Mrs Llew and I have been reading her diaries for the 1970s. What a busy, rich family life we had, full of friends and activities, and local environmental campaigns and school and music lessons, and learning to ride a bike, and parents battling to keep on top of their jobs and all their commitments and responsibilities: mortgage payments and office politics; and church life and choir practice, and bell ringing, and boy friends and trips to the Wimpey bar, and barn dances, and Narnia books, and yes, disagreements and rows and upsets. But we were a lively North London family; there, where the plane trees lined our wide Edwardian streets, and the old church recalled and asserted the village heart of a rapidly changing suburb. And we were all fully involved in the life of the area. We have a daughter we don’t see now, who I wish could read these diaries, which record her learning to ride a bike and her explorations with me, of the urban countryside of Mill Hill, and the time she fell off and suffered severe grazes but soldiered on; and her trips to London with Mrs Llew on outings and explorations, to galleries and the Oxford Street shops, and to Dickins and Jones for school uniform.
And Mrs Llew and I were amused to recall the many vicissitudes of our other, elder daughter’s teenage years, and her music and singing and eventual place at Oxford University – some of her friends from that time remain in contact. She, with her family, thank God, remains close to us; we are so grateful for that. The years the diaries recall were, we believe now, creative, productive years, and both our girls have benefited from them to this day. We love them both.