Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Best View of Nature: 2nd Prize



Actually, now I come to think, I used to be Wild about flowers when I was a child. I remember  collecting them with my Mum, pressing them and then sticking them in a little scrap book made from wall paper, using my collection of encyclopedia to look up what they were called. It was the 70's so we didn't have the internet where we can find things out in a jiffy. Back in those days it was a trip to the local library of your set of page-frayed enclyclopedia.

Looking back now writing this, I can remember being about 5 or 6 years old, we were living on an estate in How Wood, Park Street, we weren't there long; it was so damp and cold ... 

I was laid up in bed with another bout of tonsillitis and feeling very poorly. I was off sick from school. There had been a big Summer fete and children of all ages were being asked to hand in their View of Nature.

Unbeknowst to me, my Mum had shown the teacher the Wild Flower Book that I had been making at home. The teacher entered the book into the competition without me knowing. I would never have put it in. It was just my little flower book, and I wouldn't have thought anyone would be interested in it, but it won second prize and I got a little cup. 

Mum knocked the door gingerly. I wasn't sleeping in my bed. I was in my Nan's room. She came to stay at the weekend's with Grandad so there was a double bed in there. I was so poorly and they had a proper heater in their room. 

My little box room was a bit gloomy. Actually, I was a bit scared of sleeping in it, truth be told and I would sneak into my Nan's room whenever I could. She would let me crawl in with her if Grandad was away.

But this time, I was so poorly I didn't really know where I was sleeping. My throat was on fire and it was my 4th bout in as many months but the Doctor didn't like taking out tonsills, so in they stayed!

'Can I come in sweetheart? Are you awake?'

The door opened ajar. Her beautiful smiling face peeped round, freckled and framed with harmony-teased, red locks, eyes twinkling. I smiled back.

'I've got a surprise for you.'

And suddenly, barbed wire throats and high temperatures seemed to matter none, because my little Wild Flower Book had won a prize in my absence!

Me, who was never noticed in class, the little fat one, not too bright, but not too dull; Me, who didn't really ever do anything too badly but then again, never all that well either, had a little silver cup: Best View of Nature: 2nd Prize

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