As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, Debbie’s Uncle Tom was a Master Mason (& past Worshipful Master of his lodge), a raconteur, poet and smoked a pipe. He also had a lazy eye, but this didn’t stop him being a crack shot at the local Bisley firing range and serving in the army during World War 2.
Auntie Phyllis always laid on a wonderful spread for tea of haslet, tongue, cress, salad and onion/cucumber soaked in vinegar when we visited them in Thame as you can see in the above photograph. If the weather was good Tom would also take the boys and I to practice golf in the park near their ground floor flat in Van Diemans Avenue.
Tom loved telling stories about how he won a silver matchbox in the Freemasons for being word perfect on a very difficult & long ritual, also about his adventures running a wartime ice factory in Egypt, with his medals proudly mounted on red cloth hanging on the wall near the fireplace.
On the 15th December 1992, Debbie, I and the kids visited them both as a pre-Christmas treat for us all. Tom was always chuckling, but never more so than on this occasion when I asked him to share one of his poems, this time he said it was a chemical poem simply called “O” as follows:
Though oxygen’s my proper name
I’m also known as “O”
You’ll find me in the air you breathe
You’ll find me in the snow
Of all the many gases
That I play with every day
I like the ones called hydrogen
They’re very light and gay
Now hydrogen is too long to say
And H is that much shorter
And when I play with two of these
I simply turn to water
We have this on video and if I ever upgrade to the more expensive WordPress site I’ll embed it here for you all to enjoy.
A lovely memory and in this spirit of remembrance the last time Debbie & I visited Thame to see their daughter Vanessa, we also took a trip down memory lane to see other sights of Thame where Phyllis & Tom lived over the years.
Happy memories, never forgotten.