Mildred and Mavis Ride Again
Away for a Day 03/30/2011
Unfotunately when you get to our time of life friends and relations start to slip away to a higher plane.  Mildred and I will be away for a couple of days attending the funeral of my aunt.  We look forward to seeing you again when we return.
After Saturday's wedding reception we were privileged to be invited to a concert last night of the London Philarmonic Orchestra who played Elgar's "Dream of Gerontius".  The story is about Gerontius who is close to death and his prayers as he moves to Heaven.  These are answered by angels and demons.  The music was sublime and it was so wonderful to hear a balanced choir.  "Dream" is not my favourite Elgar piece, I am much more catholic in my tastes and like so many others love the "Enigma Variations". But I am most certainly not complaining.   Mildred is not a fan at all and there were moments where I was certain that she had nodded off.  She denies snoring but I heard her!!

"What did you wear?" I hear you cry.  Firstly, despite the warmth of the day I ensured that my undergarments let in no light!  Then I wore my long black cashmere skirt that Parshal gave me for Christmas and a short stripy cardigan that came from M&S.  A pair of black court shoes finished off my ensemble; a streak of lippy and I was ready and presentable.  Mildred wore her old faithfull of her Tweed trouser suit and her tan boots.  I think that we looked quite acceptable and apropriate for the occasion.

Someone introducued the Orchestra and we were off.  The Oveture is a sweet melody that hits the highs and the lows in equal measure.  But it was the singing that took my breath away.  The Tenor - Paul Groves - looked like a rugby player and sang like an angel.  He was perfectly matched by the Angel - Chrsitine Rice.  Her dress was pure white and shimmered in the light.  She truly did look angelic herself.  But the conductor!  My dears, this young boy was simply scrumptious. Here he is.  Couldn't you just eat him up?!!!  I sat right behind him and allowed myself a little moment or two!  Such a silly old woman.  The whole concert ran for about 90 minutes and walking out into the cool night air I couldn't help but think how very fortunate we are to live close to a place where such things are performed.  Walking into town Mildred stopped to look into a shoe shop window.  Lemon coloured pumps!  Look here if you would like a peek:
If only I had £65 to spare for them...
Mildred and I are a rare treat last night.  We went to a wedding reception.  The bride is a young lady who works in the local park as a warden.  I don't really know her but Mildred, who talks to everybody - she is the so called "nutter on the bus" - what a horrible phrase that is - goes there quite often and has got to know her.  Her new husband works in one of the banks in town where he does something in computers.  I have often wondered what that phrase means.  It sounds like he puts on a boiler suit an descends into the bowels of a computer case armed with a screwdriver.  I suspect that the truth is that he wears a suit and manipulates our bank accounts to show a benefit to the Bank at our expense.

Anyway.  We arrived early, too early, before the main wedding breakfast had finished.  We hadn't been invited to that part.  Rather than look like two sad old ladies we went back to our car, our elderly but much loved Morris Minor - to whom I intend to devote a whole page one day - and decided to have a drive round the block.  The Hotel used to be the Officers Mess for a now long gone airfield, a memory of the Second World War, and is located on top of a hill.  The wind howls a little there and when it rains, it rains hard.  As we pulled out of the car park the heavens opened and we were struck by thousands of hailstones.  They clattered over us as I somewhat unsteadily started off down the road into the local village.  We have had some quite warm weather recently and the general ambient temperature combined with the freezing hail conspired to steam up our windows.  I drove more slowly than usual, why people have to go faster the forty miles an hour I do not understand, thirty five is plenty fast enough especially on a rainy night.  The next fifteen minutes was spent in a haze of window wiping and regretting that when designing this wonderful motor car, they did not pay more attention to the lights.  Fortunately we saw little other traffic, but there were times when with Midlred's red hanky smearing the widscreen yet again, the mist that rose rapidly from the lane and the naturally bendy nature of so much of rural England; that I wondered if our short drive was really worth the bother.

By the time that we arrived back at the Hotel things had picked up.  Of course we knew nobody else and having secured a drink we followed a waiter's direction to "The Disco" and entered into Dante's Inferno!  Lithe limbed lovelies in altogether too short dresses gyrated and young men made fools of themselves in vain attempts to catch the girls' eyes.  A thumping beat gave me an almost instant headache and I rather wished myself back in the car again.  The Bride came over and kissed us both and said how pleased she was to see us.  I could see that she was trying to work out just where she might have seen us and known us long enough to invite us to her wedding.  Mildred was not clad in her normal dungarees but in a rather fetching moss green two piece that she bought at Gammages in 1967 and that has served her well for Baptisms, weddings and funerals ever since.  At least she left off her ghastly yellow beret which she wore for Dora Heslop-Huntingdon's wedding about four years ago!  Dora Heslop as was.  We tottered of to find some seats and some ladies kindly made space for us on their table.  One, a short rather rotund girl with a bob that didn't suit her and a chiffon knee length flower print dress that flattered here evn less was holding gorth on the subject of "WeightWatchers".  She certainly looked like she needed to diet and was smugly saying how she had not missed a single session and had lost a stone (14lbs)!!  At that moment the DJ screamed something life "Brrfeeeesopen" and like a shot our girl was up and heading for the trough.  Mildred and I had had a toasted teacake at four o'clock and were not sure how hungry we were, when back came little Miss WW with a huge plate piled high with the most calorific stack of party food that one can imagine.  She had coleslaw, pickles, ham, chicken, two bread rolls - with butter, salad, potato salad with mayonnaise and profiteroles!!!  I know that it is rude to stare...but!!!!  Her friends said nothing but I did see some raised eyebrows and I hoped that her next weigh in is not for a day or two!!

By this time our drinks, Mildred's dry white wine and my diet Coke, were somewhat depleted.  Mildred tottered off to powder her nose and I headed for the bar.  I left the noise factory that was the Disco and entered the altogether more tranquil surroundings of the wider Hotel.  One or two men, quite inebriated, were chatting in that "Arsenal were good, but they've had it now" way that baffles we poor ladies and I trotted up to the barman, a glowing advertisement for his profession with a beer belly that caused his shirt buttons to strain and a red nose that suggested that he knew his way around the optics.  I ordered another wine and a glass of tap water for myself, with ice.  I had paid £4.75 for the wine and the Coke, so I expected to be charged around £3.50 or so for the wine.  "£4.50 please" said the barman!  In my shock at apprently being charged for either the water or the ice, perhaps both, for the first time ever in my life; I simply paid up and went back into the Disco.  My chair had been pinched by someone and there on the dancefloor was Mildred!  Dancing to "YMCA" complete with hand movements.  I slumped against the wall.  It was going to be one of those nights.
Heavens it has been wam here today.  Quite unseasonably so.  Mildred has eased her stays and I move from ribbed tights to 40 denier tights.  But the tweed skirt remains until the first of May!  

However, I have noticed that we are very fuddy duddy compared to many of the young gals that were out and about today.  I dropped into Salisbury Cathedral around lunchtime and found the grounds littered with young girls and boys from the two grammar schools.  There is a revolting fashion these days for young men to wander about with their shirts untucked and their ties worn with the know positoned about where their third shirt button is.  I feel that it is beyond scruffy.  However, the girls!  Well my dears you have never seen anything quite like it.  I recall that in summer we were allowed to wear an aertex shirt and cotton school skirt.  That maintained a certain sartorial decorum and just enough flesh to cause the passing young man to look and wonder.  Today there is no need to wonder!  The girls wore a universal uniform of cotton vests with enough cleavage on display to rival a classical Roman statue.  Short, sheer print skirts are worn over, usually, black leggings.  These girls seem pettier than we were, but I do wonder what sort of statement this fashion makes.  "Come and get me" is how we might have described it in the late 50s.  Mildred says that I am jealous.  Perhaps I am.  But I still feel vaguely shocked!
Pink Whisk 03/24/2011
There is a wonderful TV programme in the UK called "The Great British Bakeoff".  Last year a young man won it but we have always felt that the runner up, Ruth, should have taken the laurels.  As a devoted baker I always love to see how other people produce their cakes nd of course compare them withy mine.  Ruth is a young Mum and fabulous cook.  She has her own blog here  I hope that you have a chance to take a peek at her site.  She's very clever.
Some Women 03/23/2011
At the recycle centre today Mildred got chatting to a lady who was lamenting the fact that she had lost her husband two years ago.  When I say lost I don't mean that he had taken a wrong turn going into town and has been trying to find his way out again.  I mean lost as in deceased.  The lady was beautifully coiffeured and wore rather too much make-up for a brief sortie to smash some bottles.  She said that she had discovered that if she came down looking like she was off to have lunch with a friend, some poor male would delay his own recycling effort to take on hers as well.  The fact that Mildred was clearly lacking in the masculine department was a disappointment to her.  Midlred says that she told her what waste items went where and then got on with dealing with ours.  As the woman headed back to her car Mildred also pointed out that she appeared to have a slow puncture.  The poor soul looked even more helpless. Mildred waved as she drove off.  Smiling smugly no doubt as well!
Tin Can Alley 03/23/2011
Today Mildred is off to recycle bottles and tin cans.  We are not great drinkers of alcolhol and I am amzed at just how many bottles we have acquired.  Mildred says that it is all Parshal - brother of Lady Dent-Uhre and the man in my life.  When Mildred permits it.  He does care for a drink now and again, and again....  But really!  I am quite embarrassed.  Mildred said to take a photograph but I am far too red in the face for that!