Last day of Indian summer

At least that is what the weather forecast says. Tomorrow is supposed to bring more typical November weather--sleet, drizzle, cold. But today! It is going to be 64 degrees and sunny.

SPENT a little time reading Winston Churchill's World War II memoirs last evening. Nothing like good historical writing to pull one out of the cares of the moment and into a larger world.

Churchill's writing style is heavy on strong nouns and verbs. "Little did we know that Hitler had already cast his glare eastward," he wrote regarding a particularly costly bombardment of the London docks by the Luftwaffe, which turned out to be the last.

Lesser historians with fancy Phds might have written: "Although the devastating bombardment of London's docks reduced the port's shipping capacity by 74%, Germany discontinued the bombing, choosing instead to focus her resources on the impending invasion of the Soviet Union."

I like the picture of Hitler casting his glare eastward much better.

The Battle of Britain--a one-sided affair, so named by Churchill to make it seem less like a slaughter--went on for months. The Luftwaffe pounded British targets night after night. At one stretch, England was losing over two-thousand civilians per night. A total of nearly 50,000 lives were lost by the time Hitler "cast his glare eastwards."

At one point, Churchill alluded to Ireland, lamenting that Irish ports were "of course" not available to the English. I looked on the web to find out why that was the case. Sure enough, Ireland was neutral during the war, with some Irish politicians not-so-subtly pulling for the Nazis. The Irish hated the British so much that anybody who opposed them was seen as a friend.