Sunday, 14 January 2018

The Garden Chair

                                                                              Foddering or Fodder

Dear Reader,

So I do hope you are all feeling well and rested after the Christmas break and that you will be starting a Happy New Year.   I must say I missed writing the blog and am glad to be back now and hope you are too.

This is a small piece from Francis Kilvert's diary, 12th January, 1875.

"William Ferris told me today his reminiscences of the first train that ever came down the Great Western Railway.  "I was foddering," he said, 'near the line.  It was a hot day in May some 34 or 35 years ago, and I heard a roaring in the air.  I looked up and thought there was a storm coming down from Christian Malford roaring in the tops of the trees, only the day was so fine and hot.  Well, the roaring came nigher and nigher, then the train shot along and the dust did flee up'.

After reading this piece I wondered what the word 'foddering" meant. Fodder, apparently, is a type of animal feed used specifically to feed domesticated livestock such as cattle, rabbits, sheep, horses or chickens.  Fodder refers particularly to food given to the animals rather than that which they forage for themselves.    So William Ferris was feeding or foddering his animals, probably dried hay or straw.


The Garden Chair

I bought a wicker garden chair
for Geoffrey, to trap
the late spring sunshine.
warm the bones.

He sat on it looking frail,
thick rugs around his shoulders
a tartan scarf around his neck,
'to keep out the cold' he said.

We tried a few steps
then he sat down again,
happy with his progress
giving me a small smile.

Later in that year, September,
digging in the garden
I glimpsed the whicker chair, empty,
a few ruby red leaves
gathered in the seat.

But no Geoffrey,
no rug,
no scarf.

 Just memories that pierce my heart.


Very best wishes, Patricia
 PS   There is a gull story next week.

Just memories

I bought a wicker garden chair
for Geoffrey,           


Anonymous said...

Beautiful poem. So glad you are back. X

Jessica said...

Precious memories! I can remember that day too when he sat out in the sun wrapped in his scarf. Glad you are back too. x

Rebecca said...

How you have bestowed that chair with such honour through your remembering your Dear One who once sat there.