Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Old soldier found long lost comrade - next door

Old soldier found long lost comrade - next door

Two soldiers who thought each other had died in a bloody Second World War battle 60 years ago have discovered they are next-door neighbours.

Gilbert Fogg, 80, thought there was something familiar about his neighbour when he moved into a new retirement bungalow in Nettleham, near Lincoln.

But he couldn't believe it when he discovered the man was Tom Parker, 82, reports the Daily Mirror.

Sixty years ago they had fought shoulder-to-shoulder in some of the bloodiest battles of the Second World War.

Last time they saw each other was in a trench at the infamous battle of Anzio in Italy. Both left that battlefield on stretchers, each assuming the other was dead.

Gilbert adds: "I asked my brother, who lives here, and he knew just that he was called Tom. He didn't know the surname. But I did. It was Tom Parker. My God, it was Tom Parker! I felt like someone had punched me.

"I asked him to come in and show me how the electrics in my house worked - but that was just an excuse. I wanted to see him up close, to be sure.

"When he was in my house I looked him in the eye and said: "Tom Parker, do you know who I am?" He looked at me and said: "No." I said: "Have you ever met anyone called Gilly?"

"Well, he staggered. He put his arm up to his face and he leant on the wall. He just said: "Oh Gilly, Gilly. I thought you were bloody dead".

"He stood like that for ever such a long time. Then we started talking, and once we started, we couldn't stop."

Toymaker invents dream machine

A Japanese toymaker claims to have invented a gadget that can help people control their dreams.

Tokyo-based Takara Co says its Dream Workshop can be programmed to help sleepers choose who or what to dream about.

In a study on a group of men and women aged 20 to 40, it had a success rate of 22% in inducing dreams in which one of the prompt words appeared, said the Yomiuri Shimbun.

While preparing for bed, the user mounts a photograph on the device of who should appear in the dream, selects music appropriate to the mood and records word prompts, such as a name.

Placed near the bedside, the Dream Workshop emits a special white light, relaxing music and a fragrance to help the person nod off.

Later, it plays back the recorded word prompts, timed to coincide with the part of the sleep cycle when dreams most often occur.

It even helps coax the sleeper gently out of sleep with more light and music so the dreams are not forgotten.

Takara spokeswoman Mayuko Hasumi says the Dream Workshop will go on sale in Japan in August for about Ā£110.

ASDA (Walmart) offer free eye tests

Urs Meier, the Swiss referee of Thursday night's encounter, was also on the receiving end. One doctored picture showed Sol Campbell and Gary and Phil Neville confronting Mr Meier after he disallowed Campbell's late header. In the referee's hand is the leash of a guide dog.

Among the companies attempting to cash in on England's woes was Asda. It announced that Swiss nationals could claim free eyesight tests at its in-store opticians up until July 2.

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