rainy day challenge

No weddings today but my twin sons are coming over to chop wood.   In the wind and rain to keep dry’ish I have figured out a way of hanging a tarpaulin out of the window and tying the other side to the hedge though!   All the wood ‘discs’ sawn from the old Scotch Pine are stacked under compost bins and dry.   The old Scotch Pine was over 200 years old apparently but we were advised to take it down as it was dying.   The wood smells lovely and it will keep us warm for another year yet.   Rainy days never bothered us when the kids were growing up – the favourite game was 3D Snakes and Ladders.   I always had chalk and we drew squares on the floors and carpet all the way round the house.   Every step ladder was used and the bunk beds were turned into ‘ladders’ and ‘snakes’ that had to be climbed up and down.   Also every time we came to a ‘snake’ we had a forfeit.   The best memory I have is of the twins and their friend, Ellison dressed up as pirates or something squashed into an old plastic bath trying to slide down the corridor whilst singing Bohemian Rapsody at the top of their voices…

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horses and washing lines

‘Don’t play that thing in front of these two, will you?’ – the harassed groom shouted at me.   I sat in long frock with my harp by the back door of a very small Castle waiting for the Bride and Groom.   The courtyard was untouched by time with cobbles and weeds and the drawbridge and moat looked ancient but worked beautifully.  There were 2 small cottages on each side of the courtyard and one of them had a line of sheets out and a mish-mash of toys strewn in front.   The sheets hung heavy as the rain had poured down all afternoon.  ‘these two’ referred to the two matching black horses pulling an open carriage.  There were grooms back and front but they couldn’t keep the horses still.   Eventually the Bride and Groom appeared to huge cheers and an instant crowd.    The horses took off as the Bride stepped onto the footplate.   She was thrown in screaming.  Her husband and guests ran after them across the drawbridge and out of my sight.  The cook told me that the tenants of the cottages are each given £200 a wedding to not hang washing out and put the toys away!   I never played another note …

Midnight Walks at Boarding School

We just had a lovely day out at Scarborough.   I had a bag of chips on the sea front – covering it well, shielding it from the seagulls as the sun was setting.   It was the second best bag of chips I’ve ever had.   At boarding school just up the coast in Whitby we were taught by nuns.   They didn’t allow tv, radio, record players and it was very strict.   Saturday morning lessons were taught in latin.  They spent a lot of time in Chapel and attended the last service of the day called Complan at 9 pm and went to bed.   They weren’t allowed to talk until Matins the following morning at 5 am.   Day to day life was suddenly thrown into chaos by the arrival of a new nun.   She told us she had fallen in love with Peter O’Toole but it hadn’t worked out so she had become a nun.   At 10.30 one night she crept into the dormitory and whispered did anyone want to go for a midnight walk.   There were 27 beds in total on each side of this long room with a window between each metal bed.  The mattresses were of horsehair and had to be rolled up and turned every Saturday morning.  After an hour in bed they had sunk into a snug sausage shape which you curled up in.  About half of us leapt out of bed and threw on some clothes and the other half lay terrified in case they got caught (goody goodies).  We tiptoed out down the long corridors past the sleeping nuns’ quarters carrying our shoes and out into the night.   We walked about 6 miles into Whitby and just caught the last chippie before it closed.  We each contributed the odd penny here and there until we came up with the 16 p needed.    I think we managed about 2 chips each but they were the best chips we ever had.   Sister Val insisted we sit right in the middle of the main road to Whitby to eat them as well.