As one who grew up in the years immediately following WW II, I've long been impressed with the stories of the citizens of London going about their business, upper lips as stiff as Sheffield steel while the bombs and rockets fell from the sky, night after night. People slept in the underground and in the suburbs, houses such as my parents once lived in had a reinforced bomb shelter in the back garden. If they were terrified, they kept it to themselves. England was devastated, the English were not.
I have to be impressed by the story related today in the Daily Mail by an Englishman who took refuge in a restaurant in the Taj Mahal hotel while the shooting went on on the other side of an improvised barricade.
"I was extremely lucky. I was with a very good bunch of people. Three or four of us were Brits"said Nick Hayward. Remaining calm and sober, they conducted a search for booby traps and built barricades.
At 5 O'Clock int he morning, as it began to seem that Indian troops would soon retake the hotel lobby, the group, stirred but not shaken, found some glasses and a bottle of vintage champagne.
"the head waiter came rushing across to me and said, “No, no, you can’t do that!” and I said, 'Well we’re going to' and he said, 'No sir, those are the wrong type of glasses. I shall find you champagne flutes.' "My kind of people -- and my kind of hotel.