While I was cleaning up the archives I found this never-before-seen shot of eliza-doolittle that I took in 2010. Unfortunately I only had the JPEG as a whole batch of RAWs went missing at that time so I couldn’t bring it out as I wanted.
Never mind, I like it anyway. Definitely the sweetest smile in music, from one of the nicest people :)
This is a post I’ve been holding back because I didn’t feel it was appropriate to make it at the time and didn’t want it to be used as ammo by anyone.
In the run-up to the 2013 Poppy appeal I noticed a few posts from people urging others to buy white poppies instead of red ones. These were sold by some third party who claimed that the Poppy Appeal glorified war and anyone who bought one was demonstrating support for military action. The money from these white poppies (around £2.50 each) would be used by the company to carry out further anti-war campaigns.
This picture is of a German type 15 fuze, known as an ECR. The letters E.L.A.Z on the end show that it’s an electrical impact fuze. The C50 after refers to the 50kg bomb it would have been fitted to - imagine a cylinder over three feet long and a foot wide, half of the weight of which was densely packed explosive. R.h.s. shows that it was made at the Rheinmetall (Sommerda) Plant in 1939 and 51e is the manufacturing batch number. In later years this plant would be partly staff by forced labour using Jewish captives from Buchenwald.The tiny stamp at the bottom - a number enclosed by stylised eagle wings - shows that inspector 56 checked this one over before it left.
The rusty end cap was known as the gaine, and contained a highly explosive wad of penthrite wax. Just before the bomb was dropped an electrical shock would be applied to the end pins, and this would prime the fuze. A trembler switch inside would send a charge down to the gaine upon impact and the resulting explosion would in turn ignite the main explosive and detonate the bomb.
They didn’t always go off though.
My grandad was one of the people who would come to disarm and/or dispose of the bombs that hadn’t exploded. This was a delicate and incredibly risky process, and the teams were always having to stay ahead of new developments that included clockwork delay mechanisms, false fuzes and booby traps. Once they’d neutralised the fuze the bomb would be loaded onto a truck and driven to a quarry where it could be safely detonated. It was still an extremely dangerous device though, fuze or not, My grandad used to drive those trucks.
Every year I give what I can to the Poppy Appeal. I just have to look at this fuze and consider if I could find the courage to do a job where I’d leave the house every morning not knowing if I’d ever come home. That’s what service personnel all over the world from every country have to face, not to mention members of the emergency services. They don’t ask to fight in places where they feel they shouldn’t - they do what they signed up to do and have to trust that the people who handed down the orders know what they’re doing.
When it all goes wrong they’re often dropped and left to fend for themselves. Their families can struggle because groups like ATOS say they look perfectly fine so they’re not entitled to financial help. There aren’t many veterans of WW2 left alive today, but I can guarantee that they didn’t spend the post war years in luxury unlike the politicians who sent them there. I may not support much of the military action our brave leaders have dragged us into but my respect for the men and women who have to carry the weight of those decisions is boundless.
So yes, I support the Poppy Appeal because that money goes to help people who everyone else has forgotten. People who either paid a higher price than I could imagine, or who were left behind by somebody who did. And no, I won’t throw money at a protest group who only support themselves and place politics above humanity.