It was the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis and then of the Profumo affair, of Mandy Rice-Davies and Christine Keeler—the hot topic of conversation at the trucking company, largely because my fellow rate clerk happened to be an expatriate Brit.
Give her some days to think about this, in the intervals of such diplomatic and social encounters as are the reason for her visit, and make it that she has hatched a plan to satisfy her curiosity. A walk outside the grounds, she says. Unaccompanied insisted on, in spite of raised eyebrows.
A certain awkwardness about the neck and the wrists, a shakily erect posture as the ghost of what might once have been a military bearing, a jacket bought many years ago from which the shoulders have retreated.
A widow is pursued by her murdered husband’s former confederates for booty she does not know she has, but—it turns out—does. This is of course Stanley Donen’s Charade, of 1963.
The old Danish Christmas carol, repeated endlessly on Christmas Eve, dancing round the tree—or, in a big house, snaking in and out the parlour doors—asks if Christmas will last till Easter.
The experiences of that winter and spring went into the writing of my novel Luggas Wood, including a mention of the daffodils, and many people and situations encountered then, and this I have decided is the problem with that book.