The Clouds Will Blow Away
Perfect Bound Softcover
The book is illustrated with little drawings as if done by memory by the girl child herself whose story this is. Born six years before the Second World War, her babyhood is spent in the city of Birmingham. As war becomes ever more likely her father decides to become a farmer, although he knows precious little about farming. Desperate to escape the bombs he is sure will rain down on the city without warning, he will also escape the army...he remembers the First World War only too well. So he moves his wife and family to an Inn in a village in Herefordshire where, for a while, the children lead idyllic lives, taken under the wing of Mabel, a kindly countrywoman who befriends their mother. Alas, the only farm her father finds he can afford is far away in the West Country and the children are lost to poor childless Mabel. From the outbreak of war the family's lives and circumstances are altered completely but our little heroine takes to the farm like a duck to water. Sadly, as the war progresses, the old ways are thrust aside by the governmental demands on the farmers to produce ever more food for the hungry population, plunging agriculture into unprecedented change.
Although hers is a childhood without television, computers, mobile phones and designer clothes, nevertheless it is a happy childhood in which she eventually manages to work out for herself, sometimes hilariously, all about life in her own good time. .But as we all know, even childhood has its ups and downs, because it is where we learn so much, a part of our whole lives, where love and loss, joy and sorrow, like light and shadow colour our landscapes just the same.
A few weeks later, I had another narrow squeak. My baby brother and I had been left with Nan, because mummy and daddy had gone to the ‘pictures’. Alan had been allowed to fall fast asleep in Hazel’s pram because she was already upstairs asleep in her cot. I was hungry; but when Nan tried to make me a sandwich she found the bread had gone mouldy. Too lazy to go herself, she sent me out to buy a loaf. She counted the pennies into my hand and let me out of the front door.Dusk was falling over the city. Drizzling rain had left the cobbles in the road slippery and wet. The gaslight shed a dirty, yellow glow down the strangely quiet and empty street. The fog, that had scarcely lifted all day, was thickening again but the light from the open door of the corner shop still shone brightly. I made for it fast, clutching the pennies tightly. I was frightened. I had never been out alone before. I crossed the road to the shop; bought a loaf, dashed nervously out of the door to cross the road again, and was almost under the hooves of two enormous, black horses as they rounded the corner pulling a huge, glass-sided hearse. The horses snorted and shied in fright, rearing up in the effort to avoid trampling me to death. This caused the driver, who was wrapped in a warm rug up to his chin and had been half-asleep, to scream and curse furiously at them and set about them with a whip. But, breathing heavily, the horses bent their necks, stooping their heads towards me. The blinkers that blocked their sideways vision caused them to peer at me directly, almost short-sightedly. They snorted again, taking in my scent. The driver, still cursing and unable to see why the horses were refusing to move, at last leaned over, and saw me standing, transfixed, in the middle of the road
“God Almighty! You stupid little bugger!” the horrible, ill-tempered man roared furiously. “What the bloody ’ell d’you think you are doing down there? Why don’t you look where you’m a going? Ge’oura the way!” he raged. I stepped backwards and shrank against the wall.
Angrily the affrighted man whipped the horses onward, lashing out at them unreasonably hard. The black ostrich plumes on their heads and their shiny harness gleamed in the shop’s light and their polished, iron-clad hooves slid and clattered over the wet cobbles as they struggled to drag the heavy hearse into motion again. It was purposely driven so that its rumbling wheels came very close to me, as it went by, before it trundled off and merged into the murkiness at the end of the road. I, oblivious to the terrible danger I had been in, gazed dreamily after the coach. All I could think of, was how beautiful the two demon-like horses had been, with their plumes and glittering harness, their long flowing manes and tails and their anxious white-ringed eyes! I never told my Nan I had run into the road, only that I had seen two beautiful black horses with long, long hair and feathers on their heads! Excitedly, I told her all about them and the glass coach that they pulled. She shuddered and crossed herself. “Somebody’s died!” she said. I never told her it had nearly been me.
"Born in 1933, she has reached her three quarters of a century! She never expected to. But here she still is. Proud mother of five good people. Grandmother to four beautiful granddaughters and three wonderful grandsons and even great-grand mother to two delightful great-granddaughters and a great-grandson.
Her great loves now are gardening and painting and writing. Her great despairs are for the most beautiful animals of our planet so close to extinction because of the stupidity of mankind, and fear, fear for the planet herself who is the mother of us all."
Perfect Bound Softcover
Sale Price $11.00