Tuesday, 15 November 2011
There was something wonderfully sophisticated about Helen, which it's hard to put a finger on: perhaps it was her skill as a raconteur (with mordant sense of humour), and her penchant for a cigarette, not to mention gin. I loved it when her eyes creased into a smile, as they did so very frequently. The Priory was accordingly a happy house to visit, as was the Browns' subsequent rather grander manor house near Worcester. There I remember once counting the leaves on a pineapple.
After Watty's death, Helen moved to her beloved Cornwall, her new home barely a 3-iron from the golf course at Trevose. I looked for it when we were staying at Mother Ivey's one Summer (1997). Arriving unshaven at the Constantine Bay Stores, I enquired of the proprietor exactly where the bungalow was. No response: she clearly looked upon me as a potential mugger or worse. Luckily Helen drove up just then in her battered Fiesta, claiming me for an old friend - "whose pram I used to push". Cue for another infectious chuckle.