May Queen (2)

Marking the Start of Summer

Last night, my daughter phoned me to remind me that today was the first of May, and to ask me if I’d be going to watch the dancing up of the sun. I nearly didn’t go, but my daughter does a far more tiring job than I do, and works longer hours, so her enthusiasm for leaving her house at five o’clock in the morning ending up infecting me!
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One Link in the Chain

It has been an enormous privilege for me to have been involved with my father in writing his memoirs.
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Educating Women

In the austere days towards the end of the second world war, my grand-parents were considered either enlightened or very foolish when they allowed my mother to take up the place she was offered  at secondary school.  At the time, most pupils stayed in general schools until the compulsory leaving age of fourteen, only the most academically able being offered transfer to a school that specialised in more adanced education, which catered for young people up to the age of eighteen.  Although places were offered to bright girls,in my grandparents’ class educating girls was considered rather a waste, when they were only going to marry, keep house, and produce and rear children.  Such schools did not charge fees, but providing the uniform and writing equipment was a drain on household expenses, and, more importantly, a girl had to be fed and clothed, even if she was making no contribution to the family finances until long after her fourteenth birthday because she was still at school.
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Carrying a Torch for Healthy Food

Here in England, in the twenty-first century, we have an unparalleled choice of diet.  Fruit and vegetables from around the world are enticingly displayed in the supermarket;  instant meals make it easy for us to escape the chore of cooking;  and fast food establishments are open from first thing in the morning until late at night, so that we could eat three hot meals a day without even lighting the oven if we chose.
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Taking On a New Job

I am lucky to live in a beautiful corner of Sussex, surrounded by peaceful countryside with plenty of fields and woodland, so I rarely go for a walk along the road. Even if I choose to walk to work, two and a half miles away in the next village, I can do almost the whole journey on footpaths, across fields and through woodland.
But on one occasion several years ago, I happened to be walking home along the road on a Sunday morning.
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In Praise of Pantaloons

Once upon a time, when life was perhaps less complicated, but certainly harder, troupes of travelling actors brought relief from the daily grind by performing plays in the courtyards of inns.  The hostelry would have been built around the yard, so that people could watch the play from the windows of rooms, or from the galleries or balconies, as well as from ground level in the yard.

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A Throwaway Attitude of Mind

A long time ago, in the 1970s, my grandmother and I were chatting about kitchens.  My husband and I had just purchased our first home, a tiny terraced house that was cheap because no work had been done on it since it was built about eighty years before.  It had packed earth floors downstairs, no electricity, and the only water supply was a cold tap outside the back door.  Because of this, we had qualified for a government improvement grant, which covered half the cost of bringing the property up to modern standards.  This meant that our savings stretched further than we had anticipated, so we were trying to choose a kitchen that was within our budget:  hence the discussion with my grandmother.
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