Upsetting paintings; a lovely birthday – and a cake; Butterbur hats; downland farewell; Ospreys; yellow trunks and a new flower on the Isle of Wight; a regretable change of neighbours; pigeon-toed tennis; ungrateful Sparrows and loyal friend Gilbert’s success.
Gran is home from her holiday in Scotland on July 10th 1959, and the afternoon is spent unpacking and recounting her adventures to “Mother and sundry friends”. She gives herself little time to recoup though:
In the evening I went to a short farewell party at Bassett – the old friends with whom I have played tennis, attended their little fortnightly whist drives and such, have had to sell their home and, owing to ill-health, join their daughter in Ireland, and I found this a little overwhelming after leaving Scotland and travelling all night, but I was glad I went.
On the 11th, she goes with the Fowlers to the Open Day at Diana’s School of Occupational Therapy in Oxford. There is an exhibition, opened by Sir Hugh Casson, of work done by students during their training, which Gran finds deeply touching, since it is produced by mentally and physically handicapped patients in various hospitals, but:
The paintings I found depressing, for they were mostly done by those with mental disabilities; chiefly anxieties, phobias and schizophrenia, and these showed in their work, which, I found, were much as most modern art and one wonders just how much these painters of so-called contemporary pictures are deranged in some way. Some of the pictures were frankly horrifying in their tragic implications.