September 6th, 2019


I bought a table-top bagatelle board in a Hastings junk shop. Bagatelle is like pinball without the electrics. We used to have one when I was a boy.

It cost me £10- which I thought was a snip; I'd have happily paid double. How old is it? Pre-second world war, I suppose. I needed to do a little uncomplicated work with an oily rag, a felt-tip pen and a tube of glue to get it back into playing condition.

I have it set up in the front room. I thought my mother would hate it on sight but it took her back to the 50s- and she was thrilled. She even played a few rounds.

Yesterday was her 98th birthday. We didn't make a fuss. She's the last person standing from her generation. She got a couple of cards- one from us- and a phone call from a somewhat younger cousin by marriage with whom she and my father used to pal around. Jenny is coming over today with a cake.