F’light by my Fireside (1) – with the Pie in the Sky

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fireside Chat.”

(and not to hear their life story as such – I’m not sure I’d like to hear or ask that of anyone).

I know of a lady by the name of Sylvia Frank, only through illustrations and synopsis of her work in a book gifted to me by a friend’s husband, more than twenty years ago. It’s a quality art book, called “Image of the Body”.

I’ve no way of knowing if she’s the same Sylvia Frank for whom my mother was given a “New Poets ’75” book, including some poems by a Sylvia Frank and possibly also Sylvia’s mother. They were related to my maternal grandfather I think, and had emigrated from England. I don’t know when, because historical detail remembered and passed down is sketchy.

I frequently read the New Poets 75 book as a young child and intermittently while growing up, and would revisit my favourite poems, which of course were, amongst others, moreso those special poems of relations, I’m not sure how distant.

Whether one and the same, or entirely different, I would have to place their name(s) at the top of my list, for sure. Although I know the lady(s) only through print (and more recent internet resource) I was inspired by encountering their work in my childhood  and as a young adult (art studies, incomplete).

I’d be stuck for limiting myself to one choice invitation, for I also regret the geographical distances between myself and my mother and not spending more time with her and also my uncles and aunts, cousins, brothers, nieces, nephew and so on. Although we all knew each other well, of course, over distance of land and time our life stories change as we grow and we often know less of each other’s lives along life’s paths. Can you choose over family unless it’s for  necessity, or impossibilities such as love…

As thechallenge brief is for lesser known company … if the not the first lady(s) above, then, any of the following… and all those not mentioned:-

I’d like to meet my art tutor again, or not, maybe another, but over an ale with some or all of the other students from that first class group would be a great reunion to attend.

Although I wouldn’t say I know any of them at all, having experienced pleasure and privelege of wider shared company on rare occasion, I’d probably wish for a fantastic regional poet or writer I’ve made vague acquaintance with, such as Wayne Burrows or Emma Cocker.

Or a regional artist I respect such as Simon Withers, Nadim Chaudry. Or so many others from any one of a number of co-participants from some of the workshops and short courses I attended at a Midlands gallery on and off for a couple of years a way back.

Any of the students I was blessed to encounter and share collaborative art time with before dropping out during my first year at uni would always be welcome.

All or any of the lads from Gaffa (or Wholesome Fish) would be most welcome too, as I missed much of the original music scene happening but was fortunate enough to catch a reunion gig or hear word of mouth happenings or still have an old flier or two here and there…

Anyone willing to spare and share time for conversation with another is a special person indeed, but I don’t do long chats well, myself. Hence many a good friend or close acquaintance might feel left out and lacking specific mention is not to exclude them.

However, last, but not at all least, and probably over all – a wonderful lady called Miffy, who took me and my baby son in for a week or more whilst at risk and in fear. She’d never met us, but on the word of our close mutual friend (whom I’ve not seen for so long I could not exclude her) on arrival in my desperate circumstance, she didn’t hesitate to provide shelter and support. I still have a book on my shelf originally belonging to each of these special people.

I’d probably feel more comfortable being the tea-laddy (for polite company) as I need to keep on my feet and keep moving and don’t enjoy being seated much at all. I’ve still a stack of dishes to wash, would need a run to the store for refreshments (and would probably do just that for anyone dropping by, if I could at such time).

You might have forewarned me to be better prepared for such pipe-dreams. I’ve to change out of grubby stuff quick sharp from a leisurely gardening break, most days of most weeks. So, it’s all out the window, with the pie in the sky, for a rain check… and I’m off to the kitchen to meet with the sink and the suds, and some Foo Fighters to wash up with, most likely. Happy days : )

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