5 June

5 June 1920

2 Portland Villas, Hampstead - London

After a succession of idle, careless, or clumsy, or unwilling little boys had passed through the office, after horrid little boys that the typists couldn't bear to come near them: "Stand further off, please", or clumsy young idiots who tripped on the Boss's doormat every time they came to him with a message, the appearance of Charlie Parker on the scene was more than a relief - it was hailed with positive pleasure by everybody. His mother was good old ma Parker, the office cleaner, whose husband, a chimney sweep, had died in a chimney! Really - the poor seem to go out of their way to find extraordinary places to die in! Charlie was the eldest of goodness knows how many little Ps -so many, in fact, that the clergyman's wife who was tired of delivering parcels of flannelette at the tiny house with the black brush over the gate, said that she didn't believe Mr Parker's death had made the slightest difference to Mrs Parker. I don't believe anything will stop her. I am sure there has been a new one since I was there last. I believe it has simply become pure habit and she will go on and on - eating into the maternity Bag, said the clergyman's wife crossly. "I confess my dear, I find you slightly difficult to follow" said her husband.
Well, if they were all like Charlie it wasn't greatly to be wondered at. What trouble could he have given his mother? He was one of those children who must have been a comfort ever since he found his legs. At fourteen he was a firm, upstanding little chap - on the slender side perhaps, but quite a little man, with bright blue eyes, shining brown hair, good teeth that showed when he smiled - he was always smiling - and a fair baby skin that turned crimson when the typists teased him. [. . .] [KM Notebooks, undated]