With all the emotional ceremonies marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, it has been a really poignant week honouring the amazing individuals who paved the way for our generation to live in peace. My husband's gorgeous grandad had been left for dead on the beaches of Dunkirk - a bullet in the back of the neck, but eventually stretchered off as one of the last at this desperate scene. He recovered (bullet still in back of neck) and then returned a few years later as part of the D-Day invasion and a reconnaissance team, that after surviving the beach landings, were then subject to many brutal months fighting throughout Europe.
Hard to imagine that the elderly man I was lucky enough to know, was once a 15 year old boy, lying about his age, to join up as a solider with the Grenadier Guards. He rarely talked about the war - but the official army journals he gave to my husband and his experiences that he shared in later life, made us all very proud. Sadly dying only a few years ago he would have loved to see how their service had been honoured this week.
What stood out for me though, was that like Grandad George, every person I heard interviewed on the BBC, carried the same qualities of modesty and humility. It was never about the individual and their own heroism, but their quiet efforts for the larger good. I listened to so many tales on Radio 5 about heroic war stories that only made the light of day, in a family members later years, or even after their death. This was a generation that saw so much danger, horror and sadness, yet madly seem to be amongst the most modest, contented and low key of all time.
So why am I chatting about all this on my The Authentic Home Journal...
...Yesterday my order of the new bi-annual independent magazine, AKT A Kind Tribute, arrived in the post with a personal note from the new founders: Jessy Van Durme and Piet-Albert Goethals - always a gorgeous touch. It is a beautiful new title, that celebrates conversations with inspirational people they meet and places they go - a tribute to small corners of greatness and will appeal to those who appreciate a timeless aesthetic and desire for authenticity, whether in architecture, interior design, food, fashion or simply general life.
The magazine contains a feature entitled MODESTY - The Quiet Revolution, by Micha Van Dinther. After reflecting this week on the power of modesty in today's hectic world, it was a great and timely read about how in Belgium "professional craftsmanship and the study of form and concept, trump blinding manifestations and larger-than-life personalities. Here it is all about humility, plain and simple.' The characteristic modesty, has been used for a long time to reflect the heart and soul of this country's inhabitants, and in the design world their covetable style has become synonymous with the emotions of modesty, humility and freedom, and is gaining much momentum in its popularity outside of just Belgium. It will probably come as no surprise that the minimal, timeless style of Belgian, Axel Vervoordt, interior designer and antiquaire, is for me, pure perfection - but that is another journal post in its own right! This article by Micha, is a wonderful read that ends...'in a world where shouting is the norm, whispering doesn't seem to be an altogether bad idea.' I couldn't agree more.
I am delighted to have stumbled across this new title. Twelve unique features of substance, about many people I have not heard of before - a treat and printed on the most exquisite, tactile, uncoated paper. In the editors letter at the start it says "above all we took our time, a precious gift in a hectic world. We've made this magazine mindfully and enjoyed every minute of it.'
It shows - huge congratulations AKT Magazine.