Breaking The Law

Breaking The Law – With My Mother In Tow

Another Ronnie Corbett style story. You have been warned.

Whether I like it or not, the fact is, when we are out with my mother at the weekend, what we actually are is a car full of old people.

My mother won’t have it of course. No. At 63, Garry and I are barely out of our teens, in her eyes.

She’s the the old one, she says. Deaf, doddery and done for, in her opinion only. The truth of it is, once past 60, it’s all the same .

Past 50, you don’t get your own decade anymore as in, a ‘twenty something’ or a ‘30 or 40 something’ – no, once you hit 50 you become an ‘over’.

Over 50’s Yoga. Over 50s Lunch Club. Over 50s funeral plans. Over 50s Bingo. Er, no thanks.

I’ve written about this ageist nonsense before. You can find a link to that story here.

Ageism

Once you hit 60, that’s it from there on, you will share your ‘over’ status with those in their 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond.

No one ever says, ‘over’ 70s 80s or 90s do they? No, we are all lumped together after 60.

Cast aside as one great greying lump of humanity known evermore as the over 60s.

Once over 60, we are so past it that no one actually gives a shit what our decade is

Great. Thanks everyone.

So regardless of the fact that my mother, and anyone else in their 80s and 90s, see us 63 year olds as ‘youngsters’, the truth is, in the eyes of those not yet wearing wellie knickers, we are just a bunch of over 60s bumbling around in a car doing some Sunday driving.

But come Monday, I’m back behind the wheel doing the kind of driving we can’t do with mother in the car; that’s anything from 50 to 100 miles per hour. Did I say 100? Gosh I meant to say 70, officer.

I wouldn’t dream of acting like a 20 something with a souped up BMW. 😂

Anyway, back to my story about breaking the law.

Before I get to how we found ourselves breaking the law on a lazy July afternoon deep in the Norfolk (or Suffolk) countryside, I must fill you in on how I see my economic status. (I’m not saying which county we were in for reasons which will become clear later.)

So, regarding my economic status – quite simply, I’m a peasant. To put it another way, I’m Working Class.

And unless you are reading this from the deck of your luxury yacht moored in the Med or from the terrace of your country pile, you are probably a peasant too.

Does your house look like this? No? Then you are probably a peasant.

And if you are reading this in America, you may not get what I’ve just said, because class isn’t really a thing for you lucky people.

It certainly wasn’t when I emigrated to Canada in the 70s – no one had a clue that my accent was a dead giveaway to humble roots.

Or, is social class a thing for North America now?

We may have worked our way to a comfortable detached house which is paid for and we may enjoy a life of very little worry compared to some but, I am still attached to my peasant roots by that piece of invisible elastic that can only stretch so far.

I am a realist and I know that most of us probably wouldn’t last more than a year in our comfortable lives without a monthly income.

Without a vast fortune in the bank, the comfortably off ‘middle’ classes are really only one financial catastrophe away from being barefoot in the woods again.

You don’t think so? How long would your savings last if your income dried up?

A week? A month? A year?

I thought so, you are a peasant just like me. Accept it. It’s fun.

At quite a young age, I knew, that given a choice, I would have chosen a below stairs kind of life.

Tough as life was for the serving class, (and it was, truly tough), I would have found all that ‘keeping up appearances’ stuff boring as hell.

Using the right fork for the right course, being a Lady at all times and shunning the most interesting people on the planet on the basis of their ‘low class’ is my idea of purgatory.

Some of the most enlightening conversations I have ever had have been with people with ’no fixed abode’.

I would have preferred living 10 to a room in a peasant hovel with icicles hanging off my peasant nose.

Well, that’s what I say now from the comfort of 2019.

Take Ickworth Hall, a place so grand that it has a rotunda between the two wings, once used as a dedicated party pad, just for weekend guests.

The rotunda at Ickworth Hall – A dedicated ‘party pad’ for weekend guests.

I love this place and yet, I gravitate towards the servants quarters below stairs. I couldn’t bear the oppressive nature of the heavy drapes and opulent surroundings upstairs.

All this heavy interior design would have given me the heebie jeebies! Too claustrophobic.

Despite the space and big windows, the decor makes me feel claustrophobic – I prefer bare floors and the simplicity of below stairs – although I would have hated the lack of light in some subterranean areas.

This is more me – the servant hall at Ickworth Hall – bare and basic.

The life of the servant fascinates me more than the lives of those they served.

Regardless of those around me who may consider themselves to have escaped their working class roots, I keep it real.

I know my place in the world and I am endlessly fascinated by what kind of a life my peasant ancestors had when peasants were answerable to the Lords of the Manor.

So it was quite exciting when we met one while accidentally trespassing on his land with mother in tow last Sunday.

Sunday’s are interesting days for us since my dad died last year.

Being the devoted couple they were, when dad became too frail to venture outside, my mother remained at his side and declined our invitations to get out and about for a change of scenery.

My parents the 1940s when love was blooming – My mother was at his side until the end.

Right up until his death, mother ceased all activities outside the house to be with my father.

However, after all the trauma of the final year, in the weeks following my father’s passing, I encouraged my mother to get out and see the world again.

She can’t do this alone at 91, so Sundays are generally reserved for outings with her.

The rest of the week is taken up with dentists, opticians, audiologists and doctors. All those who fight the losing battle against physical decline.

But, where in the world do you go on a Sunday in sleepy Norfolk (or Suffolk) as a bunch of old people, with one in a wheelchair who won’t stray far from civilisation and its mod cons (yes, we are back to the touchy subject of lavatories again!)

So last Sunday, I had the brilliant idea of going ‘dead ancestor spotting’ in the villages around where my Great Grandad came from.

My mother often speaks fondly of the village where ‘Gaffer’, as he was known, came from. And I know she and my dad spent summer days in that area looking for the gravestones of Gaffers forbears.

Mother, of course, had no idea where we were going. It’s a longish drive by her standards, which, appear to be left over from the days of horses pulling carts.

When we used to go off to Brighton (for the day, shock horror) to visit the grandchildren, there were raised eyebrows from my father who couldn’t contemplate anyone driving ‘all that way and back again!’, in one day.

So when we are going anywhere that’s more than 10 miles away, we generally keep it a secret until mother is actually seat-belted into the car and can’t back out.

We did it once when we dragged mother and father off to Brighton.

We were at the QE ll bridge over the Thames before they suspected we weren’t actually going to a garden centre!

So back to the Lord of The Manor encounter.

Once we got to where we were going in Suffolk (or Norfolk) 🤔, our visit to the churchyards was waylaid by the very attractive vision of a quintessentially English tea shop.

Not many of those left.

Scene From Inside An English Tea Room – nothing quite so Britsh as afternoon tea on the verandah.

So after tea, cake and sandwiches had been consumed, we resumed our original quest for names on gravestones.

But between the tea shop and the church was a vision even more pleasing than that of the teashop.

Across a field, we spied some ruins. Could have been a castle, could have been a church – my lips are sealed as to its former function for reasons of privacy, as I already mentioned.

Ruins are my complete joy in life, which is a good thing given that we are well on the way to ending up that way ourselves. Some more so than others, but there you are.

We drove on to the church and found the sloped driveway blocked by a car, leaving nowhere to safely park nearby and no way of getting mother into the graveyard.

Yes, I know, that sounds a bit wrong. But you know what I mean – the wheelchair.

Had we really driven all this way to find we couldn’t get out of the car?

‘I know!’ I yelled, like Georgina from the Famous Five, ‘Let’s go and explore those ruins!’

We were one person and a dog away from a full blown Enid Blyton adventure.

Lashings of ginger beer!

Never mind that the ruins were probably less accessible than the graveyard and more crucially, on private land.

But there were no signs indicating the latter and so, in we drove and parked on some patchy grass.

The ruin was some way off. It was across a long, grassy, bumpy pathway, roughly cut through a meadow.

And mother suddenly needed a ‘comfort break’ with no comfort break facilities for miles around.

(Oh how roles are reversed with children in the winter years of our lives!)

So off we set, Garry pushing mother across this undulating meadow in a wheelchair really only meant for hospital corridors and smooth pavements.

But the lure of ruins had mother in their thrall too and she held on for dear life, in more ways than one.

It was pure bliss. The air was so clean and fresh and there was the aroma of what seemed like apples and chamomile in the air. I was drunk on the atmosphere.

Unknown to us, the Lord of the Manor landowner had spotted us and was watching from a distance.

Up close, the ruins were just wonderful. We were oblivious to being watched.

Shades of an Enid Blyton Adventure.

We hadn’t been there very long when I took pity on my mother’s growing discomfort and, after snapping a few pictures while enjoying the fruits of my vivid imagination, heavy with possible ghosts of the past, we trundled her back to the car.

The brevity of our visit turned out to be a good thing.

We could see, in the distance, a man standing at the entrance to the site. He wasn’t happy.

Had I known this, I wouldn’t have been quietly and contentedly singing One Day Like This as we drove towards him. I would have been shitting myself and singing I Predict a Riot.

Now I love a bit of sarcasm.

So when this man, maybe in his early 50s, who was clearly not dressed by Primark, approached the car and sarcastically asked Garry if we were lost, I immediately liked his sense of humour.

Garry, however, is not as impressed with sarcasm as I am.

With one woman in the front singing that same song she has been practicing day and night for weeks (more about that in a future post), and another in the back saying she wasn’t sure if she could ‘wait much longer’, he wasn’t in the best of moods.

I sensed this could get ugly.

I was also kind of intrigued by the curious mix of masculine contemporary jewellery, piercings, sarcasm, nice clothes and the supreme air of confidence that is usually only seen in the aristocracy.

Someone whose family historically probably employed peasants like us.

This man, I thought, is not to be f****d with.

And so I immediately broke up the fight before it began.

We had, after all, been breaking the law – mother as well.

However, although we were technically breaking the law, as we had not sprayed the ruins with graffiti, carved our initials in the stonework or set fire to anything, we had not committed any arrestable offences.

I have not yet run this past my son, who is an upholder of the law in the capital, but I’m pretty sure the police would not have rushed to the scene to arrest three old people looking at an historic ruin.

But still, breaking the law of the land is not something I ever want to do because, I am a good peasant and so is my mother.

Which is why she was horrified when she realised what we had done.

Thankfully, her hearing aids, being 10 years old (about to be replaced if the NHS will stump up some of the money my father paid in for 50 plus years), spared her from hearing the conversation at the time.

If she had cottoned on, I am pretty sure she would have staggered out of the car and curtsied.

Her generation doffed caps. Ours not so much, thank goodness. After all, no one can defy death, regardless of status, which makes us all equal in the end, in my humble opinion.

But still, respect is important no matter who you are dealing with, although you won’t find my knees bending if the Queen pops in for tea – respect and unhealthy deference are two completely different things.

The land owner turned out to be a pleasant man who is simply tired of people trespassing on his land and leaving rubbish in their wake – which is why I’m not publicising where this is.

I don’t blame him for being annoyed.

But I’m pretty sure he realised a car full of over 60s wasn’t a threat to his land once he’d spoken to us.

Manners do pay off.

This man graciously answered our questions and told us a little about the ruins and then later, I researched what he’d told me.

There was a reason why he’d had that special air of confidence and natural superiority, usually only seen in aristocrats – he is one.

And his family history is one of the most rich you will find anywhere. The connections to well known historical figures are breathtaking – unless of course my research is wrong – but I’m sure it isn’t.

Why am I glad that Garry didn’t argue with him?

Is it because I think the aristocrats deserve more respect than your average peasant?

No, it isn’t. It’s about not letting ourselves down. It’s about being respectful to everyone, even those who some people would, (small mindedly), despise for their status of owning land that was of course, in the very beginning, just simply seized by those with the biggest sticks.

Just because peasants no longer defer to the upper classes in the way we once did, it does not mean we have to go the other way and be rude when we encounter someone from a class different to our own.

I feel the same about the drunk I may encounter sleeping rough on the streets of our nearby town or, people busking to buy food.

breaking the law
Everyone has the right to earn money to live.

People are people and no one chooses the circumstances of their birth.

Politeness always to everyone. That’s my motto in life.

When the human in me can address the human in you, regardless of class, religion, race or any other secondary difference you can name, we learn things from each other.

And on Sunday, I learnt about those ruins and the rich family history behind them. It added to the overall experience.

My mother made it home in time, although I haven’t seen her move so fast through her front door in ages and, I am still happily singing One Day Like This, quite content with my station in life.

I am thankful that the only ‘ancient ruin’ in my life that I have to contend with is my dear old mum.

Heading back to the car – straight into the jaws of the landowner. Yikes!

Ancient ruins of great national historic significance must be such a worry to all who own them.

Somewhere in the country – dramatic skies over a site steeped in British history.

I am grateful the landowner was so reasonable and agreed to let me publish this. In return, I have agreed I will not publicly divulge the location of this wonderful place.

I have to say he is a true legend – even his body language was sarcastic as he gestured to the ground, spreading his arms as if to say “ WTF are you doing in my garden?”

Silent sarcasm is an art I have never been able to master.

If anyone reading this guesses where it is, I would urge you to seek permission to visit, via the local parish council, which will put you in touch.

The land is private and I’m sure you would hate to have strangers wandering about in your garden.

Over to you. What is your opinion on us breaking the law in this manner and when was the last time you accidentally broke the law?

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20 comments

  1. Love the story Gilly. Our generation is growing bold not old and it’s fantastic. We are the only generation that has gone through so much change so quickly. From inkwells to IPads.

    The photo of your parents is pure magic. It captures the time and place and their togetherness. Thanks for sharing.
    Your day out seems to have been quite the adventure, I am sure the landowner quickly recognized your family as people of substance despite humble origins and not the usual rag tag peasants usually he gets.

    The class divide is one thing I do not miss about England. I remember watching Upstairs Downstairs with great fascination even Downton Abbey was very revealing about the idea of class and place. Sometime you just have to break free.

    1. Hi Judith! Hope all is well with you in Ontario – always a pleasure to see you here. Thanks for that and I love ‘growing bold not old’ that is brilliant. I’ll remember that when I feel faint hearted. Yes, losing the class divide was the very best thing I discovered when I moved to Canada. Over here, as you know, people know your roots the second you open your mouth. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that people kept telling me they loved my English accent – it was so freeing. Did you love Upstairs Downstairs though! I can’t get enough books and films about the class divides, it really fascinates me. I loved The Remains of the Day too, such a good film. And oh my goodness, Downton Abbey. Almost comedic! But I love it. We did accidentally find ourselves at Highclere Castle (where it is shot) once while killing time in Newbury. We didnt go in, just wandered around the grounds which are beautiful. I took pictures of course! Can’t wait for the film which is due out in September. Love to you across the miles.

  2. Gilly,

    Next week, DH joins the 60s crowd. I’m still a few years off but you know I don’t feel that I’m ‘Over the hill’ as the younger generation says. I’m very active and still feel quite youthful. When we’re blessed with good health it’s hard to sense how old we really are sometimes, don’t you agree? How sneaky of you to get your mum out like that but that’s probably what she really needs. The countryside in your neck of the woods has to be an interesting place to take a Sunday afternoon spin. We’re the ‘working class’ folks in America, so I can relate but I don’t think someone’s economical standards makes a purrson better than another, just like race. In fact, if truth be told I find that a poor purrson who has good manners and respect toward another is far richer than then wealthy and more than likely a classier purrson. Today’s privileged are snobbily rude and impatient individuals. If I acted like these adult kids, my mother would take me to the woodshed for thrashing. Yep, corporal punishment really warped me not. 🙂 Anywho, I’m glad that the landowner didn’t call the law on your trespassers. That’s really an easy thing to do. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve mistakenly taken a private drive thinking it’s a street which leaves us to rant saying things like, ‘If that was our driveway, there would be a PRIVATE drive posting to keep people out like us!’ That drives me bonkers, to say the least, and you know it’s gotta bother those residents but it’s an easy fix which I can’t figure out. *scratch head* Oh well, I enjoyed reading your happenings across the pond. Have a glorious songsational week!
    Cathy Kennedy recently posted…Not a place but a band #3DoorsDownMy Profile

    1. Well Happy birthday to DH, in advance from across the pond! Good health is key to aging well and I value my good health way more than anything else, without health, everything else is pointless. Pleased to hear you guys are in good shape and enjoying life. I knew way back in my 30s that my body (and mind!) suffered greatly if I drank alcohol or ate sugary food. So I have avoided both for the last 30 years and my health improved massively year by year, so I have stuck to healthy food and plenty of execise all these years and (touch wood!) I never go near a doctor. Just as well as the NHS is doing all it can to NOT see patients – people have to jump through so many hoops to even SPEAK to one. It’s bonkers, so good health is essential to us oldies because we’ve been abandoned. Yes, we got walloped every now and then as kids (usually a slap on the legs) and I have always maintained that smacking is wrong. But when I look around at the entitled youngsters brought up on being sent to the ‘naughty step’ to ‘think about’ what they’ve done, I do wonder where it has all gone wrong. As kids, we had respect for adults but now, it’s common place for children to just walk right in front of you in a shop, to the extent of pushing sometimes, if they want to look at something you happen to be standing in front of, and the parents couldn’t give a damn. If we’d done that, we would have been brought up short by our parents and they would have apologised to the person. And gradually, you get socialised that way. But its all gone to hell now. The landowner turned out to be ok in the end – had to see it from his perspective and he was quite right. But like you, I do wonder why there isn’t a Private sign up. Have a brilliant week – get ready to party for the 60th! Thanks for stopping by.

      1. Gilly,

        Good life choices are sure to help to keep our health in check as we get older. I’m blessed I never gave in to the party way of living in my early years and I quickly learned that sunbathing isn’t my cup of tea. These two things by themselves I’m certain has given me the advantage over others. Another thing is using my brain, educating myself on self-improvement whether it’s taking vitamin & mineral supplements, exercising, or maintaining my weight. I need to drop at least 10 pounds but I’d like to see 15 off before the end of the year. I’ve gotten to relaxed in the past year not paying close enough attention to my poor eating habits. Ice cream is my weakness. It’s the devil in disguise I tell you!

        Kids are horribly rude and parents do nothing to correct their behavior. We read silly articles often like how parents have to hire a coach to teach their kids to be less co-dependent of digital technology. We are like, well…don’t give them a phone when they wee buggers, to begin with, and keep them off the computer or video games and push them outdoors to use their imaginations! Gee, that’s what we did! Hmm, maybe that’s why we turned out to be twisted individuals as adults. What do you think?

        Thanks for the early bday wishes for DH. I plan to make him a homemade cherry cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. His mother used to make him cherry cakes for his birthday when he was a boy, so I thought that would be nice to do this year. I normally make him a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting which is a favorite variety for both us but it’s nice to change things up. As if we both need cake but we’re cutting back and trying to not overindulge. The good news is this is the last birthday until December (me) but usually, I opt for no cake. There will be plenty of other sweets in the house with my Christmas candy making and baking going on.

        Have a good day! 😉
        Cathy Kennedy recently posted…Not a place but a band #3DoorsDownMy Profile

        1. Hire a WHAT? Is that really a thing? Oh. My. God. I’ve heard it all now Cathy.like you say, just don’t give kids the flipping things in the first place!

          Good luck dropping the 10 pounds – I could do with the same, although at 63, I’d rather be slightly heavier than underweight because scrawny is so aging. Your cakes sound yummy! I’d have to be very strong to resist them I think.

          Thanks so much for taking time to comment – I know you are summer busy.

  3. I’d be fascinated with the ‘servants’ rooms too. Just imagine what all went on there.
    I thoroughly enjoyed your post and loved the pics, Gilly! Now how will the aristocrat feel if he comes across this? 😉

    1. Hi Corinne, thanks for coming by. Well if you have ever been to the UK, you will know we have tons of stately homes to visit, so you’d get to see plenty of servant’s quarters. I think life was probably unbearable for them. I’ve just finished reading a book about head-housekeepers in country houses over the years and life was really grim below stairs. Many servants suffered from serious ilnesses through lack of Vitamin D (and general malnutrition I would guess). And about the guy whose land we were on, he has seen this! He was a really good sport, even after we had been trespassing on his land, he agreed I could publish the pictures I took as long as I didn’t say where it was. And he approved my copy as well. I didn’t want to publish anything that could be offensive. He really took it in the good humor it was intended. Lovely to see you.

  4. How fun you guys are!!! I wish I’d of been in that car! And God bless your poor mom “holding it” for that whole time! Hahaha. What a great adventure. Your parents are beautiful. My parents had 56 years together before my dad died and my mom just sort of gave up after that. This whole circle of life thing is painful. – My mom’s family did come from the royals and they came over on the Mayflower and they were presidents and good soldiers and slave owners, etc., etc. My mom bled red, white and blue. Our family joke is that my mom’s family came over on the Mayflower and my dad’s family was swimming behind it. 🙂 – My dad’s Italian/Sicilan side is a mystery. 😉

    1. I knew it! I was going to get someone here who isn’t a peasant! I’ll make an exception for you Mimi – I just curtsied and gave you a posy. That is so interesting – I love hearing about people’s histories and would love to know more. It would make a great post with your colorful language and biting wit behind it! You must do one. I can see where you got your sense of humour from with that remark about your dad’s family swimming behind – that’s hilarious . So you could be a combination of old royals and mafia? You never know! My mum hasn’t a clue about her grandparents on her dad’s side. Her father ran away from London as a young lad – how old we don’t know – and never spoke of his family to ANYONE. I have tried to trace his side of the family but can’t even find a birth certificate for him. He just didn’t exist in any records before the marriage certificate to my grandmother and I have given up the search now.Ive even search the workhouse records and there is nothing. It’s these mysteries that leave you wondering if they were princes or paupers isn’t it? But as princes don’t runaway unnoticed, I’m guessing pauper in our case! Thanks for your visit – I’m intrigued now!

  5. We are peasants too, and proud of it! Hubby’s still working at age 69 (in a heavy, blue-collar job, I might add) and I have my dog-boarding business at age 64. (Many of my clients are wealthy, but only a couple of them put on airs and treat me like a servant. For the most part, they are friendly and courteous.) We both have bum knees, other injuries and arthritis, but hey! It beats the alternative, right? 😀 For my 60th birthday, we went to a Bob Seger concert. Bob was almost 70 at the time and gave a fabulous performance. Last night, we watched 69-year-old Ann and 65-year-old Nancy Wilson (aka the band, HEART) as they sang and played in top form. They looked gorgeous, too! (And, we got to ride the commuter train for half price because of our ages, so there is an upside.) A big F-U to all those little shits who look down their noses at our generation! They might think back and regret it when they reach our age. 😉 How ridiculous to lump everyone over 50 into one single “grey” category. (I read your other story on grey pounds – also ridiculous! The link didn’t work though, so I searched for it.)

    Your parents were a lovely-looking couple. Your Mum must miss your Dad terribly, but your Sunday outings are no doubt something she looks forward to. Ruins are always fascinating! Glad to know the Lord of the Manor was so forgiving. He sounds intriguing too.

    As for breaking the law, the rebel in me loves the idea! I do it, every time I get in the car and step on the gas. 😀 (No souped-up BMW, but we used to have a Camaro Z28. I miss the muscle car era! Sigh…)

    Another fabulous post and music to match! Thanks for the pleasurable interlude. 🙂
    Debbie D. recently posted…TANTALIZING TORONTOMy Profile

    1. Hi Debbie thanks for taking the time to read this War and Peace rival – I know how busy you are and so I appreciate you taking the time. Apologies about the link and thanks for searching! I will have a look at it and try to fix it. Am jealous about Bob Seger! What a way to spend your 60th! I can’t believe the ages of the Heart ‘girls’! I saw them at Maple leaf Gardens in 1975 when they supported Rod Stewart – that was a brilliant concert – I’m wondering if you were there. Did you tell me before that you were seeing them at what used to be the Ontario Place Forum?

      The thing is about the little shits who shun people over a certain age, I’m pretty sure I was a bit like that myself. But not rude, just not interested in ‘old’ people or their opinions apart from my Grandma of course. So karma maybe

      Thanks for your comment about my parents. They were a very elegant couple and my mum wore beautifully cut clothes when she was young. I know she does miss dad dreadfully – they were 11 days short of their 70th wedding anniversary when he died. Paying the price of love – if may borrow from the Brothers Gibb.

      Yes ‘LOTM’, VERY intriguing but it’s his prerogative to remain anonymous, which is a shame. But as we were on his land, he could have refused to let me even use the pictures – or at least cut up rough about it. Oh Debbie – I loved those cars – I have no idea what model it would have been, but one of my neighbours up on Shepherd Avenue West had a black Camaro. I was secretly in love with him and his car! He always wore black and he had long black hair and I always used to hear him start the engine – I loved that sound and used to rush to the window to watch him pull away! We had a Firebird at the time which ironically, spontaneously burst into flames one day! No one was in it thank goodness. Thanks so much for sharing these things about your life, it jogs my own memory so much.

    1. Thank you my friend! I’m in good company then. I wasn’t sure if the USA had peasants Many thanks for coming by UP, much appreciated as always.

  6. Over 50 doesn’t bug me because over 55 starts to get you the magical discounts aka senior discounts in the US. 5 or 10 percent off the top, I’ll take it! It was that time period between 50 and 55 that was a bother. Old enough to be called “over 50” but too young to get a damn discount!
    Jennifer recently posted…How to Use Pinterest to Brainstorm ContentMy Profile

    1. Very good point Jennifer – there are some perks to being older! We used to get a free bus pass at 60 but I’m not even sure if they do them now and if they do, it will be 65 now. And pensioners used to get a free TV licence but they are scrapping that soon. It’s almost worth doing a big, bungled bank robbery in old age so you can live free, courtesy of the state. Free meals, free TV, no bills. Thanks for coming by and make the most of those discounts!

    1. We may be thousands of miles apart Melinda but we are kindred spirits for sure! Thanks so much for taking the time, always glad to see you here.

  7. As usual Gilly a complete joy to read. I too consider myself a good peasant and I agree completely, life’s not about class it’s about manners. Irrespective as you say of ‘stick’ size waved generations before we’d all ask a question or two of anyone wandering on our patch. So pleased your mums bladder held out and she didn’t end up in cuffs! I loved the photo of her and your dad too. Hears to Sunday afternoons. Funny how we hated them as kids…I live for them now.

    1. Thanks Karen – I’m really flattered that you found time to read all this with only a week to go to Latitude! I thought you’d be getting the vocal chords ready and having a last minute check over words! So I am EXTRA appreciative of your visit here today.:-) Yes, we were pretty glad that mum held on too! Oh so you hated Sundays too. I detested them. We had to go to Sunday school and then we weren’t allowed to play out on the street because it was Sunday. And outings were to my grandma’s house, which I loved, Felixstowe on the train or walking to Belstead through the woods. No outing today, thanks to the cricket. Mum had dinner here poor thing (I cooked ). Garry is so wound up over the cricket it’s unbelievable! See you next week! x

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