|Before the concert in the Bournemouth gardens.|
A fine spring evening with the sound of the ocean gently lapping on the shore of the beach a few yards away, we sat on a freshly refurbished bench in the gardens of Bournemouth that had been beautifully planted out with spring flowers, devotedly attended by a couple of very young people who obviously enjoyed their task as they both stood back to admire their afternoons work before packing up.
We were waiting for the concert to start in the B I C behind where we sat. No graffiti to be seen anywhere, not even a sweet paper littering the freshly mown grass, I felt as if I had gone back in time to the Edwardian era as two young ladies strolled towards us obviously waiting like we were for the B S O to treat us to a night of our favourite music.
The elegance, deportment and beauty in their dress was mirrored by many in the gardens that evening; it was strange, I felt part of something very rarely seen these days; I was young again, remembering a time when language, manners and appearance made you feel good and meant everything.
I had thought, many times, it had all disappeared in this material world we live in today, but that night I found a world that was for a few hours, a brief snapshot of the past.
There wasn’t a sketchbook and pencil that night because we both had evening-wear on but the memory of those two young ladies stayed with me, and I have tried to sketch one of them that stood quite close to where we sat as she admired the flowers in the gardens, my thoughts I remember, how lovely, how feminine, what have we lost over time? Her scent mixed with the flowers as she stood there made that evening listening later on to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra playing Strauss so perfect.
It is not all lost in the past, viewing Michael’s pictures of the Winter Gardens interior brought back memories when the refinery of the ladies in evening dresses and all of us gents in tails and white ties danced to Joe Loss and Ted Heath till the early hours there, these memories of those times I know are for us oldies who lived through a period in the fifties and sixties that was splendid and refined and so graceful. It seems to me living so far away now; at least one of the fine buildings in Thanet has been kept up to the standard I knew it by.
I hear the Blue Danube being played in those beautiful surroundings and see the Viennese Waltz being danced by couples on that enormous dance floor with the chandelier-lights catching the sequins on the ladies dresses, circling round to music that will never ever be lost over time.
Going through the glass doors to the balcony overlooking Margate harbour and into the estuary, was where I had my first real kiss that meant anything, it was I remember to my utter joy, reciprocated, accompanied to the music of a Lilac Waltz that drifted out across the water on a night of a million shining stars, winking at us from up above in the heavens.
Thank you for the memories Michael, so greatly appreciated.
Thanks for dropping by, please call again.