A FEW RANDOM THOUGHTS.
At Christmas 2002-12-16
Next year is 2003 during which in April I may attain the age of
four-score. This year I sent out roughly 130 Christmas cards, all of which
bring back memories of many of those years and to the senders of them, I am
most grateful both for their remembering me and for many kind messages. It
would be unreasonable for me to try and send a personal letter to each,
recalling the places and events we have in common , much as I would like to
do so – hence these ‘random thoughts’, which may be of interest, if only in
places. I have written the beginnings of an autobiography, but the
completion of a hundred pages or so has brought me only to 1956 or
thereabouts. There is much more to be written and I hope the memory will
hold out until it is.
Next year it will be sixty years since I left home in 1943 and
“Stourbridge, Worcestershire” ceased to be my home address. The war-time
government in its wisdom had decided that I could make a better contribution
to the war effort by producing gas, petrol, explosives, road-tar and aspirin
than by applying my three-years’ training as an officer cadet. A promising
military career was thus aborted and I became a trouble-shooter in the gas
industry - an equally valid description, perhaps, of my second career as a
“Clerk in Holy Orders” This unexpected turn of events probably preserved me
from being shot on D-Day!
Since then I have been fortunate in having travelled the length and
breadth of Great Britain, from the Butt of Lewis and Lerwick to Land’s End,
Guernsey, and Lowestoft Ness. In 1948 and 1949 I spent several months in
Denmark for full measure. This wandering life has been very useful in that
still, when I meet someone for the first time, it is most likely that I have
lived at some time or other within an hour’s drive or less of where that
person lives. This makes conversation easy.
Next year, too, it will be fifty-six years since Mavis and I were
married, and six years since she died soon after we celebrated our Golden
Wedding. It will be forty years since I abandoned an engineering career,
fifty three years since we ‘settled’ in Scotland and forty three years since
we left that delightful country for Kent where we lived for six years until
1967. That year I was ordained and we moved to Gloucestershire where we were
to spend the next twenty-three years before retiring in 1990 and moving to
I have now lived in Upavon, Wiltshire, for longer than I have lived
anywhere since first leaving home in 1943.
© The Estate of William John Green, 2004