Friday, 19 June 2015

Time for a face lift

As I expect you all suspected, we had a bit of a crisis last week. Luckily I wrote the blog on Thursday - as I usually do. However I had not selected and processed the pictures. If I had I would have scheduled the blog to be posted on the Friday morning. What I didn't know was that early Friday morning I was to hit the buffers as my iron levels suddenly dropped – again. Nobody seems to be able to explain why this happens but when it does I find myself stuck in bed. It is all rather horrid. What is really odd is that I don't feel it coming. All seems to be well and then, completely out of the blue, it hits yet again.

Anyway (and sorry about this), during the day I forgot all about the blog – the penny fell in the evening. When it did I was feeling a bit better so managed to put some photos – not very brilliant ones I’m afraid – with it and post it, just, on Friday. I was surprisingly pleased that I had not missed a week. Childish, really.

Since then I have had more tests and another iron infusion. My doctor – a really nice guy, by the way – has decided that in future I should have a regular monthly check up to try and stop me falling off the cliff, if you see what I mean.

After four days in bed, it was time to go and see something of the world. Marcia had to go down to Dartmouth so I went along for the ride although I didn't get out of the car. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the George and Dragon – the public house that was run by an uncle and aunt and in which my mother and I spent most of the war years – father being abroad – was undergoing what looks like a major face lift.

In those days the entrance was round the back in Silver Street and the bit this side was our back yard. It was enclosed by a high wall – you can see the remains of that to the right of the hoardings – in which there were a pair of large gates with a small wicket gate. Anyway, what really made me talk about this is that someone has drawn some rather jolly pictures on that hoarding, as you can see, which reinforce the family connection, Philips were an important employer and the biggest shipbuilding yard in the town. A number of relatives worked there including my grandfather, a couple of uncles (one being the son of the landlord of this pub who married one of my mother’s sisters) and my mother who ran the accounts office for some years. All these pictures are of craft (except for the paddle steamer) built by Philips.

Meanwhile, the 'Companion' has been progressing albeit more slowly than I had hoped. There are now pages up for The Sea Garden and The Christmas Angel. Matters are a bit more difficult now – I had already prepared notes for the earlier books but not for those two or the ones still to be dealt with. 
Thus the need to consult what materials we have – our diaries, my photos (thanks to the ‘date taken’ tag) and Marcia’s notebooks plus, of course, many discussions starting with, ‘can you remember that day when we . . . ?’

Actually it has been great looking back. There were plenty of disasters along the way but what we remember most is the laughter and fun that we had.