ‘pup tents’ – and still are. Fancy!
We liked, Fran was very interested and i was fairly sure i recognised quite a bit of it as coming from an excellent book that is one of my complete favourites, Light of the Moon. (I really wish Elizabeth Buchan would go back to writing historical literature – all three were wonderful and her chick lit doesn’t come close imho).
and then we watched 4 parachutes land spectacularly and then headed home.
Fab day 😉