The weekend just gone I went back ‘home’ where I was brought up. My mother passed away about 4 or so years ago, but I have kept in contact with her friends, two of which for varying reasons were like ‘other mothers’ or ‘fairy mothers’ as I would call them, not due to any neglect from my own mother, just ‘because’ it happened that way and for that I am very lucky.
One of them is moving over four hours away, so I know seeing her in the future will be hard with my ‘pain’ issues and so wanted to say a not permanent ‘goodbye’ but a goodbye nonetheless with well wishes. I also wanted to see my other ‘fairy’ mother who is now 86, who is so sprightly for her age, epitome of elegance, a little bit naughty and someone who I hold very dear and used to be my mother’s best friend. She is called Daphne.
So will you come home with me please, just a little journey of memories that I have been unable to indulge in for the last few years and for those of you who wish I would like to share a little bit of what makes me, ‘me’ with you 🙂
Isn’t it great being able to have a blog? The ability to combine pictorial memories and words to remind one how one felt at the time, something I never had as a kid and really appreciating being able to do this now for myself as well as anyone else who might want to share.
This will predominantly be a gallery of photos, which if you double click will show you their full glory and or captions if I have put them on, I will be interspersing little tit bits of my childhood as I go through.
We start at the cottage where I grew up. Most of my time was spent at boarding school, but during the holidays I loved coming home and playing in my own magical land. I was always rather proud of where I lived also, having seen many artists sit outside spending hours painting the cottage, I always felt rather lucky to spend time in such a place.
Running down the side of the cottage was a river. In the old bathroom there used to be literally a gap between the wall and the floor where you would simply shower in the room as it was and the water would run in to the river. I spent endless hours playing in the river with large adult sized waders on, or in rubber rings floating down, or ermm chucking balls in to the water for the terriers who had short legs to fetch and take merriment in seeing them trying to get purchase with their little paws on the riverbed as they got swept down, don’t worry I always collected them the other side of the bridge.
Here is the view up to my old garden, unfortunately I couldn’t get a great shot of it, but you can see the other side with Mr Duck, yay I finally managed to get a picture with a bird in it!
Once walking past the cottage over another little bridge there was ‘The Green’ the play space that was used by my local primary school and kids in general. It is a place where I remember yes having lots of fun but also where I had hay stuffed down my knickers by the local bully, whose mother happened to be great friends with my mother. #
Much to my disgust I used to have to get the bus home to her house often after school to stayfor a while, oh she was awful! But on the last day of school enough was enough, I chucked my satchel and gave her cheek a hard slap, she never touched me again after that. I wished I had done it years ago!
Now this telephone box holds many memories. Remember the old days with no mobile, the days you started dating. The times I would sculk down here to phone a ‘boyfriend’.
The little blue house also holds dear memories, there used to be an old polish lady who lived here. She had dark hair down in a plait to her waist and she used to play the piano. As a young child I got much joy from going around and visiting old people, they always had such fantastic tales to tell and made a good cuppa, yes maybe I was an odd child but that was what I enjoyed, grins
So now we move on to my old ‘primary school’. I can’t say I have the fondest memories of this era of education. I remember they used to slap your palm with the ruler in class if you didn’t ‘get something’ and they still employed the cane as corporal punishment.
Moving past the school which is right next to ‘the green’ there are a few lovely cottages before we reach another area where I spent many hours playing.
I was a bit of a tomboy, never a girlie girl. I had this friend who happened to be a boy, he didn’t go to the state school but was private which always makes a distinct difference, however not for him. He was always a ‘bit different’ in looks and attitude and that was right up my alley, I loved that. We became great friends.
His family had religious ties way back when in the village and his father was a rather gentle kind man who had honeybees. They lived in what I call a great big mansion house and his mother scared the hell out of me, I could tell that she simply ‘did not approve’ of a girl like me but it didn’t stop us.
So next to his house were huge iron ornate gates. We used to climb these as they were locked. About a mile up from the gate through a winding path, past many gorgeous old trees with low slung branches that we used to climb was an even huger Mansion with orchards, a maze and tiered gardens. It was simply magical, however it was a secret place, I don’t know what went on there, it was some kind of society, some group, it was heavily guarded and ‘we’ shouldn’t have been there at all.
We used to keep to the trees, but one day we ventured with the lure of magic to the tiered gardens and got caught, yep oh yes we did. The man who caught us said “I will give you 10 minutes to play wherever you want in these gardens and I won’t see you, but don’t let me ever see you again”. Those 10 minutes were something that will always stick in my head. Did we venture back up in to the trees again? Yes..hehe..did we ever go to the gardens again?….Nope Siree LOL.
So I had taken far too long mulling and reminiscing on where I used to play and I was in fact mean’t to be at my ‘fairy mother’s house for lunch, so I grabbed the flowers I had made up and off we went up the road to hers.
We arrived and were greeted as family which is something I truly miss. I don’t see my father and as such don’t really have any extended family my side. I miss my mother dreadfully so having a hug from both ‘fairy mothers’ was really magnificent.
We had nibbles and wine and plenty of laughs in the sunshine.
The kids had a huge garden to play in, trees like a small woodland at the back and places to explore something they don’t get back at our London home.
So then it was time for lunch. Being a mum etc you miss the times when someone else looks after you as the younger one, home cooking, setting up the table nicely. A proper country kitchen, good old fashioned home cooking. The little details like the flowers on the table and things my mother used to like at home.
Then it was a few hours spent chatting and drinking, whilst the kids exhausted themselves, the dogs didn’t do a bad job either. I shall share with you the beauty of her garden, things that as a child I found wondrous.
Now, I have to include two other small items, one actually very small, a ladybug that my son took a macro shot of, woohoo I shall get him in to photography. The ladybug was on the table and I simply couldn’t lean forwards enough to get her, but he did.
The other picture is of the most gigantic pike that Daphne caught within the first few months of getting married.
She met her husband when they were teens. he was a Major in the army. They had a very traditional marriage as in the relationship but so full of love. They spent their whole lives together, never arguing and always loving, something I think sometimes not so often seen these days in longevity.
He has since passed away and I know she misses him dreadfully and feels a sense of isolation at her age as she confided in me. Now being 86 many people in the village have moved away, none of her old friends are there. She cannot walk so well and it is frustrating for me not being closer or more able to get there but where there is a will there is a way 🙂
Thank you for sharing in my many moments of delight this weekend.
Just to finish off in my true style, well my last random moment of delight that had us in fits of giggles was the fact that both dogs got plonked in the car at the same time and were literally ‘stuck’ they couldn’t move a jot and just stood there like sardines in a tin, I do apologize for the bottom view! haha