« Parade Of The Cattails | Main | Sigiriya »

As Time Goes By: Woodworking

Eileen Perrin and her husband Les were busier than ever in their early retirement years. Here Eileen tells of some of the events in 1992/

In 1991 Les had started going to woodwork classes in Harrow, and I had joined Adrienne Baker’s W.E.A. Writing Group held in Pinner Community hall.

This was most enjoyable, and in the summer break some of us continued to meet in each other’s houses.

I wrote this little poem in the Autumn term:-

Enjoy Yourself.
You can write on anything – Enjoy, create and thrill: Bus or butter – books or jam - Write them down, the thoughts that cram,
Put it to the test today.
Tell yourself ‘I think I can’ - And when your story’s told, Why then you’ll say ‘I thought I could’ and you’ve come in from the cold.
There’s many a wine, or so they say, That’s stored in bottles old. So come on – ‘Get your courage up !’ Before that spark grows cold:
Your pen could write pure gold.

By September 1991 Les and I had joined the U.3.A. – the University of the Third Age. We joined classes and went to talks and in mid September went as guests to a Cambridge U3A Symposium and attended several interesting lectures. On the last day we took tea of cucumber sandwiches and raspberries and cream in St.John’s College gardens.

Remember the old children’s rhyme? “In fourteen hundred and ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”

The coming of the year 1992 marked the 500th anniversary of the time when Christopher Columbus of Spain sailed away from the west coast of Africa, having discovered a strong wind that blew continually to the west across the ocean, known as the Trade wind. He bravely took a chance and sailed right across the southern Atlantic Ocean to what he had thought would be the East Indies, but had fetched up in the Bahamas.
Columbus sailed north along the east coast of what was to become known as America, (named after the Florentine navigator Amerigo Vespucci who had made a similar voyage), and picking up the Westerly winds he sailed back to Europe.

On April 13th 1992 Princess Anne divorced from Mark Phillips after 18 years.

The Government decreed that for the first time the Queen should pay Income Tax.

At the end of September 1992 Les and I went with Saga by Air Canada to Toronto, travelling Business class, Les wanting more room for his long legs.

The special extras provided before and during the overnight flight were really welcome. For the first time in our lives we had flown over the North Pole.

We were met at Toronto airport by Paula our Saga American guide for the holiday. Our party consisted partly of English and Americans. One, who looked Japanese, was a retired San Francisco river pilot, and another grew turf for golf courses.

At table in the overnight hotel I found that the waitress did not understand my request for a ‘jug’ of milk, until Paula suggested that I ask for a ‘pitcher’, which was duly supplied.
Strolling through Toronto’s shopping centre, for the first time we were surrounded on each side of the road by skyscrapers, and I did not like the feeling it gave of being hemmed in.

In the days to follow, the coach trips around the Great Lakes were wonderful, the scenery stunning, and the red sugar maple trees in their finest colour.

We were all issued with blue oilskin coats and hats when the ‘Maid of the Mist’ took us to the foot of Niagara Falls. What a sight they were.

Then we did a boat trip round the Thousand Islands which lie between New York State and Ontario.
Reaching Ottawa Mike our coach driver took us to Algonquin Park logging camp and on to the Aston Resort Hotel on Lake Muskoka for a few days stay. In the hotel there was a huge tree growing right up through the ceiling of the dining room. We were taken round the lake in the hotel proprietor’s boat, and another day we were taken to see a typical Indian village.
On the fourth of October a memorable day was spent on a train trip through the Agawa Canyon, with three engines pulling the train through an untouched wilderness.

Then came another cruise among the 30,000 Islands, and a stay at a hotel in Sault Ste Marie which felt like the end of nowhere, but where we had our first experience of a covered two-storey shopping mall, the idea later to be copied in England.

On to Lake Superior in the state of Michigan, where going through the American lock system, we marvelled at the passing large oil tankers and timber carriers getting through the narrowest of channels.
It had been a holiday to remember.

Sad news on November 20th of a fierce fire at Windsor Castle causing 50 million damage.

I celebrated my seventieth birthday on December the 13th 1992. I was given a lovely cake decorated with a little icing sugar ‘me’ sitting writing at a desk.


To read of earlier events in Eileen'slife please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/as_time_goes_by/


Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.