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Joan, with Harry, John and her Dad asleep on the beach at Yarmouth.

My Dad used to say everyone had to save in case the roof blew off. I wondered what he meant. Roofs didn’t blow off, did they?

Slates blew off roofs as did guttering – but a whole roof, Never. And anyway, my brother said, "Even if they did that was what you paid house insurance for".

Mind you it was bad enough slates blowing off leaving a gap where the rain seeped through. The top bedroom ceiling had several brown patches where rain had leaked in. Dad moved the bed and strategically placed a bucket to catch the drips.

From my bed I could see slate roofs gleaming after rain in the search light beams or beneath a bombers moon. After a high wind the fallen slates provided chalk for hopscotch or pavement art.

Modern houses are lidded with dull brick red tiles. These bring no joy when they fall - useless.

Now I have a garden instead of a grey backyard. The garden was secluded with hedges on each side and a boundary of trees. Not a roof to be seen, until they were butchered now red roofs dominate my horizon.

I long for the slated roofs of childhood days, topped by night skies full of stars or the flat concrete kitchen roof, my escape route to the streets. Often I climbed through the landing window on a summer night or answered my brother’s late night tapping to let him in.

How do these memories begin? All are gone. I have money enough to repair a roof but nothing will mend my aching bones. I struggle even to climb through a car door.

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Joan Mary Fulford
Fulord Consulting Ltd
West Bridgford
Nottingham NG2 5GF


Clifford W Fulford
162 Edward Road
West Bridgford
Nottingham, NG2 5GF

Telephone: 07923 572 8612