Mandy took me on a trip down memory lane today. We got the train to Henley ( on Thames NOT in Arden , where I had my first job , teaching locked up 16yr old boys in a residential school. It was a successful year , 4 of my class graduated to Prison and 1 to Rampton ).
We stopped at Shiplake and I saw ‘Orchard’ , Uncle Arnold ( my Dad’s brother ) and Auntie Pams old house. As children we had many a happy day there. I remember the time Pam dished up our Sunday lunch , only to shout ,oh my God- the Harboards have arrived. We all had to scrape the food off our plates back into the serving dishes , wash the plates and then told FHB ( anyone know what that means ?) and start again – she’d forgotton she’d invited them. Then there was the time she suggested we went swimming . me being a mug , took my cossie ,thinking we were going to one of her posh neighbours ( Vince Hill, Mary Hopkins )pools . But no , while everyone else sat on the terrace drinking G&T’s . Pam and i jumped into The River Thames, landing up to our waists ( when I had one ) in silt , and then took our lives in our hands swimming to the otherside avoiding the currents/ pleasureboats/rowers /motorboats etc etc. I was 10 !
Mandy and I walked to Hambledon, along the river- it was beautiful . The last time I had done that was about 7yrs ago with The Maynards, Clarkes , John, Jacob , Rosie and Florence- how happy we all were. Oh yes Arnold and Pam married in Hambledon Church- I wasn’t there !