When our house in London received a direct hit during the Blitz, I recall emerging from the debris and choking dust into the cool, fresh air, conscious that the guns that had been firing when I went to sleep at about 10pm were silent, while the planes continued their droning procession across the sky. But my most vivid memory is of the exhilaration and euphoria I felt, although I was soaked with my critically injured mother's blood.
I remained on this 'high' for about three weeks, until I was sobered up by the presence of the dismembered corpses of a dozen firemen, killed by a direct hit, deposited in sacks in the building next to the one I was firewatching in. I have read that my reaction was common in such circumstances, especially among young people - I was rising 18.
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