Walks With my Mum
I recently went for a walk with my mum Enid, to the bluebell wood. This wood has many names, Kings Wood, Long Thwaite Wood, to mention a couple. It evoked memories of my childhood. Days when I would walk with my brother and sister. Georgina marching off in front trying not to be associated with her younger siblings or get tempted to regress to those imaginary games of Robin Hood or the land of Narnia she had devised for us, after all she was now a sophisticated 15yr old. Memories of Sunday morning outings with my dad, Johnny; Carl,our baby brother in the big pram which I would also ride back home after these epic journeys, which often circumvented Firbeck, Letwell, Gildingwells and Woodsetts. On these days mum would be cooking Sunday dinner, listening to Family Favourites on the radio. On our return she would tell us of the requests from Austrailia, where we had recently returned from. If we were lucky, Dad would by us some chocolate and a bottle of pop from the off licence on Lordens Hill - our provisions. I wondered if all great explorers took such fortifying victuals. As we approached home, even in the summer, there would be a big grey plume of smoke above Dinnington from all the coal fires made up to get the water ready for sunday night baths. One winter day my dad had made a catapult and in the deep snow there were pheasant tracks. We followed these over the welfare, actually walking on cars covered in snow on Leys Lane, over fields, through the jungle that led to Letwell, back toward Gildingwells and finally spotting it near Deadys Wood. It was a beautiful creature gold, red and brown, it's head turning eveytime my dad did his pheasant call (imagine the sound of a strangled cat on 40 fags a day). He took aim holding his breath and narrowing his eyes, the bird oblivious to him. Now I know it was hard times money tight, many mouths to feed etc etc, but I sneezed. How could I let it die? It was beautiful. Plus Gibbson's chippy would be open on the way home and you really could feed a family of five for a pound, if all they wanted were sixpence mixes!!
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