A Monstrosity

Becky, Ian, Scooby and I walked down to the village shop and back this morning.  It was again very cold.  On our return Jackie was watching ‘Bargain Hunt’.  Seeing something on offer that she thought a monstrosity reminded Becky of an item in my parents’ hall.

At six years old my daughter was enthralled by this piece of furniture.  She would gaze at it wondering whether it was a chair or a table because it was being used as both.  In her own words she describes it as a table that had a cushion-seat in the side with pretty patterns and carvings.  It was almost throne-like and appeared to be made of marble and gold.  The decoration was in fact plastic and the cushion probably Dralon.

Becky asked me what it was.  Apparently I glanced furtively from side to side and quietly answered that it was ‘a monstrosity’.  The little girl trotted off to school and told her teacher that when she grew up she was going to have ‘a monstrosity’.

Dating from the time when people always kept the telephone in the hall, this monstrosity was a telephone table.  Becky now says that if she ever sees one she will just have to buy it.

After lunch I accompanied Becky and Ian on a mooch through a virtually closed Ringwood.  We had coffee in the excellent Cafe Bistro Aroma.  As we ambled through the rather deserted car park for our return, the roar of a car from behind us made Becky and me instinctively step aside.  This was just as well.  Tearing through pedestrian pathways came a greyish car belching black smoke from its exhaust.  Ian estimated it missed me by half a metre.  Like something out of ‘The French Connection’ or any other car chase movie, it sped though a gap between two parked cars, took a right angled change of direction to the left at the far end, rushed through, forcing a gap in, a stream of moving traffic, zigzagged right and vanished out of sight.  Our journey back to Minstead seemed quite pedestrian in comparison.

Tinchy Gimson was a volunteer married to the treasurer of the Phyllis Holman Richards Adoption Society (see 18th July last year).Derrick c1994  Photograph number 14 in the ‘through the ages’ series was taken by her in the garden of the establishment in West Hill, Putney sometime around 1994.  As far as I remember, the intention was to produce mug-shots of the staff for clients.  As a freelance consultant, I was included in this.  The garden contained an Anderson air-raid shelter built as a place of refuge from bombs during the Second World War.  Never having been removed, this became home to generations of foxes, the cubs of which gambolled in the sunshine on the lawn every spring.

Jackie produced a mouth-watering roast beef dinner this evening, followed by treacle sponge pudding.  She drank a glass of Latitude 35 degrees S; I had some Siren 2012 that Danni had brought last night; and Ian drank Peroni.

6 responses to “A Monstrosity”

  1. I do wish my father would have written something like this – for so many reasons. He had a traumatic brain injury as a child aged around 6 and lost memory – living a life of incomplete memory and short-term-memory-loss. Thus he does not have the recall you have. You have an incredible recall between Jackie and Becky and you. It does memory justice the way you capture moments. I think the greatest gift is not money or ‘things’ but to have a memory given to you by an ancestor, grandparent, parent. When your grandchildren are older, and just in general when many of your family look back, they will read this and it will become as cherished as anything could be.

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