Monday, September 29, 2008

139 A Fine Folly (9/22)

My teenage years were spent in Staffordshire, in the village of Alton, where my father was head-teacher at the local school. Our little house was buried in the trees seen at the bottom of the second illustration. Alton Castle was perched high on a rock overlooking the River Churnet which ran past our house. It was all very romantic. But I wasn't !


We nestled among the trees

At the bottom of the hill.

The Folly rose above us.


It had started life seven centuries before.

But it had been added to,

Subtracted from,

And generally fiddled-with

Over and over again.


Now it was a conundrum,

Part religious monument,

Part nobleman's idle pleasure,

Part crumbling edifice.


'Yes! But what is it for?'

People would say,

Scratching their heads.


If they had asked me

I could have told them......


'It was built for the pleasure

Of an ordinary young girl.

She was

Bespectacled, plump and mousy.


It was perched above her

So that she could climb out of her bed

On winter nights,

Scratch the frost from her window-pane

And be transported.


It was created so that

A bubble moon could float past it

In a starry sky

And paint a glorious picture.


It was built so that

The girl could inhabit it

With royal personages,

Handsome knights

And a deliciously lovely princess.


This Princess

Bore a remarkable resemblance

To the girl,

Except that the Princess was slim, ravishing

And had good eyesight.


So don't ask me what it was for.


It was for me.



Kat said...

Was grinning to the declaration "..But I wasn't !"

I close my eyes and I see a white stallion with its mane flying,
galloping down from the Castle to the village - a knight in shiny
armour atop with his cloak flying.... gets down and kneels
before you...

And Malcolm saying " My dear bespectacled Princess, will you
give me your hand..?!!!!"

Brian Miller said...

ah, but you are a princess...with a wonderful story!

MaR said...

Beautiful, beautiful!! You had a wonderful full moon last night to decorate the Folly, just for you!
My castle

Ronda Laveen said...

Lucky, lucky you!

Tess Kincaid said...

What an idyllic place to live. Sigh.

Wings1295 said...

Every little girl is a princess, isn't she? Well done!


Dot-Com said...

Awww beautiful! You're lucky :)

e said...

What a wonderful wordsmith you are!

California Girl said...


Michael said...

I could definitely handle living there! ahhh.

Jasmine said...

I think every young girl feels that way :) I took my toddler to some castles in Wales this summer, needless to say she can see herself living in one :)

Baino said...

What a beautiful place to have grown up all nestled in the valley. You were very lucky.