You’ve hit the nail on the head, Hat – only an OBE for Virginia Wade. And, presumably, for Ann Jones. (Both, for the benefit of the non-initiated, won the
singles title, relatively recently; but both, as their names suggest, were only women.) The
men-in-suits are going to have to give some thought to that one.
You’re allowed not to watch tennis, Roobeedoo. I can go you one better – on July 30, 1966, we took our four children to clamber on the ruins of
Kenilworth Castle, the sort of thing we often did with them –
while all of
was watching television. England
The interesting thing is that that afternoon has something of the quality of one of those memories that gets burned into the mind. I’m sure you know what I mean – the moment when you heard of a birth or a death (and sometimes, quite trivial moments as well) get remembered along with where you were standing and how the furniture was arranged. It is as if our outing to
was impressed on my memory not by anything that was significant to me, but by
the national excitement which was fizzing in the air and the strange quiet of
the afternoon. Maybe July 7, 2013, will turn out to be the same for you.
This is turning into an essay on memory. Yesterday I read the obituary of the woman who was one of the four
students who stole the Stone of Scone from under the Coronation Chair in
Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day, 1950. Now there was an exploit! Quite apart
from all other considerations, the Stone is very heavy. Glasgow
I’ve read their book, No Stone Unturned. They buried it in a field in
left it there for some months, while the English closed the border for the
first time in centuries and searched all cars. When things quieted down a bit,
they dug it up and took it home, under the driver's seat of a small car. When I became a England student myself, in 1954, I was proud
to be associated, however remotely, with such an endeavour. Glasgow
They wanted to give it back from
, but the Earl of
Mansfield, who lives there, wouldn’t play ball, so they left it in the ruins of
Arbroath Abbey instead. Scone
I remember reading about it in the New York Times, there in
Allenhurst, NJ, that Christmas Day or the next day. I was near the
end of my first term at Oberlin. It was the last time our family was together –
my father told me he was leaving as I was getting on the train to go back to . That’s one of
those memories, mentioned above – the cold, and the dark station platform. Dark, I am sure --but it's a long way to Ohio. I was presumably catching a suburban train to NYC. Where did I spend the night, and how proceed? Memory fails entirely. Ohio
And maybe the last-ness of that Christmas has entwined itself with the memory of the stealing of the Stone.
(The English eventually gave it back. It’s here in
– I think. Somewhere around, anyway.) Edinburgh Castle
I finished ribbing the second Mind the Gap sock. I think ribbing is more tedious when it comes first. But it’s done! On with the sock!