Random moment of delight #20 ~ Will you come home with me for a while?

Random Moment of Delight #20

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


That is a part of my childhood 🙂

Justine x

© Justine @ Eclecticoddsnsods.com


  65 comments for “Random moment of delight #20 ~ Will you come home with me for a while?

  1. May 19, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    Lovely essay! Brought back some wonderful memories.


    • May 20, 2014 at 5:49 AM

      Yes it did thank you for reading I know it was a bit of an essay as you say but my essay and I was quite excited to share it 🙂


  2. May 19, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    Justine- it was so great to read this and see all these pictures! Wow! Your cottage that you grew up in is so amazing! It is like a cottage I would see in the movies! And your garden growing up?! Gorgeous!
    Bullies are so not fun…I am so glad she stopped bugging you!
    The flowers you made up are so beautiful…I absolutely love the colors!
    And I absolutely loved the pics of your dogs! I think they had just as much fun as you did! 🙂
    I am so glad you got to spend time with these dear ladies! Precious!


    • May 20, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      We all had such fun it was great. The flowers I had made up, they had some already done but dull dull dull, I love orange and purple, such vivid colours and ones to remember hehe. It was lovely to see my mums friends, it was bitter sweet of course as lots of childhood memories and sadness at what is lost and no more, but I hope to see her more often, god willing 🙂 xx


  3. May 19, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    Oh, I loved your re-telling, it was like a Sunday night BBC drama, I could picture all the characters. 🙂


    • May 20, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      haha that is such a sweet thing to say, well I love to her that I invoke the mind to go somewhere inside a story with my words, the pictures help too! huggles x


  4. May 19, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    What a wonderful post! Such a pleasure to read! I have serious cottage envy! It was a lovely trip to read about. One of the first things I did when I moved back home was visit my “Fairy Godmother” and see my old homes. It’s nice to see someone else wax nostalgic about home 🙂


    • May 20, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      ah yes, I miss her dreadfully and havn’t been able to get down there, but am determined to again in September and it was great to see my kids play where I used to a bit. It’s odd i don’t miss the cottage I grew up in, though I had happy tmies, but I miss the people my mum knew dreadfully, these things can have memories attached but I am determined to make some new memories x


  5. May 19, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Ok, that last shot is hysterical! 😀 What a wonderful post Justine. Your childhood home and town is exactly how I imagine England. What a lovely cottage to be raised in and the river looks like a wonderful playground. It’s so nice you got to visit your fairy mothers. What a nice nice thing. Thank you so much for walking us down your memory lane this week in RMoD. You photography is soooo good! (and son did a great macro).


    • May 20, 2014 at 11:27 AM

      Haha I knew you would appreciate the last shot 😛 We just burst out laughing, the kids were in hysterics and it was like they were statues just stuck there lol, the bum shot oooer poor pugsly having his bottom blogged, still better than teddys being blogged for a change. The cottage was very picturesque and on many artists paper which was lovely to see as a child. It was very quirky, the thatched roof used to house a few rats which at night you could hear scurrying across the ceiling, they were so loud it was ridiculous and it used to sound like they were dragging things. As a child of course I made up loads of stories of what they were doing up there hehe x


  6. May 19, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    Well, your native house is a paradise… It’s beautifully rural (not ugly rural like here 😮 ), and I’m happy for you that you made this delightful visit!


  7. May 19, 2014 at 11:55 PM

    So beautiful! What a wonderful trip through you life and the house you grew up in is perfectly like I would picture a home from there. I loved the arbor with the little tin roof and all that wonderful scenery. You grew up in a lovely part of the country and it looks like you had a blessed childhood. I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s passing it’s never hard when you lose a parent. Blessings to you sweet friend! 🙂 Lovely share!


    • May 20, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      Awe thank you it was wonderful and i still feel that happy feeling from having the weekend and now the pictorial memories and words which makes blogging so wonderful. it is great to hear how people grew up, I think. wow a tin roof must have been noisy? xx


  8. May 19, 2014 at 11:58 PM

    Oh Justine, this was an absolute joy to read! Your childhood home reminds me of those in a storybooks…it has such character. It’s no surprise that artists were drawn to it! It appears the entire area you called home, is very special. Beautiful photos, too. I love the macro shot your son captured. It appears you have a junior photographer in the making. 🙂 It appears you had an absolutely perfect day, not only strolling down memory lane, but also creating new memories with your family!


    • May 20, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      Thank you nanacy 🙂 You are right its not just about old memories its making some new ones which I am determined to keep on doing and being able to put them down on here hopefully is like a scrapbook keepsake. I sent both my fairy mothers the link but i am not sure whether they are tech savvy enough to understand it so backed it up with lots of normal email pics too LOL…my son is developing an interest in photography which is good, 🙂


  9. May 20, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    It’s so nice to go back a revisit a time from the past. What a beautiful place and a lovely story ♥️


    • May 20, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      it is and thank you, you did this also not so long ago too?

      Memories are there to keep and make new ones I think 🙂 huggle x


      • May 20, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        I think so too and yes I did do this not long ago. It warmed my heart and in a few more days I will revisit a different distant memory of a town we spent part of our lives in. Revisiting brings such a new and wonderful perspective to the memories we choose to remember. Sometimes, being physically there, brings up the important things we seem to forgotten 😉


        • May 20, 2014 at 2:59 PM

          exactly, you hit the nail on the head, like taking a break from works revitalizes, the same with revisting can put things in to perspective and memories to the forefront of ones mind xx


  10. May 20, 2014 at 1:17 AM

    How lovely! Thank you for sharing your memories. Your cottage is gorgeous. And Daphne does not look 86 in your pictures. 😉


    • May 20, 2014 at 11:32 AM

      I know she is a trooper, a simply amazing woman. Her feet and ankles really give her grief and she has a pace maker but you wouldn’t believe it, she always looks well groomed and elegant, someone I aspire to hopefully be like when I am her age if I get that far……I am determined now to keep on making some new memories with her, wishing I could lessen the distance of travel. Thank you for reading xxx


  11. Anonymous
    May 20, 2014 at 4:38 AM

    Beautiful memories and absolutely gorgeous photos… Diane


    • May 20, 2014 at 11:33 AM

      Thank you 🙂 glad you managed to view and read xx


  12. May 20, 2014 at 4:44 AM

    Wonderful memories and absolutely gorgeous photos…. Diane


    • May 20, 2014 at 11:33 AM

      Thank you Diane, memories to keep and some new ones to make xx


  13. May 20, 2014 at 4:53 AM

    Oh, sweet Justine, I have such a huge grin on my face. I feel like I’ve been in fairyland with Tinkerbelle. I swear you tell a tale like you are singing a love song and these pictures are so special. Your charming cottage and gardens and family and lunch and …. Pugs :-). I love it all. Especially you being a bit of a tomboy *wink


    • May 20, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      haha re the tomboy, yes, erm…I always preferred boys too LOL..winks back….probably why i got in so much trouble upon occassion. I would much rather be up a tree than playing with dollies, actually I don’t even remember having dolls. Glad you liked the post it is fairytale like to me too which is part of the reason I love it so much xx


  14. May 20, 2014 at 5:36 AM

    What a beautiful place to grow up in. Thanks for sharing your visit with us.


    • May 20, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      a pleasure and thank you for reading it all, I know it was long but it was a journey for me xx


  15. Lainey
    May 20, 2014 at 6:47 AM

    Wonderful post, it looks magical there! x


    • May 20, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      It is truly, you should visit there sometime its just an amazing area 🙂 Lots of memories to keep me going now for the next few weeks hehe xx


  16. May 20, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    How lovely to read all of that, very nicely written and illustrated 🙂


  17. May 21, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    Oh Justine – what a beautiful place to grow up, I cannot believe you moved to London instead, the cottage is amazing, magical. An Enid Blyton type of place from when to embark and seek out a magical tree and meadows for picknicking in. Funnily enough we have some similar memories, in the garden of the house I grew up in there was a stream running through it, I would spend hours down in the clay digging, and putting together rat skeletons, I also rode and the horse I rode was a chestnut mare with a white blaze and the most beautiful head ever. Oh and I was a day boarder. I am sure you never got thrown off a lacrosse pitch because you thwacked your oponents stick so hard it flew into the air :)!

    Ah well, getting sad now. Thanks for the post – lovely story about your mums friends, I like to stay in touch with my parents friends too.


    • May 23, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      Oh wow, gosh I used to ride a horse, he was chestnut with a blaze of white/blonde hair, he did a few years ago at nearly 40 years old, Rocky was his name, I miss him so 😦 That is very unusual about the rat skeleltons, haha, maybe that is what nurtured your eventual career choice? 😉 Thank you for replying, your childhood sounds idylic and yes v similar, its hard to replicate but the memories are good. it is why it was so wonderful to see my children enjoy a little sliceof it xx


      • May 23, 2014 at 7:32 PM

        wow really he died at 40 years old, amazing – maybe mine is still alive somewhere, we sold her when I was 17 and I felt so guilty about letting her down and sending her off that I couldn’t face visiting her more than once. Although I am sure she was fine, and when I visited she seemed happy. Maybe I will try to hunt her down and see if she is still around and what became of her. thanks for jogging that memory. Rat skeletons, always had a scientific bent of mind and loved that kind of thing. Sorry about Rocky, it sounds like you kept in touch with him which I didn’t do with mine…ah feel sad now


        • May 23, 2014 at 7:36 PM

          Awe sorry you feel sad but it’s good to remember 🙂 I’m sure she was fine but it’s hard giving up a pet esp one you have such a special bond with as a horse. I read mine until I got my back problems. He retired not long after theb we had to decide to put him down as he was really suffering from colic. I part owned him with someone else and it was devastating he was a real character, pretty naughty and cantankerous and still had an eye for the ladies hehe


          • May 24, 2014 at 2:17 PM

            true dogs and horses are special pets -I am sure she was fine too, always sad to say goodbye to them, putting them down is the worst thing..but they do have special personalities don’t they. Eye for the ladies eh? I remember I was riding a mare in heat once and a Percheron stallion slipped his rope and galloped after us and tried to mount her, I made if off her back just in time thankfully…….Have a great Saturday


            • May 24, 2014 at 2:39 PM

              Haha omg that is too funny and dare I say it could only happen to you lol. I have a surprise for you for next weeks ff 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              • May 24, 2014 at 3:29 PM

                what being chased by a Percheron, he was a big lad, or making it off in time? I am glad I missed those hooves I can tell you.
                I still have a hoofprint on my thigh from another encounter with a horse though, another story for another time -I was lucky then as well


                • May 24, 2014 at 8:01 PM

                  You still have a hoof print? What a scar? Go on do tell purrrlease 🙂


                  • May 24, 2014 at 10:23 PM

                    yes hoof print scar tissue – missed the artery luckily or I would have been a gonner – especially as after it happened I cycled home for 20 km so if that vessel had had any damage I am not sure it would have held up for 2okm – I have a guardian angel, or most likely a squad on rotation at all times. Its really late now but I i will tell you the story if you promise not to laugh..


                    • May 25, 2014 at 4:17 PM

                      yikes that sounds very scary!!! shivvers…and of course I won’t laugh, would love to hear the story 🙂


                    • May 25, 2014 at 7:26 PM

                      there was a dark dark dank stable in France with a very beautiful thoroughbred 2 1/2 – 3 year old in it. The horse was a stallion and had been transported a long way, and as he hurt his leg during transport and had developed what I had just discovered is something called proud flesh. Never heard of it before but this is what it looked like: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2012/12/20/hints-on-proud-flesh-horse/ – the poor thing had then be stuck in the stable and left to his own devices….. a friend of mine, studying to be a vet, and me studying to be a doctor, suckers both of us, felt that this was not right and removed the horse from the stable with the aim of dressing the wound…..yes laugh now if you must. A mare in heat walked by…..the stallion hadnt been out for ages, plus we were trying to move in on his foreleg – at which point he reared whipped round and lashed out with his leg catching me squarely on the thigh – good aim overall – spleen would have been bad, knee would have been bad stomach would have been bad, torso also bad, head terrible, wrist, not good, so thigh and not fully on the femoral artery was a kind hit overall. I still have his hoofprint, I guess he wasnt shod, my leg turned a blue black and purple all the to the knee. I went to the emergency room a week later……doctors are bad at going to the doctors ( I broke my ankle years later and said, Its not broken Im a doctor I would know…)Hm… anyway the day of the horse everyone said, stupid young women not surprising you got kicked. Nobody said, oh dear, can we help do you need a doctor (switzerland I tell you) so I got on my racing bike and cycled home for about 20km or thereabouts. Guardian angels is all that I can say.


                    • May 25, 2014 at 8:40 PM

                      Wow dare I ask what happened to the horses lol now I sound the same as them lol! Seriously that leg looked like a tree omg it was hideous. I wonder how a horse survives that. And as for you well erm it was passionate and optimistic what you did? Lol oh my and not a broken ankle that made me laugh. So what is the hoof mark actual scar tissue or marks of capillary damage? I’m refraining from asking for a pic it’s hard not too hehe maybe it was my fascination with that kind of thing that led me to initially become a holistic therapist specializing in skin disorders and educating! Gosh thank you for that poli I am of course glad your ok 🙂


                    • May 25, 2014 at 9:01 PM

                      I suspect the horse got shot – seeing as it was imported to sell, and the cost of getting it up and running would be higher than shooting it. Hm. Oh dear you are into gruesome details, scar tissue, but only if one knows where to look….


                    • May 25, 2014 at 10:24 PM

                      Awe shame about the horse and glad it’s mild scar tissue but what a marvellous scar to have I will say that if you were gojng to have one you couldn’t have chosen a more unusual one and quite obviously you have a high pain tolerance if you cycled home!!! Xx


                    • May 26, 2014 at 7:26 AM

                      hello there – very funny – most unusual you are right, maybe the horse survived you are right. High pain tolerance? Oh I don’ t know – its the English stiff upper lip and a low tolerance of looking like a wimp…:)


                    • May 26, 2014 at 7:30 AM

                      British through abs through heh? We have those quirks it seems 🙂


                    • May 26, 2014 at 10:12 AM

                      all mixed up but the basics are there yes – the quirks 🙂


                    • May 26, 2014 at 10:13 AM



                    • May 26, 2014 at 3:28 PM

                      True x


  18. May 22, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    This was awesome!!!!! Those houses are amazing!!! As is the scenery. Living in the desert, I am jealous of all that greenery!! You are such a great photographer too!!! Look forward to more!


    • May 23, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      Awe thank you, re photography its something I have grown to love, a new appreciation of mother nature, when I thought i was gonig to lose the ability to get out any more it kind of opened my eyes up andgave me new perspective i am def an amateur i dont understand the techy stuff but i just like to stop and snap snap snap much to the annoyance of my family lol xx


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