WITHOUT YOU

 

SUFFOLK 16

Without you

The life that I loved and knew is now no more.

The sun still shines and the rain still rains and the summer warmth still comes

And all of those things that we loved are still here.

And that is as it should be.

For there is of course no room for selfishness and envy.

But the longing is still there and it is relentless in its                                        despair.                                                                                                                                                        

People pass by in the street and sometimes smile and wave but I look down

And study the greyness of the paving stones.

And I look at my feet that somehow or other manage to put one in front of the other.

But still the void in my stomach grows larger with every                       day that passes.                                                                                                                                    

At home the phone rings but I don’t answer it.

And then people knock at the door

But I just close the curtains and ignore them.

         I have no room for them in my little life.                                                                     

Months and years go by

And nothing changes nor will it ever.

Life is an endless burden and its bitterness is all consuming

                       But somehow I continue.                                                                                        

And then gradually and almost imperceptibly, memory begins to fade

And my body begins to empty.

With no purpose and no tomorrow, the fog comes and I drift into that dreamless sleep.

And now I am at last,

With you.

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MY DAD SAYS

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                     I don’t love my Grandma                                                                                               

My Dad says

That putting pins on Grandma’s chair

To make her jump and really swear

                 Is naughty and its just not fair                                                                                                                                                                                       But secretlyI just don’t care.                                                                                  

My Dad says

That knocking into Grandma’s leg

The one that’s got a bandage on

Is really cruel and I agree

                   So I’ll just knock her other knee.                                                                              

My Dad says

That Grandmas going to stay a lot

But that’s not what I really want

I really wish she’d disappear

                    I’d laugh and never shed a tear.                                                                                                                                                                               

My Dad says

That now Grandma’s moved down to the sea

We can go and visit lots

And there’s a beach not far away

             Where I can go and have some play,                                                                    

My Dad says

That really Grandma’s rather kind

And I suppose she’s not so bad

Now she lives near the beach

        And home’s just too far for her to reach.                                                                  

I love my Grandma.

NINE OWNERS

8 SOLD

I started life in 1973 as a blue and white ‘Dolly’ 2cv.    Bit of a silly name but just one of the 2CV range.    Constructed in France and then shipped to a Citroen dealer in Potters Bar in Hertfordshire and then in the show room for a few weeks.   Finally bought by a man in his early thirties who had sold his bigger car for enough money to buy me for £850 pounds.

My first owner was a mature student at a teachers training college and for he next few years I was treated reasonably well and looked after and regularly serviced. Then things started to deteriorate and a few dents and scratches started to appear and the services and general maintenance became irregular. I still passed the MOT but only just.    I think drink and lack of interest was involved. Luckily before he sold me on, I had a couple trips back to the old country, camping and that sort of thing and it was nice to smell French air once again.

Eventually he left the college and sold me to a wealthy business man again in North London.    His daughter had just past her test and I would be her first car.    In the beginning she was thrilled with me so I got plenty of attention and lots of cleaning and polishing.    But after less than a year, she started to loose interest and now she could drive, she wanted something a bit more than 602 cc under the bonnet.    Before I left there was a gleaming brand new Porsche 911 sitting in the driveway.    Not that I cared.

My next owner was a lady driver in her sixties which was surprising.    The type of person who likes cars like me tend to be much younger.    Mileage was much reduced and really I was looked after for several years in quite a good way.    Bit heavy of the clutch which had been changed after a couple of years but all in all, it was pretty good.    A leafy suburb this time in on the fringes of London in Surrey, it reminded me a bit of France so that was quite positive.

Then tragically she died and I was put in the garage attached to the house and left there until the inheritance was sorted out, there being no children to leave her estate to.    And of course me being part of the estate, I just had to wait to.    And wait I did, for several years.    One my windows having been left open, a family of mice moved in during the first winter in that garage, burrowing a hole in the seat upholstery and making quite an acceptable and comfortable home.    And then the following winter a stray cat moved in and the mice moved out.    He stayed for a couple of years.    Cobwebs and dust everywhere and a general feeling of morbidity. Not a happy period in my life.

Then in the summer of the forth year, the garage door was opened and I was towed away on a transporter and dumped in a scrap yard.     I soon realised that this was probably going to be the end for me.    But then at the last minute just before the crusher and final destruction, I was rescued by a young couple who had a thing about 2cv’s and I was whisked off to North Norfolk.    My chassis being rusted, it was replaced with a galvanised one and my engine refurbished.    By the time they had finished with me, I was almost back to my original state with the only difference being that I had been painted entirely in red.    And, I was given a new soft roof in red and white deckchair type stripes.

There followed many happy years until inevitable as these things are, they divorced and I was sold again for even more that I had cost new, to an elderly man living by himself who probably wanted to relive his youth when he had owned another 2cv. Having a big posh black car in his garage I was very rarely used and became more of an oddity in his driveway.    People seemed to stop and stare and occasional have a conversation with the old man about the time when they to had owned a 2cv.    Not very satisfactory being almost a piece of sculpture and not a working and living car.

Did you know that 2cvs were invented after the second war and the criteria was that the car should be able to hold two fat farmers in the front seats and a large sack of potatoes in the back with a dozen eggs also on the back seat.    And with all that on board, the car should be able to cross a ploughed field and not break any of the eggs.    Such is the suspension of 2cvs that that was entirely possible.

Ironically my next owner was a Suffolk Farmer who, when he died passed me on to his son.   I then became a general dogsbody type vehicle that his son and his family of who were there were several sons and daughters, could use as and when.    This went on for several years and gradually as the children started to leave home, I became less and less used and services and repairs became a thing of the past.    In the end the son decided that enough was enough and gave me to a local garage for nothing.    A bit humiliating but that’s the life of an older car.

And then a miracle happened.    2cvs started to become popular and consequently prices started to go up, which is unusual for cars who haven’t quite reached their vintage stage.    Evidently prices have even reached £20,000 for a concourse model. So the garage owner decide to ‘do me up’ and try to sell me.    The engine was refurbished yet again and I was eventually bought by an enthusiast who lived just up the road from the garage.    He immediately repainted me.    The only trouble was that he ran out of blue paint and substituted a lighter colour on one of the doors and the bonnet wasn’t done very well and soon started to peel.    He was using me to travel backwards and forwards to his sick mother who lived over two hundred miles away.

Now, I have to admit that being a basic car, things like overtaking are out of the question and in the winter, you need to wrap up warm, as the heat coming from such a small engine is not a lot.    So eventually he decided to get rid and now I live in North Suffolk.    Bought for £2600, I reckon with a respray, I could be worth double that. Bit of a change from all those years ago.    I am in the process of being under sealed and during the winter I will have a car cover put over me.    And the owner is keen on keeping me for many years or what he calls, the duration.    So things are beginning to look up.    Life finally is good and I’m optimistic about the future.

EXPLANATION:   We’ve just bought our 4th 2cv.   The latest one has had nine owners.    So I decided to write the above including me as the first owner and me as the last owner.  The in between owners are fictitious.

 

THAT’S NOT NORFOLK, 1918

 

24 SOLD

That’s not a Norfolk field but I still know it.

Straight ploughed autumn fields but no stones.

Blackbirds sing and those old crows are here for seed

                                             Just like home, but that’s not Norfolk.                                                                                                       

Here’s Henry the postman, a good old boy,

Always kind to Mother with her legs and all.

And there’s Billy Kett who works with me on the farm.

                             Too fond of the beer is Billy, but he’s a worker all right.                                                                     

Brother Tom’s here with his horses.

He loves horses does Tom and they love him to.

Smells of horses Mum always tells him

                                                                And he laughs.                                                                                                                                        

Vicars here and Squire, all posh in their officers.

Always telling us boys what to do

But that’s always been the way,

                                           Just like Father and his Father before him.                                                                                             

Farmer’s son Matthew is here and he’s a corporal

Makes a change from rent collecting.

 But he’s always been fair to us tenants

                                          And given us a week off when we’re short.                                                                                                

Getting married next Easter to Squire’s daughter,

Big do at the big house and we’re all invited.

Billy’s looking forward to the free beer already,

                                                                 But that’s Billy.                                                                                                                                                  

We’re all here together waiting to go home

With the poppies and the corn and the summers and winters going by.

That’s a quiet country place and a good place to rest,

                                                          But that’s not Norfolk.                                                                                                                                     

Note:   People in Norfolk and Suffolk rarely use the word ‘it’s or ‘it is’ .    In its place they substitute ‘that’s’  ie. ‘that’s a nice drink’.     And they pronounce it ‘thas’ , with an emphasis on the ‘s’.  

There’s a place in Norfolk where in the first war nearly all the men in the village went to France and were never seen or heard of again.

 

 

 

WHY?

RED HATS SOLD

Why am I fat and you are so thin

Why are you happy and I am so sad

              Did we really have the same Mum and same Dad?                                                                             

You went to boarding school

And I went to day

                      Nobody knows why and nobody will say.                                                                                           

I’ve always drunk beer

But you prefer gin

It just goes to show

                                 What a pickle we’re in.                                                                                                                  

Your name is Rupert

And my name is Fred

And that box of tricks

                                Will last till we’re dead.                                                                                                                

You read the Times and I read the Sun

You like the golf

But football’s my game

                         We never have, and never will be the same.                                                                                       

The difference is there

But we still love each other

And whatever happens

You’ll still be my brother.

MIDSUMMER JUNE

7 SOLD

I am looking down on a beautiful garden.    It is midsummer June when the blooms and fragrance of which there are many, are surely at their best.     Reds and yellows, whites and mauves seem to vie with each other for pre-eminence over a background of verdant green.    On this day, the sun is hot and blinding and the colours of the roses shine back defiantly at the sky.

Here lies a heaven for all to see

Timeless beauty for you and me.

There are people in the garden and there is laughter and chatter and kind thoughts.    It is a happy place and like them I am glad to be here on this lovely day.    The women wear summer dresses which brush lightly against the roses and their leaves as they walk along the paths near the lawn in front of the house.    Here and there are scattered wooden deckchairs and a table where an old wind up gramophone is playing some nostalgia from long ago.    At the back of the garden the sound of children chattering and laughing.

Here lies our memories of joy and love

Flower strewn paths with the trees above

Some of the people are familiar to me and some not.   Those that I recognise are much older than I remember but I am sure they were dear to me once, long ago.    For this is a joyful place and it has fond memories to many of the people in the garden where, the talk is of those times and more to come.    It is perfect and I am all at once sad and happy to be here once again.

                         Here lies the future for who knows who

                     But I wish them good fortune and happiness to.

A MEMORY

20 SOLD

Remember me as I was

Not as I am now.

Remember my laughter and not my tears

Remember me in happiness and not in fears.

Forget this blank expressionless face,

The open mouth and sad and staring eyes.

Its not me

Nor ever will be.

I left long ago to who knows where or what.

I am just a memory of flesh and blood

Who sleeps a dreamless sleep and will not wake,

Till final darkness comes for me to take.

Some of my ideas