A Tick on the Bucket List: A Remembrance Wish Comes True

Growing up, I was always fond of Remembrance Day. In school we always did poster and poetry competitions, and at home, on the day, I watched the Remembrance Day memorial service on television. Now, much older, I still love Remembrance Day. This year I’m ready. I have  my Canadian poppy pin, a miniature replica of the Air Crew Europe Star, and a mini bouquet of poppies.

These poppies stand for several things, but closest to my heart, the poppies represent seven specific airmen who died the night of March 15, 1944. I talked about them last year and earlier this week. They are: pilot: Norman “Norm” Andrew Lumgair, flight engineer: Douglas “Jock” Cruickshank, bomb aimer: William “Bill” Taylor, navigator: George Parker, wireless operator: William “Larry” Lawrence Doran, mid upper gunner: Robert “Bob” Henry Hudson, and tail gunner: Robert “Bud” George Alfred Burt.

Through my research to bring their story to light, I made contact with a vast number of wonderful people. One of them was my second cousin, the brother of tail gunner Robert “Bud” George Alfred Burt. Through our numerous emails it turned out we had the same two remembrance wishes, we both wanted Bud to be formally remembered and we both wanted to ride in a Lancaster bomber.

Bud

This year marks off one of those wishes (hopefully next year will mark off the other). We have now both officially taken a ride in a Lancaster bomber. Unfortunately, we did not end up getting to ride in a Lancaster together, which would have been great as we have never met in person, but we have now each made one of our wishes come true.

View from the mid upper turret

Some people go to see the machine, to marvel at the technology of the time, and to be one of the few who can say they have been in a Lancaster bomber. I went to gather an understanding of the men who flew in the machine. I wanted to immerse myself in the essence of the plane and its crew. I went half way around the world to ride in a Lancaster bomber to find remembrance.

In August 2010 I took my taxi ride, sitting in the tail gunner position in the Lancaster “Just Jane”, at Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Museum in East Kikby, UK. It came with an unexpected emotional experience, bringing the realities of Bud’s last moments to the surface of my mind.

Tail turret

I shared my experience with my cousin through email and hoped he too would get a chance to ride in a Lancaster bomber.

This September 2012, my cousin took his one hour flight, in one of only two air-worthy Lancaster bombers in the world, when he visited the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario. For safety reasons no one is allowed to ride in the tail gunner or the bomb aimer position, but it was an amazing experience all the same. It “was a thrill of a lifetime!”

Entering the Lancaster

For both of us the ride was “noisy as heck” but unlike my cousin, who was given earmuffs, which made it comfortable, I didn’t have any on my ride. To be honest, I loved the noise and I loved being able to sit where Bud would have been in the plane. Best of all, I found remembrance. Bud, and the rest of the boys, will always have a home in my heart, and that’s exactly where they belong.

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The Last Few Weeks

For the past while I have been pretty busy.  I have been lucky to find time to post a photo now and again.

As a few of you know, I have been sorting my manuscript to be sent to editor.

It finally went last week and so far I have had positive feedback regarding the story as a whole.

Of course I’m sure there will be many things to do once the full line by line edit is under way but I’m taking these last few days of peace and quiet to try to regroup and build myself up for serious edit mode.

I still feel like I have a long road ahead to get the manuscript to a 3D book but I’m happy, so far, just knowing it is moving ahead and the editor is enjoying the read.  With three years of research and writing behind me, I’m hoping I’m over the mountain and on my way down the other side, even if it is long and winding.

One more step forward for the boys!

A Tick on the Bucket List

I have been meaning to post this for a while.  In my bucket list I stated I wanted to make more teddy bears.  I did this one just before Christmas as a little gift for a friend’s little girl.  It is a plain design, easy to do, and I thought it turned out okay considering I designed it myself and had no idea if it would really turn into a sweet little bear.  It was made from scraps left over from other sewing projects.  I made the clothes as well.

The end result was a very happy little girl who threw the pillow on the floor and promptly flopped down on it and smiled as she played with her new bear.  Job accomplished!

More bears to come!

The Bucket List

I keep meaning to make one of these… I sometimes think I have not really done that much in life but then people remind me of the things I have forgotten about and I actually have done. I was reading a blog that I pop in on now and again and a bucket list was the topic.  It got me thinking about what I have not done yet but I would still like to do.  Things I can think of at the moment include:

become an official citizen of another country

finish writing my book (getting close)

 

publish my book

learn something new

sell one of my paintings

take more interesting photographs

 

go to Italy and Switzerland

read more

plan a weekend getaway to a dog friendly place

go out for a picnic lunch with my husband

make  more teddy bears

 

make my own duvet cover

ride a horse

host a small brunch/dinner party

find a home I want to buy and can afford

do a tandem parachute jump

have a shared hobby with my husband

learn to drive

fly in a Lancaster bomber