Today was polling day.
Junk mail is a fact of life. I understand that it doesn’t take many punters for the cost of sending out such paper material by the normal postal system to be recouped. Recipients can, however, just bin it. Cold telephone calling is more annoying, because you have to get out of your chair and answer the phone, before replacing the receiver with, or without, expletives. The machines are frustrating because asking them politely not to call you again is a waste of time. For the poor unfortunates who actually ring in person, it is their bad luck they they may have to hear a piece of your mind.
Now we have the internet and e-mails, so we can be flooded with spam, far less palatable than its processed meat namesake. Naturally, therefore, this morning I received my usual message, allegedly from David Cameron, who will never have heard of me, thanking me for all I have done for him over the last five years, and encouraging me to help him get back into power. It was the same last time. Numerous mailshots from various members of the Conservative party on the run-up to the election, and, afterwards, one from the leader, thanking me for tramping the streets on their behalf. In fact, I did no such thing. As a floating voter who attempts to make up his mind based on what he has experienced and what he gleans from all the media coverage, I never nail my colours to the mast in advance.
I do not flatter myself that I have personally merited this attention. My e-mail address has simply been purloined and added to a data base somewhere in the clouds. With the press of one button, no doubt everyone on the list is similarly intruded upon. None of the other parties pesters me in this way. Are they crediting us with making our own choices; are they so backward in the use of I.T.; or do they have less resources?
On a calmer, balmy, morning, I ambled down the garden and the lane as far as Roger’s field and back.
The first of our red hot pokers proudly stood erect,
as did the sinuous tellima saxifrage, flexible enough to have withstood yesterday’s blasts.
The magnolia Vulcan basked in its hour of sunshine.
The tree peonies and the dwarf azalea have survived intact.
Cow parsley, in its rightful place, on the verges of Downton Lane,
passed the time of day with dandelion clocks.
Pale pink blossom I cannot identify has appeared in the hedgerows,
as have the first golden buttercups.
Ferns were unfurling,
and petals floating on a puddle were reminders of the gales.
As I sat down to upload these photographs, Louisa rang me to announce that she had a project for me for the day. Tomorrow being V.E. (Victory in Europe) day seventy years on, my granddaughter Imogen has to prepare a presentation for her school class. My daughter thought it would be good for Imogen to produce the image of her grandfather and great uncle Chris taken when they attended the Victory Street Party of 1945. She wondered if I had any more of interest.
I had this one taken by Jessica in the garden of Lindum House on 8th May 1995:
Seated on a circular bench built around the acacia tree by Errol’s Uncle Frank, I point to myself in my photograph album. The 1945 picture of that memorable event is featured in ‘Holly’.
I e-mailed both the pictures to Louisa. Apparently it took granddaughter Jessica less than a second to pick me out of the Street Party group. She said I looked like my grandson Oliver.
This afternoon Jackie drove us to Milford on Sea where we cast our votes at the Church Hall, and our empties at the car park bottle bank.
Tonight’s dinner consisted of sausages roasted with peppers and mushrooms; mashed potato in superb, thick, chunky, gravy which could have been a meal in itself, and crisp carrots, cabbage, and runner beans. Custard tart was to follow. Jackie’s beverage was sparkling water, whilst mine was Doom Bar.