Eighty Years Ago Today - May 10, 1940

Eighty years ago today, I arrived at school to find a big sign posted on the door, "Closed - WAR". 

My walk to school had taken me along my usual route, which took two hours each way --- through farmland, crossing brooks filled with salamanders, walking through the grounds of a small chateau which had a swan lake, peacocks and a rose garden. There was also a Chestnut tree lane -- paradise really for a 10 year old.

Walking back home, suddenly the sky was dark, loud engines above me, German planes. The invasion had begun.

Back home, I found mother crying, being comforted by my father. 

From that day onward, my formal school days ended forever and five years of suffering followed.  The war ended when I was 15. 

I didn't return to a school of any kind until much later, to the Ontario College of Art, in 1959.  There I lasted just five months of a 3-year course. (My teacher and mentor Jock (J.W.G. Macdonald recommended I not continue, for more about this see my blog "Jock Macdonald Remembered".)

Thought I'd share this memory with you, brought on by the eightieth anniversary of the invasion.