Undated, but probably Summer 1959

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BED by Rita Leighton

Many people seem to think it would be wonderful to be able to spend a whole week lazing in bed.

I remember having to spend a week in bed - the first day it was very pleasant indeed to lie there half asleep. The next day some friends came to visit me. They brought some flowers that looked lovely in the dining room - downstairs; and grapes which they ate as they sat around my bed. I was pleased when they went home.

However, during the next few days I felt lonely and missed their company. My cat, nevertheless, stayed with me (provided she could curl asleep under my warm eiderdown!), The novelty of being an invalid was fast wearing thin.

I tried to amuse myself by knitting, sewing and drawing, but the stitches slipped, the silk refused to go through the needle and my arms ached.

Believe me, by the end of my week of imprisonment, I was only too pleased to get up and out.

WRECK by D. Gray

Two ships on the sea together
Battling through the stormy weather
All the men swept to the rails
Under old and tattered sails.
Two men fighting for a cord,
One is carried overboard.
Another broken anchor-link,
And the ship begins to sink.
Three men clinging to a rope
Even though there is no hope.

THE FARM by B. McGarry

It stands upon a gentle slope
The farm I love to see
And every time I pass, I wish
That it belonged to me.

And as I watch the animals,
See them free to roam,
I wish that I, like each of them,
Could call this place my home.

As dusk and homing time draws near
I hear the lowing kine,
I see the window light appear
And wish that it were mine.


Writhesby Hall is a house of nooks,
Of mossy roofs and chimneys crooked,
Of oak-beamed ceilings and panelled walls,
Of spacious lawns and water-falls.

Of wandering ways and minstrels' galleries,
Of painted, scenes and sombre tapestries,
Of bulging walls and crazy angles,
Of chandeliers and silver candles.

Ugly and dated it well may be
But always it is home to me,
Like bird and rabbit, dog and deer,
I love its friendly atmosphere.


Impatient roosters wait for dawn,
Chickens scratch the yard for corn,
Fields are bright with early dew,
Sky gives promises anew.

The old sow grunts and looks for food,
Cows stand munching by the wood,
Blossoms stir upon the trees,
All is peaceful and at ease.

On the hill the farmer stands
Proudly looking at his lands;
Earth, beneath her patchwork green,
Sleeps as calmly as a queen.

NIGHT by R. Wignall

The blazing sun sinks in the west
And leaves a ruddy glow.
The aching farmhands stop their work
And slowly homeward go.

The silence seems oppressive
But for the rustling trees,
And now, a creaking gate-hinge
Moved by a stray night breeze.

The moon is overhead by now,
The sky with stars is dressed;
The farmer's dog gives one last grunt,
And settles down to rest.

SPRING GARDENS by Jennifer Norris

From my bedroom window I cam see most of the neighbouring gardens as well as our own. Although the gardens are not yet in their full colours, there is quite a lot of bloom to be seen. The greatest of the attractions of Spring is the blossoming fruit trees. Unfortunately our garden does not possess any, but more than nine are visible from my window. I think it a great pity that the blossom does not last, but we must remember the time when it becomes the fruit we enjoy so much.

The daffodils and tulips add colour. In one of the gardens there is a large bed of them right in the centre of the lawn. The colours blend very well. Even as I look at the lawns I see they are of different colours - one is dark green, another light.

I am very proud of our laburnum tree. We have let it grow tall and now I am longing to see the flowers hanging in their lovely clusters.

But though the gardens are so colourful they would be incomplete without the birds, whose cheerful twitters draw us to watch them collecting stuff for their nests and food for their chicks.

All this I can see from my window.

SMOKE by Sheila Piggott

The steps leading to the Soho Club, a dingy cellar, sparkle in the rain. When the old wooden door opens, one thing only can be seen - Smoke.

Hazy and blue, it swirls out into the night and disappears in the wet atmosphere. Once the door closes the smoke is caught again in that shabby little place. Up and down, round and round, it sweeps under and over everything and everybody.

The blurred figures of girls and boys, young and old, are scattered everywhere, and brush each other as they dance on the dirty floor. The smoke creeps over the food and drinks clustered on small round tables and reaches its long tentacles into every corner. Long-haired beards puff cigarettes and pipes, and blow more and more smoke into the thick air.

The jazz band plays in a sleepy, intoxicated way and the smoke slowly envelops them too. It drifts round the gleaming instruments, the sweaty fingers playing them, and the husky blues singer crooning to herself. The smoke has a strange effect on everybody, a drugged feeling that only fresh air can dispel. However, the clientele enjoy the musty place until the early hours. Eventually at three the last customer shuffles off and a change begins.

The smoke thins and the waiters leave; cleaners clear the tables, stack the chairs, and sweep the floor. Once again it is a simple cellar. All is still. The sleepy manager locks away the night's takings and as he passes through the door the last wisp of smoke wafts after him as if it means to follow him home.

MONDAY MORNING by Carol Murley

How often have you heard a certain phrase that's so appealing?
Or one that hides excuses, like "that Monday morning feeling"?
If Dad feels rather grumpy, or if Mum feels much the same,
It seems that poor old Monday morning always gets the blame.

Yesterday was Sunday and the family were happy,
But not so Monday morning - seems we're all a little snappy.
Dad just broke his shoe-lace and my brother keeps on yawning,
I've just burnt the toast and that's sure sign it's Monday morning.

On Tuesday, Wednesday, through the week until again it's Sunday
We seem to manage well enough - the only trouble's Monday.
Perhaps if we had Monday off (just as a kind of warning)
We'd all be better-tempered when it came to Tuesday morning.

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