Letters to the Editor - May 2012
I just wanted to say how pleased I was to see the picture of daffodils in bloom at Burford (Country Lens, March).
When my husband was very ill, just before he died in 1976 he told me that he’d had a lovely dream.
“Well that’s a nice change,” I said, “you’re usually telling me you’ve had a nightmare.”
“I dreamt that Burford Hill was covered in daffodils,” he replied.
So after he had died, my son Patrick and I determined to make his dreams come true. We asked the council if we could plant daffodils and it kindly agreed. The lady mayoress at the time gave us a bag of bulbs to plant around one tree.
So we set to work planting about a dozen bulbs around each tree, and every spring they have multiplied as the years have gone by.
My husband was a countryman through and through. He loved the Cotswolds and so enjoyed the last few years of his life in Burford.
I am now ninety-four and one of my pleasures in life is my monthly issue of The Countryman.
Dorothy Wise, Bampton, Oxon
I enjoyed the article by Robin Page (Jan) and would like to express my appreciation and strong agreement with his sentiments.
I was very much around for the 1948 London Olympics, and fortunate enough to obtain vacation employment at one of the location accommodation areas set up for the incoming athletes; I was able to do this because I had just completed my first term at Birmingham University and the vacation conveniently freed me to be there.
Being a keen cyclist I decided to ride to the address I was given, which was West Drayton ex-RAF training centre. The athletes were accommodated around London in disused military establishments; no specially built accommodation places in those hard-up days. But they were substantial, clean locations with adjacent open spaces for training
The overseas visitors did not have to enjoy army or air force cooking. They brought their own chefs and produced the meals their particular teams required; the Brazilian team was in our camp and I can vouch for the fact that their coffee was out of this world.
This was, of course, Olympics on the cheap. Necessarily so, but it worked.
Special London red double-decker buses took the athletes to Wembley, the cyclists to Herne Hill and, sometimes to ensure there were no hold-ups on the way, motorcyclist police would escort them.
This was a war-strapped country doing its best to host the first Olympics after the Second World War.
We volunteer camp workers were allowed, if duties permitted, to go to a number of events.
This was a wonderful experience, just as good I believe as the over-sanitised, over-costly present day offerings.
John Bellamy, Tasmania, Australia
The article ‘Why the dandelion has so much to shout about’ (April) reminded me vividly of years ago when I was walking home from school one afternoon.
I was about eight years old (now ninety). Suddenly I saw a big roadside patch of brilliant gold. I was amazed and stared at it, wondering what it could be.
I was so puzzled, and very disappointed when my father told me that some flowers open with the Sun and when they are in shadow they close completely.
I can still see that patch of gold in my mind’s eye, and have a very soft spot for dandelions.
Muriel Tomblin, Bourne
Little lost duckling
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