Chapter 48. Fond memories

Table of Contents

1. My teens? © Dave Pawson, Christine Hart, 2007

1. My teens? © Dave Pawson, Christine Hart, 2007

Rooting round in our growing archive of gruesomes, I came across a poem. It was typed by my half cousin, Andrea | Christine Hart, nee Jones, some time in the 1960's or '70's according to the writing on it. In terms of content it is about ten pages of hand typed flimsy paper. Set down here simply to give it an airing. The author is Irene Jones, nee Waterhouse, my cousin and Andreas mother. She was a lovely lady and a great friend of my mothers. Led a very hard life and nearly always had a smile for me, as she did for most people.

Author Irene Jones

Date 1960-70

Thoughts of a housewife

A housewife

We don't need diplomas to prove we are worthy
Of being a housewife and mother.
We don't have exams. Or intelligence tests,
To cope with this, that and the other.
A cabbage, am I,
As time slips by?
As a plain housewife
The dull routine at first glance it appears;
Or is it a mixture - a hotch-potch of many careers?

I darn and I sew, so a seamstress am I
Often busy with needle and thread.
I make lots of goodies and cook wholesome meals,
So the path of a bakeress I tread.
I launder each week;
It's never to seek.
I iron a lot,
But I'd rather not.
As handyman, results are often drastic;
With brush and paint I'm quite enthusiastic.

I'd pass a test as a diplomat,
The tact I have to show.
I've practiced Child Psychology
The best way that I know.
As an amateur nurse
I could be worse.
With crises I cope
If within my scope;
They're all around, the chores one cannot shun.
They say a woman's work is never done.

So I, like countless thousands more
Must make the best of life.
And I forget from time to time
I'm just a plain housewife.
I stand and think
At the kitchen sink;
And time stands still,
As I wonder at will;
And the kettle on the stove cuts a caper
While I, unheeding, put my pen to paper.

A cricket field

Author Irene Jones

Date 1960-70

A cricket field, deserted;
A cricket field on a rainy day.
Begraggled, forlorn,
During winters endless stay.
Doors are bolted; windows shuttered;
Puddles on the pitch.
A worn-out glove, in tatters, lies
Abandoned in the ditch.
Silent - sad:
A cricket field on a winters day.

Then - as if in answer to springs call,
Out come stumps, bails, bat and ball.
Life pervades the cricket ground;
Anticipation all around.
The pitch is rolled;
A coin is tossed.
White clad fielders take their places.
Umpires ready;
Batsmen show
Determination on their faces.
The baller takes a practice run;
The cricket season has begun.

Spectators praise or criticize.
A dropped catch brings derisive cries.
"How's that?" there is a mighty shout.
The umpires signalling "Not out".
A boundry hit:
A good clean ball.
Stumped, or caught behind the wicket.
A pleasant place - home or away;
The cricket field on a sunny day.

Jingle Jangle

Author Irene Jones

Date 1960-70

Jingle, jangle;
Hear the racket.
Hear the wild hypnotic beat.
Feel it pounding in your head -
Discord, hubbub all around.
Shrill and strident,
Noisy chaos.
A mad cacophony of sound.

Hear the voices
Howling, moaning.
Hear the wailing, piteous bleat.
Listen to the idle talk -
Trifling, trivial, puerile patter.
Words and phrases
Glibly spoken.
Voices with their endless chatter.

With the noises,
There comes a moments fleeting pleasure,
Like an oasis in the desert -
Sounds melodious you will hear,
A word or two to lift the heart:
To raise a smile.
A song so sweet,
The memory stirs and jerks a tear.

Strange, contrasting
Is this world;
With its wild hypnotic beat.
Is it a form of alien life -
A world it would be best to shun?
Deadly witchcraft?
Sorcerers cant?
No - it's only Radio One

If I could

Author Irene Jones

Date 1960-70

I'd like to make my mark upon the world,
So I would be remembered when I'm gone.
But I'm just a Jack-of-all-trades -
And master of none.

I wish I was a famous concert pianist,
With fingers flying fast upon the keys;
Earning world-wide acclamation -
And enormous fees.

Maybe I could write a brilliant novel,
Of Romance, Daring, Mystery or Crime.
But though I've lots of good ideas -
I don't have the time.

I'd like to reach the summit of a mountain,
And view from far above, the wonderous sights.
But this can't be, because I have -
No head for heights.

Perhaps I could become a famous pop star,
And to my feet a million fans I'd bring.
My biggest disadvantage is -
I cannot sing.

If I could do some little thing worthwhile:
Be a missionary somewhere doing good.
I'd sail alone around the world -
If I could.

I'm such a very ordinary sort of person.
Maybe I'm a failure through and through:
But I can still dream dreams, which one day -
Might come true.

A winter walk

Author Irene Jones

Date 1960-70

I took a winter walk one day
Amidst the frost and snow.
The sky was clear, the air was cold,
The sun shone bright, but low.
The snow, in patches in the fields,
Contrasted with the green
Of winter grass; some almost grey,
With sparkling frosty sheen.
I stood and gazed down on the crag -
Perfection was the sight.
A dark and sombre belt of trees
Was girdled with the light.
A distant hamlet in the hollow
Stressed the solitude,
The beauty of that winter walk;
That peaceful interlude.

In the garden

Author Irene Jones

Date 1960-70

It's hard work in the garden, digging,
And keeping down the weeds.
I'm not the greatest expert, knowing
How to sow the seeds.The dandelion mocks;
The place is full of docks;
And daisies on the lawn make quite a show.
The rhubarb spreads, unplanned;
The mint gets out of hand;
The grass grows quicker, far, than I can mow.
Still, there is a satisfaction
In the labour and the toil.
There are times I feel contentment,
Working with the soil.
So I try to make my garden
Sweet and fair for all to see;
Because it's in the garden, dad,
That you're so close to me.

It could be that this relates to Bob Waterhouse, her father. A keen gardener.

Autumn Morning

Author Irene Jones

Date 1960-70

Muffling, murky; the misty mantle shrouds the early autumn morn.
Phantom trees, their branches dripping, showing faintly and forlorn.
Headlights glimmer through the gloom;
Through the ghostly grey they loom.
Figures wraith-like, walk with caution, startled by a tuneless horn.
Birds are silent, not a twiter, on this misty autumn morn.

On the fences and the hedgerows, webs of delicate design;
Fashioned by a master craftsman; threads of gossamer intertwine.
More perfect is each cobweb strand
Than any wrought by human hand.
Shimmering in the misty morning; under heavy dew ashine.
Thus adorning fence and hedgerows, with their delicate design.

A sparrow bolder than its comrades, tackles a cast-off crust of bread.
It tussles and tugs, but the tempting titbit is twice as big as the sparrows head.
The hungry cat huddles 'neath the wall,
Dislikes the dampness over all.
Through the mist he sees the sparrow; prepares to spring but the bird has fled.
Cold and bedraggled, the beaten moggy, gnaws on the cast-off crust of bread.

To lift their heads in supplication, upwards to an unseen sky;
Michaelmas daisy, rose and pansy, vaguely utlined, vainly try.
Splashes of colour against the grey,
Brightening up a misty day.
Dahlia and chrysanthemum - lift your heads up high.
The mist will melt, the sun will shine; the autumn sun in an unseen sky.


Author Irene Jones

Date 1960-70

Enchained by love and duty;
Imprisoned is my mind.
Oft' times when I feel low,
My heart, so unresigned,
Rebels, and longs
To break the ties that bind.
But one must stop and count the cost
Of what is gained, and what is lost.

What must I pay for Freedom;
And would it satisfy?
No family, no friends at all;
Not a single tie.
No one to care for,
Or think of me - the price is high.
I'll keep my chains, and should they rust -
I'll take my freedom when I must