My eldest daughter enjoys walking along low walls, tightly holding my hand, placing one foot neatly in front of the other with deliberation; even if the wall is eight inches wide.
And I remember doing the same. Except back then those low walls seemed much higher and I was really taking my life in my hands. But the walls I used to walk along used to be studded with remains of black painted iron railings, cut back one or two inches high, an echo of a time when every salvaged scrap of metal mattered. But those walls seem to have vanished, either the walls have been knocked down, or the remains hauled out of the stone and replaced with new railings, complete and without history. And they look smart; a strong frontage to any property. But I can’t help but prefer the reminder of an era when the country pulled together, everyone sacrificing and making do in an effort to keep their families safe.
Even if they did present something of a trip hazard to small, clumsy feet.
Below is an extract from Braving Madness where Lord Carrington is walking through London, waiting for Betty’s response to his offer.
Having left Westminster far behind them, the flat fronted houses of the town’s richest inhabitants now towered over them, their pale cream facades littered with columns and the rooflines crowned with cornices. They were nearly at Carrington house. Edward’s cloak brushed against the tall iron railings headed with golden arrowheads.
Edward sighed. He wished she’d just make her mind up already, he wasn’t sure his nerves were up to any further delay. After all she must have had at least twenty minutes to consider his offer. And she’d really painted herself as the decisive kind. “Call me Edward,” he said.