There was a hint of Autumn this morning.
I imagined grandfather standing in the doorway, sniffing the air and scanning the skies for his beloved swifts or snipe, then leaving Atora suet out in his city garden (which I believe was a small shared area at the front of the house) for his favourite robin.
Got a bit sidetracked today, by Tom Parrington, grandfather’s uncle by marriage. Quite a character, it seems – born and brought up on a farm which later became Middlesborough, was MFH of the renowned Sinnington Hunt, and celebrated a golden wedding anniversary with his first wife followed by a silver wedding anniversary with his second wife (Miss Hugill, my grandmother’s aunt)! Old Tom is much written about, and fondly remembered by my grandfather in his essay ‘A Halcyon Day’ (1911). The essay is a touching and amusing account of a visit to TP’s for lunch, and to see (and be roundly teased by!) Dorothy, my grandmother, but there is also a beautiful description of ‘The Old Gentleman’. And I’ve finally found out how to insert extracts from the essays, so here it is:
…and here is the Old Gentleman himself: