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THE MAGIC OF LIVING.
By
Dave James
INTRODUCTION

This is the story of my life. It is an account of the events that have made my life so interesting and happy. Through this story, I hope that future generations will get a glimpse of the hardships that many ordinary people cheerfully faced just after the Second World War, also the ups and downs of a young spirited lad growing up and the pleasures of a simple carefree life.

Of course, it wasn't carefree all the time. There were plenty of stumbling blocks to be overcome in the struggle to build up homes from next to nothing. Thousands of people were in the same boat through this post-war period but the happy laughter and friendship was always there and everyone rallied round to help friends and strangers alike.

My experiences were many and diverse. Like all young lads, I was adventurous and this would get me into trouble many times. I enjoyed the countryside and cities alike and never seemed to have a dull day. I'd have the usual illnesses that children suffer, the usual close encounters with death, and a host of lessons learned through a much varied life.

Many readers will probably see themselves in a lot of the stories related here for all of us have suffered at one time, or have experienced funny or frightening situations, or have memories of special golden days through their childhood.

I was born at the end of 1942 but my memory didn't record any events until the middle of 1944. Stories I was told later, much research using documents, ration books, old photos, and many phone calls to my Mum to confirm dates, helped me with that memory-less period. Then my memory takes over and I've written it just as I remember the events, occasionally having to ring Mum up to check a date. I have had to change a few names here and there to protect the innocent (or not so innocent) but the changes are very few.

Dave James.

1995/97.

Chapter 1

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