I always welcome opportunities for a gathering of the clan. My cousin John married Carol on a sunny afternoon in mid-June. Nick drove my sisters and I (we have been coined The Weird Sisters by my niece) to Fareham where we connected with relatives not seen for too long. It was a happy occasion during which the stories of the mischief, which was a way of life for our numerous great uncles, were recalled; stories which our father recounted for our inexhaustible amusement, often at the dinner table, and which permeated our childhood narrative. I have vivid memories of time spent at my grandmother’s terraced house in Portsmouth. I was allowed to dress up in her clothes……… and run errands so-dressed to the corner shop. I longed to have long hair and I remember plaiting three of her stockings then pulling the open ends over my head to form a cap with a trailing braid! There were trips to Hayling Island, the Southsea Amusement Park and the Floral Clock and Rock Gardens in Southsea which were beautifully lit at night. I am the eldest, it was a perk and no doubt gave my mother a break!
A week later we drove up to Hackney to support our daughter-in-law in her attempt at the Half Marathon. We saw her pass the end of the road, 3 miles into her run, and again 5 miles in. She ran well and pulled in a good time.
Afterwards we enjoyed an afternoon- and evening-long BBQ. The proceedings were punctuated with the comings and goings of our former cat Rooney, who now resides in Hackney, having relinquished his cross-Channel lifestyle of yore.