My two pairs of children – two boys and after three years, two girls – adored each other as toddlers and babies. Our sons live in London and are therefore still close, but our daughters live abroad so rarely meet except for major family events like our 80th and 90th birthdays.
I’m sure that as a toddler Louise thought Jane was her special possession. At the first peep of a demand for a feed, Louise would pull at my skirt, wailing ‘Ninny crying! Ninny crying!’ Fortunately that nickname didn’t stick. This year when Jane, having had chemotherapy and a total gastrectomy for stomach cancer, was left alone when her husband needed surgery, Louise flew to Switzerland from Spain to be with her at that worrying time – braving the huge queues at the airports because of Covid.
Not that there was always peace between the sibs, but let no-one from outside dare attack any one of them!! Their motto was definitely ‘All for One and One for All’.
It’s very sad to read of brothers and sisters who have lost contact, haven’t seen or heard from each other for years. One wrote to say she only discovered her brother had got married when she read about it on Facebook.
Read more of Abby’s stories in her memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat’ and her previous posts Abby’s Tales of Then and Now. You can Look Inside on the Amazon site and get a taster for free. ‘Woman in a White Coat’ is £2.99 for the Kindle version and £9.99 in paperback. ‘Abby’s Tales of Then and Now’ is £2.99 for the Kindle version and £12.99 for the 7” x 9” paperback. Both are illustrated in colour.
Happy New Year – and many more to come for all of you wonderful people who have been following my blog and reading my memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat.’
Always great having Louise and her family over from the Basque Country for the New Year and Simon and Bernard and his girlfriend coming to dinner tomorrow. Has to be vegetarian for Bernard and Josh is cooking vegetable cottage pie. I’m going to make the desert – Plum Traybake.
Louise made a great flyer to take to independent bookshops. A few have agreed to stock my book.
As we are warned on the National Theatre website, this new translation by Simon Stephens certainly does contain a lot of filthy language and immoral behaviour – a lot more than in the production we saw in 1956 – the Lord Chancellor’s rules were stringent then.
Rory Kinnear, son of the comedian Roy Kinnear, was great as Macheath, with a surprisingly good singing voice. I always enjoy seeing live musicians on the stage – the last time was the production of Nell Gwynn. The deep bass tones of the Balladeer (George Ikediashi) and Mr Peachum (Nick Holder) resounded in the Olivier theatre.
If you’re in good time you can browse the ground floor souvenir shop. I’m always a sucker for little things – I have a large collection of erasers from the major London galleries and museums.
Or wander out onto the balcony for fabulous London views.
Our son, Simon, says that we have too many kitchen gadgets but I don’t think that’s possible. For me it’s like not being able to be Too Rich or Too Thin!!
When I was cooking today, I realised just how many of the kitchen tools I use everyday came from Lakeland – including some they no longer stock like the little pyramidal plastic pots I use to freeze aliquots of lemon or lime juice or herbs. We were delighted when Lakeland opened a branch in Centre Court Mall in Wimbledon. Whatever we go there to buy we end up buying more.
Joshua didn’t really approve of the fact that though these bowls and plates look like Spanish pottery they’re made of Melamine – but who cares? We’ve had our recent share of breakages and I found the small bowls on the left irresistible!!
it’s that time of year. The sun comes out and so do the barriers and temporary traffic lights. A ten minute drive takes 45 minutes. So much traffic in London. Can’t help wondering will it seize up altogether?
I love living in London – so much to do and so much to see – but I wish the weather was a bit more consistent. Got soaked yesterday on my way to a meeting to discuss Woman in a White Coat and roasted in my waterproof jacket when the sun came out.
But what would we talk about to strangers passing in the night if we didn’t have our unpredictable weather?
The view from the ninth floor is stunning. It stretches from the London Eye in the East to the MI6 building in the West. In front of me is a cityscape of grey rooftops. Most of the buildings are still dark but a few lighted windows show that some people are already at work. The flags on the Houses of Parliament flap in the breeze and the long sharp leaves on our dwarf palm tree rustle. At this time of day the pods on the London Eye are still empty of people. In the far distance red warning lights on the tallest buildings and cranes look like a constellation of red stars. A lone airplane roars overhead on its way to Heathrow Airport and there is already a steady hum of traffic along Horseferry Road. Big Ben’s face is lit up. I hear it toll the hour.