An entertaining summersault; confounded cats; to Dungeness in a Chevy; wedding cake anxiety; rare breeders at Nursling; Cheddar Gorge – a minor ambition fulfilled; Billie-Jean causes an upset, and all ready for Scotland.
Returning to The Ridge late, on April 11th 1962, after playing Badminton, Gran is surprised to find Jane there. Excitedly, she writes, “She had brought home her Wedding Gown, the loveliest, daintiest creation of Nottingham Lace in a design of roses”. And two days later, in Winchester with Jane, she purchases the material for her own dress.
The family gathers for Easter. Gran has made a Simnel Cake, and Jane and Stuart arrive at The Ridge late on April 19th.
“Just as we were finishing lunch, rather late”, Gran writes on the following day:
Barry, Julian and Ricky burst in upon us, a day earlier than expected but, happily we were able to find enough for them to eat, and afterwards all went down to Beaulieu Road, which proved a most enjoyable expedition.
There they hear their first Cuckoo of the Spring but I do not remember this so much as the entertaining but accidental reverse somersault off the top of a five-bar gate, which I performed, when Stuart, attempting to hurdle it, whacked it with his foot, knocking me off my perch!
Easter Day is April 22nd and after lunch, the New Forest is their destination again. Julian is anxious to see Rufus’ Stone but his Dad is keener, as Gran tells us, to find a particular moss:
After parking the cars, we walked along the valley in which were the trees on which Barry’s moss was said to grow. He was lucky, for following directions read in a report, he went straight to a certain Beech tree and found the moss Zygodon forsteri, which is one of the rarest mosses in Britain and only known from five Beech trees in the Rufus’ Stone area. It is dark green, with soft leaves and grows in the clefts down which moisture seeps.