Login   Register     FAQ    Members

View unanswered posts   View active topics


Board index .:|:. Slogging at Lessons :: Books .:|:. Special Sixth
It is currently 31 Mar 2020, 10:56

Forum rules


Please ensure that all posts are kept impersonal. Any posts involving an ad hominem attack will be edited or deleted. Please feel free to express your views, but expect that others may disagree with them. Please limit the use of the :oops: smiley as far as possible. Please do not PM another user to argue with them; if this happens, please can the recipient contact a mod. Language of gentlemen, chaps!



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 106 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jan 2020, 13:32 
Offline
Going to tea at Freudesheim
Going to tea at Freudesheim

Joined: 23 Aug 2019, 12:27
Posts: 133
I'm always open to recommendations, Noreen - I'm here to learn; like I say I don't have the genre familiarity that so many people here do, but I'd like to develop it and I do intend to branch out beyond EBD, but I've still got loads of CS to do in the immediate term.

I liked the scene towards the end of Madge and Miss Bubb where they both put their views across coherently and calmly - it makes you realize that for all the plot theatrics there is a real issue at the core of this book: to what degree should schools prioritize academic success above all else? As some of the posts in this thread demonstrate, that's still a hot topic. In part, is it because of the shift to Britain that the school faces the question at this time? It's hard to imagine the Austrian families from whom the school recruited so many pupils in the early days worrying overmuch about exam grades!


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jan 2020, 14:07 
Offline
Attending a prees' meeting
Attending a prees' meeting
User avatar

Joined: 21 Jul 2012, 16:53
Posts: 3147
Location: West London Alps
Yes, it's quite obvious that Madge and Miss Bubb are coming at the subject from radically different points of view (and probably backgrounds as well). The shift to Britain may have brought the contrast into focus (and at that point they still have British pupils like Enid Sothern who admit to not needing to work either), but I suspect that an equal game-changer was the war, and the emphasis on every resource being needed by the country for the war effort. I've often thought that 1944-45 must have been the hardest part of the war to get through, in some ways...


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jan 2020, 14:37 
Offline
Going to tea at Freudesheim
Going to tea at Freudesheim

Joined: 23 Aug 2019, 12:27
Posts: 133
Noreen wrote:
I've often thought that 1944-45 must have been the hardest part of the war to get through, in some ways...


That's a perspective I've never heard - why do you think that?


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jan 2020, 16:23 
Offline
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 8212
Location: Manchester
EBD’s attitude is quite interesting. It starts off very much "going to it", with Enid knitting socks for the troops, the girls learning First Aid, everyone Digging For Victory and Robin and Daisy and some of the mistresses helping with the harvesting. However, we then get Bride saying that Miss Leigh can't "get off" war service any more now that Lavender's 14 (which never makes sense anyway – the Government would not have sent either Miss Leigh or Shiena MacDonald, as primary carers for schoolchildren, into the Armed Forces, but that’s beside the point!), Jean McKenzie saying that Joey should take in Flora and Fiona so she doesn’t have to take in evacuees, and Joey walking out after a row with Miss Bubb.

Miss Bubb is herself doing her bit, by coming out of retirement to return to teaching, presumably with the idea of freeing up a man or a younger woman to do war work. But the CS people don't seem so keen to contribute by then, which is a shame. I'm sure Madge would have been doing her bit with the WI and holding make do and mend meetings, but that's not the impression we're given.

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jan 2020, 18:44 
Offline
Attending a prees' meeting
Attending a prees' meeting
User avatar

Joined: 21 Jul 2012, 16:53
Posts: 3147
Location: West London Alps
Miles wrote:
Noreen wrote:
I've often thought that 1944-45 must have been the hardest part of the war to get through, in some ways...


That's a perspective I've never heard - why do you think that?
Well, let's see - by the end of 1944 the war had been going on after some fashion or another for five years. That's five years (more or less) of bombing; increasing rationing of food/ paper/ petrol/ clothing/ household goods; potential and actual loss of family members and friends; curtailment of freedom; tension - especially not knowing how long it would go on for or how it would end; perhaps a feeling of despair in some people. They didn't know that it was going to end when or how it did. And by the way, I'm not saying it was any easier for those in Nazi and Nazi-occupied countries - worse, if anything. I wouldn't want to endure five years of that, would you? And it's sometimes the relatively minor things that people miss most under those circumstances, like having a really good hot bath, or being able to walk their dog on the beach.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jan 2020, 20:04 
Offline
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 8212
Location: Manchester
I think that by late 1944 it was clear that the tide had turned in the Allies' favour, but, as you say, there was no way of knowing how much longer it was going to last - and, at that point, people would have had absolutely no idea what was going to happen with Japan, even once Germany was defeated.

I remember my grandma once telling me that she thought she was going to miss her chance to have children, having only got married in the summer of 1939. She was only in her mid-30s when the war ended, but people tended to start families young back then. Then she had twins, my dad and my auntie were twins, so she got two at once! In Rescue, Simone expresses her sadness at Andre missing all Tessa's babyhood, and a lot of others were in the same boat.

Having said which, at least by then the fear of invasion was over, but it must have felt as if it'd never end.

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jan 2020, 21:36 
Offline
Taking Lower IV A for Prep
Taking Lower IV A for Prep
User avatar

Joined: 16 Jan 2004, 22:19
Posts: 3654
Location: Melbourne, Australia
There was also the matter that, in 1944, England goes from defence to attack and a lot of people found it difficult to read about bombing raids carried out against German women and children when it wasn't that long since English cities had been bombed.

_________________
The writer's credo: 'Sometimes you've got to sacrifice the things you like' (Delta Goodrem - Born To Try)


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Jan 2020, 12:36 
Offline
Going to tea at Freudesheim
Going to tea at Freudesheim
User avatar

Joined: 01 Oct 2016, 05:46
Posts: 142
Location: Australia
Gay's guardian, Tommy, was a squadron leader in the RAF - I *think* it's mentioned that he's a pilot. There would have been the underlying tension that his family had that he could be killed whenever he flew. I'm sure many others at school would have relatives and friends in the armed forces who were also at high risk.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Jan 2020, 14:36 
Offline
Getting all excited!!
Getting all excited!!
User avatar

Joined: 30 Jan 2013, 15:57
Posts: 906
I've heard it suggested that a lot of people in Britain secretly quite enjoyed the war. Which makes sense as a lot of them got to travel, meet people, get away from home or feel strongly involved with their community.

There were certainly a lot of people in the armed forces who were anxious not to be killed in the last months of the war but how civilian people felt I don't know. I should imagine that most Brits were fed up with the war but also pleased with how it was going.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Jan 2020, 15:39 
Offline
Discovering ink blots in your Latin prep
Discovering ink blots in your Latin prep

Joined: 30 Nov 2008, 22:28
Posts: 262
My late m-i-l, 21 at the start of the war, would never talk of it. Living in a Midlands town, she would say that all she remembered was that everyone was frightened, all the time. I can quite see that being the case, I think it's how I would be too.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 23 Jan 2020, 20:39 
Offline
Going to tea at Freudesheim
Going to tea at Freudesheim

Joined: 23 Aug 2019, 12:27
Posts: 133
Interesting points on the war. I can remember - but can't find a reference for - a survey done late in the 1990s where people who'd lived through most of it were asked when they were happiest. It was a bit 'end of the 20th century' mixed with ' people who've lived a long time - what have they learnt about life' type of thing. The Blitz was a common reference point because of the community feeling.

On an unrelated note, I walked into a charity shop today and came out with 8 Trebizon books. Not the first one, sadly, but that's what ebay's for. :D


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 24 Jan 2020, 09:35 
Offline
Ricking your ankle
Ricking your ankle
User avatar

Joined: 21 May 2006, 16:51
Posts: 486
Location: Geelong, Australia
LucyP wrote:
My late m-i-l, 21 at the start of the war, would never talk of it. Living in a Midlands town, she would say that all she remembered was that everyone was frightened, all the time. I can quite see that being the case, I think it's how I would be too.


My mother talked about the War for the first time on my nephew's 9th birthday for the only time in my recollection and she talked about the fear. My nephew asked her what she did for her 9th birthday and her response was it was during WWII and she was at school, so they would have been doing an air raid drill. Her main memory of it all was how scared she was all the time

_________________
You should live each day as though you are going to live forever and as though you will die tomorrow.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 24 Jan 2020, 11:16 
Offline
Attending a prees' meeting
Attending a prees' meeting
User avatar

Joined: 21 Jul 2012, 16:53
Posts: 3147
Location: West London Alps
Yesterday I was talking to somebody who was a child during WW2, and we got onto the subject of her childhood. She must have been a very young child, and her main memory was of the secrecy and the strictness - she was very much aware that there were things kept from them ('Careless talk costs lives'), and things they were not allowed to do, like listen to the wireless or see the papers (television barely existed, of course).

I'm not doubting that there were people who had a good war - I once talked to a man who'd been single and a paymaster's clerk in the army at that time. He had a desk job that kept him firmly in the UK and away from the battlefield; being in army admin meant that most of his time was taken up, and he got three square meals a day; seventh heaven was reached when he was quartered in a pub! I also knew an East London woman who as a child had been evacuated to a big house in the country, with a nanny and a cook, and gardens and a nursery full of toys to play in. I just think the strain must have been quite intolerable at times, especially towards the end.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 24 Jan 2020, 17:08 
Offline
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 8212
Location: Manchester
I do too. I know it brought freedom for some people who'd have been stuck in a rut otherwise, but the air raids must have been hell to endure, and the strain of knowing that, at any time, a telegram could arrive to say that your husband/son/brother/other relative/boyfriend/friend had been killed must have been horrific. And people's lives were put on hold for 6 years.

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 24 Jan 2020, 23:29 
Offline
Sale declared Open!
Sale declared Open!

Joined: 17 Nov 2011, 02:45
Posts: 937
My father was a child in Glasgow during WWII. When my children were "doing" the war at school, I asked him about his experiences. The memory that stood out most was gas masks - and how much he and his chums wanted gas to be dropped so they could use the masks.


The Mass Observation records of the time show that EBD's portrayal of the middle classes was accurate.

Evacuees were far more likely to end up in working class households regardless of the availablity of accommodation. In RL, the middle classes were far more likely to argue/make life difficult for a billeting officer so it was easier to put evacuees with people who would not argue or who would not have access to the PLU network.

The sense of "community" during the war is constantly belied what actually happened. The black-out facilitated crime. Houses left empty during air raids were robbed. People killed or injured in air raids were robbed.

The excessive mark-up on wine in restaurants today relates to the rules govering the price that might be charged for meals. A British Restaurant and Simpson's would have charged the same price - but the far better food at Simpson's would be covered by the mark-up on the wine.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 26 Jan 2020, 21:13 
Offline
Battling with Matey
Battling with Matey
User avatar

Joined: 21 May 2012, 14:59
Posts: 202
My grandmas were born in the 20s and 30s respectively and had different experiences of the war. My paternal grandma, the younger one, was a little kid during WW2 and saw it as an adventure, having to go and sit in a shelter during air raids and whatnot (she lived in Scotland, Greenock I think?) My maternal grandma was in the WAAF. I can't remember how much she told me, except that her fiance's plane was shot down, but Mum has told me a lot of stuff since Gran died - for instance, the base she was on was bombed and loads of her friends were killed. She also lied about her age to get into the WAAF and a lot of people did that then; they felt they had to do something. She worked in communications, I think.

As Victoria says, a lot of the nastier parts of the war were glossed over. A friend recently told me that rape rates went up during the blackout, not to mention the looting and black market activity. I read a book as a kid by a woman who'd grown up in Nazi Germany and she talked about how her home was bombed and she saw a woman stealing her doll, and a nice couple her family knew were gruesomely killed in a bombing. Her dad died of heart failure on the Russian front as well. She also recalled seeing people carting homemade coffins through the streets. It brings home the horrors of both sides. I saw a comment on Twitter from someone in Liverpool whose gran was bombed out of her home, and when her son was celebrating a German plane being shot down, she reminded him that German mothers would be waking up to the news their sons were dead.

On topic, Gay's brother being a pilot drives home just how cruel Miss Bubb's punishment was. As various characters pointed out, there was a chance she would never have seen Tommy again.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 26 Jan 2020, 22:18 
Offline
Going to tea at Freudesheim
Going to tea at Freudesheim

Joined: 23 Aug 2019, 12:27
Posts: 133
Interesting perspectives on wartime. Moving to matters transcendental: Auntie's letter to Jaycinth warns her against those who "scoff" at the Lord's existence - is this the first acknowledgement of atheism within the series? I can't remember one previously.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 27 Jan 2020, 12:30 
Offline
Battling with Matey
Battling with Matey
User avatar

Joined: 21 May 2012, 14:59
Posts: 202
Miles wrote:
Interesting perspectives on wartime. Moving to matters transcendental: Auntie's letter to Jaycinth warns her against those who "scoff" at the Lord's existence - is this the first acknowledgement of atheism within the series? I can't remember one previously.

I don't remember that bit. I'm guessing it got cut out. Nice one, Armada. :roll:


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 27 Jan 2020, 17:00 
Offline
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 8212
Location: Manchester
Things definitely took a turn during the war years. Hilda’s reaction to the news of Jack’s death was to quote from the Bible and tell Joey to trust in God that Jack was still alive. The chances that he was still alive were very remote, and it wasn’t really an appropriate thing for Hilda to say – shouldn’t she have offered her condolences and asked if she could do anything to help, rather than give Jo what was probably false hope? Then there was the second sight storyline, which, whilst I personally try to be open-minded about The Unknown, didn’t fit at all with orthodox Christian beliefs. Moving on to Rescue, Margot, aged 3, was told that God has given her a hard row to hoe, and Jo and Jack had a very Victorian conversation about Margot and Sybil wrestling with their demons (or words to that effect). Jack then gave a lecture on religion to Reg, which it wasn’t his place to do. The Tyrol books were very religion-conscious, but never preachy.

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Change – Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 27 Jan 2020, 23:58 
Offline
Dashing off for your part in the play
Dashing off for your part in the play

Joined: 19 Sep 2011, 22:32
Posts: 1015
At the behest of great grandchildren, my father-in-law applied last year for his war medals. He fought in the second world war and was injured twice. He was also one of those rescued from Dunkirk which he said was like hell on earth.

He had never spoken much about the war to the family. Was very much the conservative, stiff upper lip type. When his medals came through he was presented with them at an official ceremony, was on TV etc. Asked if he had a message for the world, his message was Don't do it, don't fight. You lose too much - friends etc.

My parents didn't see much of the war because they were slightly too young to join up, lived in the north of Scotland. For the ordinary civilian though, apart from losing someone close, I don't see how anything could have been worse than the bombing raids night after night on London, Liverpool, Clydeside etc. Must have been awful.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 106 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

Board index .:|:. Slogging at Lessons :: Books .:|:. Special Sixth
It is currently 31 Mar 2020, 10:56

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group