Sunday, August 23, 1981


The tension was unmistakable this morning, a pregnant, repressed silence. Mum was the worst.

Mid-morning we all set off for Upper Sike, driving to a reservoir hidden in a valley of trees and  overshadowed by surprisingly high-looking moorland fells. Everything was incredibly still and heat-heavy. We had our picnic on moorland, surrounded by flies. Later, we ventured back into Upper Sike itself, to look at a secondhand bookshop where Robert put a deposit on two 1822 Gazettes and I bought a 1940 propaganda biography of Stalin's life and a 1936 book, Revolt in Spain.

Robert and I drove Mum back to Easterby in late-afternoon sun. Dad was gardening when we got there, things painfully unspoken for me. Back at Robert's, he and  I spent the evening playing a cricket game.

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