Sunday, 18 September 2016


Dear Reader,


I am very proud of my granddaughter, aged 16 and just starting her A-Level work, who has got a Saturday job at a coffee shop.  She has to make drinks, coffee and tea, clean the tables, wash up, and serve the customers. For this job she is being a paid £7.70p per hour.  So I have been thinking back to my first job in 1958, which was as a secretary in a soft paper company in Knightsbridge.  I was paid for a five-day week, 9 am to 5.30 pm, £7.7s.6d.  I had, in addition, fifteen shillings a week luncheon vouchers.  I spent them in a cafe where for a bowl of soup and a piece of bread the three shillings (which today is worth 20p) was ample.  My granddaughter pays approximately £2.50p for a sandwich for her lunch.  It seems astonishing to me just how the value of money has changed in these last fifty years, and I still haven't quite got used to it all, even yet.

Only just bearing up with the hot weather we were having last week, I thought I would share with you a quotation from Jane Austen written in Kent in 1796:  

"What dreadful hot weather we have! - It keeps one in a continual state of inelegance." 
Quite so.

(written in exasperation)

Is this the way
to Amarillo,
or is it past the Royal Oak,
turn left or right,
somewhere here, or there,
or is this the way to Basingstoke?

I this the way
to a wiser life,
a slimmer me,
to be a better wife?

Is this the way to Paris, France,
the way to ski,
or learn to dance,
ask friends to tea,
slay someone with a single glance?

Is this the way to anything or anywhere?
Some would say they do not care,
what does it matter?
And as for me, I must agree
with the latter.


Very best wishes, Patricia

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

a little bit of skilful rhyme is always satisfying - so says Peter Brett - and I quite agree! Love the Jane Austen quote too. Xx