Friday, September 6


I lie upon a grassy knoll,
the sun cleansing,
healing in its warm embrace.
Mind wandering to times so long ago
and to my homeland far away.

I remember fields of green,
narrow country roads,
ancient valleys.
Picture postcard villages.
Boar’s Head, a pub.
An old stone church
with steeple high.
Bells on Sunday morning.

Rugged hills,
wild flowers,
robins on the wing,
blackbirds too,
and finches.
Sheep with woolly coats
and tails.
Small woodlands, good for shade
or shelter from the rain.

Games I played in fabled woods.
Times beside the pond when,
I stared into its murky depth,
for what,
slithery, slimy creatures,
dragons of my childhood.

I picked fat and juicy berries,
eating more’n my basket held.
Nutting along narrow, country lanes.
Finding plate size mushrooms
in the dew dampened dawn.
In our garden, currents grew,
red and black.
Rhubarb, apples, swedes, and carrots,
parsnips, peas, and beans,
and onions by the score.

The house, rough stone and gray
kept us warm both night and day.
Fireplace with flickering flame,
welcome comfort in cold and rain.
My tiny room,
birthplace of dreams,
adventures too.

What happened to those dreams of yore,
where did they go?
Are they floating still on fluffy clouds,
sky borne creatures
that I alone can see?
Or are they buried still
deep in the mind of the child in me?

I lie upon my bed this night
with moonlight through the window
reaching deep into my soul.
It takes me back once more
To my homeland faraway.

I think about my mother and my father,
both gone, my sister too,
her life cut short at seven.
I wish so much to speak
the words I could not utter then,
words not spoken in our home.
Is it so hard to say, I love you?
Such simple, basic words,
but ones we need express the most,
but the hardest ones of all to say.

I wish I could return
to that land so faraway
and to the dreams I left there.
I wish I had a second chance
to say what needed to be said.
Too late except to whisper to my pillow
and shed a tear or two.
Grab a moonbeam, child inside,
grab a moonbeam
and take me there,
to that land so faraway.

(c)February 2002

Floods of Memories

Lately floods of memories have been coming back to me from my childhood. Coming here and reading others writings has sparked my own memories, as well as writing a story for submission which entailed me having to search the Web to ensure these memories were correct, I feel like a door has been opened and I am inspired to write,even more. My researching took me back to where I was born in Great Yarmouth, different websites, showing me photographs and giving me information confirming my memories, has created the feeling of wanting to go on an extended holiday to write from a perspective of the present, this I hope will come in the not too distant future until then I will write about my childhood revisted.

I have many favourite memories. I don't really know where to start, but I'll give it a go.

Our whole family would always get together over Christmas - and there were quite a few of us, my nana had 11 children, 8 of them still living, in and around Great Yarmouth, so add to them wives, husbands and children (my cousins)you have a large gathering. After Christmas lunch we would oftentimes sit around the table and play cards, we would of course need more than one deck! We would play many card games, matches were used for the kitty (until the adults got serious), and us children would take it in turns sitting near our parents learning the game.

Other fond memories were of my nana, my sister and I would often sleep over her house, I would love to snuggle into the feather bed mattress, pulling up the feather doona. It's a memory I always remember. Nan would sit for hours putting my sisters and my own hair in ringlets, or rags. We often had the hot poker for the fire used as a ringlet maker.

Nans house was a small two bedroomed, two storey place, complete with its own ghost called 'Charlie'. The stairs use to frighten me as it was from them, the stair door would slam shut of its own accord, nana called it her very own ghost and told us not to worry.

Nana would take us to the jumble sales, I use to love these (its probably why I love op shops today). She would buy dolls that were still fairly well intact and unbeknown to me at the time, she would take them home and make them clothes, clean them up and they would become our Christmas presents that year. With such a large amount of grandchildren to give presents too this was obviously the best she could do. We didn't know or care, nan always gave us something and it was usually something we wanted (at that age all us girls wanted dolls).

Our first house was a house bought from council at a reduced rate, it was next door to a condemned house (an alley way separated us). My mischievious brothers and I would go exploring in that house, it was dangerous, thank goodness my mother never found out. Around the corner new flats were being built as part of a redevelopment of the area. My brothers and I would jump out of the window gaps onto the builders sand below us from each floor, until we were too scared to do it any more. Thank goodness my mother never knew about that either!

A little shop at the top of our street was where we would take our threepence and buy a bag of sweets each week. This was a real, English,old fashioned sweet shop, I use to love that shop.

We moved later and sold our first house (now totally renovated) back to the council and made enough profit to get a nicer house in a nicer area of Great Yarmouth. My parents ran a bed and breakfast at this new house and in holiday season us children would move to small rooms at the rear of the house, off of the laundry, so we could accomodate our guests. My parents slept on a pull out settee.

I remember one time after playing football with my brothers and their friends I went home for a drink and walked into the house and was introduced to our guests - I think they were our very first guests - well the room began to smell and it was discovered I had stepped in dogs pooh! How embarrassed we all were, luckily they were not snobby and laughed it off - having had children themselves.

From our new house, my trip to school was further and from a different area of town, I soon shortened it by walking through the cemetry/church yards. Here, I would read the gravestones and wonder about the people they referred too. Our school was actually once a monastry of the Benedictine Order, who served St. Nicholas church. Opposite the church, was what I believe, was once the priests or ministers residence, way back in the past - but was now the writing house of Anna Sewell the author of Black Beauty, the childrens classic. I remember peering into the diamond cut old windows and saying to myself - I want to be a writer - when I grow up. I am now trying to achieve this in my life and feel like this is more or less my destiny.

The pleasure beach and the market place, the coastal walk along the 'Golden mile' shore which was a mixed wonder of gardens and different activities. The horse and carriage rides along the road side, the candy floss, hotdogs, movies and simple joys of spending time with our parents exploring the coastal excitement.

Oh and how we all loved to collect and make our conkers!

Guy forks night was another fond memory, fireworks, bonfires and our guy fork, home made dummy was a night we looked forward too.
Toasted marshmallows, warm clothes and a gathering of the neighbours for the bonfire and fireworks was certainly a night to remember.

We had castles very close to us too and these were a fascination and insight into the past of long ago, Great Yarmouth once had a huge wall built all around it to protect it from attacks from the sea.

These and many other fond memories return to me now and I am thankful they have, I feel I have found my roots and can now expand even greater in my efforts to write. I may choose to branch out from a different perspective and put myself in the attacks suffered in Great Yarmouth throughout history. All I do know at present is I am overjoyed to have all those wonderful memories come floating back to me. I am ever grateful for the opportunity to revisit my childhood.

(c)T.Seed 2002.