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  • The marrieds had excelled themselves with a wartime knees up fancy dress party.

    There was even a bar, recently installed on the back patio for this and future parties. The bar itself, beer pumps included, was donated by a local pub that was shutting down, and where my friend Michele's father in law used to stand and have a drink after work every day until he died. We all knew him, so a bit of their family history and ours and something to love about the fixture was present too.

    Though it was a fun parody dress up of a serious time, there was a little bit of poignancy to the event as well. Doing our research, dressing up in 40s clothing, some of it authentic, like handbags and coats handed down through family makes you realise how much we hold onto from our past. How much we need to remember and understand our ancestry. Trying to get my hair to go into victory rolls I wondered how my grandmother had fared with her hairdos, how it had felt to learn her first husband had died in the war, how she had felt when she met my grandfather shortly afterwards and found love again. These wartime predecessors, our love for them and appreciation for each other was something that was there for all of us throughout the night, undertones of something that was less parody and more true to what I imagine the feelings of a real wartime celebration would be. Making hay while the sun still rose in the morning.

    I think there with the music of that era playing, among friends we all remembered how fragile life can be and that you have to seize the opportunity to have fun together and make good memories whenever you can. Memories that sustain people through tough times and dull times. Memories that prompt people to make more good times for themselves and others. Shared experiences to be grasped while we are free to do so. After all we are embroiled in a war, though currently most of us are unaffected, one never knows what the future brings, how long we can truly have the things and people we have...

    ...but our experiences, they last us our lifetime, don't they.
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