booster cushion giving 4 inches extra height to the old sofa !

Ellen's poinsettia again

A welcome boost

Right ~ I have gone a bit mad and bought booster cushions for the sofa ~ it is so low that everybody was finding it quite a problem getting up off it ~ it is the sofa I bought the week after our divorce, immediately after I'd moved to North View with Will and Kate ~ I bought it with the £300 Georgie Jenkinson (the Hon Georgina Jenkinson) left me ~ having seen it earlier, I rushed home to drag both the kids down to the posh furniture shop on Jewry Street to try it out ~ we all sat on it, and one-by-one stretched out on it seductively until the Manager came to see what was going on ~ it was priced at more than my £300 but I told him that while I couldn't afford his sofa, we were just trying it out befoie ordering a cheaper version from Habitat ~ "This is far better quality than Habitat's, I can promise you," he said.   "How much are Habitat charging ?"   And bless my soul he let us have it for slightly less than my £300 so that I was also able to afford the lovely green standard lamp too ~ not only is it large and cumfy and covered in mushroom corduroy ~ it comes in three sections ~ two corner pieces and the middle ~ this enabled us to get it up to our North View sitting room, and to get it in here without taking the window out.   So, I've had it for all-but 40 years which seems pretty good value ~ but it is low-slung ~ several people are finding it difficult to get themselves up off it ~ I am myself.  It's the KNEES !   The problem is in the knees.  The first of the booster cushions came today in soft sage green ~ it is a double and I've put it in the middle ~ two square cushions should arrive on Friday, one to go at each end ~ giving me virtually a new sofa, the seat 4" higher !!   I'll go down and take a picture ...

Just managed one before the camera's battery gave up the ghost ~ OK it may seem crazy at my stage of life to splash out like this, but altogether the plump cushions are only costing about £75 which is a lot less than a new sofa ~ in any case, I couldn't bear to chuck Georgie Jenkinson's gift out ~ where could I put all the animals who live along the deep bouncy back.   Where would I find another one to fit so perfectly along that wall ?   From the ads we see on the telly from New Year no for new sofas, they mostly seem to cost about £1,000 !!   This old faithful will see me out.

Thursday evening : to Saul Black for toe-cut this morning ~ in his spare time he is working on the restoration of Crystal's house, helping Simon and John-next-door ~ chiropody is his second string, that and the shop on Skinner Street which Bev takes such pride in and today is bright with Christmas baubles and sparkly treasures ~ since she arrived the shop has been transformed.

Heard a ludicrous tale ~ ex-prisoners should be given work to do to encourage them to toe the straight and narrow ~ so one Council has a scheme to get them to clean bus shelters ~ a thoroughly worthwhile Community Project except that  for each man, a truck is required to cart cleaning equipment, that is a truck and driver, plus a probation officer in case of trouble, plus a department rep to oversee the work ~ and to ensure a supply of hot water, a small water tanker needs to be with them, with a driver ~ I can't remember all the other people involved, but I know it came to ELEVEN and two vehicles simply to enable the ex-con to do a few hours Community Service ~ this is going to be so expensive that the various departments cannot decide which of them will cover the cost, so for now the bus shelters are covered in grafiti and littered with chip papers and dog shit ~ as always !   It has taken several High Powered meetings to plan the scheme ~ a total waste of time and money and energy !!! 

Oh dear ~ another mile stone, I'm afraid ~ it was a fine breezy morning and I had washing to peg out but I suddenly realised there was no way I could carry the tub of wet clothes out to the washing line and then peg everything out ~ I have to accept that bending and stretching and hands above my head is too much for me ~ the washing must dry on the clothes horse over night to be ironed after breakfast with TODAY on the radio ~ this is quite a shock to me as I suddenly realise that doing the laundry has been my main occupation for at least sixty years ~ I mean, SIXTY YEARS !   In Buxton it was a matter of staggering across what had been a tennis court to the discreetly placed washing lines beyond the hedge ~ in winter, Buxton winters especially, it often meant prising the frozen nappies off the line, stiff as boards, to finish drying slowly in the flat though with no heating apart from a small fire in the "bedoom" grate in our sitting room, it was a long job, although as they thawed out the nappies had partly dried out of doors, freeze dried you could say.   In Winchester, poor Miss Harrod at number 13, pleaded with me not to put washing out on Sundays ~ I rigged up a short line round by the garage, out of sight ~ there were two Harrod sisters, the oldest and the youngest of the Harrod family of Harrods Store ~ they had moved in as a temporary measure in 1906 when the houses were built ~ all 12 of them, counting children and parents, and these two had survived all this time ~ Miss Edie died, I think, in the 1970s !   Above the fireplace In their sitting room there was a painting of the Harrod children years ago before the First War - "That can go on the bonfire,"  Miss Edie said fiercely after her Big Sister had died ~ I persuaded her not to, but to contact Harrods of Knightsbridge ~ sure enough, before long a limousine drew up at number 13, and the liveried driver emerged shortly with the well wrapped family portrait which I believe now hangs in the board room of the store.  

Apart from the problem of the endless washing, they were friendly old dears and tolerated their noisy neighbours (the Peach mob).   They told me that their Father would go up to London on the train most days and often bring the children small treasures from the store ~ many of these were safely kept in a glass-fronted cabinet ~ I hope they had been allowed to play with them in their Edwardian childhoods.

Having recently learnt that our humble North View terrace ~ two up, two down and a pokey room in the basement (£625,000), heaven knows what the Quarry Road semis would fetch these days ~ four large rooms down stairs, five bedrooms, a large garden and a garage ~ though both Georgie and Will have been back to Winchester recently, and each of them found our house shabby and an air of neglect over all.   Georgie actually knocked on the door to ask if she could take a photo and to explain why she was snooping around, and was overcome by nostalgia and broke down in tears ~ the woman might have invited her in, maybe even offered her a cup of tea, but she quickly shut the door, but even so there was an air of neglect inside too.

Oh Lord ~ how I do waffle on ~ I must switch off and go and make a piece of toast and a cup of tea before Question Time . . . 

The substantial Edwardian semi in Quarry Road, Winchester (with my parents and some of the family outside).