It's 1946 and I'm seven years old. We live with my Granny and Grandpa in Bishop's Stortford. Sometimes we visit Grandpa at his 'works.' When we go into his office I feel very grown up but I prefer to go to see the cats and kittens that are always outside where there's a concrete slope that we like to run up and down. Grandpa keeps so many cats and kittens there to catch the mice which come to eat the seeds. He sells grass seeds to people in foreign countries. Sacks and sacks full of it. I expect the mice nibble into the sacks and then when somebody opens one, out jump lots and lots of little mice. That makes me think of 'Sing a song of sixpence' and 'the four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.' They sung a song when the pie was opened. I expect the mice do a lot of squeaking but I don't think they can sing. They're probably very fat after doing nothing else but sit in a sack eating seeds. Grandpa gives us a few new sacks to cut up to make towels and things. Because of the war that's now over it's hard to buy that sort of thing and Mummy says they make very good tea towels.

I love the smell of the seeds and how they sounds. I love watching them flowing down the chute thing like lots and lots of salt being poured from gigantic pots. They flow on for ever. They go out from the machines and all the way from the top fifth floor of the building to the ground where they pour into the sacks. The sacks are loaded into lorries and taken off to other countries. The machines are very big and Mummy says they sort out the seeds. Only those that weigh the right amount and aren't too big or small are allowed to go into the sacks. She says the others are no good; they're thrown away like weeds. How clever the machines are to be able to sort them all out. I expect it would take us a million years.

Once Grandpa took me with him to the corn exchange. Our school was on holiday but Mummy's school where she teaches hadn't broken up. It was a bit strange. There was a big room crowded with business men all standing around talking to each other. I was the only little girl there and felt very small. All the men were showing each other some seeds that they had in little brown packets. I didn't quite understand why. Perhaps they were trying to buy or sell them. My Granny gave me a packet of seeds. It was Love-in-a-mist. That's a funny name, isn't it. It has a gentle sort of blue flower. My seeds have grown and Granny let me plant them in her garden. They look nice there. I find seeds interesting because they don't all look the same. The very first thing I remember, oh, except for the day when I got lost, was to see some seeds growing all the way down a plant. They were in sort of little packets that grew all round the very tall stem. I know now the plant is called a hollyhock. Some parts of the packets had fallen off and I could see so many seeds inside all neatly packed a bit like tiny biscuits but in a circle around a bit in the middle. There must have been thousands of seeds just on that one stalk.

Grandpa took me in his car to the Corn Exchange and back. I like riding in it with Grandpa and sitting beside him looking out of the window at everything. I like it when we pass the swing boats at Chantry Mount, the park where we go to play sometimes. I've swung in those swing boats. They're lovely. It's an adventure going in a car.. Not many people have got one so I feel special. Grandpa has his for his work.. It's black. Mummy said it's an Austin. I don't know what that means. When we got home Mummy was there and we had some of Granny's rock cakes for tea.

August 2013.
Well, 65 years on and I'm still concerned with seeds. We have reached the harvesting season so I'm gathering seeds from our garden once they are ripe. I put them in small cartons on the windowsill to dry off for a few days before doing a similar job to my Grandfather's machines of sorting to be of a similar size and weight. First I sieve them to only leave behind items of the right size and then I take them outside and gently blow to get rid of any chaff still there. The seed is heavier and so is left behind. After that they all have to be packaged and labelled. I make my own packages by paper folding a single piece of paper in a special way. When all are ready I send them off to a couple of seed exchanges to which I belong. I used to send a few kinds to Chilterns seed company as well in exchange for some of their seeds.