Thursday, September 13, 2012

MARLINS | Reunion of 4 in Berkhamsted

John, Lis, Sheila, Brigid Marlin, a.k.a. Timmy, Catherine, Angela, Patsy Mitchell.
Photo by Alice Tepper Marlin. Painting by Brigid Marlin.
I am visiting my three sisters in the UK - Lis, Sheila and Brigid. We have just had dinner at Brigid's house in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, UK. The painting behind us is by Brigid and signifies the attempt by a young girl to repair a wounded church symbolized by the dove.

We have 11 children among us, grandchildren of Hilda van Stockum and Spike Marlin. Lis and Sheila have multiple grandchildren and they are writing a book together on caring for grandchildren. I was surprised to learn that people who care for grandchildren have a lower life expectancy than those who do not. When I cogitated on why this might be so, it made sense, mostly because of whose children are likely to be in the care of grandparents, and the challenges that small children pose for older carers.

Alice and I are on our way to Oxford for the Alumni Weekend.
House at 8 Castle Hill, Berkhamsted, formerly owned by
Hilda van Stockum after Spike's death in 1994.

At the bottom of Castle Hill, near the top which is Brigid's house, before dinner, I snapped a photo of the former home of Hilda van Stockum at 8 Castle Hill. Between the time of E R ("Spike") Marlin's death in 1994 and HvS's own death 2006, the house suffered a bit on the maintenance. The renovations seem to be timely. Spike extended the dining room in the front and built a  studio in the back. It's not clear what is being done with the studio.

During the days when Spike was alive he would buy frames at auctions and would then have canvases made to fit them. He bought gorgeous frames at knock-down prices because who could use the frames but artists, and how many of them went to auctions?

From left: Sheila, Brigid, Lis, Alice (behind Liz). Photo
by John Tepper Marlin.
Brigid and Alice prepared a delicious meal with a whole fish and lots of veggies. The dining room is filled with art and sculptures by Brigid and her artistic colleagues. Brigid is deeply involved in promoting the hundreds of artists who are members of the Society of Art of Imagination.

Sheila's High Elms Manor has become a great success as an events venue since it was chosen as the subject of a "Country House Rescue" show.

Lis has retired from full-time work as a medical dean but continues to consult, mentor and write, as well as help care for her grandchildren. She is working on a project to integrate the various components of services provided by medical teams. The teams try to ensure that there is a common plan for the patient's route to wellness. It seemed to overlap with the management systems element of the SA8000 workplace standard.

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