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For real – and regrets

Day after day we read headlines about the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces

Russia launches multiple rocket attacks in Kharkiv and renews Kyiv assault | Ukraine | The Guardian

‘It might be the last chance to get out’: citizens flee Kyiv as assault intensifies | Ukraine | The Guardian

‘Putin wants to kill us totally’: Ukrainians hold firm under bombardment | Ukraine | The Guardian

There are headlines, there are in depth analyses and reflections, there are pictures and films- every day. Now, less than two weeks into this I am thinking about my dad and mum, newly married in 1939, they had placed a deposit and begun to pay a mortgage on their house in an unmade cul-de-sac between Bradmore and Merry Hill. The 26 year old former schoolboy, sometime pattern cutter and most recently ‘Man from the Pru’, who would become my dad, volunteered for the RAF in 1939. He would be