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   This was the year Norman became 70 and Amy was Christened in C S Lewis’s old church.

    Alison was interviewed on TV during a Pro-test march while charming shots were taken of Amy in her push chair. Amy was also pictured twice later in the year in the Oxford Times in a lengthy article about Howie’s work for the Orinoco store.

    Back in Thame,  Jan created a vegetable patch where the lilac once had been, re-painted Norman’s den and paid to have the hall, stairs and landing re-decorated and re-carpeted.

    After weeks of stiff prayer as they negotiated the Headington Roundabout on Wednesdays, the Brands were told by Howie about a delightful rural route through Wheatley which has considerably reduced Jean’s need for Diazepam.

    They went to Sidmouth in June, of course.





   Norman’s ever volatile digestive processes, not improved by diverticulitis and the latest Thame stomach bug, prevented his thorough enjoyment of the prospect of a double (Examination and Hygiene session) visit to the dentist. As ever, his dentist Jane, who spends her free time riding on the outside of aeroplanes, bounced down the stairs with a:  “Hallo Norman. How are you today?”

   The miserable grunt she received in reply scarcely diverted her flow.

    “What’s the matter then?” she demanded, bounding before him up to the surgery.

    “Diverticulitis,” he grunted.

    Inside her torture chamber she pointed to a Thought for Today poster on her wall, suggesting that the things you dread rarely happen.

    “Humph!” said Norman.

    “What are you doing for Christmas?” she asked brightly, presumably hoping a new theme would lift the atmosphere.

    “Dunno,” thumped the reply.

    “You look really miserable,” she said. “What you need is a hug,” and there and then she did just that.

   When told this story Jean commented, “I wouldn’t put up with being hugged by a WOMAN!”

   “Perhaps I’m just a huggable sort of person,” Norman replied, modestly.