When I fall in love, it will be . . . . .

It’s still only November and the Christmas lights are being switched on all around our County.  Pollyanna and I have had an invite to the Eagle Choir carol concert at Bedford School next week, which we are really looking forward to, and we have made our plans for the holiday.

In spite of that I am of the age when my contemporaries are all “Bah Humbug!” and “Fings ain’t wot they used to be!” and moaning that Christmas is too commercialised.  Well sod them, I love Christmas.

It was at Christmas when I first fell in love . . . . . . . . . I was a kid in WWII and I lived in a village that was seven miles from what we now know to be the code breaking centre at Bletchley Park.  I think I was eight years old, it was Christmas and a mansion called Wavendon House was an outstation of Bletchley Park and housed about fifty gorgeous Wrens (WRNS) who worked at great secrecy as code breakers using the ‘Turing Bombe’ or ‘Enigma Machine’.  The girls worked under great pressure and certainly knew what stress was.

That Christmas all of the village children, including our evacuees (ours were a Jewish family), were invited to a party at the huge mansion that was Wavendon House.  I can remember a 20 foot Christmas tree in the entrance hall and the first time I saw the real Father Christmas.  There were so many presents and goodies that were as rare as hen’s teeth during the war.

I was taken under the wing of a beautiful young WRNS Sub-Lieutenant, sigh!  She had blonde hair and was wearing black silk stockings, not the uniform standard ‘Pusser’s issue woollen ones, and the smartest uniform I had ever seen.  She told me that I reminded her of her younger brother.  I had no brotherly feelings for her . . . . . . I was in love.

I blame my Jenny Wren, real name Sheila, for my subsequent love of the sea, Christmas’s, and girls in black silk stockings, sigh!   

About Jake

Long retired travel writer, author and freelance journalist. Educated at Wolverton Grammar and Greenwich Naval College. Happily married since 1958, with a married son and daughter, a married granddaughter and an adult grandson. Hobbies rock-climbing, dinghy racing and ocean racing. Still regularly working out in the gym.

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