12 September 2011

'Breakfast time at Trelill 1961', by Robert Hughes

We did our bit for globalisation. This is a picture probably taken by Anna, who was a bubbly Norwegian girl. She had a wonderful sense of humour, and could it be that she caught my father (who didn't really do mornings), resting his eyes at the breakfast table? I hope she prospered as a film-maker or something.

Let's have a look at who these folks are:

1. Trevor Hughes (1907-1988). Why is he wearing a fisherman's sweater around his neck? Well, he came from a long line of seafaring men, and we would usually head off to the beach after breakfast so he was ready for anything including the chilly winds likely to be encountered in Cornwall.

2. Me at 10.

3. My brother David, who was 7.

4. Melanie Lawrence. We had a slight love/hate thing with her, perhaps Freud would discuss latency and stuff, but her Mum had a small dairy herd and Melanie drank too much milk. However, she was really a very sweet person and we hope she has done well.

5. Little Dominique. He was with us two years running, and my enduring memory is of how when we held a fancy dress party he was Pharoah and very convincing with his crooked staff and the other thing across his chest.

6. Martine's dad was an abdominal surgeon of some sort. She came to us two years in a row.

7. Although you can't see her in this picture, this is actually Inga, a Nordic beauty. I don't recall if she was Anna's sister or her mate, but they arrived together.

8. Christian Bronnec, a French lad from Brittany. He had a slightly odd delivery and would say "ch" for "c". One day we were on the beach having a picnic and Christian wordlessly thrust out his paw for some piece of grub. My mother said "Now, Christian, we are trying to teach you good English here, so could you ask properly please?" "Chan I 'av eet?" he said.

Christian and his sister Sylviane were with us two years running.

9. Flora Jean Hughes, (Née Britton), has appeared on this blog before. If you look at this table, you will see that there was quite a lot to putting together breakfast for fifteen people from different nations, but she did it.

10. Olivier. A very sweet guy. I hope he did well in life.

11. Richard Rawlinson. Now this guy looks very young here, (and of course was young) but he was our tutor for awhile and taught me Latin and Maths. Unfortunately one day we were on the beach at Polzeath and some annoying boys asked him a few questions which he couldn't answer. By that time they had established what he did for a living..."I think," said one, "that you should stick to Latin!", and the other one chimed in "or Maths!"

It wasn't poor Richard's fault, and I wouldn't be surprised if he did well later.

Richard visited us when we were at boarding school, and looked at my Latin text and just read it off in English as if it was the newspaper. He grinned and said "Oh, sorry Robert!" I suspect he was really very clever.

12. Sylviane, sister of Christian, see above.

13. The lovely Carol, such a doe-eyed beauty that is it a surprise she and Richard became an item?

14. Christian Renard, a regular French macho guy.

15. Karl Sacher. His father worked in a hotel in Vienna and is credited with inventing the Sacher Cake! I hope it's true. Of all the people who stayed with us, Karl was one of the kindest and sweetest.

One phrase stays with me: I asked how the Austrians went along with Hitler, and his response was "They must!" (They had to.)

Totalitarianism is hard to fight, and we would be glib if we think we know what we would do in the face of it.

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