Amazing what one discovers sifting through a mothers belongings, as I have been doing ince her death in December, and the memories that come with them.
Looking at a piece of paper reminded me of a special date and place, the 2nd November 1958 on the ship Empire Fowey in the middle of the Suez Canal. We had been living in Singapore in the Far East and were now voyaging back to Southampton in England.
Making our way through the Suez must surely have more interesting sights than would have been in the middle of the ocean. The whole family clambered onto the deck to see what surrounded them, except for me. I was unwell confined to the cabin with mum.
Mum was very poetical and used her gifts to amuse a young child. Quickly she threw some words together and read them out to me with every once of dramatic expression she could muster.
And here are those words, still filed away over 50 years later:
A little child was ill one day,
He could not run & shout and play,
He had to stop upon his bed,
Because of a pain in his head.
He had a cough, it was so bad,
And he felt so ill & so sad:
He heard the wind so gay and free,
And said: "O wind, come talk to me."
The wind said "Little boy, I see
The waves playing so gay and free,
I hear the sound of music sweet,
The flowers dancing at my feet.
On the other side of the hill,
I turn the sail of the water mill,
And I shake the leaves in the tree:
And they come tumbling down to me.
Tomorrow I will blow and blow,
And all the hats , up, up, will go.
Then all the the people leap and shout:
When I blow them all round about.
O little boy, now come with me,
And join the winds so gay and free.
And I will blow your pains away,
Then you will sing and shout all day."
V. A. Magee (1916 - 2009)