Twelfth Impression

This morning the building of the last two bookcases was completed.

I managed to unearth the Novels A box and cleared a path to begin placing books on the shelves.

That is when Jackie decided that the column of concrete in the left hand corner offended her eye. Worse than that, she had a half width set of shelves in the kitchen which she was prepared to sacrifice to cover it up.

Oh joy. That meant shifting many more boxes without Matthew’s muscle. The two bookcases Matthew had moved across the room would have to be moved along a foot or so. And he had screwed them together to make the structure more secure. So I had to unscrew them; with Jackie’s help, reposition them and the one from the kitchen; and fasten them up again. That should have done the trick.

But there was now a strip of exposed concrete along the top. As I contemplated filling it with paperbacks before she noticed, she covered it herself with a piece of flooring laminate that had been placed along the windowsill. She had cleaned it up and saved it in case it might come in useful.
Why did I have to choose Superwoman?

After lunch I did get to begin filling shelves with novels whose authors names begin with A to C. In doing so, I found my copy of Daisy Ashford’s ‘The Young Visiters’. On May 22nd 1919, the then thirty seven year old author published, for the first time, the acclaimed masterpiece written when she was nine years old. Such was the work’s amazing success that by July that same year the twelfth impression, one of which is my book, was published. This brilliant description of adults and their behaviour, with uncorrected spelling adding to its charm, has never been out of print.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb sausage and bacon casserole (recipe), served with mashed potato and crisp cauliflower and broccoli.

The Young Visiters (Sic)

Mat and Tess went home last night.

Flo, Ian U& Becky

This morning normal family life was resumed.

After lunch Becky had us all screaming with laughter as she continued ‘The Young Visiters’ reading.  For those unfamiliar with nine-year-old Daisy Ashford’s 1919 masterpiece it is highly recommended for its juvenile spelling, observation, and hilarious gleanings from adult conversation.  It is regarded by many as one of the most humorous works in literature.

Bill, Jackie, DerrickFrom her perusal of older blog posts our daughter recognised that Jackie’s pose in Helen’s rugbyfest photograph of 9th March was almost identical to the one in my drawing of her made in 1965.

After I’d had an uneventful walk on this comparatively mild afternoon down to the postbox and back, LandscapeI accompanied Becky, Ian and Scooby on the Seamans Lane/Bull Lane loop.  This was to be more eventful for Flo’s little dog, who was to receive his own young visiters (sic).  A particularly frisky foal on the road took an interest in Ian, whose sleeve it kept nipping. Foal and Scooby Ian sought Scooby’s protection.  Scooby opted for discretion and conducted the face-off from the safety of the far side of Becky’s legs.  These larger animals can really be quite frightening as they quite silently advance upon you. Small dogs obviously feel the same.

Earlier, a much larger puppy had rushed out of its garden and attempted to frolic with Scooby, who gave the younger creature a piece of his mind.  This was administered with a suitable amount of heroic yapping and snarling.  The puppy’s owner had explained that the reason their gate was open was that it was electrically operated and there had been so many power cuts recently they had disconnected it for fear of being unable to get out if the power went down when it was closed.  With the pony our hero remained as quiet as that particular young visiter.

Our dinner this evening was the symphony in white and cream.  Rose and red wines and elderflower cordial were the accompanying drinks.

We are now about to settle down to watch The Matrix on TV.

What Do You Want?


Buzzards circled overhead this morning, causing a certain amount of consternation among the other birds.

During the morning I did my best to ignore yesterday’s Dr Who on BBC iPlayer and Eastenders, as everyone enjoyed an after the excitement low-key morning.

Matthew has bought Tess a cage and various other accoutrements for Guinea Pigs.  It now remains for the little furry animals to be purchased.  This involved on-line research and several phone calls resulting in leaving messages, which took me back to another post Christmas search in Newark in about 1990.  The night before, one of Sam and Louisa’s pet rats had fled its cage and disappeared upstairs.  The poor creature was hunted down and located behind a chest of drawers in Jessica and my daughter’s bedroom.  A frantic shoving around of the furniture resulted in a fatal crushing.

I took on the task of seeking out a replacement during the holiday period.  Off I drove with the children in the car.  A pet shop in, I think, Mansfield was found open and with a supply of the required rodents.  We chose a white one alleged to be two months old.  It looked a little large to me, but we were assured it was just a baby.

Back home the new pet was pampered and cosseted.  A few days later it was New Year’s Eve.  Jessica and I were invited to spend the evening with friends.  We did this and engaged our usual baby-sitter.  Just after Auld Lang Syne we received a phone call from the teenager we had left in charge at Lindum House.  ‘You know your new rat?’, she enquired, ‘Yes’, I replied.  ‘Well, it’s just had seven babies’, she announced.

Jackie produced another magnificent meal this evening.  Becky & Flo with roast lamb dinnerThis was delicious roast lamb followed by Christmas pudding.  Red and white wines were imbibed, as was Pepsi Max.

As he helped his mother clear up in the kitchen after the meal, Matthew began treating us to his rendering of Adam Faith’s masterpiece.  Both Mat and his sister knew by heart the words of ‘What Do You Want?’.  Neither had ever heard the recording artist who was to become an actor and a successful investor and financial advisor, but they knew just how he sang because they had often ridden in a car driven by me in which they were subjected to my rendering of this and ‘Poor Me’. Adam Faith Mat had given me a copy of his CD for my 70th birthday.  I just had to put it on the record player for everyone to have a good laugh over.  Hearing the original for the first time Matthew and Becky both realised they could sing just like Adam Faith who sang just like their Dad.  I don’t think it was the recording artist who was the source of amusement.  I rather think it was me.

Later, we opened the tree presents.  Becky had put one on for Jackie.  It was Daisy Ashford’s ‘The Young Visiters’.  We then laughed with tears rolling down our faces as Jackie read extracts.