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Always in the Middle


Here for the Journey
I was sitting there at a family gathering, sipping homemade wine and feeling extremely mellow. The conversation ebbed and flowed and everyone seemed to be happy enough. Even when Aunty Edith got out the old family photographs I did not notice a flash of lightening or a bolt of thunder!

The photographs were passed around, old grainey pictures with young girls and young men in the apple orchard, stiff upright young men in uniform, hopeful brides in improvised wartime wedding dresses. I received the photos as they came round to me with great interest, wondering what life was like back then.

There was a picture of Aunty Edith looking very trim and pretty in a little floral dress. Funny, as long as I could remember Aunty Edith had been a round little lady with a ruddy complexion. One of the family remarked on how different she looked.

"Well there you are my dear," answered Aunty Edith, "that's wartime for you! Everything was on ration then and we all looked a bit skinny. We lived mostly on garden produce then you know!" I smiled to myself at the thought of Aunty Edith thinking she looked skinny in the picture and sipped my elderberry wine.

"Oh yes, there's another school photo," someone was saying, "Gemma will be in the middle".

NOW I was paying attention. Memories came flooding back to me. By todays standards I was not massive but I was an overweight child. I was bullied for it in the playground and ALWAYS put right slap-bang in the middle in EVERY school photograph they took. All the pretty little girls sat cross-legged at the front looking cute.

I felt the old feelings welling up inside me and then decided not to give them space. Instead I imagined a young and pretty Aunty Edith running through the orchard thinking she was skinny. Now what were the ingredients on that old wartime ration book again? :)

© July 2008
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Staff member
S: 18st2lb C: 16st3.5lb G: 11st2lb Loss: 1st12.5lb(10.43%)
Gem you have a gift for writing...I was right there with you and seeing it all as you described it:)

Love Mini xxx


Ancient Egypt Nut!
C: 18st3lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 39.9
Loved it!! More please :D:D:D


Gold Member
S: 18st3lb C: 16st3.5lb G: 10st5lb Loss: 1st13.5lb(10.78%)
ill buy the book when you put your stories together


Here for the Journey
Thank you - all of you. Much appreciated x


Gold Member
hey gem. did you ever see that tv programme about an experiment they did in a school? they took one class and fed them war time rations and the nutrition was so spot on. the guys sorting out the rations really knew their stuff!! there were tantrums from the kids who didn't seem to have touched a vegetable in their life and one kid refused to eat it for a few days until he got hungry enough!! some of the mums did it too and when weighed at the end of the time period, may have been a month, maybe a bit more, had lost a couple of stones and she burst into tears having always struggled and was going to continue with it. it was a real eye opener to how everything was very carefully balanced during wartime, especially for the kids...

abz xx


Here for the Journey
I didn't see that one abz but it sounds amazing. I found an old ration book some years ago and started thinking what it would've been like. The problem was that after the war people like my mum and Aunty Edith tried to compensate for hard times and some got it SO wrong. Don't get me wrong, Aunty Edith still uses garden produce and cooks from fresh BUT it's the other things she puts with it that causes the problems x


Here for the Journey
And fat - Bacon, chips and roasties with lard. Meat isn't meat without loads of fat, cakes and biscuits fille with butter - but she always manages to make it taste SO good (?) x


Gold Member
there's a sunday dinner smell wafting around. somebody has brought their dinner in to microwave at work. i forget how torturous sundays can get. luuuuuuuurve the smell though :D

abz xx


Here for the Journey
I know what you mean. That smell is wonderful

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