Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Return to down memory lane!

After my deja vu post I thought the subject was closed. But yesterday I had two such amazing memory flashes that I have to share them with you.
David and I are fanatical jig-saw doers (we are not fans of TV apart from Strictly!!) and a friend lent us a pile. They are our favourites - 500 pieces - which we can do in an evening (and still leave time for the odd game of Rummikub). Last night we got one from the pile and it was one of The Flying Scotsman. As I put pieces on the table I had this amazing flashback -
I am seven and have gone to visit my Aunt Kate who lives in The Dukeries, that part of Nottinghamshire around the towns of Retford and Tuxford. We have gone to gather in the hay. Going to the field I rode on the wide, sweaty back of the cart horse pulling the empty hay cart.
I watched the men load on hay with their pitchforks, and when the cart was full they hoisted me up on to the top of the hay for the journey home. The L.N.E.R. (now East coast mainline) line ran in a cutting through the middle of the field and as we trundled across the cry went up "The Flying Scotsman's coming through!" And I sat on the hay and looked down as the flashy blue engine sped past tooting its horn.
When I returned to school I must have told our teacher (one of those wonderful wartime callback teachers that Dave King talks about so well in his MacTavish poem) because she taught us all a poem, As I did the jig-saw last night that poem came into my head - maybe for the first time in seventy years!
Chariots of gold, said Timothy!
Silvery wings said Elaine!
But - a bumpety ride on a wagon of hay
for me! said Jane.
The other story concerns our neighbouring farmer, who popped in for a chat yesterday morning and told us about one of the farm cats. His dad was driving a tractor and trailer and he was behind it driving another tractor. A farm cat was sitting by the side of the lane. As he watched, the cat ran across under the trailer and out the other side, unscathed.
And that reminded me of a story my father used to tell us of when he was six (1903). He lived in Lincoln and there had been a heavy snowfall and a hard frost. He and his pals took a sledge up to the top of Milman Road, a very steep road with a main road at the bottom. My dad always said that they came down at such a crack they couldn't stop. As they reached the main road a horse drawn cart was passing and they shot under the horse, between its front and back legs!
We always laughed at his story and thought he had made it up. I thought of it yesterday after the cat episode - and now I am not so sure. Maybe it really did happen!

24 comments:

Pat Posner said...

Great post, Weaver. They're lovely memories to cherish.
I love those lines from Walter de la Mare's Bunches of Grapes.

Kyfarmlife said...

I really enjoyed this post! What wonderful memories, you described them so well I felt like I was there! How neat to see a glimpse of your childhood!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you pat for telling me where the lines come from - I had no idea. I actually like Walter de la Mare's childrens' poetry - shall have to re-read it.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for visiting Kyfarmlife - glad you enjoy my memories. Call again.

Robyn said...

You've brought back a memory for me too. I can also remember being hoisted up onto the hay for the ride home but the cart was drawn by two oxen.

HelenMH said...

Amazing memories!

Gramma Ann said...

That was a fun read today. I can just imagine as a child what a thrill to be on top of the hay load and the train came whizzzing by...

Congratulations on receiving the award. I like reading your stories. I don't always leave a comment, but I guess I should leave my paw print each time, so you know your story was read.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I really enjoyed this, the way things can spark off memories is quite amazing...

The Weaver of Grass said...

Robyn - two oxen? Now that is something. Where was this?

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks Helen - it is funny what sparks a memory off isn't it?

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for the comment gramma ann - would love to see your paw print!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes c.g.p. memory can hold some wonderful word pictures - but I can't always translate them!

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

I'm not much for TV either but do so love a good puzzle. How nice that this one triggered such wonderful memories.

And following up from H of E's post on Halloween, do you get children at your door?

Dominic Rivron said...

I remember (when very I was very small) being bounced on the knees of adults to the last two lines of that poem. I had forgotten about it until now.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Just a plane ride away - yes we do get the odd child at the door on Hallowe'en but it has not really caught on here yet.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Dominic - pretty good rhythm for jogging on the knee - I always thought it was "here comes the galloping major."

Sal said...

I love any pics of steam trains.
My grandfather was an engine driver with the GWR!;-)

Teresa said...

Hi Weaver,

Thanks for the memories and tour. Most enjoyable. Especially liked the little poem. Please keep your delightful posts coming!

Mistlethrush said...

Great story - made me smile!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Wonderful stories! Isn't it funny what will bring memories to the surface?

Crafty Green Poet said...

I've awarded you the Kreativ Blogger award (though I see someone else got to you first!). Anyway, my post about it is here:
http://craftygreenpoet.blogspot.com/2008/10/kreativ-blogger-award.html

Jo said...

Ah the Flying Scotsman. That takes me back to my childhood in Lincolnshire, and the 'Tallington section' where the Scotsman used to try and break it's own speed record. It wasn't too far from us and provided the most fantastic view of the train hammering down the line.
I'm feeling very old now!!

The Weaver of Grass said...

To all of you!
it seems that a bit of nostalgia gets us all in pensive mood. Thanks for the comments.

BT said...

What a lovely puzzle. I love jigsaws too. They remind me of Christmas, as my father used to buy us one to do over the holidays. Great memories. I loved this post. Made me smile too.