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China Girl blog 21st December 2016

Mother says that at this time of year, she thinks of all the dear people she once knew. Their memory flits through her mind like light and shade, disappearing like ghosts at cock-crow.

 Here beloved Father, who throughout his life dreamed the same dream; whilst inspecting his battalion, he carried under his arm a lavatory brush instead of the regulation military baton. What worried him was not the brush, but whether the bristles should be in front or behind. His brother, the Bishop of those glorious cathedrals of Bath and Wells, was once asked by the press what he did in his spare time. He replied “When I have nothing on, I relax on the sofa with my favourite Trollope!”

Dearest Aunt, who was a fearsome lady doctor, during the 1930s was travelling on a train, reading the Times newspaper. Suddenly the man sitting opposite scratched at the paper, at the same time saying “see these hands, see these lips, know what I can do with them?” Aunt took no notice until the fourth time, when she lowered the paper saying “for goodness sakes, what?” Whereupon he rubbed his fingers against his lips, blowing between them. Aunt said “How very interesting!”

 During the First World War, Dearest’s much-loved grandmother was crossing a road with a friend and to their amazement, coming towards them was Reggie, my grandfather. As they met, he vanished into thin air. It was at that very moment that he was mortally wounded in what was then Mesopotamia. Hanging at Cothay in the Winter Parlour is a charming picture of him in pastels, aged five; on the frame the words “Papa’s precious jewel”

These memories flit through our lives, we remember those we loved who are no longer here to celebrate the great festival of Christmas.