Chertsey tales Part One.

I’m writing my book again, or something similar. I like writing about things that happened many years ago. Until recently my memory never failed me. I could normally remember the most insignificant things from all those years ago, things that just didn’t matter at all to the story. I wonder why my brain would bother with some of this stuff.

So, you would think, wouldn’t you? that it would be nigh on impossible for something to completely disappear from my memory. 

Well, that is what happened this morning, no matter how I tried I could not recall the name of a bird that was very important to me and to many other kids in Chertsey.. We saw them every day. 

This is not the first time my memory has faltered; I can normally cover this lapse by automatically using a similar word in normal speech. The lovely young women who helped us in our community café laughed when I asked for a carton of crocodile milk instead of coconut milk, or an Eldorado instead of an Americano coffee.

 It was no joke though! 

That is what came out of my mouth, a sort of temporary substitute I suppose.

I have come to terms with the fact that I now have a limited time to get my story finished. I am 91 and afraid to say my memory is not what it used to be.  Luckily, I have it all written down somewhere in the depths of Word. So, I am yet again changing the way I write my story.

The animal, by the way, is a Raven. Ravens, at one time were quite common in Chertsey. My mate Wadie (Teddy Wade, who lived in Cowley Avenue) was an expert on wildlife, especially birds. He would talk about a conspiracy of Ravens or a cabinet of rooks and such as that. 

Here is the first chapter. I will add a new one as soon as I have it done, with a bit of luck I may have a full book for anyone to read from directly from our Facebook, and possibly a printed book one day. It is called surprisingly:

Chertsey Tales Part One.

It is late summer of 2020. From the window of my temporary home in Alexandra Palace (as we like to call it, actually it’s Wood Green). I watch commuters pouring from the ramp above the railway station across the road. Soon it will be quiet again until the next train discharges it workers from the City.

The newly fitted wooden windows rattle as a speeding train whizzes by. It is all very interesting when there is nothing much else to do, which is most of the time here in North London. 

I glance again at the children sitting near me playing their favourite game on the huge, curved television screen, I think I would rather watch the scene outside thank you very much, but they seem to like it.

Now! There is something interesting. A large blackbird zooms over the station below, it wheels lazily around searching for something to eat maybe. Back and forth it goes, head down its sharp eyes searching for a half-eaten sandwich perhaps…the banks of the ramp are full of such things.

It alights daintily for such a heavy bird on the telephone lines on the other side of the road. I reach for the binoculars the boys use for train spotting and The Observer book of birds.

I freeze! as the image comes into focus. I feel I know this bird; but how can that be? the last time I saw a Raven with one eye was in 1940!

Author: madeinchertsey

Born in 1932, this is a collection of stories of my childhood growing up in Chertsey, and some stories of my later life.

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