We’ve had something of a family weekend. On Friday night we met my sister and her surely-will-be-famous-soon daughter for a meal at Mother India in Edinburgh. Great meal, we’ll be going back there again. It wasn’t quite long enough to catch up on all the news but we did hear a bit more about the impending permanent relocation to the Irish cottage and the difficulties of getting onto the Irish teaching register. Having to provide every address where you have ever lived throughout your whole life, for instance, is probably a whole lot easier when you’re 22 and home has always been in one place than when you’re 50 something and have lived all over the world. And she’s not quite sure of the relevance of all the units in her architecture degree, taken some 30+ years ago, even if the University can fill in the blanks, when she has been successfully teaching Design & technology or something like that for quite a number of years now.
As an aside, as we were leaving the restaurant the boys spotted an off-duty teacher, a head of department no less, outside a neighbouring hostelry. It caused much amusement for some reason (who’d be a teacher?); I have tried explaining that teachers are normal human beings who have normal lives outside school but they really don’t believe me. Their teacher aunts are clearly exceptions. It was just a good job for all concerned that it wasn’t someone I knew as I would surely have caused them excruciating embarrassment by bouncing up for a chat.
Anyhow, Mother-in-law is staying for a few days. On Saturday morning we headed south to Durham to her sister-in-law and to meet up with GPD’s surely-must-already-be-famous brother and partner. There were a lot of family reminiscences over the weekend but an article in the day’s Telegraph prompted most discussion. GPD’s aunt, now in her eighties, worked as a code breaker at Bletchley Park during the war, feeding Colossus with ticker tape, and it seems that the surviving staff from that time are to be honoured with a special medal. The work was highly secret and it was some 30 years after the war before she was able to tell even her close family what she had been doing during her service as a Wren. As she says “Why they all believed I was a secretary when I couldn’t even type, I don’t know!” She still completes the Telegraph crossword daily and is a puzzle and Sudoku addict.
Such ordinary people, such valuable work. I hope GCHQ don’t wait too much longer to award the medals.
I lived for 2 years in Bletchley. They were beginning to make a proper museum of Bletchley Park, but it’s early days. I hope it’s made some progress. It’s an amazing story.
Truly an amazing story! And she received her medal in the post last week.