The children from next door just came round to say they had knocked their ball into our garden. I told them they could come and get it and they said they had a quick look but couldn’t find it. I’m not surprised; our garden slopes quite steeply down to the the railway line and the ball had rolled all of the way down and stopped just within our boumdary, underneath the magnolia tree. Hubby started putting in a new fence down there but has only got as far as removing the old one and putting in the posts. They were really lucky the ball didn’t roll down onto the railway embankment, though I expect Hubby would have gone down there to get it for them if it had. I really have to push him to get that fence up now because I told them they could come and get the ball if it came over again.
This incident brought back memories of my childhood. When we were at the pub we didn’t have a garden, just a broad concrete yard and I used to play ball there with my friends. There was a wall between our yard and next door. It was quite high but we still managed to knock it over there sometimes, and the man next door was a really grumpy person. He would refuse to give it back to us because we were being a nuisance. He even complained to my mum once about the noise we made playing out there. He said he worked nights and we kept him from sleeping in the day. Mum tried to solve the problem by suggesting he slept in his front bedroom but he said he couldn’t possibly do that as that was his son’s room. I do understand it was hard for him but we were just kids playing in our own backyard, we weren’t excessively noisy. That experience has made me really easy going with other people’s children because I remember how it felt to be made to feel I was a nuisance.
I also think about my Auntie Emmie. I may have told this story before. She was my great aunt and she used to live next to a primary school. She had been widowed quite young and didn’t have children and became a surrogate grandma to me because my maternal grandma, her sister, died before I was born. Mum and I were staying with her one time. It was a very hot summer, like the one we are having now, and her windows were wide open. When the children came running out into the playground shouting and squealing Mum said, ‘Doesn’t the children’s noise get on your nerves Auntie?’ she answered, ‘Children’s voices are not noise, children’s voices are music.’ Such a beautiful thing to say. She was a wonderful positive person and one of the greatest influences on my life.
This is her on the left and the other lady is my Auntie Jackie, Mum’s sister, I’ve no idea who the man is. I think the lady cut off on extreme left may be Mum, I seem to remember her having a dress like that!