I've been in grumpy form for the past week. An old knee injury from school days when a classmate mistook me for a goal post and whacked my knee - very firmly - and then a bad fall twenty years ago - came back to let me know it was still lurking. I have been hobbling along on an old walking stick of Mum's. OH has been wonderful, just as the weather improved and he could return to the garden, we get to make our own production of Driving Mrs Irish Eyes! Lovely! Still and all, going to the bank, crossing the road and other such expeditions have been enlivened by gentlemen opening doors for me, a very nice young Hipster gentleman assisting me across the road by holding his hand up to the oncoming traffic and causing an Aston Martin to squeal to a stop. I should have gotten the Hipster's address, maybe he might have made a nice son in law...YD*, you may now stop glaring at me!
The table in the hall finally decided it wanted to retire and a nice oak topped neat console table was purchased to take its place. One of the History Group pals said it reminded her of visiting the house as a child, and that my Grandmother and Mother always kept their May altar on it, in my childhood the May altar was always on my dressing table.
I do, however, have a vague memory of the original table, and yes, there is some similarity apart from the fact that the main body wasn't painted. A 'Fifties Bride, Mum had a love of the modern look of Teak, and a lot of stuff went to the garage. A hideous telephone seat in Teak replaced the original oak table. It is now residing in the garage, no, not spite on my part, but it didn't sell for the modest reserve placed on it at our local auctioneers, and on-line it didn't raise any interest either. I'm not surprised.
Anyhow, I felt inspired to reinstate the May altar to the hall and what lovely memories it evoked. The statue came from OH's Godmother's house, it is so old that the faces of the Virgin and Child are almost worn smooth. The telephone was a gift from a telephone chap who installed the Internet in the house. I had Mum's cream coloured plastic looking thing and he was delighted that I was keeping to history. A few days after he finished his installations, he arrived up with the cream Bakelite phone, from his own private collection and said he loved the idea of the phone going to a good home.
The History ladies and I had a "meet up" last week. We hibernate all winter and as soon as we think Spring is in the air we emerge with whatever interesting snippits of local history we have accumulated over the winter. First meeting of our season was held here and we had good old night of it. As OH informed me the next morning, you're the only group that can meet up at 8 o'clock, drink tea, gossip, laugh, and still be going strong at one in the morning and all on tea!
We're all interested in history, local gossip and we range in age from 62-89 years. There's no formality and we don't keep minutes but we exchange information about this village and what our eldest member recalls. I'm the youngest in the group and having spent a lot of time with my Mother, I'm as well informed as the eldest...apart from she lived it and I listened to Mum telling me about living it. Long may our eldest member live, her memory is like a computer God bless her.
YD has taken an interest in gardening lately, and like Scrooge, OH, aka Himself, has given her a plot to plant. He stands over her like Inspector of Gardens to HRH, and one of these days he'll be told where to stick his salvias. She has a plan with a capital P.
I've been busy scattering wild flower seeds all over the place behind his back. He's the man for neat lawns, tidy hedges, square lines and military discipline per plant. Show me a straight line in nature and I'll admit defeat. Hopefully this summer will be full of riotous colour and bee's and butterflies aplenty.
This morning I went out to take a look at the recent spate of seed flinging, when a loud roar in the skies made me look up. It was one of those moments out of time. There I was, green wellies on foot, shabby green trousers, khaki t-shirt, green religious cardigan in what Himself refers to as either my Landgirl look or "Your Mother is going into battle again with the gorse" look. Religious cardi? There are so many holes in it, all patched with brown herringbone tweed patches, remnants of an old pair of trousers that it could sing hymns.
Overhead, roaring majestically, was a WWI bi-plane. Oh! my beloved Biggles! It was flying so low that I got a wave from the pilot. Instantly I was taken back to my childhood and the year when I was nine and my Dad gave me my first Biggles book. I was, as per usual, in bed with one of the multitudinous ailments that dogged my youth, and completely bored having run out of reading material. Dad handed me a book about this Air-Policeman and his pals Algy, Ginger and Bertie and their adventures in Moldavia against the wicked Von Stalhein. I was gripped. Imagine my delight when I discovered that there was more where that came from.
Over the next two years or so the local Library was raided for Biggles Books, my weekly pocket money of 2/6d spent in its entirety on Biggles Books, and Mum did pretty well out of it too. I earned pocket money by doing dishes and hoovering...we had a spotless house then I can tell you. Worrals and Gimlet were good, but Biggles was the best!
The plane this morning returned about an hour later flying higher and did an Immelman roll and rocked his wings as he headed off across country. I'm still on a high. Time stood still for a moment in my garden and I saw the same sight that my Grandparents would have seen. ~Awesome~