Dear Irish Terrier Friends
What on earth has happened to our gentle temperate climate?
I’m beginning to look back on our long cool summers with some nostalgia. Did we really, when my children were little, crouch behind a breakwater and spend summer days sheltering from the winds on Frinton Beach?
Was the sea always cold? even when the sun made an appearance at last and we chased the dogs through the shallows. I remember the clouds gathering in the late afternoon as we made a run for home with our cardies over our swimsuits and our towels over our heads – this was the summer holidays in the early 1960s. No need for sticky sun tan lotion, no prickly heat rash, no perpetual sipping cold water – just a quiet gentle day digging holes and building sand castles with our buckets and spades.
My eyes fill with tears when I remember our beloved Irish terriers, Ceilidh (Kay-Kay) and Miss Moge (Molly Imogen) joining the games, paddling and digging, picking up sticks and stones and keeping a constant eye on the children – the best ‘nannies’ in the world. Our precious girls who added so much to our happiness. Now, I’m not knocking our hot summers but children and dogs on the whole, don’t do well in extreme heat. Do be careful to keep the dogs cool and always have a bowl and a bottle of water for them.
We did however, have a perfect day for our Jubilee party, enough breeze – to keep the flags fluttering and looking their best. Everyone in the Close was invited and a happy band of ‘other friends’ joined us.
Miss Libbs, Maryb and Daisy, who was here because Derek and Richard were visitors at the Palace, were thrilled to see a stream of friends coming through the gate – we know how they all love a party. There was more delight, when they soon realised that this one had a food fest thrown in as well!
The garden tables were soon laden with everything forbidden and delicious – cakes, cookies, choccy biscuits and every sort of sandwich. There was a huge bowl of strawberries and cream, grapes and tangerines. The girls were spinning around and I have to say, there was not a single crumb left to be swept up.
Pobs (Harriet), one of my granddaughters ‘dealt’ with the Champagne and we all marvelled at the skill with which she popped the corks and filled the glasses. There was a lot of noise and laughter but we did have a serious moment to say a prayer for the Queen, salute the flags and raise our glasses. It was such a joy that HM seemed stronger after such an anxious run up to the Jubilee – our Three Cheers were loud and heartfelt.
It was a very jolly party and Jamie had to hold on to the dogs while some of us, (ladies only) danced a rather shaky Lambeth Walk which had everyone in stitches. I remember the Jubilee of 1935 and this party had the same joyful spirit of easy laughter and passionate patriotism.
He is a telly addict and sits up very close to the screen and sport, which include Wimbledon, Ascot and Cheltenham and women’s football are hot favourites.
I regret to say, Marybell and I are both hooked on the women’s football, I’m not sure if it’s their flying ponytails or more probably it’s the ball she’s watching. We do sometimes fall asleep and suddenly wake after midnight when the game is over and someone’s about to be murdered on the screen! We have to get up and stretch and turn off the horrors and stagger off to bed.
Now, talking of our old Biggles, the canary, he is worrying me a little. He must be 17 this year and has so loved having his 2 girls, Primrose and Celandine around, but he is spending more and more time on the floor of the big cage with his legs tucked under, like a little feather ball.
He seems happy enough but the little girls spend less time with him now and fly around at high speed leaving him behind. He loves the sunbathing and Libbs and Marybell sit up against the cage and watch him lying on his side with his wings spread out.
I know that many children read this letter and I know they love to hear about Marybell and her mischief so this is to make you laugh.
We have a new gardener and in one week Marybell ate his lunch, somehow got a tennis ball into the dishwasher which nearly gave me a heart attack. I thought it was a small creature of sorts, very soft and fluffy – what a horror! We then found an avocado in one of her shrines in the rose bed. Worst of all, we walked along Milford Beach to the Lighthouse cafe where she levitated onto the tea table and like a true stand up comic, she knew everybody was laughing and twinkled all the more. She refused to get down and leave ‘the stage’ and had to be carried off. And that was just one week’s worth!!
Fortunately, I’m fairly bomb proof when it comes to mischief, as I grew up with two boys and had twin sons, all little hoodlums!
My Jubilee rose, a present from Derek and Richard is in full bloom, very pink and sweet scented, I’m thrilled and hope she’ll last forever.
We’re starting work on the calendar for 2023 – where does the time go?
Do send us your best pics – and please make sure the right names fit the right dogs – they don’t like to be mistaken for anyone else!
Many greetings and holiday wishes,
have fun in the sun and my special love to the dogs
A present for the children – you can listen to Derek Jacobi reading Ted and his Teddy Bear here and if you would like a copy of the new edition, I will send it to you.
This is a present from Miss Libbs, Daisy and Marybell and they all send their love and grown ups are welcome too!