Monday, 13 October 2014
This entry is going to be a record (necessarily shortened a bit) of this last weekend. On Saturday morning we set out to drive to London to attend the baptism of Great Granddaughter Elsa. The above photo was taken of a dramatic sky somewhere over the M25. We drove up to Twyford to have a look round an Antique Shop where we've always bought well over the past several years. Beside the shop door were two notices each telling us that the shop was now 'permanently' closed and thanking everyone for their custom over the last twenty five years - oh well, it was bound to happen, sooner or later. There are very few real antique shops about now. Drove back into London, and to our hotel, which we'd found on EBay, a small, basic, but very clean, welcoming, and affordable establishment (oh yes, there are such places to be found - even in London).
The following morning, after a 'full English breakfast' served up by the proprietors, a charming Indian couple, we made our way to the Church of Saint Anselm Belmont, at Stanmore, Middlesex, where we took the above onesie of ourselves; only I think I've got that the wrong way round and in fact it's a selfie of.......... oh well I've no doubt you can work it out. The Church (in this case I do mean the building) as you can see in the above photo, is a solidly confident late Victorian/ Edwardian confection/erection. The real Church (i.e. the people - the resident congregation) was lovely. Ann described them as - an evangelical, but nicely short of being a happy-clappy- Church. The music was an excellent choir, many of whom played instruments at the same time as singing. There were two guitarists and a percussion section, mainly with a West Indian flavour. As I was a member of a skiffle group a very long time ago (late nineteeen fifties) I could appreciate their music.
Above photo shows Ann with our grandson Matthew.
Above photo is of Ann and our Great Granddaughter Elsa (who behaved perfectly during the baptism - and indeed all day).
Last picture shows our oldest and youngest daughters (gallantry prevents me, of course, from telling you which is which).
Well that's really all about the baptism, but I do want to tell you of one small incident that occurred later in a private room at a nearby hostelry where Granddaughter Georgie, Elsa's mother , had arranged a very nice buffet meal/reception. This last few years I've rather admired the sort of quiet self confidence that a good many of today's youngsters seem to have. Ann and I had just sat down at table when a young lad galloped up, held out his hand and said "Mum says I can come and say hello to you because you know me". I returned his handshake and said
"You'll have to tell me your name though".
"I'm Oscar", he said in a slightly surprised tone of voice, and as if his words had explained every thing.
"Of course I know you". I replied (I mean, how many Oscars does one meet during a lifetime?) "I've known you since you were a baby, but the last time we met you were only a toddler, so I'd forgotten". He obviously forgave my lapse of memory, and said "I'm ten now", after which we got on well. His mother (a good friend of our youngest daughter) came up soon afterwards and hoped Oscar wasn't being a nuisance (which he wasn't in the least). I told him I was glad he'd introduced himself, but that I supposed we both had a duty to circulate now; although I then stopped to chat with his mother and picked up all the family news (and to compliment her on her son's good manners).
"Oh, he worked out that you were probably Lizzie's father. So I told him to come and introduce himself. I knew you wouldn't mind."
I repeat, it's lovely to meet youngsters with that sort of quiet self confidence and innate good manners.