Friday, June 3, 2011

London After the War, by Patricia Wicks

Allow me to introduce you to Trish.  We met Trish last year at the Brentwood retreat when the Stitching Sisters (from Brantford and area) kindly invited us to join them.  If you are an early-bird at Brentwood, you are treated to Trish's homemade biscuits and jam. YUM!  I sat with Trish and wrote down her recipe, but I confess my biscuits don't taste quite the same as hers.  On Sunday morning, Anita and I were up and ready before the others and I said, "Well I'm going downstairs to make some tea."  Anita said, "No you aren't, you're heading down for a biscuit!"  Busted!!!! So Anita and I made tea, grabbed a biscuit and jam and sat on the patio looking out at the lake.  It doesn't get much better than that does it? 

Ok, so back to Trish. Trish is a wealth of information and eager to teach you everything she knows.  Stitching Sister Janet told us a story about how she had called Trish once to buy some of her jam, but Trish was out.  Janet of course was disappointed, but then Trish said, "OK, welllll....what are you doing right now, come on over then".  So Janet excitedly went to Trish's hoping to get some of her 'secret stash'.  Janet arrives, leaves her car running and pops on into the house only to discover that Trish had all the ingredients out and ready to teach Janet how to make the jam herself!  So then she had to go back out to turn off the car.  We got a chuckle out of that story and it just affirmed to us how eager Trish is to share her time and knowledge with you. 

So this year when we were stitching we overheard Trish telling a story about when she was a young lady.  I asked her to repeat it to us because I thought it was very interesting.  As Trish was telling the story, she recited a poem she had written and even surprised herself that she remembered it so well.

Trish’s parents lived in London England and Trish went away to Boarding School.  After the war was over and before she came to Canada– Trish and her mom went on a tour around the area of St. Paul’s Cathedral.  When she saw the devastation from all the bombing, Trish thought this was the end of London. Everything around them was in total ruins except for the Cathedral.  At the time,  Trish was studying poetry in school and the teacher assigned them to write in the form of a sonnet about something she new about  Trish wrote the following poem when she was only 14 years old.

London After the War

Broken ruined houses now do lie
Just fading memories.  They speak of homes
Of better days, and still the owners roam
To find another place to live and die

St. Paul's Cathedral lifting to the sky
Unbroken still its tall majestic dome
Looks down upon the beggars there who comb
The ruins of the buildings once so high

And this they say is London once so great
That people came from far and wide to see
The beautiful historic town of old
But now a few decaying mounds will wait
The memories of life that used to be
Here in this place once called the “Town of Gold”

Composed in 1948 by Patricia Wicks (Trish Yates)

Trish got an A+ and the poem was framed and place in the main school hall in Thornton College in Bletchley Buckinghamshire, England.  Trish was telling us that a house 2 miles near the school was used as a ‘code-breaking’ center for the military, but no one ever knew that is what the house was used for.  Trish’s also told us that her mom was a translator for a Jewish gentlemen and as well, she could translate English to French very rapidly.

Trish is now 77 years old and one of her goals at Brentwood is to sleep on the hammock on the beach all night, all by herself.  She said, “I’m 77 and nothing has happened to me yet, what’s going to happen in a hammock on the beach?”

Now that’s and attitude we can all aspire too. Thanks Trish for sharing your story with us. 


jayne@~an eye for threads~ said...

An awesome tribute to one of the most inspiring women we know.

info said...

Great story! Great poem, Trish!

Kerry said...

I have a hand written copy of her poem in our cross stitch journal. I will treasure it forever! I just found your blog entry today. Some how I missed it before. Thank you for posting it!

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