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Monday, January 17, 2011


Opening the newspaper this weekend I realized – it’s twenty years since the Gulf War.

Twenty years since we sealed our bedroom windows with heavy plastic sheets and prayed this would save us from the toxic missiles of Saddam Hussein – if he ever attacked us with them – which we prayed he wouldn’t.

Twenty year since we lined up to obtain gas masks for ourselves and our children in all the various shapes and sizes:


An adult one for me

An adult  one with extra room for a beard for hubby

Two teenage masks

Three children’s masks with special pumps to help them breathe.

One gas proof baby crib

And as though we were simply returning from a trip to the supermarket we piled this collection of reminders of death, poison and danger at the foot of our beds – to be easily available when (if) needed.

And needed they definitely were. How can I ever forget  awakening to the deafening screeches of the first air-raid at 2am , rushing around the house  pulling six terrified children into our bedroom, trying to control my shaking hands as I fastened the gas mask  straps around their head and shoulders , checking that the filter was open so they didn’t suffocate and then having to pull it off one of my 8 year old twins as she threw up inside her mask.

Twenty years . Saddam Hussein is gone but another madman has taken his place in Iran.

Twenty years – but little has changed.

Our old gas masks were collected several years ago – the newer  upgraded versions will be distributed here again soon.

And  life goes on as usual.

Friday, January 7, 2011


For me at least this is the start of a new decade when I’m officially……………….. no longer as young as I try and kid myself.



But I have no problem with that …………….. well OK I admit I had a bit of a problem actually asking the bus driver for the correct bus ticket you know one for …………….well, adults……………no not that one ……the other one for people who are ………………..you know, well more adult.

But apart from that  I’m ready for whatever new technology is around ( so longer as it doesn’t involve more than one ‘click’) all the new social media ( sweet little boy that Mark Zuckerberg – he could go places – but I don’t need all that  Facebook stuff. People who need me know my phone number) and of course if I get really stuck – the grandchildren can always help me out.

So here’s to the next decade ………. just got to keep an eye on those knees of mine. They really think they’re old.