Proud father and son

Happy Birthday Son

May 24th and Richard, my first born's, 60th birthday !

I probably should not tell you this but in for a penny and all that . . . 

Having dragged me all over Dove Dale on the 23rd and still no sign of the baby, Mother told Howard that as he'd put it in there, it was up to him to encourage it to start moving !   Now then, obviously we were complete newcomers to this childbirth lark, and Mum having had seven children we assumed she knew what she was talking about ~ so on the afternoon in question, and at her direction, we went up to bed ~ YES ~ to see whether a spot of the old nooky would get things going !   Remembering it today, it was quite mad and fairly disgusting.   Telling a doctor friend about it recently, he was absolutely gobsmacked especially as he had known and admired Mother (both our parents, in fact) for forty years and more.   Whether it was that, or not, sure enough things started to happen and our beautiful son was born just before midnight on the 24th ~ in time for Mum to get the train back to Bristol next day before the schools went back on the 26th.   Poor old Mum was torn between the birth of her first grandchild (there would be eighteen of them eventually) and her responsibility as a teacher.   Year's later she apologised to me, admitting she should have taken a few days off school and stayed  with me that week to make sure I was coping, but there you are ~ which of us does NOT have regrets !

But enuff of that . . . 

Friday evening : two extraordinary snippets of news ~ yesterda it was reported that some poor fellow (I can't remember in which country) was sitting on the loo when an enormous snake came up the waste pipe and attacked his penis !   Yes, honestly !   He fought it off for half an hour before passing out ~ we were not told the fate of the snake.   Or the penis !   It must have been a constrictor rather than a venomous snake or he'd have been dead and gone.

Then this evening, we were told of a TAROT READER in Brighton who became seriously alarmed at the cards that were coming up for a querent ~ Death, the Hanged Man, the Devil etc ~ when he left her booth she phoned the police who soon found his flat and a dead body which had lain there for days !!   Who is sneering at Tarot now ?   OK there are charlatans a-plenty but so there are in every walk of life ~ the church, politics, everywhere ~ that doesn't mean we should write ALL Tarot Readers off !!

Saturday afternoon : gloomy !   Ellen brought me a bottle of Maple Syrup for the tiny Dutch pancakes I got with my Sainsbury's order ~ Toby was with her looking as angelic as ever ~ I hadn't seen him for ages.   Peter & Margaret's people were supposed to arrive at lunch time but no sign of them yet ~ I've left the key in our secret location for them ~ most probably the trafic is bad with it being Bank Holiday weekend, worse than usual ~ it took someone five hours to get from York recently.

Finished "Tess of the d'Urbervilles"  last night ~ a bit long-winded and self-indulgent in parts but such a powerful story ~ I had read it but it must have been years ago before we lmoved to Winchester which is described in such detail in the final chapter ~ the hanging of poor Tess in Winchester Prison for the murder of her abuser ~ in our North View days we lived almost in the shadow of the prison but no executions by then, thank goodness.

There is a message today from someone telling me there is a MERRYWOOD GRAMMAR  SCHOOL association on facebook, but I'm darned if I can find it ~ it was Merrywood I went to as Joy PROCTOR all of seventy years ago ~ along with so many other grammar schools it has now disappeared ~ indeed the rather splendid buildings have been demolished and a community centre built in its place.   High up on the edge of Knowle West estate, the school was visible from the railway below ~ the Exeter and West Country line ~ the school buildings had disppeared last time I went down to Mother in Somerton.   I must try again to find this Merrywood website though I have not kept in touch with anyone so don't know how they recognised me with my married name.   Sunday evening : Aha ~ this Colin chap has now written at length and is hoping to start on Old Students' Association ~ it appears the school ~ both the boys' and the girls' burnt down in 1998 ~ was it arson ?   Knowle West is a pretty rough area !

Beverley was next door earlier ~ she moves in on Tuesday ~ I think she will fit in brilliantly ~ she is an artist, a painter, and makes wacky soft toys as well.   Right ~ now I'm going to make a good salad with all the healthy things that came with the Sainsbury's delivery ~ celery, spring onions, sweet heart cabbage, cucumber, watercress and tomatoes ~ and I think tonight a small tin of strained and rinsed red beans ~ and a couple of slices of ham to go with it ~ yummy !!


I always was a keen swimmer ~ though not yet a diver !