England 40 Years Ago — May 17, 1981

Our car is holding a grudge against John. For the second time it refused to start to take him to the station, but would go to take the girls to school. Naughty! This happened on a Monday morning, to boot. I scooted to Safeway after dropping the girls off and parked under the store. That store is supposed to be one of the largest in the London area, so I can find things there that are not stocked elsewhere. It’s fun to wander the aisles when the store isn’t busy.

The frogs had a rude shock when John $ joined them in the pool. I think he wanted to test the water with his toe, but one leg went in up to nappy level. As I whirled around at his whimper, he was lying half in and half out of the pool. Mr. Clewes was feeling sorry for him, telling him that he would soon dry out, and then picked up the drippy boy to comfort him. I said I wanted him to cry and be upset so he wouldn’t do it again. I lost that one!

Photo taken six months later, after gardener Clewes put a screen over the pond

Jackie F., the American who lives just up the street, came for coffee one morning. She was on her way to the international store in Epsom, asked me to go, but understood that John had to be fed. She says that store has many American things such as cake mixes, corn chips, and hot dogs. I’m going to go when I get a chance just to see what all is there. Cheerios is another thing she mentioned. The thing our family is most hungry for at the moment is plain old pancake syrup. I don’t think this store carries it though, because Jackie said she is having her next guests bring as much as they can carry.

Jackie’s husband works very near the Gotass-Larsen offices in London. Their only son has learning problems and goes to a special school within walking distance of his father’s office. She kept talking about Berry, her husband, until finally I asked how the name is spelled. She said it really has an “a” rather than an “e”, but she can’t pronounce it correctly. I thought I was the only one with problems like that, though I can pronounce “Barry”. “Pin” and “pen” still get me.

One afternoon after school we went to Dunottar to the second-hand uniform sale. Most schools have these, and it is an inexpensive way to assemble the outfits. We were delayed by Kate’s violin lesson after school, so didn’t have much to choose from by the time we got there. We did get a pair of gym shorts. The idea of uniforms in school is good, but you should see some of these oldies. It’s amazing to me in what condition some people’s clothes are in; you’d swear some schools are boarding places for orphans.

While listening to the radio weekday mornings, John has heard this phrase many times: “An articulated lorry has shed its load on the flyover.”

Yesterday we went to Dorking to wander around. It’s a lovely town with lots of shops that we’ve driven through countless times on our way to other places. [We haven’t driven through shops, but through the town.] We didn’t buy a thing, but did peer in all the antique shops for a coat rack. Even furniture shops don’t know where to go to find coat racks! Same applies to the clerks in the shops.

We came home the back way via Box Hill and got out to see the view. It was clearer yesterday than I’ve ever see it here.

Today Kate has a cold and doesn’t feel well. John and Lisa have gone to the Roman Catholic Westminster Cathedral where the music is to be by a good Lutheran, Hans Leo Hassler. Kate and I caught a youth service on the telly while $ played with trains.

The girls have school this week, but will be off another whole week after that for mid-term. Then it’s a long haul till the end of school in July.

11 thoughts on “England 40 Years Ago — May 17, 1981

  1. I still laugh at articulated lorries! It’s funny what we miss from home. It’s usually food. I am lucky I can find almost everything I could buy in Canada here in Spain. Even maple syrup. It’s just quite expensive here so we use it sparingly. Another enjoyable post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you can find most foods you like and might yearn for if they weren’t available. I had that in the US — longed for good barbecued pork sandwiches. We now live in the land of BBQ. I’m a happy camper!

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I think John heard about lories shedding their loads quite often. The phrase made him laugh every time. It sounded so elegant.

      This photo was taken six months after $ fell in the pond. I presume we had to buy him new shoes from time to time, but buying his first pair was memorable.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Obviously, it was for me too. I know I saw that photo earlier, but today I must have been paying more attention: “Wait a minute, those are not blue!” I still recall J’s first shoes after he started walking–they were white of course, but I still liked them. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

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