The Topper And The Times

Our resident pheasant is becoming more accustomed to human presence. This morning, instead of taking, squawking, to the air, it strutted silently off along the paths as Jackie walked up the garden. From indoors, we can hear it conversing with other birds. Soon the greenfinches will spend whole days at a time shrilly screeching from the beech tree. The sharp grating tones of the larger bird should certainly syncopate with this, thus intensely irritating the head gardener.

My knee pain is responding to the medication, and, with the aid of the stick, I am getting around the house and garden more comfortably.

Yesterday I had scanned colour slides from the summer of 1971. Today I travelled two years further back in my archives to June 1969, where Michael was taking as much delight in entertaining Matthew as he was Becky in August ’71. Indeed, Michael’s expression in the second picture below is identical to that in the daisy image yesterday.Michael and Matthew 6.69 003Michael and Matthew 6.69 004Matthew and Michael 6.69Michael and Matthew 6.69 005

Whatever Mat was being taught to do with the dried stalks, he looked quite pleased to have got the idea.

I was intrigued to see The Topper comic lying on the parched grass. This is because at the beginning of 1953 we had eagerly awaited the first copy of this publication from the stable of D.C. Thompson & Co. Ltd, which appeared on 7th February. The imminence of this new entertainment had been advertised in The Dandy and The Beano, featured in ‘Her Very Own Seaside’. Maybe Jackie had experienced the same anticipation because, as our Mum had bought it for us, her Dad bought it for her and her sisters. It was Jackie who bought it for Michael.Matthew 6.69 002Matthew 6.69 006Matthew 6.69 007Matthew 6.69 008

Matthew is pretty smart at sorting out anagrams. It seems highly likely that he acquired this skill by assisting me with The Times crossword on the lawn at Amity Grove.Aaron shifting rubbleBack drive with ModusJackie in ModusJacking completing back drive turn

On a day as sunny as that pictured above, Aaron, apart from additional shingling, completed work on the back drive. Unfortunately there wasn’t quite enough room for Jackie to make the three point turn that was planned. Our under gardener therefore took down a remaining few posts and began shifting rubble in order to extend the turning area. This enabled Jackie to make a 333 point manoeuvre. The space will be further adjusted next week.

This evening we dined on fish, chips, baked beans, and pickled onions, followed by rice pudding. I drank Lidl’s Cotes du Rhone 2013, and Jackie abstained.


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