For no particular reason, I was thinking of a holiday we took when I was fourteen. It was our last family holiday, in fact, not that we had any idea of that at the time. I don’t think I’ve blogged it before, though I might have referred to it – still, I’ll rely on my memory being no worse than yours.
My sister was attending Winkfield Place, appropriately enough, which was resolutely not a finishing school, but a post-school establishment where one could learn Cordon Bleu cookery and various other accomplishments – Wink loved it there and said it was an especially happy time of her life. She was due home for the summer holidays and my mother asked what she would like for a celebration meal: she asked for Governor’s Mansion House Pot Roast, which is pot-roasted sirloin of beef.
My father had had the bright idea of buying a caravan. I’m not sure why. We were a bit short of the readies at the time – Winkfield Place was expensive, not just because of the fees but because of the extra-curricular expenses (theatre trips to London and so on). I stayed over once, and can quite understand why Wink loved it so much, the other girls were delightful and so kind, quite outside my experience. I cheerily wrapped myself in a blanket, as it was the last night of term and the sheets of those who’d already left had been removed: the girls were astonished that I could sleep and were very solicitous. I – well, darlings, you know me, I take whatever comes and wasn’t bothered, but they looked after me so kindly – if I remember their care 45 years on, with my memory, then you know that it touched me.
Anyway, I digress – oh, I see there are further digressions to come. I should first tell you about Susie, but I’m tired right now, having been awake from 1 am. No, no reason, I just don’t sleep well.
Darling Susie, she was my dog, more than any other in my childhood. I will start with her. Tomorrow, though. I must sleep now. This is not a cliffhanger, it’s far gentler than that.