Jessie Vine's memoir begins in the last few days of peace in 1939. As the Anderson shelter is installed in the back garden of their Rochester home, Jessie, with her young daughter Joy, eagerly awaits her husband Tom's homecoming, as his ship returns to Chatham Dockyard. And then, when war seems inevitable, Jessie organises an evacuation from Rochester to Whitstable, where she rents a bungalow in the suburb of Tankerton. Tom soon goes back to sea, and the perils of war. They do not see him again for two years. In the meantime, Jessie helps out at a local school, while organising endless collections of salvage. When time allows, mother and daughter cycle all over East Kent to hunt down old film. With these prizes, Jessie compiles a unique photographic diary of life on the home front, which she sends to Tom at sea.