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October 2018



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garden journal

On This Day

Tuesday 23rd October 1951
Heavy frost covered the lawn like a light fall of snow this morning. The herbaceous border looked odd with its bright bank of flowers. I'd an appointment with my hairdresser and we went down town early so I could go to the grocer's and the greengrocer's. The grocer's wife served me. She is rather a grumbler, and I've noticed the shelves kept a bit too well-stocked - tinned ham in small tins, crayfish, chicken from 3/6 to 24s, the latter 'guaranteed to contain a whole fowl'. This morning she was so gloomy as she complained, 'Things have never picked up since we had such bad trade when the town went mad to go to Wembley.' (to see the Barrow Rugby Union League team in the final. People sold furniture to go. Barrow lost.) I thought,'Well, I didn't go, but my money shrinks. I'd love to buy a lot of things I see but I dodge up something tasty, as even in the war we did, but with cheaper food on the whole.' Women complained of it being cold, but added, 'One thing, there will be no power cuts till after Thursday and women have voted.' It seems the general opinion that women will sway the votes (in the general election, the second within two years.) I suppose they won't want to irritate anyone! I see by the notice in the local Mail every district in Furness as well as Barrow are 'charted' for different days. Our bad day will be Tuesday, so I can plan a plain meal of soups to heat and perhaps fish to cook, or bacon. Even a four-hour cut ends at noon, so men from the Yard (the shipyard) can have a quickly prepared meal.

from Nella Last in the 1950s



Nella Last

I have loved Nella Lasts diaries, didn't realise that this had been published (many thanks)so have just ordered it. Disliked the Victoria Wood dramatisation though.
Best wishes

Re: Nella Last

I bought it too, and I'm loving it, don't want to finish.
I didn't like the TV version, either. I like Victoria Wood a lot but I don't think she's a good straight actress and the TV play wasn't true enough to the book for me.
That'd be Barrow Rugby League team. Quite an important difference to some people.
Oops! Sorry about that. I'm only interested in cricket. Will change it.

Not entirely unrelated

I thought that you might be interested, since we were both saddened at the loss of Alan Plater earlier this year, to know that on Jon Boden's blog A Folk Song a Day, he sings Close the Coalhouse Door (http://www.afolksongaday.com/ - entry for 20 October). You can hear it on the site until the end of the month. It still brings a lump to my throat (even more so in fact since the version he sings includes a verse about Aberfan).

Re: Not entirely unrelated

Thank you! Strangely,I was thinking about Aberfan just the other day.