11 November

Today we commemorate the end of the First World War. On the 11th hour, of the 11th day of 1918 the guns fell silent…. 

Royal Artillery Memorial in London

And while the guns fell silent the reverberations of the conflict did not and consequently we have had to endure the ramifications of that first global conflict since 1918. Over 100 years later we are still commemorating those who never came home and we are still hoping that it will never happen again. However, in this period when the world is beset by a global pandemic the sabres are rattling in Asia and in numerous countries that should know better.  Sadly the outgoing president of the USA is not going to go out quietly and I fear for the consequences. Why is it that politicians never actually get killed in the wars and carnage that they create? 

Our small town did not have the usual Remembrance Day parade and wreath laying this year but I did participate in the 2 minutes silence which is quite easy if you are on your own. I did go down to the Abbey yesterday to attempt some images for my connections post and wreaths had been laid at the foot of the War Memorial in the Abbey. These will eventually be transferred to the War Memorial in town.

The Abbey however is a quiet place. The chairs have all been stored, parts of it are roped off and it is quite depressing to see in-spite of the beautiful interior.

Outside I grabbed a few images of the “Touching Souls” sculpture by Mico Kaufman. It is quite an interesting artwork but photographs can be difficult due to the footfall around it and the varying levels of the ambient light.  The sculpture was dedicated in 1999 and depicts four children, all of different ethnicities, leaning back, with their shoes/boots touching, touching soles, but also touching souls. it is an exact replica of the original which stands outside the United Methodist Church in Tewkesbury, Massachusetts, United States.

I have been on leave for three days, and they have been more about getting some mental health time than anything else. Like so many others I have been battling to keep a level head about me, there are just too many things going around me on that can have catastrophic consequences, and I do not see a clear and rational path ahead.  

It has also come to my notice that findagrave (web address omitted) is guilty of using of my images without permission. I believe over 50000 images have also been re-used on the site after having been copied from Graves-at-eggsa.org. Many years ago I submitted images to FAG and was mailed back that the graves “were not famous enough”. This has not changed and consequently I do not endorse FAG which is a subsidiary of Ancestry.com.  

On the covid front there have been a number of developments. England has gone back under lockdown till early December, and it was announced that a vaccine would be rolled out in December on a limited scale. Naturally the anti-vax mob have rejoiced because it means that they can take to the streets and rampage and shout and point out that the moon landings were a hoax and that Elvis was an alien.  The numbers as at 11/11/2020 08H01 are as follows: 
Coronavirus Cases: 51,855661. Deaths: 1,280395. Recovered: 36,426504.

The USA still leads the numbers with 10,568714 cases and 245,943 deaths. The United Kingdom is at number 8 with 1,233775 cases and 49,770 deaths. South Africa is at number 13 and has 740,254 cases with 19,951 deaths. There are 9 countries that have over a million cases. The UK still holds its position with the 5th highest number of deaths in the world (19,951).  Data sourced from Worldometers.

The culling of cruise liners continues and it is with sadness that we heard about the final voyage of the Astor. Built as a replacement for the 1981 Astor operated by SAFmarine she was originally meant for the Southampton-Cape Town service. 

Cruise ship MS Astor at Helsinki Katajanokka 27.4.2019

In 1988 she was acquired by The Black Sea Shipping Company and operated with them until resold. She was acquired by Cruise & Maritime Voyages in 2014 and renamed Astor once again.  Cruise & Maritime Voyages entered administration in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ship was sold at auction 15 October 2020 for breaking up.

Astor calling in Durban under the name Fedor Dostoyevskiy. Date unknown

To keep myself busy I have been watching a lot of anime again lately, and this brings me to my next point. During my travels to and from work I often encounter people walking their dogs and some of them you end up seeing regularly. Among my many images are pics of one of the dogs that I used to encounter. He is a big gentle giant that seems to know everybody and I was always happy to see him and to scratch his fluffy head. I gave him the nickname “Mr Tadakichi” after the Great Pyrenees that appears in the anime Azumanga Daioh.. I have not seen him for some time as I leave for work at a different time, but I hope that he is still out there enjoying his morning walks. I like to think that Sakaki would have enjoyed seeing him as well. 

I may be adding more to this post but so far that is all I have. Keep the faith!

DRW 2020 – 2021. Created 11/11/2020. Image of Astor in Helsinki by Kahvilokki20190427 MS Astor, resized and renamed, CC BY-SA 4.0, dated 27/04/2019. Image of Fedor by Hayden Lauden. 

This entry was posted in Churches and Cathedrals, Gloucestershire, Heritage, Hobbies and Interests, Military, Personal, Photo Essay, Tewkesbury, United Kingdom, War Memorial, World War 1 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.