This is Ramey’s Get Together in Denver.
What is a Get Together? Really it’s an occasion to natter with old and new friends, whilst exploring the India Hicks collections, hopefully with a cocktail in hand. You don’t necessarily have to have Paige Elway there, but if you do you must compare miniature dachshund pictures.
And respect to Ramey who insisted on wearing lacey islandy trousers, even though it was snowing outside.
An elegant woman came over and introduced herself to me and told me that she had met my father when he was in America, on a trip. He had invited her and her sister to come to England to see his famous garden, in full bloom.
A few weeks later the sisters arrived, drawing up in front of my parents country house in their chauffeur driven car, to be met by a young friend of my father’s, who nervously explained that they were just too late.
“Too late?” they asked, looking at their watches
“Yes, David died this morning.”
Horrified, they said they must leave at once, they would not think of disturbing my mother in her grief. She however, upon hearing American voices, came out from the drawing room, shook the hands of the shocked sisters and insisted they stay for a cup of tea.
When I told my brother this story, he remembered the sisters. He remembered the morning. And he particularly remembered trying to keep the conversation going as my father’s body was awkwardly brought down the stairs by the funeral directors, just behind the unsuspecting sisters having tea.
“Your mother was so warm and so kind,” the woman at Ramey’s party told me, “and so very British.”