Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.

The haunting

As a child, I lived in a hamlet. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a hamlet is a small village, especially one without a church. Everyone in our hamlet without exception waved, smiled and greeted everyone else. We all had to be patient as despite there being very little in the form of shops, garages and buses there was always a queue and often a long wait. In the Summer one of the local houses sold ice-cream. They had a long, white, crunchy drive and you could smell the vanilla for at least half-a-mile away. The corner shop sold most essentials. There was goat’s milk for which you needed to produce your own jug; bacon and ham, some of which was grown at the back of the shop in the form of three beautiful lop-eared and very friendly pigs that were housed in a stone walled sty; eggs that contained both feathers, mud, straw and poo on their shells; potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips and swedes that were all covered with the local clay from the fields; spring cabbage, cauliflower, peas and beans when in season; cans of several varieties on the back shelves; tea, sugar and other dried essentials; biscuits some of which were sold loosely; chocolates, sweets and ice lollies – milk lollies being my favourite. I was allowed to choose a milk lolly on grocery day, which was always a Friday.

We had a village hall, sturdily built of stone; a church annex which most would call a chapel it was set off the road and secluded in a small wooded area that contained several pine trees the smell of which crept through the open door along with the sunshine. The vicar wore a large round smile and white floating smock that flapped in the breeze like a field poppy.

Now as a youngster, I was encouraged the same as all other children at that time – ‘to be seen and not heard.’ We would sit on walls and make daisy chains whilst adults talked and talked and talked. We would climb the small thick boughs of trees and straddle our legs either side swinging them backward and forwards as though we were driving a donkey to market. If no other children were about we would eavesdrop on what was being discussed.

On one occasion whilst waiting in a queue I happened to be standing next to a lady who appeared quite elderly to me but she was probably still short of fifty. Passing the time of day I asked her if she went to church. A twinkle came into her eye and a smile teased her bright red lips and she answered in words something like this: “Goodness me no, I gave up doing wicked things a long time ago and so don’t have the need of visiting a church any more!” ………. haunting conversation.

Annex -chapel


Russ said...

That sounds like you had a wonderful experience growing up.We had the same rules. Children are to be seen and not heard. I wish I had some of those wonderful memories that you have. Mine are pretty gruesome. I am sure there were good times also. But of course the bad always sticks out.
Have a good weekend.

Kloggers/Polly said...

Russ I was very lucky to have been brought up in the country. Every morning when I awoke I could hear the cows mooing as their field was the other side of my back garden. It had a five bar gate and I would climb over it and walk in amongst them. The field was full of buttercups - the kind that grow tall around a yard high. I would pick armfuls and armfuls of them and take them home to my poor mother who always found vases to place them in. I could never understand why so many cows couldn't eat all of the buttercups and grass in the field. I would even pick grass and feed the cows and stroke their knobbly faces. Cows are very curious animals and often would gather round and look at me whilst they chomped on the cud. The local farmers would use the following term to make them disperse .. 'gercha, gercha' and away they would go .. I have tried out this word many times since and amazingly have found that it still works today.

I was sorry to hear that you have experienced such bad times in your childhood. Everyone remembers bad things that have happened to them but for you to have bad things as your main memories is truly dreadful. Sunshine usually blots out cloudy days especially in our memories. I do hope that you have had mostly good times in your adulthood.

Have a good weekend too!

Ann said...

Oh the good old days. It reminds me a lot of when I was child. My parents would get together with friends or family and the kids all had their own separate place to congregate. I also remember in the good old days when we were kids we were forbidden to call adults by their first names, something that is very common these days. I remember getting yelled at one time for calling my neighbor Dennis instead of Mr. (whatever his last name was)

Resaca Rose said...

I was surfing the 'next blog' and found your site. It's really nice and I loved the story of the old lady. That's a good one. Pam