Dear Chloe decided to leave just before lunch as she had a great deal to do in preparation . .before leaving tomorrow morning for a weeks holiday, in her cousin Augustus’ house in Corfu, . Karl is extremely busy preparing for a four-week trial starting on Monday, so getting everything ready for the holiday fell to Chloe
Karl gave us a bit of a scare on Sunday morning when he rang up to say that he had had recurrence of an old back problem (he was playing cricket). Fortunately, it eased off during the day otherwise he might well have been in difficulty in running his trial as it meant standing all day. The problem when you get to be middle-aged, i.e. in your mid to late 40s, is that you tend to forget that you are no longer young and in the prime of your life and have to face up to the fact that your body just can’t take the same knocks and strains as it did when you were really young.
I remember the sadness I felt in giving up squash as. I used to play five times a week, in the mid-60s, when I worked in London quite near the Lansdowne club. So it was easy to spend my lunch times, playing squash rather than stuffing my face. We were very fortunate in having Jonah Barrington-the world champion-as our professional and you could have a lesson for 7/6 (or in today’s money 37 Â½./ p) mind you that was 50 years ago!
I really did suffer from a bad back, in those days, quite apart from the spinal fusion I had in the late 70s following four vertebrae having been smashed playing polo, I had a prolapsed lumbar disc. At one stage I recall spending three weeks, literally living on the floor, that is eating, sleeping and doing everything else. On another occasion I spent two or three weeks in hospital with a series of ropes and pulleys attached to heavy weights, tightly stretching my legs and opening up the vertebrae in my spine – I’m not sure that they do this form of torture any more There were mornings when I got up and I could not straighten up for love or money, for the first 10 min or so and would walk about like an ape with my hands as well, as my feet on the ground. Eventually, I decided to go to an osteopath who twisted my body into a weird shape and then suddenly jumped on me. There was a loud crunching of bones but miraculously I was then able to stand up. Fortunately, by doing stretching exercises in bed, every morning since, opening and closing my spine, I have warded off this affliction now for some years.
The weather was again very uninviting so I did not feel at all guilty at stopping in and watching the British Open Golf Championship. Having started 10 shots behind the Leaders after the Third Day, our new US open champion, Rory McIlroy. fell away and was never a real challenge.. Tn the event, it was won by a British player from Northern Ireland, Darren Clarke, who just soldiered on throughout the day always ahead and never really looking as though he was going to be overtaken, so in that respect final day was a bit of a damp squib.
In the evening we had the great pleasure of having my brother and sister in law to supper. (Victoria is Alice’s sister) they been to a 50th. Birthday party, and put up at Duxford Lodge, so were able to spend the evening with us instead of worrying about rushing back to Cornwall. Alice adores her sister’ Tor’, and it was lovely to see them having an animated chat. They left just before the evening contingent came in to put me to bed