Wednesday, 26 November 2008


I have been behind with my blogging due to a rather busy schedule of late.
This has not all been routine but punctuated with some top quality live music and as you know you have to make the most of the opportunitieswhen they arise so we have been doing just that.

The first concert was at the beginning of November when we saw Sigur Ros in Bristol it was a fabulous experience there was even snow showered on us the audience!

A week later we say Jools Holland with his Rhythm and Blues orchestra in Plymouth and that was a really good concert too.

Last night we went to Bristol again with friends this time to see Runrig, yes again, another brilliantl live event with lots of audience involvement which makes for a great evening.

So you can see there has been a lot of important stuff happening and after all quality if life is so

Sunday, 9 November 2008


Yesterday we went to a small rural village named Stoke St. Gregory which is on the Somerset Levels. I used to come here from the age of 0 until I was in my early 20's. I came to visit my paternal grandparents who lived on a small holding where I remember helping my grandad feeding the hens and collecting the eggs which were still warm, collecting tomatoes in the greenhouse when I was given a paper bag and allowed to gather the tiny little tomatoes which I recall as being treasure all of my own. There was a fruit cage where I used to help my grandfather pick big juicy raspberries as in 2 for the basket and 1 for me! The memories I have of this idyllic phase of my life are warm and full of love. I loved my grandparents but yesterday was about my grandad.

There is a local historian who has done an extraordinary amount of research into young men from Stoke St. Gregory who were touched by World War I. From the names on the war memorial he has discovered where they fought and were killed and also about those who were injured.

My personal story was about Frank Barrington Chedzoy (my grandad). He joined the army in January 1918 and was sent to northern France in April that year. He then fought in the battle of St. Armand and was injured so very badly near a farm at Quenoy. He was gassed and received 3rd degree burns to 60% of his body in fact the left part all the way down. Unable to talk, in shock and with pain controlled by morphine he must have been terriby ill.This meant he was shipped back to UK and spent time in hospital in Bradford and then was taken to Dublin for a long slow recuperation and return to health. He never returned to full health and was unable to ever work however he did use the skills learnt on the first part of his building apprenticeship which had to be interrupted when he went to war. He built the house he shared all his life with my grandmother and where I spent so many happy days of my life. Until yesterday all I had known of his experience of The Great War was that he had been gassed. Yesterday I found out so much of what this young man -my grandad -had experienced when he was only 18.

It was never spoken about and all my father was told as he was growing up ,when he had asked about the war, was the mud.

Thank to this historian I know so much more about how WWI affected my family directly. It has affected me deeply as the wonderful old man, my grandad, kept this secret from all of us except perhaps my grandmother, for the duration of his life.

It has given me so much to think about.