Today Beatles press officer and “debonair drug aficionado” Derek Taylor’s sixth child — a daughter named Annabel — was born. (His wife Joan did the heavy lifting.) I mention it because Taylor traces this blessed event back to a particular acid-inflected weekend in June 1968, previously discussed, that he spent with Paul in Bradford and Harrold.

This seems worth revisiting, as even 50 years later one feels the breadth of the nine elapsed months. Am I wrong in thinking that the summer of 68 was a much more innocent time than the spring of 69?

According to Taylor’s book As Time Goes By, after the events previously recounted,

Paul played the piano until three o’clock … a woman stood and sang “The Fool on the Hill” and he left the piano to dance with her and kiss her on the cheek and then I went and sat in the little garden and cried for joy that we had come to Harrold. It was a most beautiful garden, with hundreds of old-fashioned flowers, lupins, foxgloves – that sort of thing, and Alan Smith came out, pissed as a newt and said “Why so sad, old friend, why so sad on such a night?” “Not sad,” I said, “not sad, old pal, just happy to be alive.”

We left then, waved away by the Harrolds, by all of them, and we never went back and I never looked at the map again, not even to see if Harrold was there.

It was full of day and birds and dancing daisies at Laudate as I tiptoed over the rush matting in the little Japanese house, into the bedroom as Joan opened her eyes and smiled. “Hello, darling,” full of sleep, “had a good time?”

As best I could, I told her what I have told you and because she has been somewhere like that herself, she understood and put out her arms and I slipped into bed and what with one thing and another, Annabel Lucie Taylor was born on 22 March in the following year.

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