History Lesson/Love Actually

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of the Dog Whisperer and his wife’s company for lunch.

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When lunch was over, it was to our collective surprise, 6:30pm!  We took a walk through the village, chatted with Sky at Matches (tomorrow is her last day), and the pizza man parked with his traveling oven, at the junction of the high street.  We strolled along the edge of the commons; turned back, detoured into Bayley and Sage.

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***

Bruno’s made a new friend.

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The Dog Whisperer explained that he has to lower himself to ground level, not appear too tall and threatening towards Bruno, for Bruno to then be able to sniff him out, feel at ease.

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The Dog Whisperer and his wife told me many things yesterday.  That’s the beauty of having older friends.  They have the advantage of time, more knowledge and informed perspectives.  So although I’ve known that Colonial Singapore was complacent in the face of an impending Japanese invasion, I learnt something else.

The ones who were smart left on a ship for Australia.  By November, the ones who were less smart, but realised there was no preventing war, jumped on whatever ship they could get on, and those were bound for India.

It was the war that changed everyone’s lives.  For my husband’s family, never again would his grandfather ever recover his fortune.  One day my mother-in-law will tell me, as her own mother had once said to her, All that is left, are the paintings.  The paintings are for you.

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Look at the paintings!  I will find myself pleading with my daughter on a difficult day.  Ask yourself why your family has them!  Just because they are not here, you cannot forget your family, where you come from, who you really are…

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It was a wonderful, wonderful afternoon that crept into night.

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My head was spinning with tales of human folly, courage and the audacity of the human spirit.  All through our time together, I saw a man and a woman consider each other with quiet attention- Would you like to go look at the pond?  Shall we buy the avocado for dinner?  She would prefer a separate pair of chopsticks for the salad.  It was her idea, it’s a great idea!  When walking, their hands sometimes linked.  Their silhouettes with entwined fingers gave me hope.  Perhaps love can be, all we really need.

  •  Bayley and Sage, 60 High Street

 

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