House 5. A French neighbour, the Flying Scotsman and pastry.

Another French house in the same location as the previous two posted here. What to make of this? Looks like a rather elegant French birthday Cake with the max security disguised as rather elaborate over wrought iron. Again this house looks out over the Atlantic and the beach.

I’ve lived in loads of houses, none like this, and am endlessly fascinated by them. The longest I’ve ever lived in one house is 14 years and that was when the offspring were young and was in the middle of lush green Cotswold countryside. My parents lived in loads of houses all over Lancashire, my father was a policeman and he got promoted which was quite often. Early days we lived for a while in industrial Wigan in the North West of England. The housing was provided by the police force so was never ours. The one in Wigan overlooked waste ground and had a rag and bone man’s yard opposite the kitchen window with terrace housing nearby.

The man who owned this rag and bone enterprise was a kindly stooped tallish man who was never without his gaberdine macintosh, even on the hottest summer days, but those were not that frequent up there. His wife was known locally as “Destiny” and was, as one used to say in those days “not all there”. She enjoyed going to local funerals, hence the name I suspect. If she missed one she made a point of asking how they were buried, that is if it was a classy affair or not. “Were he buried with ham?” was the initial question. If the deceased was buried and ham sandwiches were on offer at the pub later this was considered a “Good do”.

I recall that Destiny used to hail my mother when she was cooking in our kitchen. “What you cooking then?” she would ask. Pastry replied my mother. “Oooh lovely” replied Destiny ” I like making pastry, gets me nails clean”

My brother and I loved the location as it was criss crossed by railway lines and we frequently would run down to the nearby railway bridge to watch the Flying Scotsman steaming at full speed towards us and then enveloping us in smoke as it steamed under us and on towards Scotland. The writing was of course on the wall for these steam trains, and we knew it was when we were told that Deltic, a new diesel locomotive was in nearby siding. We went to look at this enormous blue beast right there, it looked like the future. Before many years were out it too would end up in a Museum, the next time I saw it was in the Science Museum in my first years in London in the 1970s.


All this when I intended to write about an odd house facing a beach in France. I got sidetracked.

4 thoughts on “House 5. A French neighbour, the Flying Scotsman and pastry.

  1. Word association football, like that! Thanks for your kind comment. I’ve been reading Edna O’Brien’s autobiography and love her descriptive writing, I might even get around to reading her books then. All the best to you and yours.

  2. Merry Christmas, Paul and Elizabeth! We very much enjoy your posts, photos, drawings, and cartoons. Keep them coming!

    Melissa Walker PhD President, Heyday Coaching (864) 266-0544

    Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse typos.


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