21 February 2014

Definitely NOT a NaHaiWriMo prompt: blitzkrieg

the city's sodium glow
ten miles distant -
Mum's old blitz stories

"Hey ho! Let's go!"
complaints about the volume
as we near school

These are written in response to a joke I cracked on the NaHaiWriMo Facebook page the other day.

When my mother was a little girl she had scarlet fever and was very poorly. Presumably this wasn't helped by my grandparents thinking she had to be kept warm and lighting an open fire in her bedroom every night. At the same time the Second World War was in full swing and Sheffield ten miles to the north was being blitzed heavily.

The image of my fever ridden mum, watching the night sky to the north glowing and pulsing with flame as Sheffield burnt has always made a great impression on me.

During the 1980s, I had the same bedroom and the sky glowed and pulsed again from the 24 hour flame burning at the coking plant (now gone) that dominated my skyline. Driving home from work across the moors of Derbyshire, I can see Sheffield in the distance and I always think of my mum's story as the city's streetlights colour the undersides of the clouds.

"Hey ho! Let's go!" is from the Ramones classic 'Blitzkrieg Bop,' of course. I try and condition my kids' taste in music on the school run, but so far I've failed to draw them away from One Direction.

Having said that 'Rockaway Beach' was a favourite for a few days after featuring on Scooby Doo. Blitzkrieg Bop is always reserved for the first day of term - it seems fitting.

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