Thursday, 31 December 2015

Literary merit: Adventure beckons.

I am the youngest child of four, by a gap of seven years and born into an extrovert, bustling environment.  My eldest brother played rugby and swam for County; my sister was a ballerina: my youngest brother was a bike mad, pain in the proverbial. My parents were publicans, always pushed for time, busy in the kitchen or bar until late in the evening.  I might have been the neglected, late arrival but lucky for me ... we had Nana. No, not the large sheep dog, child-minder of AA Milne's imagined story but a real life, elderly lady called Phyllis: My maternal grandmother.  Nana lived with us.

Nana was a godsend to all of us, although she was (according to the others), very strict, I loved her. She was the eldest of three children and was fortunate.  Her parents were wealthy, so although she was born in  the very late 19th Century, she was educated and then taught dance, pianoforte, etiquette and deportment at a girl's boarding school in Windermere. At 38 and unmarried, she had a daughter, (my mother), and although she was running the family guest house in Bowness, her younger brother sent her away to London before the birth.  This was 1920: the times were changing, but unfortunately not quickly enough, for Phyllis, who had to take a post as governess to the children of the owners of a hat shop in the West End.  My mother was 'cared for' by Nun's.

Nana taught me to read.  She shared with me her love of the 23rd Psalm, Wordsworth's 'golden daffodils' and Keats Ode to a nightingale. She would take me for imagined walks, along the banks of her beloved Windermere, among the bluebells, just by looking at the picture on her bedroom wall. She loved birds, knew the Latin name of every plant and flower and laughed at chimpanzees and Elephants. We didn't have a piano then, so she would sing with me, dance with me and teach me to stand and sit up straight. Nana gave me most of the gifts that I treasure most. Best of all she gave me her time, the most precious gift of all.  I was encouraged to read everything that had literary merit. When I began reading for myself, I began a lifelong adventure.  Who knows where it will end ...




 
The library at Ephesus.
 
A Literary Journey
 
Opening a book is exploration
Start to read and who knows what I’ll find.
In each printed tome, each timeworn binding,
lies a snare to captivate the mind.
 
If I sit and study ancient volumes,
read adventure history and crime,
brave a New World sci-fi speculation,
dip in A Brief History of Time,
will I only browse the lives of others,
those who reach beyond the libr’y wall,
or will I grow wise,  as any elder,
eager for when destiny may call?
 
Reading takes me on a flight of fancy,
lets me live a thousand, million lives,
opens wonders of imagination,
helps me venture far beyond the skies.
 
Like the great explorers, I must travel,
seek the place where steps are seldom heard,
open up the cover of discovery.
All great journeys start with just one word.


Thanks for reading.  Adele
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1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Moving!