Shades of Yesterday

The writer of the following lines believes them to be fragments of memory of one of his previous lives. They are written without much punctuation in a stream of consciousness style. I have edited them as little as possible.
Maybe I should not have edited at all.

Year: 1880-81
Place: Sidcup Kent UK
Season: Jan-Feb

It was somewhat cold and while there had been rain a day or so before there was none today but it was cold a chill in the air he is a boy of about six years and his name is today unknown to the writer of these lines

But it is in the new decade of the 1880's and this boy looks out on the world from a window of his middle class home, at the types passing by on the street . . were he to be asked I do not think he could say he had seen any without footwear . . he is used to the "sight" of all classes. His father and mother are good to him . . his mother does not work as such . . his Father is respected and has a fortunate career but the nature of it now eludes the writer of these lines. But while any such eludement might well have been of concern to the boy then, it could hardly be considered so now. He is for sure an only child, a sheltered child. he has the love of his parents but it is for him a lonely love. While still at the window he considers his Father distant from him . . when he does see his son his Father  has never shown anger nor his mother . . .  it is a home without anger and its many forms.

But then there is the "Housekeeper" and she is again now at the back of his mind . . she it is who can act well to mother, father, guests in that order but when minded she simply is a spiteful sort but in turns. Today the writer of these lines would perhaps say she functioned on ulterior motive as her need arose, spite or good nature forswore themselves at that period to the motive of the moment.

The boy as he turns from the window hears the muted talk of his parents at dinner . . his own meal was taken about an hour before as is the norm on weekdays . . at weekends all meals are taken with his mother and father. Very soon his parents will be going out while it is still only late afternoon they will be away well into the small hours. This was "not" as the writer of these lines recalls, an unusual situation but a relatively frequent one. Formal expectations were made on many high and middle class people of that period.

Shades of YesterdayThe boy is in the landing parlour the front door to the house is now ajar emitting cold air . . out by the kerb is the "two horse" phaeton as is usually sent by the host of the dinner-ball mother and Father will attend . . they come to the front door about to leave . . the housekeeper in the background . . face of  "Mutual expression".

There is I feel a natural reluctance of a fleeting sort for them to leave me behind but I cannot go with them . .  from my father a firm pat on both my shoulders . . from my mother a kiss on the cheek . . from the housekeeper a smile from the background. They are in the phaeton and gone.


Shades II Without ado the housekeeper takes me by the right wrist: "Right my lad out on the back step it is". Since he was expecting this, the boy does little to resist . . she is stronger and towers over him . . from the perspective of the back outdoor doorstep . . with the old look from the other side of the glass from the Housekeeper, the boy goes to sleep. Today the writer of these lines would say he probably died from exposure.


Colour Versions of these pictures were done before those used here. The text actually continues as below without interruption, but I have chosen to separate it.

.....the next he knows the boy finds himself in a large garden . . a garden that goes as far as the eye wishes .... he finds he is as he was and is solid in form, apart from the odd fact he seems to have no aperture for a mouth and very soon discovers he does not need one "you talk by thinking". You eat and drink in pure air via the nose. There is a feeling of peace  unlike the boy previously and briefly knew, there seems no one else in the garden, but he knows he is not alone ..... from the first he is aware of the presence of another and one that think-talks with the boy.
                 There are birds in the garden and many fruits .....

                                      the garden never has a heat wave but is forever summer.

Return to Contents Page (Pictures)

or Return to Stories