Martin’s comment reminded me of the time when my father, as a very young man in the 1920s (he was born in 1910) was had up in front of the magistrate for speeding. The magistrate was his own father. He was found guilty, fined half a crown and the Major, before leaving at the end of the session, paid the fine himself.
He was a pretty hair-raising driver himself, was the Major. He thought that allowing more than half an hour to get from Lowestoft to Ipswich was very dull. He had a chauffeur, Eddie, but often used to drive himself. Eddie would have looked after the cars, driven my grandmother and driven them both to more formal engagements.
Anyhow. Back to here and now; or rather to yesterday evening. Squiffany prepared dinner last night, a splendid salad with lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes, celery, spring onions and peppers, hot-smoked salmon, cheddar and feta cheeses and ham. She then helped her mother with a rice salad. It’s all very convivial, having dinner on the lawn together, and good for the children who enjoy an occasion being made of a meal. They always do eat properly – although Dilly has recently found that putting their lunchtime sandwiches into a lunchbox is more tempting than a plate on a hot day, when appetites are low. They both are adept at using a fork and spoon and Squiffany is reasonably skilled with a knife too. We mostly ignore the occasional help given by fingers.
After getting the food ready, there was a short time to wait until Al arrived home, so I sat down and replied to a couple of emails and got on with the minutes of a meeting. Ro’s voice wafted through from the passageway. “Dad, a chicken’s just walked in through the door. Oh. She’s just done a poo.” The chicken was picked up and taken outside again, and fed a morsel of cheese. I saw no sign of guano when I went through, so evidently the Sage had already disposed of the evidence.
Earlier in the day, I’d looked after Pugsley when his mother and sister were out. He’d had lunch but not a sleep. He was playing with some Lego. He bustled about the room looking purposeful while I read the papers. He didn’t say a word, although he looked at me once in a while. His expression was pleasant but unsmiling. After some time, I started to address a few remarks to him. He didn’t reply. I asked if I could eat the piece of cucumber left over from his lunch. He came over and took it, but didn’t really want it. I put it back in the box, assuring him I’d leave it for him later.
I put him on his bed. He immediately curled up ready to go to sleep. He was still asleep an hour and a half later, when Dilly and Squiffany came home.
The Sage has just come in. Big Pinkie has come to live with us!