Archive for August, 2017

A Time of Reflection…

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva on August 17, 2017 by kathydasilva

‘It was summertime, and, weeks of adventure ahead, and playhouse dressing up. Our house at Cobbett Road had many enchantments, a large garden, and some wasteland beyond, where, we as children had endless game play, snaking through grasses and climbing the tall, horse chestnut tree.’

‘The tree bore conkers every autumn, and every autumn, there was a certain expectation. Firstly as a child, I had grown use to new garments of clothing being bought for myself, most importantly a new pair of shoes for school. I thought myself fortunate, and loved the whole palaver  of entering the shoe shop and trying different pairs of brand new, shiny new leather shoes on my feet, with a mother whose bag held over one arm, would extract her purse and cheque book and make the purchase on my behalf. There was always a kind of atmosphere of expectation, with all the thoughts generally being toward the academic year ahead, and the progression of this child’s mind at least. Even before schooling started, my mother had lined the shelves with ladybird books, and paperbacks, possibly handed down from an older sister and brother for I indeed was the youngest and trailing behind all the other part of my mother’s brood. The house in which we lived, had the grandeur of another epoch. The whole place was ours, and it stood detached, and with a good sized garden front and back. The bay tree, out front, stood at one corner of the square which had a raised lawn, and stood beside the drive. The rest of the front was bordered by a thick brick wall, with the traditional Victorian shaping, built alongside the house, that had once bore the name of Ellis. No doubt a family by that name probably existed. I knew a Tim Ellis later, whom studied art as I did at Southampton College, just before going onto doing a bachelor certificate,  in London. Ellis House, was our family home, for about nineteen years.

There was forever, an iron swing, painted in pale turquoise out the back. The garden furnishings were, mainly pet housing, and some remnants of an air raid shelter near to the kitchen window. Our grass quite often got left to grow wild, and grew ankle length, and occasionally knee length not infrequently, due to my father’s bad back, and slipped disc condition. Airplanes flew above us, at regular intervals high above from south to north of the city, and north to south, and sometimes low enough to see the details of windows and doors, for landing was not so far at Eastleigh Airport.

Summer if it was not at Cobbett Road would always be spent somewhere, like the Isle of Wight or Cornwall, though I know two summers at least were spent in Wales in an old fashioned traditional beamed Welsh cottage. I was ten. And  I was seven, and the memory, of a grandmother sitting in the garden with a bowl of freshly grown pea pods, which she and I shelled together, in readiness of cooking them. My grandmother, was always a woman of slight form and white, cotton wool, fine hair. My mother’s sister, had housed my grandmother over the years with her family, all of whom seemed ten years older than myself and sister. I had been given a wild, black hare, one year, brought to me by a cousin, for the sake of saving its life. It had been devouring all the veg  grown in patches along the gardens, all up and down where they lived. I had named her Beauty for in fairness, she reminded me of the horse, by the same name, with thick black hair of a silky softness…..’

to be continued… (Looking For Pearls..soon to be published..)