Anton's Ideas

Anton Wills-Eve on world news & random ideas

Month: September, 2015

A TALE OF TWO UNCLES


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/lifes-a-candy-store/”>Life’s a CandyStore</a>

my ideal 24 hours when I was six years old.

A TALE OF TWO UNCLES

When I was six years old in May 1948 we still had post war food rationing in England and the hardest hit commodity of all was sweets and chocolates, or candy as the Americans call it. I was fortunate in having an Australian uncle and aunt in Brisbane who sent us food parcels, and an American uncle in Hollywood and another American godfather in New York who did the same. So I wonder what my perfect 24 hours would have been?

Well, for a start I would have insisted that my seven year old sister and I both had passports and could travel, under air hostess supervision, on our own. My Australian passport and her British passport might have raised eyebrows as we checked into the earliest flight possible at Heathrow to visit our famous film star uncle in Hollywood. We would have gained eight hours in one sense which would have given us more time and let us count eight of our 24 hours from the moment the plane took off at 8.00am as part of the day. It took ten hours with two changes to get to LA in those days, but even so Uncle Brian would have met us at the airport at 11.00am California time.

I would have insisted we were stuffed with sweets and chocolates when not asleep on the plane and on arrival would have got our US family to make up boxes of our favourites candies and posted them back home. Lunch time would have been a real delight as we toured the film studios and enjoyed joking and play acting with many of the stars whom we already knew from their visits to London. Peanut butter and Coke would have been high on the lunch menu and by the time we had to catch our 3.00pm flight to New York we would have had a great time, especially with the kids of our family we had never met.

The five hour flight to New York would have included a bit more sleep and it would have been about nine at night there when my godfather, Walter Cronkite, and his wife Betsy met us. They stayed with us a lot in England during the war and Walter and dad worked in tandem covering all aspects of military news, my Australian father for British United Press and the English papers and Walter for United Press and the American journals.

Knowing our time differences they would have given us a slap up meal and a party with their friends. But first an evening drive round New York would have left both of us wide eyed with wonderment at such a young age. However, the one thing I know they would have done is shower us with presents. Cowboy outfits, real jeans, a lot of other kids clothing, that too was still heavily rationed in England, and made sure we never forgot our visit to their home as they had spent so much time in ours.

My real 24 hours would have run out around three in the morning New York time, so the flight home the next day would not have counted. But I can’t believe Betsy would not have made sure my sister and I had a tour of the New York shops the next day before catching our flight home.

Well that never happened, obviously, but I did make several trips to the States later in my life and Uncle Brian came back to England for a few years when I was eleven. Also Uncle Walter, as the whole family called him, always made a point of keeping a day free to see us whenever he was in London or Paris where we lived until 1967. But my greatest memory of him, and the reason why he would have to figure in any really great 24 hours, was what he did in Vietnam in 1969. I was there for more than three years as news editor of the main British News agency, and the day after he arrived to do a US television special he came round to our office and put everything on hold for four hours while went we out to lunch, just the pair of us, to catch up on family gossip. As you can imagine my rating amongst my colleagues rose considerably from then on.

AWE

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MARS BARS


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/yin-to-my-yang/”>Yin to My Yang</a>

yes but where is my soul mate?

MARS BARS

 

As I write this post or blog or just a thought, NASA is in the process of telling us that life could exist on Mars because they have found proof that water is flowing there. But is there any sort of life in it that could become us in 450 billion years time?

Well, I hope so. Just think of the fun we could have as generations come and go and maybe even very soon land on Mars and humans from earth even live there. Could earthlings help accelerate the evolution of Martian life so that it reaches a human state much, much more quickly than we did on earth? Wouldn’t it be great fun  to have a baby Martian dinosaur for a pet? And later teaching early Martian primates how to talk and behave. Just think of the possibilities this news is opening up. We could make sure they developed into really nice people by educating them throughout their early eons until a whole planet of peaceful, happy people existed just as we can when we want to. 

But there is a problem. When we are totally destroyed by our own failure to control weapons of mass destruction and overcome climate change that could implode earth completely, will we have set such an awful example to Martians that they live forever in fear of becoming completely humanoid? 

But I would love to have a soul mate on Mars so my soul could join him or her (or ..?…wow the possibilities!!) in one of those downtown Mars Bars. There we could have a lovely chat about whether God exists  and if so are Martian concepts of Him the same as mine? Pity I haven’t got a few more billion years to live, but hang on, think of it. I hope to get to Heaven, and that means for eternity. So I wonder what great surprises God may have in store for my soul. That really would be Heaven! Mars Bars here I come!

AWE

COSI FAN (ALMOST) TUTTE


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/when-childhood-ends/”>When Childhood Ends</a>

how a friend of mine heroically ended his childhood.

 

Cosi Fan (almost) Tutte

 

John’s hesitant speech and terrible stutter

Belied the kind heart which could never utter

The words he really wanted so much to say,

And phrase in an acceptable and loving way

The girls he knew, and who knew each other,

Treated him like an annoying, younger brother

Always bothering them with an unfinished word

And gestures of despair, which they all found absurd.

 

So Jane and Cathy, with Kim, Liz and Anne,

Decided to find out if he was a mouse or a man.

They hatched a vile plot to tease him rotten,

First appearing attracted then leaving him forgotten.

Jane was the first to have a go at poor John,

Telling him he was handsome, not laying it on

Too thick, just letting him wonder if it could be true

That a girl actually liked him. But what should he do?

 

She said she would meet him behind the school gym

But just went on her way, oh how she hurt him!

John could not fathom why people wanted to make fun

In this way of any boy. What on earth had he had done

To hurt or harm in a malicious or mean way,

Girls he liked but to whom he was unable to say

That his heart beat as normally as any young boy?

Oh why did they treat him like a cast off old toy?

 

He waited an hour then went home alone.

To be met by Cathy who, in a really bitchy tone,

Said, “Hi John. Jane ditched you? What d’you expect?

Think she’d cover you in kisses, you pathetic reject?”

And after this minx had covered him in shame,

Kim stopped him by his home and shouted his name.

“Hey, John, want a cuddle? Some hopes for you mate!

“You can’t even ask a girl seductively out on a date.”

 

His response was so fierce it stopped her quite still.

N –n–no, I kn-kn–know I cc—can’t: BUT I W-W-WILL!”

At this point Liz appeared, and wiggled her hips,

Then taunted poor John with her pursed, pouting lips.

He raced to his door and went quickly inside.

“Think you’re safe now? Home’s nowhere to hide!”

Anne teased him, “Earlier I copied your house key.

Come on lover boy, now it’s just you and me!”

 

Poor Anne did not know just how deeply John felt

Real love for her, but with the cards he’d been dealt,

Could never express it, the words would not come

’til his brain just snapped and he was no longer dumb!

“Go on! mock me! Make fun of me! That’s if you dare,

But beware of me Anne. You see, never did I care

For anyone but you and, as you just walked in, then

I presume that you want me, so come up to my den.”

 

And there, ‘mid his books, tablet, laptop and all,

He crushed her in an embrace, but Anne did not call

For help. No, she just passionately kissed and caressed

The most wonderful boy she’d ever held to her breast.

“John! What’s happened? You can talk! And you’re great.

I love you so much, but I am afraid it’s getting late.”

He replied, “My parents are away, so now it’s up to you .

You’re welcome to stay here if you really want to.”

 

She took out her mobile and told mum not to worry,

She was going to be late and of course would not hurry

Back until morning, it was quite usual for them all.

Then turned off her phone to block any incoming call.

John listened, delighted, taking her in his arms again

To spend the night showing her he was one of the men.

And never did Anne tell Jane, Liz, Cathy or Kim,

What they had missed by making such cruel fun of him.

 

 

AWE

 

MY LAST FLIGHT


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/must-not-fail/”>Must Not Fail</a>

I think ‘would hate to fail’ would better express the prompt.

 

MY LAST FLIGHT

I would  hate to miss my soul’s last flight to the sky

To be ever with God in Heaven when eternity is nigh

So, when on my deathbed some day I shall lie

I hope I will be conscious enough to reply

To God’s question, “Do you on my promise still rely?”

And be able to answer “Yes”, in some way, as I die.

AWE

FEARS, PHOBIAS, KNOWLEDGE AND BELIEF.


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/phobia-shmobia/”>Phobia, Shmobia</a>

on reading  of Richard Dawkins’ dislike of the term ‘Islamaphobia’.

 

FEARS, PHOBIAS, KNOWLEDGE AND BELIEF.

     The constant mistake of adding ‘phobia’ to so many words nowadays is ludicrous. Homophobia, for instance, is a non-word because for anything to be a phobia it has to be something of which one is unusually strongly afraid or irrationally petrified. If one has a good reason for strongly disliking something that is not a ‘phobia’.

     Homophobia is the most commonly used non-word in English. If one does not like the practice of people of the same sex loving and having sexual relations with each other that is not an irrational fear of their preferences, it is a dislike of them. I have many close homosexual friends but I never condemn the sinner when they act in ways I think they shouldn’t. I only condemn the sin. God knows I commit sins enough myself, but just not that one because it turns me off! I actually consider adultery a worse sin because it usually also involves breaking a solemn oath, taken at one’s marriage, not to do it. There are no laws in our country of which I am aware which tell us what we may legally like or dislike. It is what we do about our dislikes – violent actions or insulting and defamatory verbal remarks to peoples’ faces are common examples – that break the law, not the way we feel about them.

     Also there is a great disparity between marginalising people because of their natures and because of their actions when the predilections with which they are born are neither their own fault nor within their ability to alter. Medical science may allow us to make all sorts of changes to our physical sexual anatomy, but it cannot change how we started out when we were born. That is in the past. So it is quite unnecessary to single out anybody for censure or applause because of their natures.

     One exception here to the use of ‘phobia’  is when words like ‘Islamaphobia’ are coined to describe people who fear a religious or idealistic grouping. While I would never use such a spurious generality myself, I can see that some people might equate being Muslim with being a terrorist who could start world war three. It is very important to recognise that you can be afraid of both the physical threat of fanatics, or of a religious sect which might threaten members of your own religious group if you are a member of one. However, as a devout Catholic I can only say that I believe I should love all men, obviously not everything they might do, but they themselves as God’s children. After all the vast majority of Muslims are perfectly ordinary, harmless, nice people anyway. It is very hard when somebody of another faith deliberately blasphemes in front of me to get my back up. Yet much as I may dislike this the last thing I should do is trash their beliefs. That just alienates us more when I should be trying to befriend them. However, atheists like Richard Dawkins try to rise above this level of fidelity and infidelity by saying we both believe a lot of rubbish anyway. Poor man, I can think of nothing more sad than not being afraid that one might be mistaken. What dreadfully meaningless, hopeless lives atheists must live.

     But this leads to the whole question of why we fear some things or groups of people for good reasons just as much as for totally stupid ones. It is usually the conflation of knowledge and belief. Take the arch atheist-scientist Dawkins. A truly brilliant man in his field but a quite pitiable one in his passion for blindfolding himself to the obvious. He says that he knows God does not exist and belittles people who claim to believe that God does. How unscientific can you get? There is a very simple example of why nobody can ever prove that science answers everything or that God exists. Take a piece of string, any length you like, and cut it in half. Throw one half away and do the same to the half you have kept. There is no limit to the size to which you can reduce the piece you retain if you continue this process long enough. But something always remains for nothing can be made out of nothing.

     Do you see what this proves? It’s so simple. It proves that anything solid, any form of matter, can never be made to disappear. It can only be split up into ever smaller atomic and ultimately sub atomic particles. Then, in theoretical thought, there is no limit to how large any concept can be. It is self evident in maths, for instance, that there is no number to which you cannot add one. This is the proof of rational infinity and goes way out beyond our cosmos. It must, by definition. So if a scientist thinks that everything can ultimately be empirically investigated so completely that all existence is known and explained, all you have to do is add one to it and you will find there is an infinite, and ergo unknowable, scope to the field of  scientific discovery. Yes we can find out and empirically prove how everything originates, works, lives etc physically. But there will always be a limit to that knowledge.

     So if I was to say I know God made me, loves me and wants me to live for ever in heaven, that is only ‘knowledge’ as far as I myself am concerned. I really do physically love God, which helps a lot, but basically what I am doing is believing in God even though I cannot empirically prove His existence. But my belief is just as strong and likely as Richard Dawkins’ empirically provable knowledge, because while we are alive and on earth neither of us can know the limits of what we believe, nor how something must at some time  have been made out of nothing.

     I believe in eternity, and infinity beyond  human comprehension. A super mystery which one day I genuinely believe I will understand. But not while I’m alive. Dear Richard seems not to want this kind of really lovely hope, and is content to just dig deeper and deeper into discovering all the practical things in our cosmos knowing he will never reach the end of that search. I do hope he realises this before he dies, or at least thinks about it enough to like the idea of being in Heaven some day. Surely he is far too intelligent not to want to save his soul if he cannot, just by using empirical logic, prove that it does not exist. He is literally taking a helluva risk. 

AWE

SHE GAVE ME BACK MY SHOE


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/pay-it-forward/”>Pay It Forward</a>

Prompt:Tell us about a time when you responded to an act of kindness with one of your own.

 

SHE GAVE ME BACK MY SHOE

 

The last thing anybody wants to do is make a fool of themselves in front of their friends and peers and especially not at the age of twelve when the whole school is watching. Well I managed to come very, very close to that in the cross country championships that year. We had an immense playing field, big enough for four rugby pitches and four tennis courts and a pavillion, with the perimeter measuring exactly one and a quarter miles. The cross country course was three laps of the fields starting and finishing at the pavillion.

I was among the fancied thirty two entrants for the under fourteens race which was held first at 2.00 pm with the senior race an hour later. So the assembled watchers numbered about 250 boys each cheering for one of the four houses that the school was divided into. Another 100 or so parents and family members also turned out for what was always the highlight of the athletics calendar in the Easter term.

There were eight boys from each house in each race and about half way round the first lap I was in the middle of the leading pack of some twelve runners all bunched together when I went over on my ankle on the slippery grass and my right running shoe came off and bounced into the spectators. Well that was my race over, or so I thought. Suddenly a little girl of about ten came rushing out of the crowd with my shoe which she gave me shouting,

“My brother’s in your house and I can’t physically help you. Get that back on and catch them up.” She could tell which house I was in from the colour of my running top. I have never re-tied a running shoe faster and although some 25 yards behind by then decided to pace my way back up to the leaders if I could. A lap later I was up into sixth place but still had four good runners some 15 yards ahead of me. Still I refused to sprint and just gradually increased my pace until I was up in third place with only some 300 yards left. The little girl who had rescued my shoe was racing round to the finish and never took her eyes off me. I was never more glad I had kept my head because I knew I had the best sprint finish. I caught the two boys ahead of me and still waited until we were all only fifty yards from the end with the finish line and pavillion in my sight. I forgot my opponents and just ran flat out until I felt my chest breasting the tape and collapsed in a heap.

The girl who had really won the race for me was cheering and in tears at the same time. I had no idea who she was although I assumed I must know her brother well. I did, it was James Marshall and he came in fourth. As a team we won the overall under fourteens cup as well as my individual one. He clapped me on the back laughing. I only realised his relationship to my saviour when he said, “You lucky so and so, Anton! My little Angie certainly saved that race for you.” After changing and waiting for the senior race he took me over to his family and introduced me. They lived miles from the school and I only knew him as a fellow pupil in my year. I shook hands with his parents and then went up to a very shy Angie and shook hands saying,

“Thank you more than I can say. You certainly saved my race and if I can ever do as much for you in the future you can be certain I shall.” The poor girl was blushing furiously and after a few more chatty words I said goodbye to Jim’s family and went back to watch the main race. Jim and I went on through school together for the next six years and were good friends when the last term of all at last came round. I was just eighteen that spring and would be leaving for university in September.

It was customary for the sixth form leavers ball to be held in the school and all of our year were keen to show off our latest girl friends. However, I had a flaming row with my current girl in February and was with no one five weeks before the dance. I hastily wondered who to ask. My own sister would have been a real downer in the eyes of my friends. Then an idea struck me. I had never met Jim’s sister since that cross country race and I suddenly thought that Angie might like to come. So I asked her brother if someone else was taking her as I hadn’t even met her since that race all those years ago.

“Heavens, didn’t I tell you, Anton, she was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer several months ago just before her sixteenth birthday and is still in hospital. She’s had a hard time poor thing as she never lost her shyness and gets really lonely and depressed. The family have been badly shaken by her illness even though the doctors are confident she’ll be able to make a full recovery. But it could take ages.” I was shocked by Jim’s news and asked him to do me a favour. I said I wanted to drop her a line and get well card and asked him if he’d give it to her. He was delighted and said she’d be really pleased. The next day I gave him an envelope addressed to her and when she opened it that evening this is what she read.

“Hi Angie. Sorry to hear you’ve been so ill and even sorrier that we’ve not been able to keep in touch since I kicked a shoe at you. But I was hoping to give you a late sixteenth birthday surprise and invite you to the sixth form dance at the end of June. I don’t suppose there is any chance you could come with me, is there? If you’re not up to dancing I’d still love to see you again and take you with me. I’ve put my mobile phone number on this note so you can ring or text me to keep in touch and let me know if you could come. If not at least can I come and see you?”

From all Jim told me she was amazed to receive my card and invitation. She deperately wanted to ring me but was too shy and asked her brother to give me her number. She also asked her doctors if she would be strong enough to leave hospital and have an evening out by the time of the dance. When Jim told me this I rang Angie and we had a really long and enjoyable chat. The doctors had planned to discharge her that week anyway, so they thought a night out to look forward to would do her the world of good. But she was told she had to take it very easy.

I waited until she was home before arranging to visit her and was surprised at how pretty she was, especially suffering from that type of illness. She was going to come to the dance but said she couldn’t do more than sit quietly and watch. Not what I thought. When the evening arrived I collected her in a taxi and several of Jim’s friends were very glad to meet her. We had to have a quiet time, naturally, but when it came to the last dance I just looked at her and said,

“Angie stand up. Come here, put your arms round me and even if we can’t dance properly I can at least hold you close to me for a few minutes. I’ve been wanting to all evening.” The joy that lit up her face was all we needed to spend the next few minutes just holding each other close . In the taxi on the way home I kissed her and thanked her. “Not for being so lovely tonight, Angie, but for returning my shoe all those years ago.” She laughed and had tears in her eyes as she hugged me before going back indoors at home.

I had all sorts of plans to give her little trips out for the odd day during that summer, but on July the seventeenth I received a phone call from her mother to tell me she had had a relapse and died early that morning.

“But thank you for making the last few weeks of her life so enjoyable and such fun, Anton. None of us can ever thank you enough for that”. And nobody can ever make me forget her and what might have been.

AWE

ELIZABETH BENNET AND THE VISITOR FROM TODAY


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/a-storybook-day/”>A Storybook Day</a>

Prompt:If I could spend one day with a fictional character who it would be? 

ELIZABETH BENNET AND THE VISITOR FROM TODAY

I was walking in this mansion’s grounds

You know, a normal tourist doing the rounds

Of all the houses he was told to see

When a really pretty girl just gaped at me.

 

But what’s she wearing? A bonnet and cape,

And a dress with waist so high, I was all agape

This pert little darling was eyeing me with surprise

Her parasole unable to hide her come hither eyes.

 

I took her for a model, posing to add authenticity

To her surroundings, a truly charming duplicty.

So I entered into the spirit of what I took for a charade

And drew an invisible sword, “Madame. En guarde!”

 

But as I was dressed a la mode two thousand fifteen,

And no sword or opponent by her eyes could be seen,

She shyly asked, in a voice sweet as peaches and cream

Oh, Sir. You are so odd that from the mad house you seem

 

To have made your escape this bright summer’s day

But, if it please you, I’ll never try to stand in your way

Of enjoying a few hours freedom in God’s own fresh air.

But I love the quaint way you have done up your hair.

 

And, oh my, the way that your pair of red breeches

Pass your ankles and right down to your feet reaches.

But my friend I must away to my house, I can’t stay

For soon from Mr.D’Arcy, my lover’s stealing me away.”

 

As I watched her slim figure through the bushes make haste,

And also pictured those eyes, that fair face and slim waist.

I envied Miss Austen the wit to devise such a beauty,

Incomparably more pretty than any modern day cutie.

AWE

 

BODY AND SOUL


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/no-cliffhangers/”>No Cliffhangers</a>

the prompt asked that this post end with the words…’and all was well with the world’.

 

BODY AND SOUL

 

In May, the lovers’ month, before day’s dawn

My soul first saw our world one Sunday morn

As I, gently, from my mother’s womb was torn.

My eyes were shut, yet my soul could clearly see

The severed cord that had fed and bonded me.

Preparing the body in which it ever was to be

My other self, protecting and loving but also sad

When my will was stronger than it and I was bad.

And yet I loved its heavy censure for I was daily glad

Whenever united with God in prayer and holy love.

As I grew up my soul bound me to Heaven above.

But even a soul can wield iron fist in velvet glove

If correction is the way it shows its sacred care

For our salvation and makes us, in confession, bare

Our forbidden actions – be she the fairest of the fair.

If how we love is outside God’s laws, and thus a sin,

The soul is our conscience which draws us back within

Heaven’s family, God’s children, His kith and kin.

Yet love twixt boy and girl is beautiful and pure

If they in constancy let their passionate hearts endure

A lifetime of keeping their loving vows and so ensure

Temptations of the flesh lead them never so astray

That lust or jealousy leads either one to have to pay

The sorry price of admitting faltering, even for a day.

The soul, our sacred messenger and spiritual friend,

Knows our worst misdeeds. It tells us how to mend

Our ways and thus try to live our lives unto their end

In such a way that God will be with us for all time

And smile on how we tried, ‘oft slipping, still to climb

The steepest mountains to our final goal sublime.

But, if I can live a life from which all bad deeds are hurled

Back to hell. Then may  I truly say, with all hope unfurled,

I paid for all  my sins and so all is well with the world.

AWE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THINKING OF ALL I LOVE


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/daily-ritual/”>Daily Ritual</a>

the prompt asks for a daily ritual

                               THINKING OF ALL I LOVE

 

I am not even sure if this counts as a ritual, but apart from attending to necessary bodily functions of filling and emptying myself, which are not rituals but necesssities, I suppose the only genuine ritual I perform is spending at least twenty minutes at night or when I wake up, occasionally both, thinking about all I love. This is the only deliberate thing I do so regularly.

Obviously if one says daily prayers, however long or short, and makes sure they are every day then that is a ritual. And, yes, that is something I do. But it is how and why I do it that made me give this pensee the title I did. To say set prayers by rote and without thought, while a form of devotion, can just become a thoughtless habit. So what I do when I pray is follow a set pattern of reflection on who or what I am praying for. I find that if I devote every prayer I say to God, because I love Him, and with each prayer I picture some person or good deed that I love personally or would love to see realised – relieving third world suffering would be an example – or any person who asks me to pray for a particular intention with which I agree, like recovering from illness. Then I am asking God to help them because their recovery is something I and they would love to happen.

But do note an important point here. When I say a short prayer for my wife and one each for my children it is because I love them and want them to be closer to God. So I could not extend such a type of praying to say a football team or a sports performance which might please me but is not sufficiently important to bother God. If my favourite teams win major trophies I will say thank you in my prayers because I have been made happy. But that act of gratitude is also one of love so is quite different to asking God before a game to make one side win. Again, gambling within modest reason, is just a leisure pursuit, but to put your last $10 on a horse and then nip into church and ask God to get you out of a hole by making the horse win is almost an act of sacrilege.

Where I find concentrating on love when I pray is most beneficial though is when I pray for someone who has committed a really awful act. Somebody has to pray for them because God loves us all, so we should too. That can really be hard but therefore worth so much more. But as I stand at the moment I have a total of twenty nine people or intentions  I always keep in my thoughts each day, in crises I may add one or two more. This is ritualistic if you like, but at least I know some love for those people and things that need it is hopefully reaching them on a daily basis.

AWE

 

 

 

SOLO CON TE


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/handwritten/”>Handwritten</a&gt;

as this is the same as a prompt last year I am re-posting my experience.

Solo Con Te  

It was several months since I last wrote anything of any importance by hand, but recently a strange necessity arose to make me do so. Edgardo, the youngest of my three sons and four daughters,  just five years old at the time, had been asked to reply to a birthday party invitation and the card even had a reply form attached with  a lined space for a child of his age to write on. But it was beyond him.

“Eh, Papa, non possedo ecrire in questo language. Mio caligrafico es crap!”

When I was his age I would have received a clip round the ear for that reply but it’s illegal nowadays. Okay he was born in America and had been brought up in France, Switzerland and Italy by an English/Australian father and an Italian/Austrian mother, but that was no excuse. I knew where his deliberate bad language came from. His nine year old sister Lucia, one of twins, delighted in telling him how to really annoy me and pretend it was because he was linguistically over challenged. So I played along and tried to understand his difficulties.

“Mio bambino caro, this exercise will be all in English, capisce?”

“Capisce is no English. You liar, Papa. God will punish you”

A voice from the doorway did not help either,

“Si, and quoting from an Italian opera ain’t gonna teach the kid much English either, in it?” You know those moments when the woman you love most in the world suddenly changes from ‘my wife’ to ‘his mother’? Well this was one of them. I lost my patience with her.

“Francesca. I’m trying to teach Eddie polite English. Give me a break, please!”

She roared with laughter and said our two months in London wasn’t improving the children’s English or the family’s bonding. That was when I realised Edgardo had wandered off to play elsewhere so I just scrawled ‘thank you. I’d love to come. Eddie’ on the invitation, sealed it and addressed it to the daughter of the Australian High Commissioner. Francesca posted it that afternoon.

The farce concluded two days later when our eldest child, twelve year old Maria, came rushing up to me and said “Daddy, Daddy  is Eddie going to that girl’s party? Her brother’s just texted me to ask because they couldn’t read the handwriting on his reply.”

Anton Wills-Eve

MARY-BETH


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/first-crush/”>First Crush</a>

what would I say to her today if I met my first childhood crush?

 

                                              MARY-BETH

 

With angel eyes and golden curls

She laughed out loud as little girls

Do, when told a joke or funny story,

Revealing her beauty in all its glory.

 

First day back at school, aged seven,

I scarce believed this gift from Heaven

Had joined us all to learn and play

And totally capture my heart that day.

 

When she spoke and asked me my name,

I told her, and politely did the same.

“Mary-Beth”, she said with lisp and twang,

And asked if she could join our gang.

 

But her Yankee voice and cheeky grin

Was all she needed to be welcomed in

To all our games and the songs we sang,

Above all of ours her sweet voice rang

 

Loudest in songs and when we’d pray.

One Saturday I asked her home to play

And oh what really made us so glad,

Was her American father knowing my dad!

 

But as so often happens when very young,

Before love in our lives had yet begun,

Her family had to return to the USA

Just eight months later to the day

 

Since I first set eyes on Mary-Beth.

As we waved them off I felt like death.

Losing such a friend at the age of eight

And thinking of the years I had to wait

 

To tell her how much I loved her so

Broke my heart. Would I ever know

Her cheeky face again or what sort of life

She might lead as someone else’s wife?

 

So if I saw her now this is what I hope I’d say,

“Sixty odd years ago you lit up each day.

And Mary-Beth, you’re still looking swell,

With hubby, kids and grandchildren as well!”

AWE

SENT


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/smell-you-later/”>Smell You Later</a>

A SMELL WHICH TRANSPORTS ME 

 

 

SENT

 

Gasoline.

 

 

 

AWE