Mother's family lost two boys in the Great War ~ Archie and Stewart ~ and although she herself was only a small child at the time she always remembered the grief, the overwhelming grief in the household ~ and like thousands of others, Granny Angus would go every day to Victoria Station where the troop trains came in bringing the wounded and blinded soldiers home ~ hoping, desparately hoping, one of her boys might be among them. Of the 13 Angus children, all four boys died ~ David and Donald as small children out in Chile, Archie and Stewart in the War, leaving eight daughters but no son to carry on their father's Civil Engineering business for which Stewart had already trained at Edinburgh University. This is how Mother got a place at Christ's Hospital ~ because of the family's loss.
Chris and Annie had a leaflet for me about donating brain tissue AFTER DEATH to a research project into Alzheimers organised by the NHS in partnership with Newcastle University ~ I'll contact them in a mo ~ a worthwhile cause.
The new owner of number 3 has just turned up to start work on the property ~ JOHNNY from Newcastle, a builder and decorator by trade ~ he very kindly and without being asked cleared the gunge out of my drain and hosed it down and put thick disinfection down it ~ seems a nice chap ~ and with John and Simon now working on Crystal's cottage, the yard is going to be in splendid condition ~ all eight cottages in pretty good nick ~ although there are only eight of them, the White House is number 9 because number 8 burned down way back in 1948 (I think it was) leaving the bare pavement area above number 7.
Thursday 8.30pm : Yesterday was crazy ~ Ellen came and we had a good old gossip and while she was still here, another woman turned up with whom I fell out quite seriously a few weeks ago ~ I kept her at the door while I told her I had decided that I did not want to be friends with her at which she turned white with rage and left ~ I suspect she was coming to forgive me for one or two unpalatable things I said to her which led her to storm off mortally offended. She was not expecting I would take the initiative over this, but it is quite a relief to have settled the matter for once and all.
After lunch Annabel came to catch up on news ~ I had not seen her since her sister's death : without being religious, Annabel is deeply spiritual and believes utterly in survival after death and has no featr of dying ~ I wish I had her conviction.
Mary & Terry had given me half-a-dozen large spuds and I baked one for supper ~ in the Aga they bake beautifully ~ I generally rub them with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt, stick a skewer through each one to conduct heat to centre ~ oh my ~ really good, skin and all.
Today was fine to start with but the wind has got up and it begins to feel wintery ~ to Saul Black this morning via Good Neighbours transport ~ poor Saul had fallen off a ladder which a friend was supposed to be holding for him ~ broke wrist and several ribs but he managed to cut my toes nails as usual. The Potter rang to check exactly how I wanted her to decorate my plaque ~ I'm so pleased to have ordered it.
Having taken the prawns Ellen brought me the other day out of the freezer, I made some parsley sauce and stirred prawns, chopped hard boiled egg and a handful of frozen peas into it, topped it with mashed potato and voila ~ a delicious fish pie, and again, a good helping for tomorrow.
I'm reading The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle though the print is small and I'm finding it quite difficult. Sent copy of Mother's Memories of the Bristol Blitz to Lloyd, our brother David's great friend from Bristol Grammar School days ~ and also recommended "The Abbess of Whitby" ~ Lloyd is in the Church, in fact he's a Canon of Peterborough Cathedral ~ I mentioned Wilfrid, not a very nice character as depicted in the novel ~ it turns out that Wilfrid died at Oundle where Lloyd was Chaplin to the Public School and so Lloyd was very interested and will get a copy of the book.
Last time I went to the Foot Man, I was quite ashamed of my puffy ankles and wrists ~ Saul told me I wasn't drinking enough water (which sounded like a contradiction) ~ however today he could see I'd made an effort and was very pleased with improvement ~ nice slim ankles and wrists ~ I have been making an effort to drink at least two pints of water a day on top of normal tea and coffee consumption ~ I was afraid I'd be up all night dashing to the loo, but it hasn't made any difference on that front ~ apparently the kidneys only function efficiently when they have a generous water supply ~ God knows how all these pitiful refugees are managing !!
The Salvation Army delivered plastic sacks for everyone to fill with warm clothes for the homeless ~ but nobody came to collect the sacks so rang one of the charity shops and they will collect it tomorrow.