Helen with Lizzie at 18 months

Our little sister Helen aged 4 or 5

My Camamile Patch

The camamile that Richard planted between the stepping stones is doing well and indeed covering all bare soil ~ and now I can walk on it as I hang the washing out releasing the gorgeous smell which Bella finds exhilerating and Allan found obnoxious !   A funny thing, smell.

Monday  21st ~ our sister Helen's birthday : Wet again and chilly ~ Sue is not coming today but tomorrow so a quiet morning ~ rang Helen to see how the twins are doing ~ they are still in hospital, in Cardiff now, but flourishing, Charlie is feeding them herself and expects to be able to feed both at once when she gets them home.

I was sixteen when Helen was born and just starting in the Sixth Form ~ although she was so much younger than the rest of us (and a surprise to boot !) she was very much loved by all of us ~ Mother went back to teaching as soon as Helen was old enough to go with her ~ by the time she was four they'd go off on the bus to Pensford together ~ a long day for such a poppet but it did her no harm.   When she reached the eleven+ stage, she got a boarding place at the Red Maids School in Bristol, and from there went on to Cambridge ~ she has two daughters : Charlie mother of the twins and Lizzie ~ both bright and beautiful ~ when she retired from the Welsh Office in Cardiff, Helem moved back to Bristol and has a wonderfully creative life with her music (2 choirs and the flute) her allotment, her patchwork and various research projects ~ the most recent was her study of the lives of the women workers at Wills Factory.

Item on TODAY about happiness which I hope Lucy heard ~ happiness comes from looking out at others rather than always focusing on yourself ~ very true ~ though whether happiness can be taught, I doubt ~ we either ARE or we AREN'T happy ~ I seem to know one or two who actually wallow in their misery !   While life slips by !

Having finished Theresa Tomlinson's "Tribute Bride" I have ordered another of hers from Amazon "Wolf Girl" and looking her up I discovered the enormous number of books she has to her name, the majority of them for younger readers ~ I do hope she is registered with ALCS to get royalties ~ Annie told me she had not received hers in February so hope she has by now ~! must remember to ask ~ I only knew about ALCS because Daddy left me his royalties and after collecting them for a year or two, they actually asked me whether I had written any books.   It's been a very welcome help over the years, knowing that £200 or so will come to me each February.

A friend tells me he is proposing to start a blog and with simplesite.com ~ I suggested I could put details of it here for all of you to read but NO ~ he is writing it for himself alone !! Odd ~ might as well simply write a diary !

Last night watched "The Go-Between" ~ a very good adaptation of the book though I had forgotten that Leo meets the ravishing girl again at the end, and spots her grandson the spitting image of his grandfather (played by the same actor, I think) and her lover ~ for the gentry, as recently as Edwardian times, an arranged marriage was still the accepted fate for their daughters.

Tuesday evening : Rita and Brian came this morning, over from Filey where they have a caravan for a few days ~ Rita and I were friends in St Martin's Road, Bristol all of 75 years ago ~ we had biscuit tins full of buttons and I'd go along to number 21 on a Sunday afternoon to play Happy Families with the buttons on her sitting room floor ~ her family lived in the smaller front room ~ once recently when Natie was doing a project on Games my Granny Played and I told her about the buttons she was astonished to hear that we were 10, 11 and 12 years old !   "I thought you meant when you were six or seven !"    I'd help in the local haberdashers on a Saturday morning and as well as paying me (5/- I think it was) the shop keeper always allowed me to clear out the boxes of buttons and have any odd ones or ones that had fallen off their card !   We must have had well over thousand each, Rita and I ~ wonder where they went ?