The little golden birds that flitted about our windows in today’s glorious sunshine, whilst we enjoyed our super spicy mulligatawny lunch revealed themselves to be autumn leaves frolicking in the wind. They were still swirling around me as I set off in really blustery blasts to walk to Hazel Hill, where Jackie picked me up en route to Totton for another grand Christmas shop. Reminiscent of the bees some were trapped in my clothing as I folded myself up to fall into the passenger seat.
Falling foliage filled the skies like plumage bursting from a pillow fight; plummeted to the ground; paused when plucked by a cross-wind; sped on, and dropped again. Even when apparently safely landed they could be whisked up and transported elsewhere, skipping and falling over each other like children freed from school, or stampeding like lemmings across the tarmac.
Being stripped of their glorious garments as I write, the trees that so recently bore splendid autumnal robes will be bare in a day or two. Already the shapes of the forest survivors are changing as their skeletons are revealed.
We had another successful shopping trip, discovering an excellent art materials outlet and finding some treasures in Lidl’s central aisles.
As mentioned a couple of days ago, Vivien and I began our married life in 18 Bernard Gardens. We had two rooms, one of which was a kitchen. Only later, when I returned alone with Michael, did I move into a flatlet at the top of the house recently vacated by Mr. and Mrs. Egan and their two children. In December 1963 John Egan had not been born. Frances was their first child and, for that Christmas, fifty years ago, they asked me to photograph each of them with their little girl who was a good playmate for Joseph. Those pictures are the next two in the ‘posterity’ collection.
!8 Bernard Gardens had been bequeathed to my father by his Auntie Mabel. A very large house in Wimbledon, it had several tenants which my parents kept on. Joe Jasmy eventually accompanied them when they moved to Morden. It was his cousin who had moved out just before Vivien and I needed somewhere for a while. The Egans were the other residents.
This evening we enjoyed Jackie’s sausage and bacon casserole, crisp vegetables, and duchesse potatoes masquerading as browned macaroons. Here a plug for the bacon that enhances these casseroles is in order. It is Sainsbury’s cooking bacon, which comes in thick toothsome chunks. It is well recommended, but if you use it, no more salt will be needed. Our sweet was a lemon merangue pie my maternal grandmother would have been proud of. And that is saying something. Jackie had the last glass of Palastri and I finished the Roc des Chevaliers.