Big drama in our village last week as smoke poured out of the roof of the centrally placed pub, The Cricketers. Soon we were part of the gawping crowd as the gallant fire brigade used a massive cherry picker to access the roof-tiles. Flames were seen at various points on the roof, breaking out in one section even as the hoses deluged another.
Word had it that the electrics were dodgy, which they might well have been, but now the local paper reports that arson has been confirmed. The village is currently conducting a dating survey - of roof-timbers, not of social habits. This pub, once the site of the House of Correction to which all unmarried mothers in Essex were sent, was said to contain some of the most historic beams, inaccessible in its loft. What remains of them will be easy to dendro now, no doubt.
So much for the matinee jacket and all that knitted lace once de rigueur for babies of either sex.
I thought to err on the side of plainness here, although I can't decide whether Mr Wabbit looks cute or like a rather sickly elderly gent.
We've taken some lovely walks recently, some along the reaches of the Essex Way around Good Easter. Green lanes, field paths, jam and honey for sale in the village, and cream teas accompanied by a flautist in the church. The head of Tesco may believe that village England is finished, but Good Easter would disagree.
Today, to the Boot Fair, in search of garden plants, notably two Gauras, one pink, one white. But the lure of the boot fair is the serendipitous, and so it proved. Two pounds for a Record Album containing eight 78s, previously owned by a person of very discriminating taste: Kathleen Ferrier, Peter Pears, Paul Robeson, Myra Hess and Pablo Casals. My husband was in hogs' heaven.