Sun rises 5:51 Sun sets 20:08
First Day of Passover (Pesach)
Up at 7am to the sound of Trixie frying breakfast and singing in her kitchen. Obviously, she suffers none of the 'morning after' effects. Peter S actually came home late last night (supposedly a rare thing for Mr Sate) and was forced to sleep on the chaise lounge, or whatever you call those French sofas with a roll at one end and no back.
After a dash round the bathroom Jacq and I went out for the 8 o'clock bus to Finsbury Park where we found the tube to Victoria. At 9:15 we got a coach to Wallingford in Oxfordshire, a 2 hour journey.
Jacq and I amused ourselves on the back seat, much to the horror of a family of hikers, who stared at us in disbelief. Some of the countryside though which we passed was stunningly beautiful. The money is thickly spread around in Oxfordshire, if you ask me.
At Wallingford we were collected by Mr George Oakes, father of the bride. The house, though being very ordinary, possessed an astounding photograph collection of members of the royal family - and all SIGNED! One photo on top of the television was a signed portrait of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. Others were spread around the sitting room from the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra, &c. It transpires that Mr Oakes was for ten years, 1966-76, secretary to the Queen's Flight.
Jacq was upstairs with Gina (the bride) and I sat drinking gin and tonic with a strange lady who is married to a relation of somebody. Brilliant sunshine erupts at 2:30, when Gina (Miss Georgina Margaret Oakes) is married to Flight Lieutenant Hugh Monroe Dawson. The ceremony was a Methodist one and I found it quite the most sincere solemnization I have yet experienced. Afterwards, at RAF Benson, we boozed and noshed. I was alone and wandering about like a lost sheep for some time because Jacq, in her capacity as bridesmaid, was for most of the time tied up with the photographer and other necessary annoyances. I was befriended by a humorous old boy, whom Jacq later labelled ACDC. He seems to have taken a shine to me.
At 7-ish we went back to the Oakes residence travelling there with Auntie Nancy and Uncle Percy. More gin and jokes followed and finally we took our leave at 10:30.
To the Green Tree pub in Wallingford where we waited for Alison's arrival.She bombed up in a sports car at about midnight and by 1am we were back in Winchester and at the Berni Inn where we met John P.
Meeting John at the Berni almost got the poor bugger dismissed because the manager's wife took offence when he served us with a drink at that time in the morning. John did chuck £3 in the till and poured the manager a brandy but all the same she took exception to this. It was an embarrassment all round.
Alison, John, Jacq and I returned to Ally's house at Martyr Worthy. John, who has worked a long shift, almost passed out with exhaustion, and at sometime after 3am we all retired.
Alison's house, though large and attractive, is not the Versailles of Lynn's tales. I fear the Rhodes imagination has run amok in this direction.