Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Untold Story


'The Crown Discarded for Love', or so the headlines said!
A future King, immersed in power and glory,
Giving up his throne for the one passion of his life!
It seemed, back then, to be a great Love Story!
I was a very small child, but a hazy recollection
Of drama, gossip, shock and adult woe,
Still lingers in my mind, as 'something awful going on',
A snapshot of those days so long ago.
Yet I have since found out that there was so much more
That ordinary people never knew.
The page of history turned and the archives have revealed
That the Great Romance was only partly true.
The Prince admired the Nazis, he thought Hitler was just great,
The Government was shocked and horrified.
To think he could be Monarch when the coming War arrived!
It was vital, then, that he should stand aside!
Behind closed doors in secrecy, they longed for Abdication,
In many ways they brought it into being,
While the British Public gossiped about sex and great romance,
It wasn't the true picture they were seeing.


You may 'remember an inn, Miranda'
I remember a Lavender Path.
Grandma lived only a short distance away.
We could walk there.
But the journey was an adventure.
Excitement was my companion.
'We're going to Grandma's!' I would chant
As I skipped along by my mother.
Our house was just a house;
Grandma's was a place of magic.
First, the gate.
But not just a gate!
A leafy archway
Which made our entry
We 'entered'.
We didn't 'go in.'
Then, the path!
Shiny and orange.
Terra cotta I'd call it now.
Then it was 'orange'.
And gleaming.
And orderly, with its neat tiles.
And so very, very long!
It led up to an elegant doorway!
And we passed between banks of lavender!
The purple spikes massed on either side,
Their perfume intoxicated me.
I still smell them.
There were other delights.
An orchard
Filled with Cox's Orange Pippins.
You who have never smelt a 'Cox's'
Or bitten into its wrinkled skin,
Haven't lived!
There was an apple loft,
Where Grandpa stored
His bounty.
One climbed wooden steps to reach the loft,
And there was a platform at the top.
From there one could look over
The apple trees
And see the trains!
Oh bliss!
To stand there,
So high,
So royal,
Watching one's thundering beasts go by!
There was also a shed.
It was tumble-down, even then.
It was musty with age.
And there were other ancient smells
From plant-pots
Old newspapers in stacks,
Yes, definitely hessian.
I wonder why.
We were allowed to eat Cox's windfalls.
So, yes,
There was that gloriously appley smell too.
Plus the smell of the forbidden raspberries.
And, most magical of all,
There was a greenhouse
With Grapes!
Grapes were foreign things.
These were small and sour.
But there they hung,
Gloriously plump exotica
In Grandpa's greenhouse!
After tea, we walked home again,
Past the lavender.
And I stole a few heads
To rub between my fingers as I walked.
Making the magic last.
My 'Christmas Trees are small' now
As the song says.
I have returned as an old lady.
I see an unremarkable suburban house,
Not very well planned.
I see a small garden
With one or two trees.
I hear the irritating sound
Of passing trains.
I see a narrow path
Which, if I take a few steps,
Leads me to an everyday door.
And the lavender has gone.

1 comment:

Margaret Gosden said...

Are you saying that Edward admired Hitler before
Mrs. Simpson became an issue, I wonder. Was Mrs. Simpson also an admirer. How interesting that the first issue was covered-up; that seems to me to be more scandalous than the sadness of the relationship!