Another string of solar lights came but I was getting in a muddle putting them up ~ John (and his children) untangled them and draped them from the lilac tree onto the right hand box bush ~ we'd set them to twinklimg and they certainly twinkled all night ~ when I went down at 4am to make a mug of tea they were still twinkling merrily. Barbara popped inon her way home from the gym and noticed there are other flowers emerging from the top of the lilac tree ~ clematis, pink and white striped clematis ~ it must have clambered up the trunk of the tree reaching for the brightest sunlight. Wow ! In a mad moment I ordered from Thompson & Morgan mallow, a big tub and a bag of compost ~ £11.99 each but TWO for one extra penny ~ £12 ~ hope Richard will set it all up for me next time he's here ~ I love mallow flowers, proper name lavatera.
Tuesday pm : just sitting down with coffee this morning when Mick and Rosemary turned up ~ from Derby, touring in their camper van ~ they brought me a custard slice which I'll have after supper ~ good to catch up on news ~ we've been friends for twenty years and more. Settled down for a flop but first the laundry lad came bringing back the bedding that I sent this morning, and before I could settle down again, the window cleaners ~ £20 for mine and next doors together ~ have given up on the flop and when I've had a mug of tea I'll do something useful.
Thursday evening : yesterday the 24th was my Richard's birthday and for the first time in 40 years we are in communication and he is coming to visit me on Thursday 8th June ~ Howard is bringing him from Cottingham ~ I never expected to live for this re-union ~ praise the Lord !
He was born in our flat ?maisonette in West House, Manchester Road, Buxton sixty-one years ago. My Mother had come up from Bristol to be with me at the birth but by the 23rd she had already been with us for a few days and was itching to get home for school on the2ndnday ~ so hoping to produce some activity, she insisted we go off on a bus to Dove Dale where we climbed up and down gorges,over stone walls and waded through streams : heaven knows what we would have done if Richard had decided to emerge out there in the wilds ~ a first baby always takes hours, Mum assured us, and we did get home in one piece and sure enough next day the baby started and he was born ten minutes after midnight on the 24th : RICHARD THOMAS WILSON ~ named after Howard's grandfather and some of my Scottish ancestors ~ and an absolute poppet. Mother had to go home next day so our first few days together, Richard and I, were a bit difficult as Howard was back at school, and apart from the midwife who looked in twice a day, we were alone together ~ to start with he would not feed and cried a lot ~ this was long before dispoable nappies so when he came home from School Howard had to deal with buckets of nappies ~ no Aga of course ~ no heating ~ come to that,no washing machine~ it was a matter of washing them by hand, ringing them out by hand and hanging them on the clothes horse ~in those days they kept you in bed for a full fortnight after giving birth (now it's barely 14 hours) but once I was back on my feet that was my priority ~ ensuring there was a constant supply of nappies ~ I think we had 24 of each, terry toweling and muslin ~ in fact I still have a few of those originals kicking around in the duster box and the rag bag ~ and that after FOUR babies and being washed THOUSANDS of times. We had a clothes line way across the old tennis court and the veg patch but it meant leaving Richard alone while I dragged a basket of nappies over there and as often as not they would ger rained on ~ looking back it was a nightmare but I guess every mum of that era was coping with the same problems. Eventually we got a washing machine, passed on from one of H's colleagues ~ Georgie had arrived by then so things were easier ~ it was after William was born when we were living in Eccles School House that I got one of John Bloom's wonderful new twin-tubs ~ but that's another story . . .
A glorious day with temperatures reported in the mid twenties ~ Diana was here this morning and tackled bathrooms, landings, both flights of stairs and then a quick hoover round the kitchen ~ we sat out on the bench with our coffee ~ I have this stupid feeling that while someone else is so busy, I cannot sit and read or whatever ~ while she was busy upstairs I got everything down from the whirligic over the Aga and cleaned that and the panel behind ~ you wouldn't believe that it is less than a month since I last did this ~ everything was thick ~ and I mean THICK ~ with dust. When Diana had gone I had to collapse on the sofa for an early flop ~ what is it coming to ? Bev came in with photos of the cottage she is moving to at Glaisdale ~ one of a terrace of solid stone cottagesup above Glaisdale with astonishing views across the moors ~ I think she will be happy there ~ the Landlord has flown back from Australia to vet her but no problems on either side ~ after lunch Lucy was here for a couple of hours ~ she is so much happier now that this Lloyd has come on the scene ~ chat with Johnny and Darren, mixed batter, a quick bath and the then two lovely pancakes dripping with lemon juice and enough mixture left for tomorrow too.
Johnny seems to have arranged something for 6.30 tomorrow but not sure whether i am to make a meal or he will bring fish & chips ~ must check in the morning ~ it might have been simply suggesting he andDarren come in for a chat "with a bottle of wine" ~ oh dear ~ how stupid I am ~ forgetting something important ~ could be dementia ~ it had been a fairly busy day.