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This afternoon we travelled to Elizabeth’s home at West End where we lunched with her and Danni.
After a certain amount of reminiscing Jackie and I drove a few minutes away to Mum’s where we spoke for a while in a largely similar vein.
Among the myriad of ornaments that our mother has accumulated over the years I had not previously noticed her train set.
This had been her Christmas present from Elizabeth the Christmas before last. Mum has provided it with passengers and livestock, and placed a station building beside the track. Numerous prospective passengers surround the display. The blue octopus was crocheted by Elizabeth. The photographs behind are of Adam and Thea, and Danni and Andy on their respective wedding days.
There is, of course, a story behind this. As, Elizabeth says, what can you buy a woman who is in her 95th year? Well, Mum had often told the tale of her brothers’ train set. Ben, now 96 and Roy, now 94 had been given the treasured toy by their father. It was added to at subsequent festive occasions until it could stretch along corridors and between rooms. It could only be played with under supervision. Whenever it came out little Jean (Mum) was sent with her mother and 6d ( a considerable sum in those days ) to the shops. Mum says she cried all the way. She didn’t want to go shopping. She wanted to play with the trains. She was not allowed to, because she ‘would walk on the track’.
So, after the best part of a century, she has her own train set.
From Mum’s, we returned to Elizabeth’s just as Danni was leaving.
Later the three of us dined at Farmers Home pub in Durley. Jackie and I both enjoyed succulent gammon steaks, while Elizabeth did the same with a chicken dish. Desserts were Eton mess for me, and sticky toffee pudding for Jackie, and creme brûlée for Elizabeth. My sister and I each drank a glass of merlot, while Jackie’s choice was Amstel.
Jackie couldn’t resist nipping out to photograph the pub’s hanging baskets. This gentleman, smoking an e-cigarette outside offered to move out of shot, but, quite rightly, the photographer invited him to remain for human interest.