Treasured, etc, etc.

Monday 25th January 2016



At long last my porch has been repaired, new boards layed and varnished and the bannister rails with a new coat of paint. So for the first time for a long time I am sitting on the porch on this rather damp and miserable day. The mist has moved away and the fine misty rain sweeping slowly across the moorland. However, tea in hand, guitar leaning against my chair, I recall a story from my young days when I had not been playing the guitar for long………..


I was alone, sitting on my bed, strumming away on my guitar. If I remember right I hadn’t been playing long so therefore I would have been trying out some new exercises. These excercises would be scales, trying to loosen my fingers, followed by chord progressions, and finishing with a couple of newly learnt songs.

Mother appeared at the door and stood listening for a few minutes, then she came in, “Here, I think it is the right time.” she then handed me a violin case.

“This violin has been with me since I was thirteen, and I played it many time in concerts with a small orchestra. I also played it at Southampton Guildhall in 1937 and 38 when I was about your age. I did a solo piece and a duet with a young man I used to know well at the time. His name is Norman Spracklin, unfortunately I believe he was killed in the war. And as you are following my interest in music by playing a guitar I want you to have my instrument and hope you will look after it but please do what you feel. I don’t think it is worth much in monetary terms, maybe you might learn to play it a little bit.” She took the violin out of it’s slightly tatty and worn case and handed it to me, and after looking it over and feeling it I gave it back to her, “Can you tune it for me?” I asked.

I then witnessed the most amazing thing ever, even to this day nothing betters, my mother proceeded to tune the violin, with no tuning devices, and then played God save the Queen, our National anthem. I was so knocked back and impressed I started to embarrass my mother.

“Not bad…. it was over thirty years ago since I played anything on this violin, I am surprised the strings held out.” she left and returned about ten minutes later and handed me some documents. There were two music certificates and a three woodworking certificates.

“The music ones was for when I played in a competition and won the soloist section and came second in the duet category. I played with my friend Norman, that I have mentioned. He was an excellent violinist, I am sure if he survived the war he would have been famous in an orchestra travelling the world.” she then picked up the woodwork certificates. ” These I was awarded for my skills during the war where I was building gun boats at Bucklers Hard for the war effort. I learnt how to build the frames and interior and it was for these skills that the certificates were given to me. I had some lovely memories from that time, it was there I first met your dad.” She started to look a little emotional, sad maybe.

She started to leave when she turned and said, “I have never told anyone before but Norman very nearly became my husband, if he returned from his war effort,” she paused, “Well never mind he never came back. Anyway, I have had some good moments with the instrument. It is yours to do as you wish, just promise me you will look after it and give it a new home.” she then left and I was sitting on my bed alone with all sorts of thoughts going on in my head.One was that I was glad Norman never returned, purely selfish reasons. I would not exist was one.

I still have her violin and certificates after 45 plus years, the instrument is nearly a 100 years old, and I still cannot play it.

Gerry A/C© Re-posted from 2014

Sitting on a Porch (2)



Filed under Challenges, Novel., Personal, Song Lyric, Uncategorized, What-ever!

7 responses to “Treasured, etc, etc.

  1. deidre ainger

    Hi Gerry, I read this with much interest and thankyou for sharing your story, it was so long ago but will never leave your heart, and only wished that I had met my auntie, your mum, my dads sister, where have the years gone.
    Music seems to be in the family, with Auntie Nenon, you, dad and whoever else I have missed out.
    That is a beautiful memory from your life of you and your mother, thankyou my cuzzie xoxo

    • Hi, nice to see you here, not sure if you will get this, yes this is one that remains locked in my heart and head. It is a sad thing that we were never made aware of all our relations, mum would talk about your dad etc, but there was never any encouragement as to connecting. Letters were always a long winded effort. If only we had all this social media then. I am trying to post here stories from the past some just stories some memories. I’ll comment on FB as well.

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  3. What a very lovely story. It’s wonderful when our parents have the ability to surprise us, Gerry. We so much see them just as parents when we are younger. 🙂

  4. Oh, dear, I must have missed this one when you posted it. l don’t think I’m getting everything in my Reader from the blogs I follow. This is a wonderful memory, Gerry. I’m so glad you still have the violin. I’ve always felt I’d like to play a violin, but I didn’t want to have to study that hard. I’m a keyboard person mainly, and I dabbled with a guitar for about a year and then gave that up. But I’d like to think you’ll play your mom’s violin one day.

    • I dont think playing it is going to happen. Just having it and knowing what it has done and who once played it. I regularly take it out of the case and hold it and remember that day and others…Sometimes I need a little help to recall my memories of my parents these days… thank you Sandra.. much appreciated..

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