Forty Years in Chandler’s Ford – a Journal (Part 88)

A painful bump; 11,000 stamps; 210 work; the sweep leaves a mess; American snobs; a letter from Australia; roosting wagtails; The King and I – once more! Tears on Remembrance Sunday; a Coal Tit on the draining board and Dad forgets his toothbrush.

E-book 68

Gran remembers with unhappiness Jane’s late good friend Robin de Crespigny Eastwood on September 12th 1957, writing Requescat in tempo in her journal.  He died three years ago today.  “I awoke with the beginnings of a migraine”, she says, “but I had promised to help Bob at the shop and then have tea with Tommy, who is feeling rather down since Jill’s departure”.  Gran is busy at the shop after which goes right down to the Docks to help deliver flowers on the Southern Cross.  She continues:

Unfortunately, as I received out of the van on returning to the store, I hit my head arduous on the highest of it and, by no means since I was a youngster, have I so much felt like weeping with the physical ache!  Diana, nevertheless, received me some Veganin and these eased it somewhat, though a giant “egg” got here up on my scalp.

Next day:

I went to Winchester this morning to see an Exhibition of Chook Images by Eric Hosking in the Public Library.  The Exhibition was fantastic and well-worth the journey, for, aside from wonderful images the photographs have been both fascinating and delightful.

Eric Hosking was simply the best-known hen photographer of those days, pioneering many methods however typically having to take footage of birds at or close to the nest in order to get the digital camera close sufficient to them.  He can be amazed, I imagine, by the lenses, the color, and the motion photographs attainable with digital images at this time.

She data on the 16th; “I have a little blue budgerigar for a week, looking after it for Jock’s Mother, who is going away.  He is a dear little bird and I know I shall not want to part with him”. And on the subsequent day she is completely satisfied that “the Budgerigar has settled down happily and has been quite chatty today”. This little fowl, I keep in mind, was referred to as Joey, was fairly talkative, and was allowed to fly free inside the house at 99 Kingsway.  He as soon as, at breakfast time, left a dropping on Nana’s plate of scrambled eggs – considered one of my earliest reminiscences, and certainly one of only a few that I have involving the Grandmother from that aspect of the household.

On September 22nd Diana Fowler brings some “excellent photos of Jill’s wedding” Gran writes “… and we spent another pleasant hour with my stamps”, and a few days later, we hear a little extra about Gran’s stamp assortment, which has acquired scant attention in her journal up to now, though it was essential to her:

Diana got here out and we accomplished sorting, and mounting as far as attainable, the stamps that I had accrued over current years without consideration.  Over eleven thousand 300 now complete my collection.

On Sept 30th, it seems that Gran’s dream of getting her work printed and revealed is dashed:

…went to Winchester about drawing blocks and albums for my flower work, and as a matter of interest enquired about the cost of printing them.  The whole course of was defined to me and I discovered that the colour block for every one would value about forty kilos!! Having already painted 2 hundred and ten, I worry the world will never see them in print!

Water Violet, painted by Gran in Might 1957 but she fears the world will never see it in print.

At a meeting of the Southampton Pure History Society on the first day of October, she is re-elected as Vice President, and she or he notes:

I was proud to listen to Barry’s identify read out as our prospective speaker for January, and to listen to him known as Barry Goater BSc. F.R.E.S.!!  And to be asked by other members if he was any relation and to have the ability to say, “He is my son!”  Might I be forgiven a Mom’s delight!

The sweep visits The Ridge next day to wash the chimneys whereas Gran is in Southampton packing flowers for the Saxonia, the Queen Elizabeth and the Niew Amsterdam, and it appears that the sealed vacuum models used by sweeps at this time, are nonetheless gear of the longer term because Gran spends the evening:

…clearing up after him.  Not the perfect of occupations after a tiring day on the shop, however, no less than, I enjoyed one a part of it – cleaning the bookcase and re-arranging my beloved illustrated books of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac!

On October 5th, the schoolmaster and member of the Southampton Pure Historical past Society, Mr Hoskins, invitations Gran and Antony Harding to hitch a celebration of boys from Shirley Faculty on an outing close to Ashurst.  Fungi usually are not really Gran’s “thing” however these are the primary subjects of the stroll and she or he is however capable of determine for the group most of the species discovered.  She writes of the boys, as they put together to catch the bus house:

Having obtained over their preliminary shyness they chattered incessantly and included me as properly, bringing all types of things to be recognized and giving me three cheers before we caught the bus.  I was somewhat touched by this demonstration.  Equivalent twins, Peter and Paul, had brought about confusion and amusement and I might only determine Paul by the fact that he carried a basket for his fungi!

From the homeward sure bus, she notes that, “Passing the New Southampton Docks we saw the Aircraft Carrier Ark Royal and the visiting American one, Forrestal – grey battleships [sic] in the gathering mist”.

The united statesForrestal. Picture by Roger W by way of Flickr.

Delivering flowers on america on the 10th, “this entailing a great deal of stair-climbing to cover cabins on five decks”, she writes:

Mutual surprise was induced once I emerged from a cabin into the companionway and met little Vivien Bugby, who used to stay next door where the Hockridge household now resides!  She was seeing her Auntie off to America…

On america once more a fortnight later, Gran is just not impressed with the passengers’ attitudes, saying:

I have come to the conclusion that probably the most courteous individuals on board this liner are the cosmopolitan “bellboys”, who could also be of Chinese language, Negro, Italian and Heaven knows what different extraction, and a lot of the American passengers seem self-important and snobbish, relating to all “lesser mortals” as their servants, and anticipating everybody to return operating if they so much as increase an eyebrow!

She is in better temper though, that evening, arriving house after a long day in Southampton:

I was in time to hear the Palm Courtroom Orchestra, with whom a tenor singer with a really magnificent voice, Charles Craig, sang three of my favourites – “None shall sleep” from Turandot; “Shine through my dreams” from Glamorous Night time, and “Song of songs”.  I am glad I did not miss it.

It is a very long time since Gran has mentioned her good friend and soul-mate Gilbert Whitley, now distant from her, however in early November she receives:

…a letter from Australia, from my pal, the Ichthyologist at the Museum in Sydney, and he spoke of meeting Peter Scott during his go to to Australia, and having fun with his lectures, particularly when he made sketches on the blackboard.  He, Gilbert Whitley, had been on an fascinating entomological excursion with Antony Musgrave, the Museum’s Entomologist, following the unique route of Captain Prepare dinner and camping in the identical places, seeing and recording the identical ants, termites, butterflies and other insects that Captain Prepare dinner recorded in his journal over a hundred years ago!  A most enjoyable experience.

As normal on November fifth, she data, “…the standard shattering of the peaceful countryside on this most making an attempt of all nights for corresponding to dumb animals and me!  She is joined by Jane (residence from Nottingham for half time period and spending most of her days horse-riding) for a night assembly of the Natural History Society.  Gran reviews:

On arrival I used to be disconcerted at being requested, as Vice President, to take the Chair in the absence of Brigadier Venning, our President, who has succumbed to ‘flu, but I got through the proceedings somehow.  We enjoyed a most interesting and enlightening talk by Keith Edwards M.B.O.U., a member of the New Forest Bird Group, on Pied Wagtails in Winter. Fortunately for me (in my capacity as Chairman tonight) I know Keith Edwards, who is a friend of Barry’s and was at his wedding ceremony, so I had no problem in introducing him.

Gran tells us that Keith, over four years of research, had found five separate wagtail roosts in the Southampton area, “one at Woodmill, one at Eastleigh, another at St Denys, and at Redbridge, and the largest of all, “housing” some 2 hundred birds, at Hythe”. She provides:

…one superb reality stands out – birds who feed on and concerning the sewage works at Woodmill don’t all roost thereabouts, but comply with the course of the Itchen in the direction of nightfall, again to the roost at Hythe, whilst, though the sewage works abound in food for them, those utilizing the Woodmill roost fly distances away from it to feed!

Pied Wagtail – a roost of 200 can be a nice sight.  Image by Tim Ellis by way of Flickr.

“Yesterday”, she writes on November seventh:

…Jane and I had famous that the stunning movie “The King and I” was revisiting Winchester from right now and we very much needed Mom to see it.  So in the present day I took her!  We aren’t picture-goers as a household and Mom had, at eighty, by no means seen a colour film, and had been but twice in the last ten years.  I have now been 5 occasions in the identical interval, 3 times to “The King and I”!

“Mother was quite enchanted by it, as I hoped and thought she would be”, Gran writes, but they don’t keep for what was termed the absolutely supporting programme, “since we both felt that anything inferior would spoil the flavour of it, and we had both so enjoyed it”.

E-book 69

November 10th, Remembrance Sunday, is all the time poignantly special for Gran, and the first sentence of her journal entry this present day ends, “…and as usual, my emotions were somewhat ragged by the end of the day!”  She cycles to Compton for Early Service, noting the bitter wind and the ground, white with frost, and later, she:

…hurried to get the dinner nicely began in order that I might take heed to the Memorial Service from the Cenotaph at Whitehall, however Jean Hockridge ran in just because the programme began  and asked me to go and see it on Television.  This I did, and, feeling positive she would wish a handkerchief, Jean went for one, and lent me one too, since I had dashed in without!  We did need them, in fact, but have been helped by Anne, bless her, who solemnly smeared our faces with talcum powder, placing it on with the palm of her pricey child arms.  She was excellent and virtually quiet in the course of the two minutes’ silence…

A sight to make Gran weep.  Picture courtesy of Defence Pictures by way of Flickr.

Later, that evening:

The gorgeous tenor voice of René Soames singing with the Palm Courtroom Orchestra, the “Flower song” from Carmen, and “Maiden, my maiden”, from Frederika, completed the anguish in my coronary heart this present day…

Ten days later, after a morning of Christmas pudding preparations and a visit to Winchester, “primarily to buy presents for Jill and Dennis, since Monday 25th is the last posting date for Christmas mail to Canada”, Gran is again watching tv next door:

…a programme of the ten years of Queen Elizabeth’s marriage, whose Anniversary falls at present.  It was lovely and poignant in places, especially the place her late father, King George VI, was seeing her off to Africa, from whence she returned as Queen a naked week later.  It was the final time they noticed each other…

November 23rd:

After lunch I went into the kitchen to do the washing-up and found a Coletit [she still spells it thus – it’s characteristic of her and I like it!]on the draining-board, in search of scraps on the dinner plates.  He was quite unafraid and was in no hurry to depart, finding his means with a minimum of fuss by means of the window, which was only open a crack! Later I performed tennis at Eastleigh and completely enjoyed it – a type of days when all the things goes right.  I shall definitely not surrender but in spite of getting two grandchildren!

The Coal Tit – not a normal fowl to have in the kitchen! Picture by Lindsay Robinson by way of Flickr.

Gran is unwell with a virus and manages only the smallest of duties in the course of the first two weeks of December. She writes on the first that she wakes with “a splitting head and a cough like the bark of a dog Fox!” and headaches canine her every day. Barry arrives from London on the 6th, “…to attend tomorrow’s Old Symondian Dinner and his appearance was a tonic to me” she writes.  “We played his old, favourite game of Lexicon and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves”. And she or he provides:

It’s an odd factor that Barry had introduced his binoculars and a pillbox, but forgotten toothbrush and pyjamas!  Or is it? I seem to remember Jane bringing jodhpurs and leaving her toothbrush behind.  Are my youngsters peculiar or solely chips off an previous block?

One in every of Dad’s pillboxes – a widespread article in the Goater household.

On the seventh:

Barry went to Canford Faculty, in Dorset, to see over it.  The position of Science Master, Head of the Biology Department, can be vacant in September next, and the varsity is in a most lovely state of affairs. But a change would require a lot thought and he has been joyful at Haberdashers’.  Nonetheless – the nation in contrast with London!  And for reminiscent of Barry!  He should make his own choice.

Gran’s illness appears to have prevented her cleaning the home and this causes her to worry when the Physician have to be referred to as to see to “Mother” who is “in great pain with her back and sick with every movement” on the 12th.  Nevertheless:

Tommy Fowler got here out to enquire for Mother and me, and it was very pleasant to have her. Jean Hockridge had lent me her Hoover, and her lady had come to work for me, so I used to be relieved of hysteria about the house.  I’m a lot blessed with my buddies and neighbours.


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