Tuesday, 1 July 2014
Writing about A.E Housman (1859-1936) made me smile in a silly schoolgirl way when I saw he was born in a place called Fockbury in Worcestershire. It reminded me of a family that we made friends with on holiday many years ago when our children were small. they were from Shropshire and a really delightful, happy extended family. We warmed to each other and every day on the beach chatted together as though we were old friends. The grandfather of the group liked to tell anecdotes. Every day he would entertain us with a story from his life. Why A.E.Housman's birthplace reminded me of this is because one of his stories which was really long and complicated was all about how his very refined wife was not able to tell people the name of the village they lived in. He told us that she had never said out loud the name of her village.We wondered whatever it could be We had friends that lived in a village called Weedon and they liked to joke about aeriel photographs of the area that were titled Weedon from a great height..The wife of our holiday friend always told people that she lived near Ludlow and then would only write her address down, never say it. The village was named Cockshutt, and the story was even more amusing because of the twinkle in his eye as he told it and the complicit smile of his wife. He obviously enjoyed telling this story and she loved to go along with it and watch him having such fun with the happy laughter the story produced..Like a lot of holiday friends we have lost touch but we remember them with great affection and the anecdotes still make me smile.