The lovely site of a baby’s awakening; tastes in flower arranging; one more year of National Service; a trip to Jefferies Country; new flowers for Gran’s list; a historic Test Match; arthritis in the hips, “but I can still play a decent game” and finding friends of Gilbert Whitley.
It’s the last day of July 1953 – a wet one – and Gran is clearing peas in the Pinewood Gardens, and picking a few loganberries. She hears:
…familiar footsteps running up the road and knew that Barry was arriving. He is on leave for the Bank Holiday and was pleased to have done well in the R.A.F. Sports, winning the 440 and 880 yards and the third prize in the sack race! He ran the three-legged with the Squadron Leader but they were unplaced. His prizes consisted of three useful additions to the home – water jug and glasses, teaspoons and a leather wallet.
Gran looks after Julian for the night, while Barry and Jock go moth hunting at Mudeford with Clifford Redgrave, and in the morning she enjoys “the lovely sight of a baby’s awakening” at a quarter past six.
I leant over and laid my hand on his to feel if he were warm enough. Immediately he turned towards me and gave me his brilliant smile, so full of trust and confidence that I felt like weeping, it was so beautiful. Afterwards, he “talked” to me until I rose and went downstairs feeling unspeakably strengthened by this small but adorable person’s trustfulness, and more than rewarded for my night’s care of him.
On August 5th Gran attends an Exhibition and Demonstration of Floral Art at Southampton University, staged by members of the Southampton Horticultural Society. A lecture is given by Mrs Allen of Melbourne, Australia, who is a judge of shows held in Victoria and elsewhere. Gran observes that:
She spoke well, and stressed the point that, whilst a few basic rules are necessary to obtain balance, the arrangement of flowers is very individual and what pleases one may not necessarily please another. I did not agree with all her ideas – for instance she said that one must never put silver foliage with Autumn-tinted flowers. Well, I like silvery leaves with Autumn colouring, especially with some red-bronze as well, and one arrangement of just this pleased my aesthetic sense enormously.