1, Hockenden Cottages, Swanley, Kent.
My bed at Granny & Grandad Roberts’ house, 1 Hockenden Cottages, is as high as a haystack. I can lean my forehead against the edge of the faded counterpane. The room smells faintly of lavender. The sheets are cool and heavy. The pillows are stacked three deep and I must beat a channel into the centre of the top one with my head. On the mantelpiece is a huge green marble clock, the face set into the portico of a Greek temple. It’s stopped at twenty past twelve.  Above it is a picture of Ruth & Naomi from The Bible. They are leaning against each other, smiling faintly.  I sleep on my back and the picture is the first thing I see as I am awakened by the Essex’s cockerel each morning at 5.30…

Wooden crates with slatted sides are piled high in each of the clearings in the apple orchards that stretch away behind Granny and Granddad Roberts’ cottage. Faded writing is stenciled onto the end panels – McNair Vinson Farms. Gypsy Georgie Essex and I climb high on the rickety stacks. Throwing crates down and shifting others into position, we create a fortress. I curl up tight inside a crate and breathe in the intoxicating fumes of generations of Cox’s pippins…


1 Hockenden Cottages


Richard Alan Jones & Granny Roberts

About Dick Jones

I'm a post-retirement Drama teacher, currently working part-time. I have a grown-up son and daughter, three grandchildren and three young children from my second marriage. I write - principally poetry but prose too, both fitfully published. My poetry collection Ancient Lights is published by Phoenicia Publishing ( and my translation of Blaise Cendrars' 'Trans-Siberian Prosody and Little Jeanne from France' (illustrated by my friend, the artist, writer and long-time blogger Natalie d'Arbeloff) is published by Old Stile Press ( I play bass guitar & bouzouki in the song-based acoustic/electric trio Moorby Jones, playing entirely original material. spotify:artist:07MDD5MK9MnRGSEZwbsas9 I have a dormant blog with posts going back to 2004 at Dick Jones' Patteran Pages - - and I'm a radio ham. My callsign is G0EUV
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4 Responses to INKLINGS # 3.

  1. sackerson says:

    The crates took me back! A stash of old outsize light bulbs another village boy and I found on some waste ground. A happy afternoon spent together, throwing them at an old brick wall. The satisfying explosions! We went into an old disused outbuilding. There was some sort of electrical device on the wall with a dial on it. He (slightly older than me) said it was a time bomb. I knew that was bad but what really left a deep, sinister impression on me was the sorority of those two words. Later, pushing through the undergrowth outside we found ourselves in a small, formal garden with a sundial in the middle. Hearing someone approaching we retreated and watched as an elderly, well-dressed lady with a black, piratical eyepatch scraped scraps off a plate onto the lawn for the birds.

    • Dick Jones says:

      Excellent ‘inkling’ material, Dominic! Write them (& others) up for your blog?

      • sackerson says:

        I might. However, one of the curious things I’ve always found about blogging is that one can become more absorbed in the comments one writes on other people’s blogs than one is in the posts one writes on one’s own blog. I rather like it that way.

  2. Dick says:

    Once upon a time we’d have whipped up the ‘inkling’ notion into a meme & we’d have all had a go!

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