Reblog: S.S. Haircut

One of the things I find weird about WordPress is the range of emotions it evokes. By that, I mean that just like Forest Gump said, “Life is Like a box of chocolates“. You really don’t know what is coming next. I follow something over a hundred other blogs and revisiting WP from time to time, there is bound to be a new collection of posts to read. One post might be the funniest post I ever read, the next could be the saddest, and my awareness has to be able to flip between those two extremes, one post to the next.

I’m gonna give you fair warning, this post is the latter. As serious as they come. So, if you’re not in the mood, please bug out now.

The post that got me even suckered me in. I’d just finished writing a bantery comment to someone, so I still had a smile on my face. I noticed that the title had the word “haircut in it, and I automatically thought that it would be somebody whining that their hair had gotten too long during lockdown Don’t get me wrong, some of these whiney posts can be quite witty, so I opened it, still smiling from the previous post. And then I started reading…

And I just choked, there and then.

I posted the other day about my mum-in-law, who was having issues, let’s say, with the groundbreaking technology of a mobile phone. I’d like to talk some more here.

World War II was brewing for a long time before it all kicked off. So much so, that ships were arranged to evacuate as many children as possible from the potential war zone, to the relative safety of the UK. This programme was called KinderTransport. That word has a very obvious meaning to me, but I appreciate that it might not, to some of you.

Mum-in-law was actually born in Belgium. She was one of the last generations of children to come across on the KinderTransport. Now, she was born in January 1939, so she must have come across aged less than six months, because that’s when the war started. That in itself should raise a red flag to any parents out there. How on earth do you give up your six-month-old baby? Even if there is a war coming?

Once in the UK, she had no relatives so grew up in an orphanage. Mrs Bump talks about it, obviously from handed-down tales. Growing up, her life’s ambition was to get married. Here, now, I can look on that scornfully and say “is that all?” but it makes perfect sense. When your background is an orphanage, you crave the relative stability of a settled, married life.

So I look at this and, knowing full well what went on to happen in Europe, mum-in-law might so easily never have had the chance to live a life. And no m-i-l, no wife. That’s what made this post personal. That’s what made me choke.

We hear from time-to-time these days about holocaust-denial. I’ve got no time whatever for this nonsense. I am convinced of what actually happened in, like, a nanosecond. If the Holocaust didn’t happen, would somebody please come and explain to my mother-in-law why she has no family? *Never* had a family?

This poem was beautiful. Thank you, KK. I didn’t feel able to comment on it at the time, this post is my comment.

Yard Sale of Thoughts

They opened up the parlors.
How can we work with angry hair?
Barber dryer,
tendriled wires,
German chatter,
electric glamour.
Hair like soil from high boots;
the massacre of dead ends,
piled on tiled floor
after months of skin and dust.

Today, there’s the fluttering
cushioned carousel chair,
my son’s body diffusing,
curled into twirling leather,
amid pandemic blether.
Gleeful in his last moments
of unruly hair.
The comb hissing and flying
through his lockdown locks,
an Oktoberfest swing.

View original post 102 more words


  1. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. So sorry to hear the heartbreaking story of your Mother-in-Law. It was brutal, but probably her parents saved her life

    Liked by 3 people

  2. See where you are coming from. Pop never spoke much of WW II though he was in Guadalcanal. Some of his buds did when they visited the house years later. In the 60’s, forty years later, most of it makes sense. Though you know, none of it makes sense.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for your personal recollection about your mum in law. I find it very hard to control my temper when I run into some moron who denies the holocaust. Many years ago, I met a survivor while on a business trip in Chicago. I noticed his tattoo; he caught me looking at it and we made eye contact. I said, “Welcome home. I’m glad you made it out.” He wasn’t sure what to say at first, but then said, “I’m surprised you knew what it meant.” After that we talked about his experiences in the camps (he was in several) and his losses. I’ve never felt so humble and sad in my life to hear what one group of people was capable of doing to another.

    I’m glad your mum in law made it to the UK as a baby. She probably had zero chance of surviving otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so sorry to hear about what your MIL had to undergo growing up without a family… being raised during the war is terrible. The Holocaust was history’s worst nightmare. I’ve heard stories from my blog friends who were kids back then and how they were transferred from one orphanage to another. I for one lost my great grandfather in WW II, he went out to find food, he never came back to their makeshift underground shelter, my grandma was around 5 or 6 that time.

    Liked by 1 person

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