Bears all its sons away
They fly forgotten as a dream
Dies at the opening day.
October 3 – 14, 1960. Weather: Stair-rods throughout. Mode of transport: My mother’s Lambretta scooter. Directional aid: Atlas in the back of a diary. Geographic spread: The Forest of Dean (Be careful about the hob-goblins, said my Dad), Fishguard (Almost the extreme western tip of Pembrokeshire, South Wales), Woodbastwick (On the Norfolk Broads – which are areas of water not viable women). Kings Lynn (Southern corner of The Wash. Reason for going there: unknown). Budget: About £100, all in.
September 29, 2012. Weather: Glorious. Mode of transport: Skoda saloon with TDI diesel engine (54 mpg) and six-speed auto/manual gearbox). Directional aid: New TomTom satnav. Geographic spread: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (Reason for going: Le Champignon Sauvage). Budget: Up to £8000; actual spend: accommodation £130, booze £135, food £109.
What does this 52-year gap say about the RRs? That once we were marginal members of society; now, still marginal, we nevertheless spend cash willy-nilly. That we were hardier then than now. More adventurous. Less vulgar about money. That a 2004 Louis Jadot Vosne Romanée is a good bet if you’re into red Burgundy. That we can still remember dates, notably 1/10/1960. That we are not, nor ever will be, acutely sentimental. That I at least prefer ellipticism.