If only it could speak!
Just like Shirley Valentine, I talk to the wall. I talk to the new one in my kitchen, the one that’s really old, the one created from the reclaimed bricks, though unlike Shirley Valentine I don’t talk out loud, it’s all in my head. I ask questions that are never going to be answered and every now and then my imaginings take on a life as I begin to give thought to where the brick might once have stood.
In my head I make up possible scenarios. Perhaps it was part of a wall that surrounded an old school playground; it heard the children come out to play and listened to their childish laughter. For some it became a seat, a vantage point and held them safe when they clambered to the top to watch the others play. (It wasn’t a very big wall!)
My mind’s eye continues with its thoughts of fancy and I decide the wall could have been part of the one at King’s Cross, the one on platform 13, the one that led to an unknown and mythical place as featured in the 1994 novel by Eva Ibbotson and platform 9 3/4 used by J.K. Rowling in her Harry Potter books first published in 1997.
My fantasy platform wall facilitates time travellers, much like Dr Who’s Tardis, it takes me into the future and onto the Starship Enterprise and of course has my favourite Captain, Jean-Luc Picard at the helm! Alternatively, my platform wall can take me into the past and on a journey down Memory Lane.
I begin to imagine the wall standing at a roadside, it watched in horror as a little girl wearing a pale pink coat ran out into the road, it witnessed the car’s attempt to stop, and almost felt the child’s pain as her bare legged body was thrown across the road and into the gutter. The wall gave a sigh of relief to see the child stand up, it heard her cry and watched her use the hem of her little cotton dress to dab the trickling blood from her bleeding thighs, but the child was safe.
Another scene in my head conjured the wall as part of the house where the little girl’s aunt lived and where the child came to visit and brought a small present. A present that was purchased from a nearby chemist shop, she only had a few pennies and her eye was taken with a sweet smelling, pink bar of soap. The child had never seen pink soap, let alone one that smelled of perfume. The wall watched as the innocent child proudly handed a small brown bag to the aunt. The wall saw that the child was puzzled when she realised the aunt was not pleased to receive her gift of scented soap!
In a separate scenario the wall became part of an old cemetery, encompassing its occupants within its fold. It watched as dignified visitors came and went, some kneeling with flowers at the side of tall grey stones while bored children ran off to play their games of hide and seek. It watched a ghostly figure, unseen by tearful eyes stand beside a grieving soul and wrap an unnoticed arm across a weakened back. It heard a voice softly utter “Do not stand at my grave and weep. This is not the place I fall asleep. I am next to you throughout the night and with you in the morning light.”
And as the title suggests, this blog is a little off the wall!
Footnote: ‘Do not stand at my grave and weep’, a quote from the 1932 poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye, the remainder was found somewhere in my imagination (I think)