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World War ll London Blitz:  Buy On Smashwords
I am the great-granddaughter of Ruby Side Thompson. 
Recently I started re-reading the World War ll journals and felt that they were such an important part of a history that will soon be forgotten if not published and shared with the world. These diary excerpts are not the entirety of what is published in print and kindle.
Ruby grew up during a time when education was just beginning to be encouraged for both upper and middle class women. During the late 1890's Ruby explored many radical political ideas of London, England. She met many famous people including the writers George Bernard Shaw and William Butler Yeats. 
5.0 out of 5 stars A choice pick, not to be overlooked, November 6, 2011 By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)

World War ll London Blitz: 10-8-43 We have had air raids every night since Sunday. Last night’s was the heaviest yet. Two bombs dropped on the Golf Links. I actually went outside to look at the sky and saw a Gerry caught in the searchlights.


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October 8, 1943

We have had air raids every night since Sunday. Last night’s was the heaviest yet. Two bombs dropped on the Golf Links. I actually went outside to look at the sky and saw a Gerry caught in the searchlights. The moon up, the stars shining, the lights criss-crossing, colored flares dropping, it is a beautiful night, but what a devil’s beauty. During the evening Ted wrote me two checks, one for my hats, the other to cover Jo Tibb’s dressmaking bill. I duly thanked him. 



October 18, 1943 

There was a very heavy raid again last night. Rockingham Avenue, about a mile or a mile and a half from here, got a direct hit, ten houses down and six people killed outright, several others injured and taken to the hospital. 


October 19, 1943 

There was a raid again last night. It’s moonlight of course. Nothing fell here, thank God. Yet somewhere else got the bombs. Oh, when will this damn war finish! What frightful times we are living in! What infuriating ones, for none of the world’s troubles need be. Men have made the world the way it is. Men destroy society and civilization. Fool men. Wicked men. Goddamn men! God does damn men. We are all damned. 


October 20, 1943 

I am very restless and very tired. Another raid last night so we are all losing sleep, and that’s making us all cranky. Ted is on my nerves excessively. I do think him a fool. He fusses about nothing and too pious for words. I loathe his piety. Why oh why can’t he be a normal man? I think he is a maniac, and I am so tired of him I do not know how to go on living with him any longer. He’s good and he means well, but the fact is, I can’t bear him. I’ve had too much of him. Marriage last too long. I hate marriage. One night soon, perhaps tonight, he will want his pleasure, and he’ll take it. Will he say his prayers over that? Of course not. In the morning he’ll be up and off to mass, as per usual. Habit.

October 21, 1943 Trafalgar Day. Salute to Nelson.

We had another very bad raid last night, between one and two this morning. I trembled so incessantly that this morning my limbs ache as though I had climbed a mountain and even my arms ache. I retched so much I am feeling my ribs are bruised, as though somebody kicked them. I am so tired from lack of sleep my eyes are smarting. During a raid like last nights it is easy to understand how human beings can die of shock and fear. Once I held my breath thinking the house was surely hit, but it wasn’t, nor anywhere immediately near, so far as I know. War. This fiendish war, the sport of men.

October 22, 1943

There was a raid again last night, between two and three a.m. and another this evening about half past seven until nearly nine. This evening was a very heavy one. The Gerry’s have got through to London every night now for a week, but it was the last quarter of the moon yesterday, so we may hope for quieter nights next week. We are all very tired. Since Gerry came early this evening we hope for an undisturbed night tonight.

October 23, 1943

Tonight’s news is that today David Lloyd George married at a registry office near Guildford, a Miss Stevenson who has been his private secretary for thirty years. The bride is fifty-five, whilst Lloyd-George is something over eighty. His first wife, Dame Margaret Lloyd-George died in nineteen forty-one. Late this afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd-George left Chart for an undisclosed location. The honeymoon couple! My God! What a silly old goat! What a glaring instance this is that men do not love women and they only love themselves. A man must have his pleasure. His pleasure. Oh God, how I hate men!

October 24, 1943

We have now had nine consecutive nights of bombing again. It is most wearing. Oh this damn war, this lunacy.

November 6, 1943

Today the Russians have retaken Kiev. The Germans captured it in September Nineteen Forty-One. The B.B.C. broke into program at eleven this morning to broadcast the news.

World War ll London Blitz: 9-1-43 Four years today since Hitler attacked Poland and started the World War.

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September 1, 1943

Four years today since Hitler attacked Poland and started the World War. The Pope announced last week that he would make a broadcast “to the world” today. So far have heard nothing from Rome, but shall probably do so this evening. Yet what can the Pope say that anyone will pay attention to? Hiherto he has always condoned his Italians: condoned war. The non-Italian and non-Catholic world, I think, will turn a very deaf ear today to his holiness the Pope.

Last night Churchill broadcast a speech from Quebec. It sent me to sleep. He uttered nothing but platitudes and compliments, the chief idea seem to be to keep the Russians buttered up so that they keep on fighting. Do we really care for the Russians? I don’t think so.

The Pope’s broadcast was an appeal for peace. Coming now this is farcical, also presumptuous and impertinent. When Mussolini raped Abyssinia and later Albania (and that on a Good Friday too!) the last Pope said nothing. This Pope, Pacelli, is a Roman aristocrat, he has never rebuked Mussolini for any of his war crimes, never pleaded with the King of Italy for peace and justice, never urged the Italian people to disobey their corrupt government. Sometimes he has given out a lot of general rhetorical words, but he has never said to Mussolini, not to the Italians “Thou art the man.” He has never preached Christ the peacemaker and peace bringer. No, he is merely another Machevelli. So long as Italy was attacking her neighbors, think what she has done to Greece! And winning, the Pope uttered no single word of protest, let alone dissuasion; but now that Italy herself is being attacked, and losing, the Pope cries out to the world for peace. Wonderful! Who does he think he is going to get to pay any attention to him? He could have talked the Italians out of the Axis in the beginning, if he had wished to do so. He didn’t. I suppose, like the rest of the clever and tricky Italians, he thought Hitler was going to win the war. By now he has found out differently, so he appeals to the world for peace. Bah! Another rat. Another Italia diplomat, another schemer, that’s all he is. Peace indeed! We are all sick of the war, but we shall carry on with it until the Axis is beaten. The Pope knows the terms for peace for his Italy, unconditional surrender. This war is hell, but we didn’t start it. We shall finish it, and we shall be the victors.

September 3, 1943

The fourth anniversary of our entry into the war, today the fifth year of the war begins. It begins well, for us, for it is announced that at four-thirty this morning British and Canada made a successful landing on the toe of Italy. The allied invasion of the continent of Europe has begun.

September 8, 1943

Italy has surrendered. At half past five this evening General Eisenhower broadcast from Algiers, that our armistice terms have been agreed to, without reservations and the Italians having laid down their arms, fighting against Italy has ceased, the armistice commencing at once. So Italy is out of the war. Eisenhower also added a promise to the effect that if Italy is attacked by any other power, we, the United Nations, will help her fight her attacker. This, presumably, is for the benefit of the Germans. Will the Germans round on Italy? Quite possibly. They signed a peace pact with Russia in 1939, but that didn’t prevent them from invading and attacking Russia in 1941.So what next?

September 16, 1943

The Germans were over this area again last night, and dropped bombs in three different London areas. Nothing dropped here, but it might have done. What’s the use of money in the bank to a dead woman? So I went and bought two new hats and very becoming ones at that. At least I’ll look all right, even if I don’t feel it. Now I have got to cook this afternoon. Mushrooms to be fixed for tea, and I suppose I had better do something about the pastry. What a life!

September 18, 1943

At dinner yesterday the B.B.C. broadcast an announcement of the calling in of all five-point value clothes coupons because of a big theft of these coupons somewhere. So both Hilda and Artie said they would have to return some they had, and what a nuisance. Then there was further talk about coupons, and how few we got, and so on. Thence to the subject of stockings, now, ever since coupons were instituted most girls have complained about no coupons for stockings. Stockings are two coupons per pair, and we have only two coupons to last six months. “How many pairs of stockings did you buy ordinarily before coupons?” I asked her. “ “A pair a week?” (Thinking that a lot). “Oh no,” she said: “a pair a day.” Ted exclaimed at that. “Oh yes.” She said, “”but they weren’t expensive ones.” “And you bought a pair a day?” asked Ted, very incredulous. “Oh, Yes, I had to.” “Why?” “Well they laddered.” “Couldn’t you mend them?” “Oh, no. I couldn’t wear a mended stocking, and when your boyfriend took you out, of course you had to have nice stockings.” “Well what do you do with the old ones?” “Oh, my mother would wear them to do her work in.” Ted shut up, but he gave Artie a long look. After Ted had gone back to the office the conversation still went on about clothes coupons. Hilda said the worst problems were shoes and stockings. I said, “How often did you buy new shoes?  “Once a month,” she said. She laughed, and then went on. “Well that wasn’t so bad. You see, I was working in a shoe shop, and my boss was my pal, my boyfriend; and we used to get a bonus once a month, so he used to let me have bargains, so usually I’d buy a pair of shoes with my bonus, or sometimes I’d buy a dress."

September 21, 1943

It is the first day of autumn and the re-opening of Parliament. There was a long speech from Mr. Churchill, who returned from America on Sunday. He said that the bloodiest part of the war is yet to come.

World War ll London Blitz: 7-5-43 General Sikorski was killed last night in an accident, taking off from Gibraltar. Everyone else in the plane was also killed, except the pilot, who is severely injured. The plane was a Liberator bomber, in which he was returning to London from the Middle East. I suppose this is another of those very convenient “accidents”.

Purchase Diary's :

July 5, 1943

General Sikorski was killed last night in an accident, taking off from Gibraltar. Everyone else in the plane was also killed, except the pilot, who is severely injured. The plane was a Liberator bomber, in which he was returning to London from the Middle East. I suppose this is another of those very convenient “accidents”. 



July 7, 1943 

I have a guess that our invasion of Europe began last night, though nothing has been mentioned on the radio this morning. The B.B.C. did not even report that our bombers were out over Germany last night! Ted says, “of course not!” They’ve got to cook up the reports first. Nevertheless the air activities over this neighborhood last night were tremendous. We were wakened about midnight by planes directly overhead, and the zooming intensified and went on and on until about three-thirty this morning. Literally thousands of planes must have passed over us. Our planes, for there was no alarm, and no gunfire. The sky as far as we could see, was ablaze with searchlights. They ranged in orderly placing like great shooks of wheat or corn all over the heavens and above them, clear skies, and the multitudes of the stars. It was a beautiful but fearsome sight. It affected me physically of course. I trembled, and my legs cramped, and my stomach turned over and I retched so much that this morning my ribs are sore. I am so tired from nerves and lack of sleep; I’m ready to weep. Of course, all the flying might have been simply practice; air maneuvers yet I don’t really think so. The Germans opened their long promised, but long delayed, attack on Russia on Monday, so probably we have opened on them with the dreaded Second Front. We’ll know later of course but when there have been practices of night flying in big formation before, the B.B.C. has always informed us it was so the next morning. This morning the B.B.C. was absolutely mum. As Ted says, they’re cooking up what they will say to us. Oh, this damned war! I grow angrier and angrier about it. Not angry with the Germans but angry with all men, and the stupidity of war enrages me. It is a mad world all right. Yet it need not be. That is the awful tragedy of it. Oh God, when will sanity and peace return to us? 


July 8, 1943 

No information about Tuesday night, so we conclude our flyers were simply practicing maneuvers against searchlights.

July 10, 1943

News first thing this morning that the Allies have made successful landings in Sicily; English, American and Canadian troops making the invasion; and General Eisenhower has broadcast from Algiers to the French of Metropolitan France to keep calm, assuring them that the first step in the invasion of Europe has taken place, and liberation is coming to them in due course, but meanwhile to do nothing rash, they will be duly informed what to do when there is anything they can do, but for the moment they must make no rash acts, but keep calm, keep calm! President Roosevelt has sent a letter to the Pope, giving assurance that the Allies will effect the liberation of Italy from the Fascists, and that the safety and neutrality of Vatican State will be strictly observed.

July 13, 1943

There was an alert in the night, so came downstairs just before three a.m. Before that we had heard an enormous flock of our planes going out. At one today we were told our home-based bombers had made a large raid on Turin last night. So I suppose it was some of them we heard passing over. The moon is now in her second quarter, so I expect we shall have raids every night now for the next two weeks. B.B.C. Says a town in the Southeast was bombed last night, causing damage and casualties but of course they do not say where. We had a bad day light raid last Friday. The alert came whilst we were at tea, about five-fifteen p.m. The worst of that one was on Croydon, where a cinema got a direct hit. It was full of children, who had gone in straight after school hours, and also many W.A.A.F. girls.

July 14, 1943

I was awakened by gunfire about three-thirty this morning, and came downstairs, where I remained until five o’clock. Ted remained in bed, as always, but I cannot stay upstairs once the alert is given, or the guns begin.

I was very wakeful and did a lot of thinking. I found myself involuntarily reciting the memorare, and with belief. This is instinctive faith. Is it fear, which creates religion? Or is it necessary for people of today to experience fear, so as to be driven to God, to the experience of God? I don’t know, I only know that it is so. Fear and beauty, these are the two great incontrovertible compulsions which drive us directly to God. Then if to God, I thought why not to church? To the only Church, the Catholic, the Roman Catholic.

Of course when the gunfire awakened me my annoyance had passed away in my sleep, but some solution of lost love had evidently been thrown up, for I found myself thinking in the early morning of this everlasting problem of the conflict of the sexes and its strain. It is like this I thought: the most important thing in the world to man is the gratification of his sexuality, the most important thing in the world to a woman is marriage with its security and support, but in marriage a woman wishes to be loved for herself alone, for her personality, not her body, for her mind and soul, not her womb, and, after satiety, a man become tired of the economic responsibilities of a wife. Keeping a wife is a luxury men would like to dispose of; thence comes the strife and the natural disappointment and dissatisfaction. Legality holds, religion, law, and society hold man and wife together till death does them part, and this is a good thing, it is the wisdom of the ages, luckily for both of them. So they adjust themselves to the harness, ease them as best they can to the gall of it, they accommodate to each other, and that is the successful marriage. 
 

Evening. The B.B.C. has reported speeches made today at Claridge's, made at a luncheon given to Sir Basil Brooke, the new Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. Sir Basil said that the Border created no differences it merely recognized them. Eire was neutral and Ulster was at war. One of the many results of this was that the bases in the South, which might have saved lives and shortened the struggle in the long and terrible Battle of the Atlantic, has been denied to the Allied fighting forces…but it was Ulster’s proud privilege that her ports and her airfields should be used by the armed forces of the Allies… Mr. Morrison said, in the light of the relationship between Ireland and this country in this war, it was bound to have a permanently modifying affect on many people’s opinions in this country… You cannot avoid the fact that in the North, there has been a positive loyalty and cooperation with Great Britain. It is not only that, the great thing is that in the North there has been a positive and courageous loyalty to the cause of human freedom and for the destruction of a menace to our freedom and liberties. Southern Ireland has preferred to stay neutral, the tragic thing is that Eire, a country which has fought many battles for what it conceived to be the cause of liberty in one way or another, should have stood aside neutral and indifferent to this, one of the most dramatic and fateful struggles in the history of all mankind. That does not stand us too well in the history of the nations.”

July 16, 1943

I am very tired. An alert sounded soon after midnight and the all clear at one forty-five a.m. There was a new alert at two a.m. and no all clear until after three o’clock. I spent practically the whole time downstairs. I did not go back to bed after the first all clear, but came down stairs again almost immediately afterwards. 


July 17, 1943

Yesterday Churchill and Roosevelt; to capitulate, to save them, and not to continue to die for Hitler, to throw over Mussolini and his Fascist Government, broadcast appeals to the Italian people. How can they? In Sicily over twenty thousand Italians have surrendered, but they are soldiers, what can the people of Italy do?

World War ll London Blitz: 6-24-43 The R.A.F. is bombing Europe both day and night.

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June 24, 1943

Joan came and spent the day with us last Tuesday; the first time I have seen her in a couple of months. She tells me bombs have destroyed Hampshire Hog House. (Another part of my youth gone.) We have been having raids practically every night these past three weeks. I come downstairs, but Ted remains in bed. The war is awful, worse and worse. The R.A.F. is bombing Europe both day and night. Yesterday the B.B.C. told us that during the past twenty-four hours we had two thousand bombers over Germany. The Americans go by day; the R.A.F. by night and still it goes on!

World War ll London Blitz: 5-8-43 A raid came first before seven this morning. Junkers’ 88’s. Six of them. One was brought down at Benfleet, one at Stapleford Abbots. Gunfire in this locality is very heavy. We hear there was a bad raid yesterday over Yarmouth, many casualties. Oh, this damned damned war!

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May 5, 1943 

The ambulance took Ted to the Hospital and brought him home again. Today showed a second crack, in the fibula. It was too bad they couldn’t have kept him in the hospital last night, but wartime regulations. Nor can he stay in the hospital while his bones are mending. Beds must be left free for possible blitz victims. He is in great pain, and very ill with shock into the bargain. No wonder. I gather he was nearly killed.

May 8, 1943

A raid came first before seven this morning. Junkers’ 88’s. Six of them. One was brought down at Benfleet, one at Stapleford Abbots. Gunfire in this locality is very heavy. We hear there was a bad raid yesterday over Yarmouth, many casualties. Oh, this damned damned war!

However, good news for us this morning. The Allies have beaten the Germans in Tunisia at last. Reports this morning that our troops are in possession of Tunis and Bizerte. This will practically be the finish of the campaign in Africa. This news comes six months to the day of the news of the landings of our troops in North Africa. No further news of Artie.

May 13, 1943

The war in North Africa is ended. The following announcement was made last night from Allied Force Headquarters in North Africa:

Organized resistance in Tunisia, except by isolated pockets of the enemy, has ceased. General Von Armin, commander of the Axis Forces in Tunisia, has been captured. It is estimated that the total number of prisoners taken since May 5, is about one hundred and fifty thousand. Vast quantities of guns and war materials of all kinds have been captured, including guns and aircraft in serviceable condition.

Well, that’s the end of the Battle of Africa. Next will come the Battle of Europe. Shall we finish this war this year? God knows, but not very likely. Reports from Tunisia say the Germans had lost their morale, and were surrendering by entire companies, glad to get out of the fight. What about the Germans in Europe? Will their morale last? And how long?

Churchill is in Washington. This news was given to us yesterday. He has taken many important men with him and conferences are going on with Roosevelt and his chiefs of staff. Presumably plans are being arranged for the immediate invasion of the continent, then after Europe, will come Japan. Then what? The chaos of peace.

Evening and I have just received a letter from Artie: Wednesday 28, April 1943

Dear Mother and Dad,

I am writing this from the hospital. I did send news via Hilda and I hope you got it. I may as well go over the whole story again. On the twelfth of April at seven forty-five a.m. I was blown up by a Gerry land mine. My driver was killed. I escaped with some damage. I didn’t lose consciousness at all that’s I why I looked at the time and thought of you at home knowing you were thinking of me.

Wounds in my left leg are all very slight. The right leg was broken in two places and later on ex-ray showed that it would take over a year to heal and then be perfectly useless. So I had it amputated just above the knee.

I am perfectly fit and well and recovering quickly. I am not unhappy in the loss and pray that it won’t upset you or make you unhappy. I shall be sent back to Britain when I am fit to travel so I’ll surely see you this summer. I guess the war is over as far as I am concerned. I’ve not had a single letter from home since I’ve arrived in Africa yet. Perhaps some will catch up before I leave Africa.

Cheerio now. God bless you both and keep you both. “My constant prayers for your safety and good health. Almost forgot, I had communion on Easter Sunday in the hospital. Regards to all. Fred.”

Also received this letter:

May 6, 1943

Dear Mother and Dad,

Here is another letter but I am afraid no real news except that I am feeling very well and quite happy. About all I can do to pass the time is read and eat the splendid meals provided. I am getting really tired of lying on my back all day and look forward to the day I shall be able to leave it. I can at least struggle into a sitting position every now and again to write letters and eat and that is some increase in comfort. I hope you can manage to read my scribble. I’ve a different pen and besides that my elbow is bandaged up.

I’ve been thinking about my return to Blighty and I feel sure I’ll be confined to a military hospital for some time before I can get home. I will almost certainly be discharged from the Army after I have been provided with an artificial leg. I feel quite proud I’ve done the little I could do in this war and now my job is over. I always had a feeling I should live through this war but I didn’t expect to come out before the end. I can’t write to Sket from here so you must give him my news and my love.

I hope everything is well at home. Give my love to all who ask after me. I cannot foretell how soon I shall be on my way home but you can take it as certain that I shall come. God bless you and keep you safe. My undying love. Fred.

What is there to say! I haven’t been able to help crying but at least I can thank God he’s alive. Thank God he isn’t blinded. Thank God he’s now out of the war. Poor poor Artie!

There was a raid in the night tonight at two a.m. until three a.m. Also, at the same time a bad thunderstorm, all very frightening.

May 14, 1943

The following cards came in from Cuthie. Number one, addressed to me:

April 13, 1943

Dear Ma,

Just to say I am o.k. I am sorry to read that Grandma is dead. Somehow I always thought I would see her again. It made me realize that in a way you people at home are, to me, all dead. I get letters from you but if anyone died it would just mean a cessation of letters. I must be in a similar position to folks at home if I did not come back or ceased to write it would be as though I went in with my aircraft nearly three years ago. My love to you. Sket.

Number two addressed to Ted:

April 13, 1943

Dear Dad,

Easter is here in a few days and it has occurred to me that I have never told you that since I was shot down I have heard mass said by a French priest, by a German Army Chaplain, by a German parish priest and by a French Canadian missionary. We can hear mass each Sunday. I once told you that I heard a midnight mass at Christmas in 1941, but I had no reply. I hope that by 1945 I shall hear mass in Romford. I send you and Ma my love. Sket.

Saturday May 13, 1943

Noon. We are lucky. By first post this morning we received the following letter from Cuth:

Stalag Luft 3. 7, April 1943

Dear Folks,

I do not know what to write to you about this month as I think this letter might be more disjointed than usual. I am pleased to read your reply to my letter saying that I hope to work in Romford. I have made up my mind what things I do not want. I am waiting for my letter from Bertie to send my letter to him. I have not had any letter from you about my account, so I conclude that financial information is banned. I was surprised to learn that Art is married. I have nothing to say about the event. I cannot imagine myself getting married for a long time after my return. Sometimes I think about my headstrong behavior when I left the University. Had I taken your advice I would not be a “Kriege” but I would be in an officers mess; but at the same time I would still be an innocent schoolboy. I often think that doctors know much less than they are thought to know. We had a few new prisoners in lately. Some of them have not yet been caught for a month. I remember when I was only a month ole “kriege”. When I heard that France had capitulated I laughed at the Polish doctor who told me and told him to stop joking. It was a bitter pill to swallow when I found out that it was true. Well I come to the end of the paper. I send you my love and respect. Please do not send me anything at all unless I ask for it. I hope to see you next year. Tell Art that I shall write to him when I can find time to do so. Sket.

Thursday May 20, 1943

Ted is at the office. He had a taxi and went off about ten o’clock and will come back at two-thirty p.m. Last night he got himself upstairs and slept properly in bed. We had two raids, and I came downstairs each time, but he stayed up there. We have been having raids every night for over a week, usually two a night, small ones, but frightening just the same. The R.A.F. has done big damage in Germany this week, blasting great dams, and letting out water, which is flooding the Ruhr Valley, and doing tremendous damage. I can’t care. I’m so so sick of the war.

Churchill addressed Congress yesterday. His speech was broadcast; we received it here at six-thirty p.m. I can’t care about his speech either. Nor any man’s speech. I’m weary to death of men’s plans and men’s speeches. I’m weary to death of the war. I’m sick of the world.

May 22, 1943

It is three years today that Cuth was brought down over Amiens. Very surprising news was given at one o’clock, the official dissolution of the Communist Third International. This comes from Moscow. Query: What becomes of the Anti-Comintern Pact? What will Goebbels do now for a bogey? 


May 24, 1943 

There was news that the R.A.F. made a tremendous raid on Dortmund last night, dropping over two thousand tons of bombs on the city. This is the heaviest raid yet on Germany. Thirty-Eight of our bombers missing. This makes me feel sick. Also it makes me say, thank God Cuthie is safely out of it all. What Hell!