Today is a day of celebration and calls for the big gun of scarves, my best Hermes titled Aux Champs. Nothing to do with champions, be it boxing, Freddie Mercury, or football. This French ‘to, in or at the fields’ is an idealised country scarf with horsey bits and pieces. Another classic vintage Hermes from 1970 by Cathy Latham.
I particularly wanted something to remind me of my brother in law’s birthday today. They had an idyllic second home in the Lot, France and he and my beloved sister were always so generous having family and friends for holidays. The tiny hamlet of L’Abbaye Nouvelle, not so new, but built in the thirteenth century, and now a ruin was a short walk down the hill from their house. Up the hill, we walked through woods to meadows where daisies, wild orchids and violets grew. Looking at the flowers in the centre of my Hermes scarf brought back the warm smells of that French field, long lazy lunches with lots of rose wine on the terrace, games of boules with shots of Pernod, disastrous efforts with the wild violets trying to crystallise them and ending up with a sticky mess, laughter when we all entered anonymous paintings at the Fete des Fleurs. My sister won first prize. The efforts of today’s birthday boy and me were judged in the children’s section and did not win a prize! So much for naive painting!
I never forget M’s birthday as May 24th was the day I had my first date with my husband. It used to be Empire Day, long since gone. Met my husband in a foursome on May 17th; I was with another chap, who fancied my girlfriend and I liked the look of her date. We swapped. I turned down his first offer of a ‘do’ at the Dorchester Hotel....a shy teenage lass without a posh frock. Countered with my offer of a visit to the Caledonian Games at White City. He must have been keen to sit through tossing the caber, bagpipes and me in a home made tartan dress, followed by a Canadian Barn Dance in the evening, still in the same dress, at the Eagle Pub in Snaresbrook. He proposed marriage three weeks later. I was planning on emigrating to America but was smitten and said yes. The proposal was quick but it took a long time to get the ring! The other couple married also and we were godparents to each other’s children. Alas, I am the last one left.
I sneezed after my walk along the river on Friday. Lots of pollen so I tightened my face mask. My husband blamed the start of his hay fever on our courting days. Guess it was too much AUX CHAMPS.
I look forward to raising a glass to both.
Busy Bee, Scarf Face!