Our daughter-in-law’s mother is down here on holiday from her home in Cambridgeshire this week, and she very kindly brought me this lovely bouquet of flowers. The scent is wonderful as it contains two sprays of stocks as well as these tiny daisy-like chrysanthemums and larger white spray chrysanthemums. I don’t feel I’ve made a very good fist of arranging them today, I might have another go tomorrow, but I simply wanted to get them into water after their long journey today.
Strange as it may seem, the one item I’m actually short of – in a house overflowing with ceramics – is a large vase. There is only one very large one which lives on the windowsill, but it is too large for anything other than the branch of a tree, and also the tall Delftware vase in which I put the long spires of gladioli. Therefore, I’ve removed the alstromeria from the glass vase so that this mixed bouquet could be accommodated, and I cut the alstromeria to fit into my blue and white jug, and these are now on the kitchen table.
I never mind cutting flowers down, they often look much better having done so.
It has been another very hot day and neither myself nor my husband have felt inclined to do very much and so to put it simply, we haven’t! We had a light breakfast – he made porridge for himself, I warmed a croissant to have with apricot jam, and for lunch a light salad with a few new potatoes. Husband has, however, been doing ironing; he has done a huge pile and shortly I will take over and do my share.
But while he was doing the ironing, he also played some music. We both love music but strangely we seldom play music these days. You will laugh when you see our music system, bought in 1989 or thereabouts. It still has a turntable for records, and a cassette player as well as a CD player – CDs were a novel item then, they’d only just been invented! Now they have almost bitten the dust as people simply ‘download’ music to whatever device they might be using.
It needs a good dusting, I see, but I’m glad we didn’t get rid of it, or our quite-large collection of LPs which date back to the 1960s – many of our LPs are now well over 50 years old.
We bought our first music system in 1970, a Dynatron, which was the cat’s pyjamas of systems in those days, and cost the princely sum of (approx.) £150 which was a lot of money in 1970. We still have it in our loft, but not the speakers. And when the world of music went to CD and vinyl thus became old hat, we simply kept our vinyl but added CDs to our collection.
Today, vinyl is back in fashion. For us it never went out of fashion. I even have boxed sets of operas on vinyl.
And so today, for an accompaniment to his ironing, husband played Elgar, Frank Pourcel and John Williams (the classical guitarist not the composer.)
There is one downside to playing music. It can make you rather sad. Playing these takes us right back to the early 1970s when we had our first baby son (born 1969), and even before our second son was born. The ‘chaps’ are now almost-49 and 45 respectively. We can’t help but feel nostalgic for those early years and the simplicity of life them – why does it seem to have become more complicated when the achievements in the electronics industry, indeed most industries, should have made life more simple? But let’s go into all that; we enjoyed playing just four of our LPs (above).
We have very wide tastes in music, from Bach and Beethoven to Abba and Elvis. Had I been ironing and choosing the music, I don’t think I’d have chosen these, but having said that (sorry, cliché!) I enjoyed hearing them, especially Frank Pourcel as this is an LP we seldom played, it’s in that much-sniggered-at ‘easy listening’ genre, what some might call ‘wallpaper music’ but oh, it’s been so relaxing to listen to.
What have I been doing while husband has been ironing? Well, I confess, not very much. I have finished book 3 of the crime series set in Cambridge by Alison Bruce (the best to date) and have started book 4, The Silence.
and I even took down off the shelf a couple of books on Cambridge that I bought while I was there in 1993, and this illustrated map, to see just where Parker’s Piece is, the area where the police station in the book is situated. I also had a look at the lovely postcards of Cambridge that I bought while I was there and made a collage of them:
I have only visited Oxford twice and Cambridge twice, and it isn’t really fair to compare the two university cities by such brief visits, but my gut feeling was that I preferred Cambridge, and I don’t really know why, only I felt at home there. It was a strange feeling, but although I wandered around on my own while husband visited a factory (all part of his work in those days), I felt totally at home.
And on that note I will close this short post today; I must finish the ironing, make something for a light supper and then do my nails – can’t go to the hairdresser tomorrow morning with chipped polish, can I! (That’s a statement, not a question!)
And then, back to The Silence. Oh, how I am enjoying this series by Alison Bruce.
Until next time.