Some of you have read parts of my book that tell of my terrible childhood with my mother, but here is another side to it. I was fortunate enough to be able to go from time to time to my grandparents farm which was a place of the most wonderful safety and security. It was like a magical place to me. I would like to write more about this wonderful place but here is a little bit just for starters. I am not sure if I have posted the space before so please forgive me if I have.
The days are gone now, and so is the farmhouse. The people who gave life in that place are also gone. I alone am left. Only I carry the story of that place. Only I carry it’s goodness.
The day they tried to knock it down, it still stood there defiant.
“It’s unsafe,” they said. “It needs knocking down.”
Even my grandfather said that – Pop, we called him. He had been around the world, ending up on a cattle ranch in Argentina. On returning to England he had purchased the farm. He knew all that there was to know about cattle – beast, as he often called them. But they were more than best to him. He could be seen most evenings leaning on the gate to the field, stroking the heads of the beast as they came to him. Smoking his pipe and surveying the fields he was at peace.
A very taciturn man, he would sit by the fire in the range, that was lit every day in both summer and winter, with his beloved pipe. Occasionally he would press down the tobacco, and add more, tapping it as he did so. My grandmother and I would be sat in chairs at the side of him, my grandmother occasionally patting his leg in a gesture of affection. Every night, dead on nine o’ clock, the News and then the all- important weather forecast would be on the wireless, as it was called in those days. Occasionally my grandmother would poke the fire, and sparks would fly up the chimney. A kettle would be on the boil, ready for supper, which always consisted of cheese sandwiches that my grandmother made on the huge wooden table, always resplendent in a starched wire cloth. Then would come the filling of the hot water bottles ready for bed.
This was how it was, every single night. Never a variation. Candles would be lit, and the oil lamp put out.
As a child, this was a wondrous place to me. It felt so firm, so solid and secure. And so, on the day that the farmhouse was pulled down, it seemed in keeping that it refused to go. It took numerous attempts with the hugecwrecking ball, to get it to fall down. In fact the men thought they were not going to get it down.
This place had become, for me my only home. This was my only solid base, to which I returned as often as I could. I was at my happiest when I was there.