Skip to main content


Just a boy from Bristol

PART TWO


"We will have bluebells in the spring, and roses in the summer," said Mum when we moved into Halsbury Rd, and for the first time we had a garden of our very own. Sadly for Mum, whatever she planted, however hard she worked, the promised flowers refused to grow. When I wasn't playing football, Knock out Ginger or Releaster 1-2-3 in Eugene Street, i wandered off down town. I travelled far and wide, exploring all the many bombed buildin...g sites which were all over Bristol. I admired, in close up, the beauty of the blue, purple, white and yellow clusters of Buddleia, Campion, Rosebay Willow herb, and bramble bushes; I sat, like a young king, astride piles of bricks and rubble; I closed my eyes and listened to the birdsong and the buzzing of the bees, and then I picked clumps of the colourful weeds, and rushed home to present them to my mother. She always smiled sadly, and kissed the already drooping plants, before neatly arranging them in empty jam jars. They always faded and died inside a few days, but I never stopped trying. I desperately wanted to find Mum the flowers she was so desperately craving.     

            

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, and try again. Miss Lynch, who other than my mother, was my very first heroine, and also my teacher at St Mary on the Quay, taught me that these words were first used by Robert 1 of Scotland (Robert the Bruce), a 14th century king who, according to legend, having suffered a major defeat at the hands of the English, went into hiding in a cave near Gretna. It was whilst here, that he watched a spider trying to spin a web. Each time the spider failed, it simply started again. According to Miss Lynch, Robert was so inspired by the tiny spider that he left the cave and returned to lead his troops to a number of victories against the English.

Be that as it may, it was an adage that was drummed into me from my early years by my mother and my father; by my teacher, Miss Lynch, and by Jasper Barnidge, my formidable Headmaster. By the age of 10, I was already a fierce and determined competitor, particularly in all things sporting. The long, bitterly…

Just a Boy From Bristol

JUST A BOY FROM BRISTOL
Chapter One Through the eyes of a child
On the 3rd September 1939 a war started that would change the course of history. It also denied millions of children across the world the opportunity for a normal, happy childhood. I know, because I was one of them.
My father had re-enlisted in the Royal Navy as soon as the storm clouds of war had started to gather over Europe. He left my mother to bring up two young children alone, in poverty, and in what was a scary, changing world. 
My mother was an incredibly beautiful young woman, but she was emotionally fragile. She was a wild, scatty, free spirited, capricious butterfly, who was constantly fluttering around, unable to settle. In many ways she was totally unsuited to the task in hand, but she was a mother, and she did what mothers do best. She cared for me; she did it well, and I will be eternally grateful to her. Mum, I thank you for teaching me how to live and how to love. I thank you for the journey, and I thank you f…
JUST A BOY FROM BRISTOL PART TWO Chapter Eight Somewhere down by the Ropewalk It was a lazy, grey Friday evening in late September 1951 when the two girls took a wrong turning and came wandering into our young lives. 'Scattered showers', had been the official forecast, but although the clouds were threatening, the rain hadn't arrived. One by one, our little gang gathered on the steps outside of number 2 Marlborough Flats, Eugene Street, Bristol. This was the home of Johnny, Frankie and Alan Millar, who were three of the members of our little gang.

Another weekend was upon us, and, we always met here to discuss the events of the past week, and make our plans and arrangements for the next seven days. Bristol Rovers were entertaining Norwich the following day, so Saturday afternoon was already taken care of, because we would be taking our usual places on the Tote End at Eastville. Rovers had made a promising start to the season, and we were confident that under the guidance …