I'm no hero.
Several times over the last decade I have been asked to write my autobiography. The idea first appealed to some of my former friends when they read some of my stories of life in the Royal Air Force that I posted on the German writing site, Bookrix.
One of the stories was about being trapped on the edge of a ski-lift chair as it crossed a Rhine tributary Matter got more interesting when I told them I was awarded the General Service Medal for serving in In Ireland during "The Troubles.". As the medal was so common, I was one of the last servicemen to be awarded the medal.
I always said/ and still do that I didn't deserve the medal. To me, decorations are for doing something memorable, I was never in danger as our RAF base was more 15 miles from the action. I was more in danger when I was serving in Scotland as an English man in the RAF on a Scottish naval base, or in Germany as English service personnel. The idea of an EU Army is so contrary to reality it makes "reality TV" appear real. After all, when was the last time the people of the EU cared about the UK?
If you are on the firing line, you need to rely on those by your side to ensure your safety, and in an EU no way would this happen; the Germans hate us, the French can't be trusted to stand, and the Italians well the less said, the better. The only people who would stand by the UK are the Dutch.
The medal mystery.
The last story brings me to a set of medals that had been in my family for many years, it was only last year that I solved the mystery. A discovery that confirmed what I had thought for as long as I can recall, they did not belong to our family. I'd thought this because neither of my parents could tell me anything about the origin of the awards.
What I found out did not solve the mystery as the decorations were nothing individual. What I found out was they were given to men serving in the North African campaign. This confirmed my own thoughts as to my knowledge none of our family served in that campaign. The nearest would have been my late father, he served in India at the end of the war.
I aimed to attempt to get the information to return the decorations to the family they belonged to, but I was able to do that as the medals were too familiar.
Other than the North Africa medal, there was the 1939-45 medal (given to serving personnel for serving during the war), and the Victory medal which was awarded to personnel who served at the end of the war.
My disability war.
When people read that for two decades, until last year, I had fought a battle with an incurable illness they think I'm brave. For me, that is nothing heroic, selfish and bull-headed, yes.
When I heard I had an incurable illness, I knew I had two choices, either sit in the corner and cry myself to a mental hospital wondering why me, or go down fighting and enjoy what life the Lord allowed me.
It is the manner of how you view things that count to me, until last year, I classed myself as a person with disabilities, not a disabled person. It was only when my limitations prevented me from going for a long walk a year ago that I changed my outlook.
In the last 20 years, I have seen things and done things that I never thought I would see or do. One was going to Canada. Not having a passport has never bothered me as there are there are many places in the UK that I can visit.
In the end, I am grateful to the Lord that he allowed this man from Yorkshire to do what he has done. That includes visiting two places (Scarborough and Southampton) that I promised myself I would visit. I wanted to travel to Scarborough to remind myself of the beauty of seaside I had seen as a child, though the center is modern the city still has its charms.
I wanted to go to Southampton as I had an aunt who lived there, and she meant the world to me. Sadly, the time has not been kind to one of my favorite cities, and the center now looks like a fairground. Being honest, I can't expect less as the last time I went was the last day the two Queens (Mary & Elizabeth) were in port together back in 1967.
They left the docks and went in opposite direction, the Queen Mary went to California, and Queen Elizabeth went to Hong Kong, where she is now a rusting hulk after a fire in 1970.