3RD DECEMBER 2017
With improved internet connection, I am now just one day behind in my posts.
We began today with another enjoyable conversation with Mr Watts as he cooked our breakfast.
This process led me to tell him about the Watch Me, our favourite Sri Lankan restaurant in Morden. As indicated by its title, diners could, through a very large window, watch the cooks at work.
Our host and I found common ground in Lower Marsh, alongside Waterloo Station. Mr Watts ran a stall selling women’s clothes from 1964. Between 1963 and 1966 I lunched regularly in a café in that street. It is highly likely we were sometimes eating there at the same time.
The stall made a great deal of money during the hot pants craze.
Jackie explained how she had made her own, such as these in September 1972.
This afternoon, back at home, I spent far too long battling with internet connection problems in order to post yesterday’s tale.
We then dined on Jackie’s excellent egg fried rice with tempura prawns. I finished the Malbec.
A comment from Becky on yesterday’s post prompted me to delve back into my photographic archives, and scan three more ancient colour slides.
In June 1971, we went on a family holiday with Ellie and Roger Glencross to their cottage, The Haven, in Iwade in Kent. Here they are, on the beach, with Matthew in the foreground:
The following August, Jackie, Michael, Matthew and Becky – seen posing outside The Haven – and I, spent a week there on our own. Michael displays his ever-paternal response to his brother and sister. The children had yet to learn that it is infra dig to wear socks with sandals, and this was the era of hot pants. It was in this low-ceilinged cottage that I learned to tape newspapers to the beams so that I would see them and bend my head to avoid bashing it. This ploy didn’t always work.
Jackie, who crocheted the hat that Becky is wearing in this picture on the beach, tells me it is not a mob cap, such as the one appearing on yesterday’s market stall, but a successor. In any case, almost everything in that display was sold. Becky did, however, wear the prototype mob cap. After she had been pushed around Raynes Park sporting it in her pram for several months, a maternity shop, called One and a Half, in Wimbledon Village began selling mob caps. Jackie is convinced they followed her lead.
So excited was I by the above exercise, that I stayed in my dressing gown until I’d completed it. Well, that’s my excuse, anyway. I wasn’t looking forward to tackling the concrete slabs I had abandoned two days ago. I did, however, take up the task again this morning. This involved wielding the grubber axe in order to penetrate the iron-hard soil on one side of each buried block, and gravel and hard-core on the other. The next step was, when the obstruction looked possibly loose enough, to give it a good kick; to discover that it still wouldn’t budge; and to repeat the process until it did. Prising it up was done with whatever garden tool was nearest to hand, until there was enough space to get my fingers underneath it and heave it up.
I had thought there were just three slabs in the row, until I came to the corner and found there were more, extending along the long side of the bed. Anyone wondering why I didn’t know these were there, should understand that they are mostly covered by two or three inches of weed-infested earth. After four of the extra ones, I stopped for the day. After all, it was still hot enough to keep the bees buzzing.
This afternoon I walked down to the Spar shop to replenish our stock of sparkling water. This gardening lark is thirsty work. The rooks, chasing each other across the skies, are back in residence.
Roger Cobb was ploughing his maize field.
Bev and John are our only neighbours likely to be affected by a bonfire. I always ring them before lighting one. This was the call I had tried to make two days ago that had alerted me to the problem with my mobile phone. I attempted to telephone them again this evening before burning more branches. I had the same problem. And I couldn’t find the reset button. So I rang O2 at Christchurch. The man who answered the phone knew only of one reset which would wipe all my information. He suggested I took the battery out and put it in again. I did that and it worked. Except that I got a voice telling me my stored numbers were not recognised. I waited a bit and tried again, successfully getting through to Bev. This time Jackie helped with the combustion and we made quite good progress before dinner which consisted of her delicious chicken curry and savoury rice. We finished the Cuvee St Jaine.