It is good to see the rubble of home- “Tara”, our building is being restored to her original state, I escaped for 9 days break from drills and banging, to a posh house in the hills. 9 days on the worlds worst couch, which I was expected to share with the dog. This afternoon, I woke up agrog from my nap, certain I could hear Godfrey whistling his favorite song- “Oh Sir Jasper Do Not Touch Me”, a dreadful, bawdy thing taught to him by his sister Alice…alas, it was only my friends bickering in the hall. I did not write much…just these vignettes I will share…

Old Friends On The water- With Godfrey was no need to gauge the tides or heed alarm , or warnings of storm. My head bowed in thought, he remains ever present, the two of us walk arm in arm. I with the questions, Godfrey the observer, we talked with the ease of old friends on the water.

“I was only little, said Godfrey, Grandad took us out fishing”.” With Alice unhappily along for the ride, Ma kept grip on the hood of my horse- sweater, lest I pitch over the side.””The dour old man, that Grandad was , I recall spoke rarely on land, but crossing Barafundle Bay he knew every fisher, they were all old friends out on the water”

“Said I, out in Sakatchewan, same went for my old man, parked before the T.V., he conversed with us rarely”. “Yet in town, seems he knew all, waved to every passing tractor, mid the prairie sea, just as friends do on the water”.

Solivigant-    This morning I set out, city at low hum, very early. Sunrise had cleared the roof of The Salvation Army, the distant Sooke Hills at peace. Low cloud magic reflected, sherbet on pewter the calm harbor. And clear as is his memory, came an echo of old friends calling cross the water.

“Solivigant”, I read her name, painted bold on sailboats stern. Like a hobo at high tea, shabby, slurping alongside fine yachts polished and fancy. Baggy- Wrinkle, weathered lines, the smell of baking bread and fresh coffee wafted from her”. “Trust in me, Solivigant called!, we shall journey to adventure, two old friends upon the water”.

Sternlights-   Godfrey contemplated sternlights , evening dreaming out my window, looking down to the busy inner harbor below. “He reckoned, the sternlights mean farewell, but also could be saying- “Follow me, pull alongside where  we go”. Ever the vagabond, the observer,  wait patient for me, old friend across the water.

No nasty couch was harmed in my time away, home to turquoise chair and luggage shop. We thank the iconic,late and much missed Stan Rogers for the title. Alice has sent a packet of her literary debris…time to open it…


12 thoughts on “OLD FRIENDS ON THE WATER- From Worzel

  1. Dear Worzelodd, I will read the rest of your post at a later time. But for now let me just say, as I said to Yvonne, (Another favourite of mine) it is just so fantastic having these few cyber friends I just smile when my email says you are here. And you don’t criticize and say I am stupid you are just there. Thanks. I will read the post later. I haven’t had a decent whisky yet.

    • No worries my dear John- I to get warming of the heart – your posts are like opening a pressie, and at our age those are few. Chukkers- sip that whiskey, don’t glug- love Worzel..

  2. My youngest child (18) always gets embarrassed when I wave at people in my car. And even if I don’t know them I say, “That was Kack from over near Burrumbeet.”

    • I found it in Tasmania every day- pulled up to a hostel once, the Warden sweeping her way out, never met me before asks if I’ll take the dog to the beach for a run, she was so busy, spent an afternoon with the Sheep Dog, everybody there waved. It is good to embarrass your children, Ma did, and look how I turned out…

    • Hello Diane- Wowee!, another who loved our Stan. Remember “Make and Break Harbor”, from “Fogarty’s Cove”. The last line of the old fisherman,” She still lifts to the sky, the one lunger and I, still talk like old friends on the water”. I would never rip-off Stan, but love that line, and hope others will Googly the song. We need to keep his spirit alive to the youth fulls. Cheers, must go read your latest.

  3. I like the constant refrain of friends and water, the sailboat named Solvigant — one of my favorite words — and the line ‘My head bowed in thought, he remains ever present, the two of us walk arm in arm,” which created a wonderful vision and a feeling of happiness and comfort for me. And how could I not like the title of the bawdy song taught to Godfrey by Alice. A delightful read, Sheila.

    • Thanks Janet- If you are feeling saucy, Googly “Oh Sir Jasper Do Not touch Me”, and click on the elder chap playing the 12 string- Nudge Giggleswick, gets right into it at the climax. we sang it at camp 40 years ago, and by chance I found it again.

  4. It’s been years since I felt saucy, Sheila, but I looked up the 12-string version and the fellow who put so much into “oh” and had a right good time. I’d never heard the song. It is right saucy!

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