What's in a life? When I was 11 year old I went down with diptheria and scarlet fever and was placed in a special ward in an isolation hospital in Hereford. Recovered from that the family and myself moved down into Pengam in South Wales. 13 years old one day I dashed out of the alley alongside the house we lived in onto the main road and was hit by a car and thrown over the hedge. A few years passed and in August 1944 when I was attached for training as an armoured car driver with the Training Bn of the Welsh Guards at Sandown Race Track in Surrey they held their annual sports day at Imber Court and the Regimental band was there playing. Along came a doodle bug. I was in the pavilion enjoying the afternoon. Its engine cut out and it seemed to be heading straight for the pavilion. I jumped out and ran towards the middle of the field when its engine started up again. I looked up and it seemed to be heading straight for me so did a smart about turn and headed back towards the pavilion. The blast from the explosion caught me in the back and I finished up underneath the pavilion. It fell directly on top of where the band was playing. 86 people were killed that afternoon. I had a bruise on my arm. I saw things that afternoon that I have never forgotten. Shortly after that I was taking a bath one afternoon when the shout came up "doodle bug coming". I jumped out of the bath, dashed downstairs and dived into a vehicle inspection pit in the drive. It landed somewhere at the back of the house. I went back upstairs to clean off the muck from the inspection pit but the bath was hanging off the wall. In January 1945 in the Ardennes I actually saw one of our 25 pounder shells falling through the pine trees which landed about 10 yards in front of me. Nothing happened to me. In Palestine in 1947 whilst driving a car up to Jerusalem we were fired at and on inspection of the car after arrival at the St Davids Hotel there was a line of bullet holes in the side of the car just underneath my feet.
I have since been in three earthquakes.
In November 1972 whilst in Africa on business in Benin there was a revolution and I with a lot of others was cut off in our hotel surrounded by armoured cars. In 1950 in Trieste on guard one night I suffered badly from earache and when they saw me in the Military Hospital they said your ear drum has burst. In January 1980 I had a heart attack. On July 17 in 2017 I had another heart attack. Today I celebrated my 93rd birthday.
Happy birthday, Larry.
I'm drinking a glass of Merlot to you.
Thanks Harry. BUT Merlot???? Should try Malbec, or Shiraz or Tempranillo. At the moment I am contemplating what remains in the glass of Nero d'Avola from Sicilia I had with my dinner tonight. Is there an Aldi store near to where you live? If so, pay them a visit. The Aldi near to us has a fantastic selection of very good wines. They had one at the begining of the year - a Ripasso di Valpolicella - which was out of this world. We have put a couple of bottles by to drink at Christmas 2018. They also stock one we buy most weeks called Toro Loco Superiore.
(That's a substitute for Bull's Blood the Hungarian wine but not quite as good). Merlot, I suppose, is good as a disinfectant or for killing weeds in the garden!