Monday, 30 August 2010

Soldiers - Dancing in the Rain

Off we went, Penne and I, for our last walk of the day. The heavy rains had gone elsewhere leaving in their trail gentle and warm remnants: the raindrops in which I, English to the core love to walk, as does my all-American dog!

I set a brisk pace. Penne keeps up with me. 

Penne keeps a brisk pace. I keep up with her. 

It’s one or the other. It’s both. 

We walk around a pond. We watch as the raindrops pounce upon the pond, forming ever increasing and merging concentric circles. The ducks seem to be in a quacky heaven. They paddle forward, bisecting the circles with the straight lines of disturbed water which they leave in their wake.

My heart/soul/mind/body takes me back to a remembrance of things passed. I am four years old, or maybe six. I am in the “front room” of the small terraced house which was my home for many a year.

Each of my siblings will remember this house - 47 Devon Road, Whitehall, Bristol 5. (Later Bristol BS5 9AY).

None of us will ever forget the ‘phone number “Bristol 51769”. (Later 551769).

On that day, sixty or sixty two years ago, my Mum and I looked out of the bay windows of the “front room” as the rain bounced onto the tar-macadam of Devon Road. We saw a bounce, and then a circle as the raindrops hit the road.

“Look” said Mum, “look at the soldiers dancing in the rain”. That is what I muttered to Penne as we walked in the rain today.

Did Mum also say this to my siblings, or only to me?

Did Mum say other things to my sibs which I never heard?

It matters not. Each of the nine surviving children of my Mum and Dad have the most precious and bittersweet memories of life at 47 Devon Road.

Many  of us have learned to dance in the rain!

(We have a tenth sibling. Her name is Sylvia. She died soon after her birth in [maybe] 1942).


  1. This is a beautiful post -- but how is Adelaide?

  2. What about "up the wooden hill to bedfordshire & beaks under wings,heads under blankets from Dad at bedtime. Oddly enough Steve & I were together for a BBQ yesterday & were remembering some of these.

    Bro M