Perhaps it was in “Women’s Own”, Godfrey read it but I do not know. He believed in the words he read- “We paint our own paradise and in we go”. I like to think his had horses, belly deep in grass. Had a beach on which to sleep out, on the horizon sailing a patched up rowboat.

Long ago it was, I recall this window, Godfrey sitting alone dreaming out it. He is half listening to someone as they complained, Percy Thwite, a twit.

Oh the rain was less wet back in England, his home, of the sink full of dishes, this chap did grizzle and moan.To dry dishes Godfrey well knew, when staying in rustic hostels or camping, the hem of your kilt or shirt sleeve would do.

.. The grass is greener, the Loos larger and cleaner, there are no beets allowed here and one dusty store. The tea is better, the weather less wetter, Percival Thwite did groan, one more day of this bleak, Antipodean torture and I will head home.

Early that evening when Godfrey came in, from a days fishing out on the sound, on the end of his bunk , folded neatly and square, were 12 new tea towels and a note from Percy left there.

It was written, “For Godfrey, do accept these, leave one every other Youth Hostel you stay please” You are an odd young chap. You do not worry over silly things trivial. But even in an an old Hostel far from home, there is no excuse not to be civil.

..That night we played Scrabble, he played with his sideways smile, deep in thought, he almost won, but to no avail, he sat  up until  dawn, sewed the tea towels up, into a workable sail. For his rowboat, The Whelk painted red, white and Horse- Slobber Green.

Godfrey is gone, but out on the bay, bravely sailing still, The Whelk can often be seen. The grass is greener, the Loo  modern and cleaner, than long ago when Godfrey and I passed through.Tonight I made Cullen Skink.. and while drying  my tears and the dishes, found once more that the ratty hem, and sleeve of Godfrey’s old plaid shirt would do.

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