Isobel Baillie; a red cord out of place; an amusing wedding; a new duck and Jane is “stepping out”.
On February 17th 1954 Gran is suffering from a bad cold but manages to attend a concert in Eastleigh with her friend Mary Harding:
I had taken Disprin and dosed myself with glucose and, mercifully, my head was better. The Star performer was Isobel Baillie, the famous soprano, supported by our local tenor, Stanley Wheatley, and Edward Trigg played the violin. Isobel Baillie was accompanied by Wainwright Morgan, and Edward Trigg by his daughter Margaret. It was a delightful and varied programme, given in aid of the organ fund.
Gran writes enthusiastically of the soprano, saying:
I had heard her frequently on the wireless and admired her tremendously but tonight the purity and clarity of her voice and diction were a joy to hear. An added joy was the knowledge that so vast a company of so many types of persons all loved music, and, in a cursory glance when taking our places, I saw a school-mistress, postman, painter and decorator, music-teacher, and farm-worker amid countless folk from all walks of life and, during the performance everyone was mute and still, in rapt attention. Involuntary coughs were stifled with commendable determination (I ate more Zubes than I have ever done before!).
Jane has been home for half term at this time, Gran recording that they spent the afternoon of the 22nd:
…busy with a few alterations and adjustments for Jane before she returned to College. How quickly her half-term break has sped away…I shall (D.V.) see her again on Friday when I join her at Victoria, en route for Ramsgate for Deidre’s wedding on Saturday”.
The “alterations and adjustments” were, I assume, in relation to Jane’s role as bridesmaid at the forthcoming event.
There is a nice insight into Gran’s aesthetic sense in a description she gives of a boxed flower display she prepares, either for the Edinburgh Castle or the Queen Elizabeth on February 25th:
It contained Spanish Iris, pink Tulips, deep pink, pale pink and magenta Carnations, and mauve and deep pink Freesias. When I came to put in the card, written and sent with the order, I found that it had a bright red cord in the corner. Mercifully it did not have to be tied on so I was able to remove the cord, for just that dash of so wrong a colour would have ruined the whole effect. Jill, seeing what I did, remarked, “It is a pity those who receive your boxes cannot see how much trouble you take with them”, but I pointed out that such does not matter much, so long as my aesthetic sense this end is not offended. That red cord would have entirely spoilt my memory of this beautiful box.