Three little maids from school
'What with the heat and the switch to windows 10 I'm rather losing touch ~ I meant to tell you that on Friday Annabel called in with all three of her delightful grand daughters ~ Isabella and Jasmine are sisters aged 14 and 11 and they live in Reading, and their cousin Imogen aged 9 who lives in Cornwall ~ they all dashed up to the attic to choose themselves bunches of ribbons for me to analyse, and then we had some magic talk, and pendum swinging ~ to demonstrate the power of which I told them about the small chunk of wood which is there on the table, from Gilbert White's yew in Selborne, Hampshire ~ and checked out its age again ~ sure enough the answer was as before one thousand three hundred and thirty-something ~ such a lovely family.
It was a bit of a tussle signing up to windows 10 ~ the instructions were all clear and simple and chatty in tone : "This will take some time so sit back and relax ..." I went to make a mug of tea and watch NewsNight and the process still wasn't complete. ~ download, install, configuring now taking place, 87% complete . . . while this was going on, I was assured all was under control : "just taking care of a few things" and "this won't take long" "just a few more tweaks required" and then "it's taking a bit longer than usual but should be ready soon" meanwhile "be patient and don't switch off your PC." By the time all was done it was nearly midnight but at least I'd done it !
Just had long friendly chat with Will, bless him ~ so switching off now to catch Bloomsbury Group programme, if I'm lucky. Tuesday 9.30pm: they seem rather spoilt and self-obsessed, this privileged gang, and all sleeping around, and although no servants appeared in the film, there obviously would have been dozens of them in the back ground keeping the whole show on the road.
To Bridlington again today, and again had to have injection in RIGHT eye ~ I am jolly grateful of course that they are saving my sight but the process is no fun. Today's driver was Errol and he was here promptly at 9am and nobody else to pick up en route ~ a glorious morning with fields of corn quite golden in the sunshine and amazing cloud formations. On the way home, Errol had to pick two more up from Scarborough hospital, one of them a very smelly tramp with long grubby beard and shabby clothes, but it looked quite a respectable house we dropped him off at in Robin Hoods Bay.
Ellen asks WHY I ended up in Whitby ~ after our divorce I began to train as a probate clerk at Michael Gardener's firm of solicitors, but in truth it was so bloody boring,and the two men who were supposed to be teaching me were like characters out of Dickens and fiercely resented sharing the smallest secrets of their work with a woman so I spent the first couple of months typing out compliment slips, and in any case all our clients were dead ! Once I'd packed that in, I stood in for my friend Angela who was secretary to the Royal Hussars Regimental HQ on Southgate Street ~ a wonderful job as in addition to everything else we were busy setting up their regimental museum ~ I think I put the article I wrote about my army days on the earlier blog ~ I'll see if I can find it ~ when Angela had recovered from her op I was out of work again but quickly got a part-time position at Winchester City Museum, sharing it with my friend whose name I suddenly can't recall (did it begin with E ?) Now comes the stupid bit . . .
With Will and Kate still at home, and the house to run, and always struggling to find time to write, I persuaded Lloyds Bank to fund me for six months on an overdraft while I settled down to write Solitaire ~ we had maintenance from Howard every months still (£180, I think it was) and the family allowance, and I had a night school class which brought me in about £20 per week in term time. But it wasn't really enough ~ before long I gave up and was very lucky to get a job, paart-time again, in the Hampshire Archives as assistant to the Winchester Archivist ~ this was quite the best work I had ever done, sorting, cataloguing, recording boxes of old and fascinating documents ~ letters, wills, political stuff ~ if only I'd trained for this instead of trying to teach ! However, maggie Thatcher was wielding her axe (much as George Osborne is today) and Local Government funding was being cut wherever possible including the Winchester section of the Hampshire Archive ~ and that was that ! Both Kate and Will were away at University by then so I could survive on very small rations ~ a pan of vegetable broth would last me all week, with a loaf of bread, some milk and maybe a couple of apples. I put in for every darned job going, but nobody wanted a pathetic woman in her fifties ~ I did get taken on by a firm responsible for cleaning offices all over the town and turned up as instructed at 5am only to be sacked next morning : "The other women don't feel comfortable with you, don't feel you fit in." I did get a couple of temporary office jobs, but when I was firmly rejected as a lollipop lady things were really bleak. My sister Nancy, bless her, very kindly came over from Somerset to go with me to the Job Centre which is when I discovered why I was not eligible for Unemployment benefit ~ the lawyer who had organised the divorce for me had not found it necessary to point out that as I'd only ever paid the Married Woman's Insurance Contribution, I was entitled to nothing.
It was then that Fred suggested I sell my humble terraced house and move to a cheaper area of the country ~ more of that tomorrow maybe, but suffice it to say that the same humble terraced house which Howard had bought us for around £20,000 and which eight years later I sold for £60,000 has now been revamped to an amazing standard and sold for an unimaginable 625,000 !! It surely is a mad mad world, my masters !