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I shall have my cake

The girls in the admin office where I work are holding a Macmillan’s coffee morning on Friday http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Home.aspx   I got baking and turned out what I think is a really fab cherry cake. I carefully divided it into slices, lovingly wrapped it in silver paper, and placed it inside a specially purchased air tight box. When I came to pick up the box to fetch it into work I noticed that the lid seemed a bit loose. Further investigation revealed three slices missing.   Heather will bloody well make another one this evening, I am going to stand over her while she does it. Heather’s not big on cooking or baking and flies into a panic if I simply ask her to stir something, but then she counts the stirring part as meaning that she’s played a significant role in the preparation of the meal.

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Eden Camp Modern History Museum, Malton

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Eden Camp

A couple of months ago some artefacts from the two World Wars fell into my path at work. They were valuable items and their owner wanted them to go to someone who would look after them properly. Business was very much combined with pleasure therefore, when I volunteered to take them down to Eden Camp Modern History Museum in Malton, North Yorkshire, on my day off. The items consisted of machetes, bayonets, and a sword, and getting them signed over to the museum’s curator only took a minute or two. Afterwards Heather and I were free to explore. I was born 15 years after WWII ended, but its ghost remained very much to the fore when I was a child because my father had fought in it and his father in WW1. My mother was in the military police and looked after female prisoners at a camp set up at Windlestone Hall in Co. Durham. Windlestone Hall is the birthplace of Sir Anthony Eden and it was sold off a couple of years ago to private buyers. Last year I took Mum out to lunch near there along with one of her army colleagues who had also been a guard at the hall during the war. I wrote to the owners beforehand and asked if there would be any possibility of Mum and her friend seeing the house again. They did ring me, but it was clear that they weren’t keen. Possibly this was because they’d received a massively bad press for picking up this enormous country pile for just 241k. I think they were a little suspicious of strangers. I hardly think that the price they paid is their fault (if I’d had the cash I would have would have been interested)  but the sale provoked local controversy. However if that had been my home I would have loved to have had someone in there who could properly tell me about its history, and talk about what each of the different rooms were used for while it was a POW camp.

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The day I met ………

My first job on leaving school was in the popular music section of JG Windows in Newcastle upon Tyne. Late one afternoon I was lolling against the counter, fiddling with a roll of sticky tape, one eye watching the clock. The heavy glass entrance door swept open and in glided a middle-aged gentleman with grey bouffant hair, tinted in pinks and purples around the temples. He sported a green velvet jacket and a cluster of silk scarves and frills. The ensemble was topped off with a wide-brimmed black hat, accessorised with yet another silk scarf, black gloves, and what I would call a swagger stick. And boy did he swagger; flamboyance oozed from every pore. Today his appearance wouldn’t cause a stir, but on that afternoon in the 1970’s stirring was in evidence within a 50ft radius, as customers stopped leafing through LP sleeves to gawp.

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My weekend

You may recall that in my blog of about a week ago I became infuriated with my mother because she took well over an hour to choose a new pair of frames at the opticians in Ryton, causing me to miss Slimming World. She was determined to have something in the designer line, and she couldn’t make her mind up between Prada and D & G, eventually plumping for Ray Ban. Well on Saturday we went down to collect said spectacles.