Christmas without the Boys; a winter Blackcap; record low temperatures; burst pipes and a wet bed; stuck in a snowdrift; her first Collared Dove; good neighbours and Gran buys some tights.
November 27th 1962:
An unusual song, issuing from the Yew tree opposite here this morning, attracted my attention and I watched for some time. I was particularly intrigued because it is far from quiet and peaceful here now with the shops, and car park directly beneath the Yew, but a sudden noise disturbed the bird and, with a familiar cry, out flew a Fieldfare! The song was cross between Thrush and Blackbird…
This afternoon I cycled as far as Flexford Bridge to see my friend Bee Richardson, and noted how prolific are the Holly berries this year.
A busy morning, during which I took out the Christmas cake from its sealed tin (with some trepidation since it was made in May with Jane’s wedding cake) and finding it in perfect condition, put the marzipan on it.
A letter from Jane on the following day cheers her mother, telling her that she feels much better and will be coming to Chandler’s Ford for Christmas. “She wants a tree and all the trimmings so this has given me an incentive which was sadly lacking as Julian and Ricky will not be with us this year”, writes Gran. A few days later she makes macaroons and shortbread for the festive season, traditional December tasks for her, and she ices the cake. And the rest of the month is busy with card-making, collecting materials from the countryside for decorations, and all her other usual preparations for Christmas.
“More cards arrived today”, Gran says on December 22nd, “and two small books on Australian fish by my friend Gilbert Whitley, who has discovered several new species and who has done many of the illustrations in these new books”. She adds:
I did a Christmas arrangement for us and have also made a holly and larch cone wreath for the hall, decorated with my bunch of little bells on red ribbon sent from America during the war.