Dear Irish Terrier Friends
I can hardly believe that I’m sitting in the sunshine, pen in hand to write this letter at last.
Miss Bibbs and MaryB are stretched out on the warm bricks for we are in the front garden which is always referred to as the ‘car park’. They are keeping a wary eye on the gate. This is not to take care of ‘any emergency’ but to talk to anyone who passes and is not writing a letter! Libby in fact likes the spot inside the front door – wooden floor and a nice rug are just the ticket for her especially when I’m busy.
Libbs is 13 in June and my heart trembles a little. She’s been such a bonny lass and has not had a day’s illness in her entire life – not one day. She’s never seen the vet except for the annual jabs. I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed as I say this.
Spring has rolled over us in a whirl of winds and rainstorms. Coming home drenched and with another umbrella blown inside out has become something of a routine. I have discovered, at last, the way to deal with it. Never hold it in the air to face off the wind as that always ends in a frantic grapple with something like a giant bat in a horror film.
No – the art is to turn it over on the ground, stand on one side and gently lean forward and ease the rest of the umbrella up and back into shape.
We’ve had some of our favourite friends to stay which helps to pass the time when the weather is wet. My cousins, Frank and Alison have been to stay and they are great favourites with us all. We all adore their Jack Russell Biggles. We thought he had been named after our old canary, but they say “No No.” The idea was that he’d go for spins through the skies in Frank’s light aircraft. It never quite happened but Biggles is his name and he is the most amusing and charming little chap. He’s a great friend of Marybel’s and they tend to wrestle and play indoors and I say “Out you go, no rough playing in the house” and they roar out into the garden and the tussling goes on.
My anxiety about playing indoors is partly that I am fond of jade and have some pretty pieces. There’s nothing ancient or madly valuable but when a cascade of puppies ran through the house a year or two ago, my prize jade horse lost a leg when they jolted into the cabinet where he is stabled. He’s still there propped up on a piece of driftwood which is not quite the same. He looks as if he’s taking a leap, but we mustn’t have another accident.
The Coronation, we won’t talk about it too much except to say that Jamie and I were ‘hooked’ all day and found it very moving and the music was wondrous.
The girls, needless to say, were bored stiff. Janette, who comes in to clean said “Well I back the girls of course – the ‘ole thing ‘wen on and on and on and I was snoring” (she’s not a Hampshire lass).
Penny Mordaunt baffled me at first. I wondered who she was, and who on earth she was meant to be and why she was standing there – I thought she looked like a cross between Boadicea and Lady Macbeth. But I did admire her stamina. Apparently she said “It was all thanks to comfortable old shoes and a large breakfast.”
We had a party in the ‘car park’ here on the Sunday which was great fun. It is amazing what a lift partying out of doors gives everyone and we hit the only two sunny hours in the entire day. My grand daughter Pobs (Harriet) moved everything out at the last minute and dealt with the Champagne with all the skill of a professional publican. We had some marvellous cakes to eat and there was a lot of laughter when we danced our Lambeth Walk – Ladies only of course.
The friend who should have made the toast to their Majesties failed to appear because it seems I had told her the day would
be Monday – oh dear. Anyway, I did the little speech and there was a roar of laughter when in my best Sergeant Major voice I said ‘will all the gentlemen remove headgear.’ Off came the Panama hats, and the salute to King Charles III and Queen Camilla went smoothly ahead.
Liberty Belle and MaryB were almost too interested in the crumbs, biscuits and pieces of cake that fell off the tables – they were assiduous in their clearing up and almost too busy to be their usual eager hostesses. But it was huge fun and I do recommend a street party that is full of humour and encourages people to love one another. The flags were flying and I wiped away a silent tear for our beloved late Queen Elizabeth.
Our canary Primrose looks like a little peach now with her prink feathers and Celandine is still pale yellow. They mingle with two little china birds gifted to me by our dear friend Susanna and are very definitely a foursome and it’s sometimes difficult to sort them out.
They love flying around in the conservatory and I often tap on the window when gardening and they turn their heads this way and that.
Like my dogs they have little sense of obedience and a very marked sense of humour. One trick is to hide under the tablecloth while I call them getting crosser by the minute. “They only do it to annoy because they know it teases”
We are planning to get a noisy boy who will serenade them and amuse us all.
“Summer is a-coming in” – let us rejoice and be glad. No sound of the cuckoo as yet on the marshes, but we are waiting.
I think it has all happened while I’ve been sitting here and the little pink Cecile Brunner climbing roses are popping out almost as I watch them.
Oh the joy of the scent of a rose. I was distraught to think that the cherry tree had been killed by the frost but miraculously has burst into blossom not ‘all in white for Easter-tide’ but certainly for the Coronation.
I do hope you’re all well and do send us some glorious holiday pictures!
With every good wish and special love to the dogs