and is retiring soon! Yes, I know I’ve been retired for a few years now, but I can’t believe Jean is at that stage too! She’s actually taking early retirement. Working with kids is really stressful these days. Children’s rights? What about the rights of all the staff who work with children?
Anyway, when Jean had her 60th birthday earlier in the year, I treated her to afternoon tea in the Carlton Hotel in Edinburgh. It wasn’t the best of weather that day, as you can see. The Carlton is a beautiful old building that used to be home to the well known department store, Patrick Thompsons which began as a small haberdashery in 1889, expanding and moving here in 1906. Sadly it closed in the 1970s.
We can both remember, as kids, the shoe department, having our feet x-rayed to see how our shoes fitted. Were our old shoes squashing our toes and did the new ones give our feet plenty of room? We stood on a step, tucked our feet into the gap at the foot of the machine, held on to two handles on the top and could look down a tube between the handles to see our bones! No Health and Safety then, and have we suffered? I don’t think so! The hairdresser was on the same floor of the store, and had seats for children in “prancing horses”, to entertain us while the hairdresser cut our hair! All changed now and the tearoom and bar takes up the whole of the upper floor now.
Then the waiter arrived with the tea and the cake stand – bottom tier, sandwiches ; middle tier, scones with clotted cream and jam; top tier, cakes. (Wasn’t impressed with the cakes! They were very ordinary!)
The sandwiches and the scones were good though, and there was plenty of tea! It was a bit disappointing that there was no-one playing the grand piano behind me. Afternoon tea in a posh city centre hotel ought to be accompanied by a pianist!!! Oh well! Still it was a good opportunity to catch up, and we did enjoy the experience – It’s not every day your wee sister has a 60th birthday!
Talk again soon.