The reverend was always there to greet you and the heating always on in winter, may the warmth of the Lord lure you in here he used to say with a big smile on his face at the entrance of a country church somewhere in Norfolk.
The Pastor had Dutch roots and he even knew a few Dutch words like “Hoe gaat het?”, -“How are you?” that he had learned from his great parents.
This is my poetic memory of Little Plumstead Hospital where I once lived and worked.
It is why I love those places
For those familiar faces
The smell of rotting leaves
Or the coach from Neaves
Pints of ale
The boiler room wall gone pale
Sun on the bowl green
A double decker bus
To a town you’ve never seen
In Spring, the sea side crabs
On a street
Where people greet
And evenings are supposed to be long
Never on your own, so no one is alone
A Christmas cracker
Another shiny red double decker
Crying for a hymn in church is touching the sky
Beyond the tall cathedral tower
A lukewarm Summer shower
Custard in a bowl
Toad in a hole
Red brick walls
Bridges in the country side
With little falls
A pint a pound
That railway station
Lost and found
A chest of drawers full of clothes
An old hall corner
Where the wind eternally blows
Those Autumn leaves will go away
Untill the skies are grey in Winter O Holy Night sung by a choir
In knitted jumpers, all round a fire
A little eggnog
Piece of choc The church clock will chime And most of all friends can be enclosed
In warm embrace, til the end of time
I can’t help myself but other than most people my favourite subject is Autumn, specifically Autumn in England. I have no logical explanation for this, maybe it has something to do with a how I felt decades ago living in Old Hall in England. Then again, Autumn in this place is equally wonderful and happy.
A few years ago I wrote this poem, Why I love those places. It may also be connected to this feeling of excitement, a gut feeling so to speak as it was then and it is like that again my current mood and I like it. Thinking back after nearly thirty years of those times I was young and free doesn’t make me sad, they are very strong and happy memories.
Where shall we go for a drink tonight?
Shall we go for a few in The White Horse in Crostwick
Or have one in The Fur and Feather in Woodbastwick quick
It was then when the idea started to nestle in Netty’s head
That we should get a pint in The White Horse Inn in Neatishead
But did you just say this evening it is my turn
For a few more rounds in The Lion in Thurne
Maybe it is the right time for one with a frothy head
In The Brick Kilns, that pretty pink pub in Little Plumstead
But if you can’t decide please let it then be
The Never Turn Back in (or from) Caister-On-Sea
Should we have a lovely pint this evening instead
In the Irstead Staithe in the center of, surprise … in Irstead
Or we might as well stay and drink with friends for good
Til the end of times in The King’s Head in Lingwood
When I first heard of him I was living in England at the time. I was going through a difficult time, discovering who I really was.
But I was also experiencing new friendships in a totally different environment compared to where I grew up. It is important I tell you about the setting as you will understand how much this meant for me.
When I fall
Will you be the one that picks me up
And if it happens again
Are you the one to tell me what I’m doing wrong
Even if I’m incapable of learning
Or ignorant and angry because of my own mistakes
Will you help me on my feet over and over again
Or do I look up one day and see you standing there
With all the others laughing at my autistic awkwardness
Still not understanding how my brain works
On a perfect early Sunday evening where earlier my family was gathered in the house for a meal now scattered over four floors and Doris Day is singing with the most wonderful angelic voice ever heard on earth in perfect German Schön ist die Welt I am now sinking back in my armchair to reminisce about that same feeling years ago in another time and place so far away and yet I am in another castle of my own but for me it doesn’t matter as I am perfectly content and the world is in fact a beautiful place and I can close my eyes.
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