Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The Rover’s Return - an excerpt from 'Wild Strawberries'

Wild Strawberries by Derek Smith

It was the month of June. James was nine and would not be ten until the first week in July. He was now settled into the country ways, had accepted that the lack of a bathroom and civilised toilet facilities were a fact of life, and that going to bed by candlelight was normal. It was summertime now and the clocks had been altered. Candles were no longer needed and the dawn chorus started shortly after five o’clock, when it became light.
One morning during a chat with Geoff Blore, with whom he often shared the last part of the walk to school, it was mentioned that Jack, the chap who collected the milk from Geoff’s farm, drove his lorry into the Midland Counties Dairy in Birmingham every morning. James then realised for the first time that the village he regarded as isolated and remote, did in fact have a direct link with Birmingham. This came as quite a revelation. He suddenly saw that here was a way to get home for a weekend and to see his mother and his two younger siblings who, after four seemingly long months, he could hardly remember. It would also give him the chance to bring back some of the toys that he had had last Christmas - and what a bonus that would be! He had no toys at Woodhouses, his only distraction being the coveted egg collection.