Enough of football; a tame squirrel; the Wye Valley again; Ross’s Gull at Stanpit and rare terns at Dibden; conversion to natural gas; great tennis at Wimbledon; extraordinarily fit at 70; Ruth Hockridge gets married; sadness as the Kingstons depart, and Greaty is taken to hospital.
It’s May 4th 1974 and sixty-nine year old Gran is still playing tennis. With a friend, Lesley, that evening, she enjoys “a good knockup and two sets”, which, she says, “I won 6-1 6-3. Shots were working well”. She does not enjoy all sport though. She writes later that night:
I stayed up late to see “The Pallisers” on Television which had, unfortunately, been postponed to the late hour because of the eternal time given to the Football Cup Final. Thank goodness we shall now be spared football for a spell – we get such an overdose of it during the Winter.
She is at tennis again, at the private court in Merdon Avenue, three evenings later and she recounts the following, saying:
During play some boys brought in a baby squirrel and asked if the garden went right down to the wood because the squirrel would follow them and they could not get rid of it. When they put it down it got through the netting onto the tennis court and I picked it up and carried it to the furthest corner of the garden. The boys went down the road but re-appeared with it later. It had evidently jumped over the fence and through the next garden to reach them again. The baker told me this morning that a baby squirrel had been following people about the car park and a lady took it to the pinewood where it refused to leave her, and some workmen relieved her of it. It is extraordinarily tame and, of course, is a pest but who, with any soul, could kill the little creature? Certainly none of those so far in contact with it.