It is 1944 and three-year-old Joannie listens to the tall stories told by her Granddad as he tries to bring normality to a very abnormal time. Born into an upstairs/downstairs world that is fast becoming history, her grandfather, the Head Gardener at Coxhill Manor near Chobham in Surrey, had seen it all before in 'the first lot’. Now his son, serving in the RAF in France and Malta, is just a face in a photograph to little Joannie, who one day will follow in her father's footsteps and join the Royal Air Force.
Joan Blackburn has returned, in this, her second book, to her rural working-class roots. With access to her father’s RAF Record of Service and an Aunt who lived to be over 100 years old, together with the aid of her own memories, she has been able to piece together the events contained in the book accurately and informatively to create a create a realistic and warm-hearted portrayal of the life of an ordinary English family caught up in the extraordinary events of World War II and its aftermath.