Mungrisdale Writers Group

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Christine Hughes

I'm 64, married with a grown up son and daughter, the former a teacher at a prep school in Oxford, the latter a social worker with Cumbria CC. My husband, Peter, is a circuit judge in Carlisle. He was appointed in 2007, since when we have lived in Keswick. We have long links with Keswick, though, having had holidays in Borrowdale or Newlands since 1971. I am a solicitor, now a part-time tribunal judge, still sitting on Mental Health Tribunals. My interest in language and words is life-long from starting French at the age of 8. I did my degree in Russian and German at St. Andrews and subsequently qualified as a solicitor. I met and married Peter before I had the chance to apply for a scholarship to study law in Germany. Now, because I have to write judgments, I am more and more realising the connection between the discipline of language and the discipline of law. I joined MWG because I thought I needed to break free from these constraints. Needless to say - I love reading.

Mr. Davies was a chandler. And he had a parrot. His shop had a wooden floor and a counter
with a sort of screen around it where the parrot sat on his perch. I don't think the parrot talked. The shop smelt of gardens. Mr. Davies had a bicycle with a huge basket on the front and a black metal plate with the name of his shop written in white. On Mondays he used to deliver and came to our back door through the gate marked "Tradesmans Entrance".

In 1953 I had just started to go to school. In the summer we wore brown gingham frocks. Mine was smocked. My granny had done the smocking, and I think a lot of my friends had frocks smocked by their grannies. We didn't go to school on Coronation Day but the day before Miss Million brought a big box into Lower Kindergarten. There was a Coronation mug for each of us. I proudly took mine home, but my sister didnt have one. She wasnt even three and she certainly didn't go to school in a smocked frock. And she didn't have a Coronation mug. So we went with my father to Mr. Davies' shop to buy a mug just like mine.

I still have mine and treasure it, as I treasure the antique Crown Derby mug which Mr. Davies gave me for a wedding present.

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