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I'm Jane McIntyre, a voiceover and writer, formerly an award-winning BBC radio newsreader and producer. My blog covers life, love and loss; travel, coffee and chocolate; with some heartfelt pieces in the mix about my late dad, who had dementia. Just a click away, I'm half of the team behind - two empty nesters who whizzed round the world in 57 days.

Monday 25 November 2013


Instead of a blog today, I`m leaving you with some way of a kind of `test card`. Remember those? I used to work with someone (hello Andrew...) who was an expert in their different guises. And the music they played. Don`t ask me why.

Anyway...I`m really feeling the sandwich generation thing this week...and as the filling, I`ve probably spread myself far too thinly. That means that today, I`m a little bit knackered, a bit grumpy, and snappy (step away now...) It`s not helped by having some really crap recollections of stuff kicking off in November a couple of years ago...stuff I walked away from but which still resurfaces sometimes.

But if things get me down, I`m now lucky enough to be able to jump in the car and head...anywhere. And today I thought I`d keep my snappiness to myself, and hit the beach. Aberdovey is one of my favourite places on the planet...especially on cold, bright, winter days when there are just six people and me on the beach. And a couple of ridiculously happy, lollopy, splashy dogs...hilarious to watch. I walked the length of the sandy beach and back, then did it over again, collected some shells, gazed out to sea, paddled in my red wellies,and then had a hot cup of coffee and a slab of cake, and headed home. Life is good. And sometimes a Monday like this will kick me up the backside and remind me of that. Hope yours was happy too xx

You said..

thanks to ' Yours grumpily' Monday was better. We of a certain age have baggage and it does resurface. Kick it to the kerb!

would you say your blog was an F, C, PM5544 or ETP1?

Great photos! Lovely place!

it's so beautiful there. Especially in the 'off' season. :)

love love love Aberdovey but lets not tell too many people

Sunday 10 November 2013

Meanwhile in Normandy.... a tiny village called Breel, there`s a still new war memorial to three British airmen. 

The stone, plaque, and the research that went into it, are all thanks to a wonderful man called Ron Vickers. 

Ron was a great bloke; a former teacher. He was entertaining, caring, incredibly clever and a joy to be with. His death was mourned not just by his family and friends in England, but by people in Breel, near Falaise, where he`d been holidaying for more than twenty years.

Ron was fascinated by the tale of three British airmen, who were killed in action on August 8th 1944 when their Wellington crashed at Breel. He spent many, many months painstakingly researching their lives and families so that there could be a lasting memorial to these young men in the village, and to a fourth airman who died later that year.

He managed to trace their relatives and bring them together from all over the world to join a poignant memorial service to them on August 8th 2008. It was a moving, bitter-sweet occasion, with grieving family members supported by villagers and expats. There were readings in French and English, smart uniforms and medals, a few tears, and some smiles too at the French national anthem firing off on the loud speaker at the wrong moment, but that added to the charm of the occasion.

And on every August 8th since then, flowers have been laid at that little memorial in Breel as a mark of respect.

I was there last year, missing the wonderful man who`d helped bring the memorial, and that special act of remembrance to fruition. Seven of us gathered at 11am on August 8th to support Margaret, Ron`s widow, as she laid flowers at the memorial. Martin Weston, who`d worked so hard alongside Ron during his research, read a poem and then invited us back for coffee.

There were cheese scones, rich tea biscuits, some friendly banter and a chance to check out Martin and Linda`s chickens and sheep. It was a lovely morning.

When it was time to leave, I went off for a wander through the village that Ron Vickers loved so much. I pushed open the creaking door of the tiny,16th century village church and stepped out of the August heat into the cool stillness of this simple, beautiful building. And because it seemed right, I dropped some euros in the box and lit a candle for Ron, and for the fallen airmen .

You can struggle to remember the right word sometimes. But some things...and some people....should never be forgotten.