Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sleeting Ice and Reading - Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Hi Dear Folk,

Our Nor-Easter did not turn out to be twelve to sixteen inches of snow, but rather a tiny amount of snow which has now turned into sleeting ice, with no let up in sight, soo glad I do not have to go into work today.  Leisurely morning, tea, coffee and reading.  I've just finished reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, who wrote Sea Biscuit, which was made into a movie.  I've been reading this as a download from my local library, on my fire.

Unbroken is the biography of Louis Zamperini, who grew up in a close loving Italian family in Torrance, California.  A delinquent youth who was encouraged by his brother Pete to become a runner in High School and goes on to be an Olympic Medal winner in the very famous Olympic Games held in Hitler's Germany.  WWII comes and he is sent to the Pacific arena, to fly in B24 Bombers.  (I almost wrote B26, but that was what my FIL flew in Europe, he was a flight engineer.)  Sent out in a bucket of a plane that everyone knew was temperamental, a lemon, which any number of mechanics could not put right.  On their search and rescue flight they go down, and only three survivors make it out onto two tiny life rafts.

Eventually after one of the longest survival records with no food and water, encircled by sharks who try and launch themselves up onto the rafts to get at them, beating them off, drifting with the currents into Japanese occupied islands, they eventually land and are immediately picked up by Japanese, and unexpectedly treated very well, that is the last time and are told that they will probably be executed.  For over two years he endures the horrors of Japanese POW camps, which no man can understand, mans inhumanity to man.

My great uncle George was a POW in Burma, and if you remember after the war we were flooded with Japanese things, my aunt Eddie dared not bring a thing in the house that said Made in Japan.

Lou is famous even in Japan and one particular sergeant, who came from a well to do family, and thought he should have been an officer, takes out all his bitterness on the POWs and especially Lou, they nick name him The Bird, his last name was Watanabe.  He fled after the war, and hid out until America gave out an amnesty's to all Japanese war criminals in the fifties.  He went on to be an insurance agent and a millionaire, even buying a summer vacation residence on the Gold Coast of Australia, and considering how the Australians suffered terribly under the Japanese, it's totally ironic that he bought a summer holiday home there.  When interviewed many years later Watanabe showed no signs of thinking he had done anything wrong, just feeling he had been caught up in the war hysteria and had suffered terribly, while in hiding, separated from his family.  And as the Nuremberg trials brought out to say you are just following orders is no defense at all.

Lou does live to return to the USA and family but is never able to reach his dream of being the first man to break the four minute mile, because of the injuries received and he was capable of that. He suffered from what we now call PTSD.

His life story is very interesting and so well written, the research is meticulous.  A good read.

Now I look out of the window and it is snowing.  Rob made it safely to Toronto and said that was neat to see Niagara Falls encased in ice.

I went out last night to buy yarn, I have an idea of a red crochet skirt in block stitch, let's see if that works out.  I also found one odd ball of yarn to match my shawl, I have plans for a matching hat in the same stitch a band along with felted crown.

My other reads are:

Einstein's Greatest Mistake - David Bodanis - Read - VG
Lila - Marilynne Robinson - Read - G

Out of print women writers:

Earth and High Heaven - Gwethalyn Graham - Read - G
Earth Horizon - Mary Austin - Read - VG
Starry Adventure - Mary Austin - Not read
The Ford - Mary Austin - Not read

Picked by Mr. B. for me before the storm hit, I get to see spring.

I hope to get to the Flower Show tomorrow, all being up and running.

My greenhouse on the dining room table, four pots of calla lilies and one orchid.

Three blooms.

I found a LUSH store in Philadelphia, I was introduced to this cosmetics store by my nephew's wife, one of her favorite stores in Cambridge, UK.  I didn't even know they were in N. American until I saw a girl standing on the train station platform with a Lush bag, and I asked her, I hadn't even thought of looking.  The store is just a couple of blocks from where I work.  I must say I am addicted to Sikkim Girls perfume, a pungent, heady perfume.  Some of the ingredients are jasmine, frangipani and tuberose.  It is a bit expensive so bought the small tin, a rub in perfume, great for travel.  Lush cosmetics are vegan and not tested on animals.

Take care have a wonderful day.


1 comment:

  1. Glad you have had a day off and that Rob is safe. The Niagara Falls must have been quite a sight. Your plants are coming on well and I hope you make the flower show. Esti loves Lush and we usually sniff them out as the scent coming from the shop is unique. As you say expensive though. The book sounds good. I like biographies. Your crochet projects sound great.


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